Stars in the Night, by Clare Rhoden: A story of enduring love

1970 in suburban Melbourne: ‘That was how it happened, thought Harry, feeling the memories rise; they were never far away .. Trusting you to remember, trusting you to do something about it. As if you could fix things, mend the dead, put the world back the way it was.’

And so we go back into Harry’s memories, into the seared experiences that gave him nightmares for decades, back to the day in 1917 when Harry cannot find his foster brother Eddie. Harry searches. He crawls out of the Passchendaele mud in no-man’s land searching for him. He looks into dugouts and stumbles down communication trenches and he asks at Casualty Clearing Stations. Fifty years later his granddaughter comes upon an old notebook in the attic and asks him,”Who is Eddie?”

The Stars In The Night is a story of love. Nora waits for Harry but he harbours fears whether she can accept him after what he has been through. Eddie hopes for a life with Claudelle. It is a story too of love between men, brothers-in-arms, Harry and Eddie, Wallis, Hartigan, Alex. From Gallipoli to Flanders the war thunders over all of them like the endless numbing artillery barrages. But it does not end for them when the guns fall silent.

We only recently have begun to speak openly of PTSD and try to understand that it messes people up for a long time. Harry survives wounds and sickness and comes home, but in dreams he returns to no-mans’ land, still trying to rescue mates. The women have their losses too, made harder to bear by Harry’s inability to speak of things he simply does not want to bring to mind. Harry’s mother Ellen, for instance, cannot connect with him any more.

The mines and the shelling is like the end of the world. The worst we have seen, and we have seen some bad ones. Harry and me are fine but it makes you cry. There are so many dead you cant help but walk on them’. Eddies notebook.

Clare Rhoden takes us into this vast arena of events, from the debate in Australia about the rightness of the war, into terrible battles, and on through into the waves of pyschological effects upon those who survived and their families. These 220 pages hold material for a 1000 page book. But the author has brought large and complicated things down to the personal level by revealing them in the way that we all ordinarily talk to each other: through a household argument, the queries of a nosy neighbour, the grumbles of soldiers about the food and the cold, the guarded talk about Gallipoli by a sergeant to a fresh officer as they weigh each other up, and through diaries and letters home. This makes The Stars In The Night deeply personal and emotional. I got so caught up in it that I paused reading several times so as to absorb it. I cannot praise this novel highly enough both for its story and it’s technical execution.

Although it is about the experiences of Australian soldiers, this heartache and loss described in this novel could really be about the horror of any war, not just the one that millions prayed would be ‘The War To End All Wars.’ The character Harry Fletcher, like many veterans, could not bring himself to attend Anzac Day ceremonies but stayed quietly at home. Yet for anyone interested in the scars left by the Great War and thus the origin of the ‘Anzac legend’, the facts of it, and sometimes the mythology of it, this is a must-read.

Lest We Forget.

Note about ‘Anzac’ to readers unfamiliar with the term: The first units of Australians shipped out in 1915 were merged with the first New Zealanders into the Australia New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC). Their losses in Gallipoli and later in France shocked both young countries. Australia, population four million in 1914, sent 417,000 volunteers to the conflict. 62,000 died. Both Australia and New Zealand suffered casualty rates of over 55% – killed, wounded, gassed, captured, marked as ‘missing’. The term ‘ANZAC’ endures.

Personal note 2020: As I began this book, Australia was dealing with the Black Summer and the whole world was attuned to news about some sort of virus. There was tension in the air, and for the first time I think I had an inkling of what it might have felt like in late 1914 in the households across nations as they readied for conflict, not knowing what lay ahead. On the day that I thoughtfully laid down The Stars in the Night, Anzac Day services were cancelled for the first time due to the menace of Covid-19.

Where to find The Stars in the Night: From publisher Odyssey Books , from Book Shop Org (supporting local bookshops)from BookDepository (with free shipping worldwide) and from Amazon in softcover and Kindle, Barnes and Noble in soft cover Nook, Chapters Indigo, Booktopia, and Waterstones. Or, ask your friendly local bookstore to order it in for you.

Clare Rhoden has also written a dsytopian series called The Chronicles of the Pale. See more about the series at her website here. My review of the first book, The Pale, is here.

Another novel I have reviewed here on this blog about WWI is ‘Nursing Fox‘ by Jim Ditchfield which focuses on the nurses. You can read about it here.

Acknowledgement: The graphics shown here are by courtesy of Clare Rhoden and Odyssey Books.

Mark, your reviewer here, is guardian and blundering typist for Mawson, one of this bright world’s few published bears.

Get snuck up on today with ‘She Ran Away From Love’, by our own Mawson Bear

‘This gentle little book snuck up on me. I didn’t know what to expect, but I was glad I dove in.’

She Ran Away From Love is a small book that looks like a children's book but asks big questions
A teddy on the cover, yes, but this is mostly a book for grownups

She Ran Away from Love is an adventure on more than one level. It’s the physical journey of a small, frightened bear who finds love just a bit too bright for comfort, but it is also an inner journey in which the little bear finds herself.’

Our heroine Frilly goes on a quest. You can read it during a short break yet you may think about it all day

‘I suspect this book will touch different readers in different ways. I smiled through the entire book.’
Review by Bernice Sneedy at Amazon AU. ‘

Thank you Bernice Sneedy for this kind review of Frilly’s quest to find herself.*

Mawson’s Guardian adds: And LOOK! Its HALF price for a soft cover to hold in your paws (or hands, as the case may be) at Amazon Australia. And only $3 on Kindle everywhere.

Go on, get snuck on yourself!

Other places to find She Ran Away From Love by Mawson, one of this world’s few published Writer-Bears:

Our publisher is Odyssey Books. Look also at Bookshop Org (supporting local bookshops), at BookDepository (free shipping), at Amazon everywhere, at Amazon Australia (where Mawson naps), at Barnes and Noble, at Dymocks, at Booktopia, at Walmart, at Google Books, and more. 

*Oooh, that reminds me of another Bernice, a really cool young detective. Why not plunge into my review of Bernice Takes A Plunge while you are here.

Your host, Mark, is Mawson Bear’s Guardian, photographer, editor, blundering typist, chocolates fetcher and cushions re-arranger. Baffled Bear Books ABN: 4787910119.

Stories by Rebecca Burns: The Settling Earth

The women in these stories voyaged from Britain to the ends of the earth, “the Antipodes”. Driven by hardship, propelled by hope, they left behind their old lives and strived to make new ones in New Zealand. But the settlers brought with them the same stultifying conventions and social constraints they had left behind. For women in particular, sometimes little seemed to have been gained.

Isolated on bleak farms or confined to soul-destroying boarding houses, these women are each at the mercy of men’s whims and male control of property. They live one slip away from destitution, and must reach deep inside themselves, getting past old ways of life and old conditioning, to do what they need to do to survive.

Each story is complete and satisfying in itself, and yet, like life, they are also connected by events or characters; so that the stories towards the end satisfyingly close the circle of themes raised by the earlier ones. The last story, by Shelly Davies of the Ngātiwai tribe, adds a Maori viewpoint of these arrivals.

 I found The Settling Earth to be a fascinating perspective into frontier New Zealand and Burns new novel Beyond The Bay further looks into life in a raw new country as seen through the eyes of two sisters in Auckland.

Novels and short stories by Dr Rebecca Burns

Where to find The Settling Earth: Published by Odyssey Books, The Settling Earth is at BookDepository, Amazon, and Bookshop Org, among others. More excellent short stories by Rebecca Burns can be read in Artefacts and Catching the Barramundi. Her novels include The Bishops Girl and Beyond the Bay. See her website here.

You are with Mark at Baffled Bear Books. I am guardian and blundering typist for Mawson Bear, Ponderer of Baffling Things and one of this bright world’s few published bears. Mawson has his own website too, called (wiggles ears modestly) Mawson Bear.

The Bishop’s Girl, by Rebecca Burns

And then, as the cloth was split in two, long, black hair tumbled forth, still attached to grey bones, now wet in the midday sun. …Behind, a crow called accusingly.’ Prologue.

A hundred year old mystery, secret lives, torn relationships. The Bishops Girl by Rebecca Burns.
Cover image shows the mystifying nurses smock that both excites and puzzles researchers for decades.
A hundred year old mystery, secret lives, torn relationships. The Bishops Girl by Rebecca Burns

My first impression of The Bishop’s Girl was of a quiet story of frustrated lives as two scholars in hushed archives are stymied in their own ambitions by their boss. And this is indeed one of the stories threaded amidst several layers in this novel. But then it becomes clear that this no less than a cold case detective story. From few clues arise many questions. Why, for instance, was the Bishop considered so important as to be dug up from a wartime district and then reburied in England? How did an unidentified woman come to be buried with him? Who was she? The scholars, Jess and Billy, find hints and fragments in the old letters but will these leads come to anything? And I read on enthralled by the mystery of it.

As we learn more of the unexpected century old romantic connection with Greece, and as Jess begins an affair, I found myself reading for the tangle of relationships between lovers, between spouses, between parents and children, and all of their messiness and importance.

But now, with hindsight, I think this absorbing and satisfying novel is mostly a story of secrets, especially of secrets within families, and how they can have far reaching repercussions. It is a great read on all these levels.

Where to find The Bishop’s Girl which is published by Odyssey Books. At BookDepository, Amazon, and Bookshop Org, among others. More excellent short stories by Rebecca Burns can be read in Artefacts and Catching the Barramundi. Her novels also include Beyond the Bay. See her website here.

You are with Mark at Baffled Bear Books. I am guardian and blundering typist for Mawson Bear, Ponderer of Baffling Things and one of this bright world’s few published bears. Mawson has his own website too, called (wiggles ears modestly) Mawson Bear.

Artefacts and Other Stories, by Rebecca Burns

With skill and economy, Rebecca Burns allows us to slip into moments in the lives of her characters when the meaning and emotion of their struggles up to that point seems to compress. Memories overwhelm. New choices perhaps appear.

That compression of time can be triggered by an item, an artefact; perhaps a greatcoat, a letter, a bootie. Bits and scraps. Moments. Glimpses.

Artefacts lrg 2477

In ‘The Bread Princess’, we discover that an array of bonnets can give us impressions of the changing attitudes in a small community across a century. In other stories we view obliquely into the psychological impact of the 1914-1918 war through unexpected portals: a kitchen, a railway waiting room, a cricket match.

These snippets about each of Burn’s characters are like a sheaf of loose pages fallen from the larger books of their lives. We discover enough to give us a feel for who they are and to wonder what will happen to them, even while we must accept that we’ll never get to read all of their pages, just as we cannot ever really know someone’ else’s life story.

Where to find it: Amazon, BookDepository, Bookshop Org, Barnes and Noble, Waterstones, Chapters Indigo and more. Or ask your friendly local bookshop to obtain it for you.

Artefacts and Other Stories, by Rebecca Burns is published by Odyssey Books. More excellent short stories can be found in The Settling Earth and Catching The Barramundi.

You are with Mark at Baffled Bear Books. I am guardian and blundering typist for Mawson Bear, Ponderer of Baffling Things and one of this bright world’s few published bears.

Asena Blessed, Book 2 of The Chronicles of Altaica, by Tracy M. Joyce

The Chronicles of Altaica make for a great read, the kind that you keep reading as you stumble off the bus and still read right up until you arrive (sigh) at the door of the day job. Adventure and danger, hard rides and mountain crossings, spies and plots and murders, primal magic and goddesses, war and strategy, skirmishes and battles and desperate duels. Here is a whole world of rivalries, peoples, cultures and absorbing characters.

First, catch up by looking at my review of the first part of The Chronicles of Altaica in which villagers fled an invading army, got swept out to sea and then were rescued by people in another country that they knew nothing of.

My difficulty now is to urge you to read this sequel, Asena Blessed, without blurting out ‘spoilers’. The Cover tells us this: ‘Isaura has emerged from the spirit realm forever altered .. Caught between two ancient powers, Isaura must try to make her own path. .. Aid arrives from an unexpected source – one who knows no rules and respects no one.’ I will highlight some aspects of the world building and the characters that I particularly liked.

Animal guardians have become a feature in fantasy tales since their appearance in Phillip Pullman’s books. We readers may have grown used to these linked animals existing mainly for the sake of the humans, like enhanced pets. Tracy Joyce turns that idea on its head by considering the wild nature of the linked animal. What if the linked animal has it’s its own intentions? What if it could be too powerful and difficult to control? Some scenes in Asena Blessed took me by surprise because the guardian acted on its own account, and the result was not remotely cutesy

Complicated heroes. Throughout the first book the reader identifies with the dilemmas of the central character, Isaura. In Asena Blessed, however, she is swept unwillingly into the spirit realm and emerges more conflicted than ever. Her resulting actions are not necessarily noble at all times. I often blinked at the turn of events. ‘Did she really do that?’

Matriarchs and Female Warriors. To say this book includes ‘strong female characters’ is an understatement. Among the Altaicans, all adults train for fighting and the tattooed and hardened women ride with the men.Key movers in this story include the female keepers of lore known as ‘Kenati’, the matriarch of the wolf-like Asena clan , the Lady Malak, who strives to undermine the power of the tyrant Ratilal, and an intervening female spirit who may or may not be a goddess but who in any case seems to be playing her own game.

Plausible Warfare: We have all endured movies and novels in which the fighting scenes are over the top: every warrior somehow knows all the modern martial arts. Bows fire multiple arrows at a time, arrows and sword blades cut like lasers through the heaviest body armour, and so on until it all gets silly. Not so here. The tactics, weapons, armour, siegecraft and melees are based on the authors research of warfare in our own non-Altaica world. The fighting here is brutal, the wounds nasty, and soldiers do appalling things to civilians. This is a fantasy world but it is no fairy tale.

The Chronicles of  Altaica: are published by Odyssey Books. The beautiful covers, full of meaning about the stories within, are designed by Karri Klawitter. You can obtain signed copies at Tracy Joyce’s website and also read about the forthcoming third book in the series. You can also read FREE COPIES of ‘Rada’, a story set in the Zaragarian Empire 16 years before the Chronicles begin.

Where to find Asena Blessed: Book Depository, Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
And if you would like your dollars to go to other than the giant companies, consider these retailers:
Bookshop.org, Booktopia, AbeBooks, Chapters Indigo.

(Images on this post are courtesy of publisher Odyssey Books and permission of the author.)

Your host, Mark, is Mawson Bear’s Guardian, photographer, editor, blundering typist, chocolates fetcher and cushions re-arranger. Baffled Bear Books ABN: 4787910119.

Going Postal about Book Postage?

The Problem: You look for a book on a book retail website. You send your order to the “Shopping Cart”. But what’s this? A delivery charge rises up on your screen like monster looming over the horizon. And the size of the thing!

‘Bother!’ You say. (You might say other words entirely and at some length, but this is a bear-friendly web-den.) And you change your mind about buying that book in print because the delivery cost has trampled over all your hopes. Is there another way? Why, yes. Read on.

Our Post Bear, Scottie, goes postal over particular postage problems of his own

BOOK SHOPS. Beating dinosaur sized postal costs Tip One: Visit your friendly local book shop. The book might be in stock, and if not the staff can order it in for you. This is good for everyone: you get your book, the book shop people take note that readers want this book and they consider getting more in, they stay in business, and in turn that means you can return there to book-bathe whenever you want to.

(‘Book-bathe’? you ask. Well, you’ve heard of how nature-bathing is good for the soul? So is book-bathing. You simply wander around places with lots of books and you start to feel better right away. That is also why staff in a bookshop are friendly and helpful: they get to book-bathe all day long … But I digress. Where was I? Oh yes, Tip Two.)

LIBRARIES. Beating Godzilla sized postal costs Tip Two. Visit your local library (where the staff are friendly because of all their book bathing). Reasons this is good: If you can borrow the book, you pay for neither the book nor postage; in Australia and some other countries the author still gets a fee for each borrowing (very small, but still a fee); and if book is not there, you can ask the staff to consider adding it to their stock. That is good for you, the library, the publisher and the author. Also, just by going to your library you are participating in your local community. All sorts of activities happen there. Maybe you’ll get involved in some.

SHOP AROUND. Beating road train sized postal costs Tip Three: Shop around with OTHER on-line retailers! Don’t stick with, for instance, ‘A-Far-Too-Powerful-Retailer-Named-After-A-River’ if it is gouging you more than it is serving you. There are other retailers, some listed at the end of this post. Several supply the book you want with free postage so long as it is within your particular country or region. One retailer does not charge ‘shipping’ or postage costs at all. Consider BookDepository.

Our Scotland the Brave shops shops around.

SPEND MORE. Beating fuel tanker sized postal costs Tip Four: This tip requires you to exercise restraint to a degree you did not know you had. You have to wait, yes, wait until three or four books of the books you want become available at a fair price. Then, you send them to the ‘Shopping Cart’ together. This often, but not always, gains you a waiver on the postage costs. Good things about this: you get more than one book and you save on postage. Not-good things about this: You have to spend more money than you probably meant to. And when the books do arrive, the To-Be-Read-Pile of books in your room gets so high that it topples over and buries you under hundreds of stories and your family doesn’t find your body for days because they just assumed you were reading your way through them all.

EBOOKS. Beating mammoth sized postal costs Tip Five. Go digital. Sadly, this means you will miss out on the pleasures of holding the book itself, enjoying its particular weight and texture, slipping your battered old book marks between the pages, shelving it in your favourite way (by colour, by height, by author, by subject, oh the possibilities), ostentatiously opening it up to read on the public transport, lending it to a good friend, seriously wondering about the ‘goodness’ of that friend when the book is not returned … But I digress. The thing is, there are no postage costs with them.

Your Challenge: Beat the postage monsters. You can do this, really you can.

Have a practice with getting your paws on Dreamy Days and Random Naps without postage costs. Like all of Mawson’s picture books for frazzled grownups (and by the time you have gone up against the postage monster you will be frazzled, believe me) this one is available all over the world including through:
 Amazon everywhere, at Amazon Australia (where Mawson sleepily lives), AbeBooks, Ad Libris,  Barnes and Noble (USA), Booklubben, Bookshop.org (Recommenced by me because it supports bookshops), Casa Bahia (Brazil), Dymocks and Booktopia (Australia), Desert Cart (several regions), Fa Saxo (Denmark),Linnaeus Boekhandel, Loot (South Africa), Mas Americanas (Brazil), McNally Jackson (New York), Mighty Ape (New Zealand), Pontio Frio (Brazil), Rahva Rahmat (Estonia, yes, Estonia – this bear gets around), Walmart (USA), Google Books, WH Smith ( UK), and more.
Hopefully, at one of these you will beat the postage monsters. Otherwise, back to the library! Our publisher is Odyssey Books.

Your host, Mark, is Mawson Bear’s Guardian, photographer, editor, blundering typist, chocolates fetcher and cushions re-arranger. Baffled Bear Books ABN: 4787910119.

Altaica, Book 1 in the Chronicles of Altaica, by Tracy M. Joyce

I made a classic blunder with this first book of the Chronicles of Altaica by having  ‘just a quick look’ during my lunch break. By the time I looked up I had escaped rampaging armies, got embroiled in village jealousies and tensions, fought off invading scouts, got swept out to sea on a raft .. And was late to get back to work!

It was months before I obtained the sequel, Asena Blessed. Before touching it, I read the first book again. I enjoyed it even more this time, absorbing more of the interplay of the characters, the skill of the world building, and quite simply the story.

‘Her stories are gritty, a little dark and morality is like quicksand.  You won’t find any unicorns or fairies here.’ (Tracymjoyce.com.)

As the refugees on the raft drift at the mercy of ocean currents they become suspicious of one another, and particularly of healer Isaura, even though her skills with a bow had saved their lives. Ah, but in their codes of behaviour women ought not to fight at all, let alone kill.

‘Two things your race is known for -magic and murder. Hill clan witch!’ …. No one would look at Isaura, no one would speak to her.

The action now shifts to the peoples of Altaica, ‘a land rich in tradition; ruled by three powerful clans. with a history marked by warfare; where magic as we know it does not exist. Instead what is here, in abundance, is a more primal power. (Back cover.)’ Umniga, a wise woman, discovers the strangers and has her reasons for wanting to rescue them, altruism not being the first. Umniga and her acolyte Asha persuade the ruling clan chiefs to help.’

‘By the gods, how long have they been on this boat? How much longer can they last?’ Umniga the Kenati of Bear Clan.

 Now begins a canny play of brutal politics between the clans. The refugees have not arrived at a peaceful land! Ambushes, plots, murder, hard rides, sieges .. the pace doesn’t let up. A great read about people responding to the shock of having to make a new life among strangers. Plenty of battles too.

As I ready to plunge into Asena Blessed, I am full of questions, in particular, what are the ‘Asena’ and why do they have their own quarrel with a seeming goddess; and will Isaura’s raw and unpracticed powers do more harm than good? Now I open the next book and, yes, I am straight into a world of raw magic and unexpected twists once again. Review soon.

The Chronicles of  Altaica: are published by Odyssey Books. The beautiful covers which are full of meaning about the stories within are designed by Karri Klawitter. You can obtain signed copies at Tracy Joyce’s website and also read about the forthcoming third book in the series.

Where to find Altaica:  Book Depository, Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
And if you would like your dollars to go to other than the giant companies, please consider these retailers:
Bookshop.org, Booktopia, AbeBooks, Chapters Indigo , Desertcart.

(Images on this post are courtesy of publisher Odyssey Books and permission of the author.)

Your host, Mark, is Mawson Bear’s Guardian, photographer, editor, blundering typist, chocolates fetcher and cushions re-arranger. Baffled Bear Books ABN: 4787910119.

Your review is welcome in a writer’s neighbourhood

Each review is wanted,
Each review is good,
Your review is welcome
In a writer’s neighbourhood.

Mawson Bear’s Guardian Mark speaks: As you know, our Mawson is a Writer-Bear. His brand new book is called Dreamy Days and Random Naps. It’s about slowing down, indulging in big dreams of a grand world, and resting on cushions. Just perfect for all the tired daydream-believers who want to give themselves permission to relax for little while – or even longer. Could this be you?

I’m sure many frazzled grownups would enjoy escaping for a peaceful half hour into this cosy world – If only they knew about it. And this is the same for every writer: if only readers knew about their books!

Writers need your help. Yes, YOUR help: When you are quiet sort of writer (or a quiet writer-bear) it is not easy to be heard out there in the wide world. Only YOU, the all-powerful reader, can help. You can post your own review about a book on one of the book-retailer websites. Now don’t be alarmed by the word ‘review’. An essay is not required or wanted, rather just a few words about what you think of the book and what you liked.

How to do it: Go to your chosen book retailer. Search for the book title, or author name, or ISBN number. Here are some retailers: Amazon and Good ReadsBarnes and Noble (USA), and Booktopia (Australia) and Library Thing . (There are more listed below.)
After you find the book, scroll down to the field headed ‘Leave A Review’, or ‘Write Your Own Review’.
If you haven’t before used that book retailer you need to register to do so. This does take a couple of minutes of bother, I know, but then comes the fun.

Smiting at the Star Ratings. With all the power of your mighty keyboard, bash at the ratings. If you are an excitable sort of person, or if you love the book, keep on smiting. Smite Thrice!!! Smite Fourfold!!!! And, yea even unto Five times!!!!!  

Our Scotland the Brave charges at the ratings and smites for all he is worth.

You can post your review on other sites too: Having tasted your awesome power, why stop there? You can copy and paste your review to any other on-line retailer, as many as you like, depending on how mighty waxeth your smiting arm that day.

Other ways to help writers that cost nothing: Look at the reviews left by other readers and click the “helpful” or “like’ buttons. Share the links about that book all over the place. You can look at the writer’s other titles too and if you are not able to buy one just now, add to a ‘Wish List.’ On GoodReads add it to “Want to read’ list. These small actions tell the websites’ algorithms that people are taking notice of the book. It all adds up. And up. And UP. And it means lots of people will fall in love with our Dreamy Days and Random Naps (and the other books you review, of course) just like you. All writers will be grateful for these things which you can do in a jiffy.

Can you help with Mawson’s Dreamy Days and Random Naps?

Please let me know if you would like to do a review for Dreamy Days and Random NapsI can send you a PDF version. Short remarks are fine. It is, after all, a little book. Or just bash away at those star ratings.

Where to find Dreamy Days and Random Naps

Dreamy Days and Random Naps is at Amazon everywhere, at Amazon Australia (where Mawson sleepily lives), at BookDepository, at Barnes and Noble, at Dymocks, at Booktopia, at Walmart, at AbeBooks, at Loot (South Africa), Mighty Ape (New Zealand), Google Books, at Booklubben, and at Bookshop.org, and more. Our publisher is Odyssey Books.

Reviews of Mawson’s books on GoodReads.

It's a Bright World to Feel Lost In It’s a Bright World to Feel Lost In
reviews: 26
ratings: 34 (avg rating 4.32)
She Ran Away From Love She Ran Away From Love
reviews: 27
ratings: 33 (avg rating 4.30)
Dreamy Days and Random Naps Dreamy Days and Random Naps
reviews: 23
ratings: 26 (avg rating 4.38)

Your host, Mark, is Mawson Bear’s Guardian, photographer, editor, blundering typist, chocolates fetcher and cushions re-arranger. Baffled Bear Books ABN: 4787910119.

Dreamy Days and Random Naps by Mawson Bear

‘Dream. And dream big!’
Thank you, Hina, for this kind review.

Take a look at more reviews by Hina at her blog by following the link.

Hina Loves To Read

Goodreads synopsis

Dreamy DaysMawson Bear awakes and ponders on the art of creative napping. Scotland the Brave imagines doing great deeds. Professors Caddy and Bree hold the highest hopes for their visionary inventions. Samantha sees wondrous things all round her. The Seekers journey all the way to the edge of the world, being sure to return, of course, by bedtime.

Flop down and relax awhile with Mawson and his drowsy friends. Refresh the soul in the tranquility of simple joys and innocent dreams.

Rating and Review

Teddy BearTeddy BearTeddy BearTeddy Bear

Sometimes I find it difficult to word a review because even though the story of the book leaves me with a message, it is hard to pass it on forward to your all.

So, I am going to keep it small here as well and let you get to the book itself. Following is what I have absorbed from the book:

  1. Dream. And, dream big!

View original post 46 more words

Who is this Writer-Bear named Mawson? He is a pondering author for our befuddled times

Do you sometimes feel a bit muddled about, well, Things ?

Sometimes rather ruffled when Things just go and, well, Happen ?

Sometimes feel confused one moment and completely baffled the next?

It’s not easy being Grownup. All this business of having to be sophisticated and industrious all day long! It just wears you down. But when you arrive in Mawson’s cosy world, the frazzled reader can flop down among the cushions and relax. Make your world a world of calm, for a little while anyway.

Listen to the quiet

Dreamy Days and Random Naps is Mawson’s latest little book stuffed with happy moments. If you are a daydream believer in a world still bright despite everything, then this book is for you.

Here you can find the answers to just about nothing at all. You can forget you ever had questions anyway. Mawson and his friends are befuddled about most things most of the time – just like so many of us. And that’s all right.

In She Ran Away From Love, by Mawson, his little friend Frilly feels hopelessly baffled by Big Questions. But does she give up? No! She sets out on a quest. See where it takes her.

‘Writing about love, dreams, happiness, and finding your own identity is all found within this short happy book.‘ Review on Amazon UK.

And in his first book, It’s A Bright World To Feel Lost In , Mawson attempts to put into words that mysterious feeling of Feeling Lost.

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It’s A Bright World To Feel Lost In” is a book about optimism, searching for new adventures and making the most of life and love’. Review on GoodReads by Debbie Young, author of the Sophie Sayer Mysteries.

Our publisher is OdysseyBooks where you can find fun and beautiful books with pictures for grownups.

Where to find Mawson’s Books: At Amazon everywhere, including at Amazon India, and at Amazon Australia (where Mawson Lives), Amazon UK and Amazon France, among others.

Reviews of Mawson’s Books at GoodReads.

It's a Bright World to Feel Lost In It’s a Bright World to Feel Lost In
reviews: 26
ratings: 34 (avg rating 4.32)
She Ran Away From Love She Ran Away From Love
reviews: 27
ratings: 33 (avg rating 4.30)
Dreamy Days and Random Naps Dreamy Days and Random Naps
reviews: 23
ratings: 26 (avg rating 4.38)

If you would rather not use Amazon, Mawson’s book are all over the place. Try BookDepository, or Barnes and Noble, or Dymocks, or at Booktopia, and soon to be at more.

You are at Mark’s blog, Baffled Bear Books. Mark is guardian and hapless typist for Mawson Bear, Ponderer of Baffling Things and one of this bright world’s few published bears. Baffled Bear Books ABN: 4787910119

A Single Light, by Patricia Leslie: monsters prowl the Australian highlands

‘When Rick Hendry is contacted by a federal agent to help investigate a growing number of mysterious vanishings across Australia, he finds himself immersed in a world where normal is a very narrow view of reality. The two men are joined by a doctor, an archeologist, a journalist, and an Afflur Hunter.’ 

They soon discover that in the bush, south of Sydney, among the beach goers, walkers and picnickers, a menace grows. The mysterious Bledray monsters are preparing for a Gathering; a feast of epic proportions. Only the Afflur Hunter and Guardians can stop them, but their strength is failing and humans are needed to help prevent a second holocaust’. 

A Single Light is an urban fantasy tale of ghoulish monsters and non-human protectors battling to save humanity amid the spectacular and rugged landscapes of the Royal National Park south of Sydney.‘ From Back Cover.

Reporter Gabriella worries about the state of her colleague Rick Hendry who is clearly not sleeping well. It turns out he doesn’t want to sleep because in sleep he dreams – and the dreams terrify him.

‘There was something out there, taking people ..’ p.36. Officer Anthony Biglia.

Biglia comes across an expose written by Hendry and believes that the reporter can help him. They swap their theories. Jamie Morell finds abnormalities in the victims’ blood. None of them can work out how and why eight people are dead.

‘All are equal in the face of eternal hunger.’

For the Bledray, Maliak, Moriah, Jedidiah and Laeh, the humans exist only to be protected or to be hunted. On the plains below the high country lie millions of souls, a feast to gorge on.

‘ She ran then, urgency gripping her as the screaming of dying souls mixed with the stars and faded into oblivion.’ p. 136

I found that the hunger of the creatures is somehow believable- it’s the idea of insatiable appetite taken to extremes. The sense of menace grows as the hunters of souls and the hunters of Bledray converge upon one another until there is a climatic encounter as bush fire rages. (The fire scenes seemed particularly struck me in the light of the huge fires in NSW last summer covering some of the same ranges.) The author’s attention to detail and sense of place in the descriptions of these highlands in serves to ground the story. You can read more about Patricia Leslie and her work at her website  patricialeslie.net.

Patricia LeslieA Single Light_a novel by Patricia Leslie_The beach almost deserted

Where to find A Single Light: From the publisher Odyssey Books. Also at Amazon Australia, at Amazon USA, at BookDepository, at Barnes and Noble, at Chapters Indigo, Waterstones, Booktopia and more. Or ask your friendly local bookshop to obtain it for you.

Patricia Leslie also wrote The Ouroborus Key, an absorbing blend of Sumerian mythology, esoteric Templar secrets, and a detective story. This makes for a fascinating combination as you can see from my review here.

The graphics shown here are courtesy of the author and of publisher Odyssey Books.

You are at Mark’s blog called Baffled Bear Books. Mark is a dark coffee tragic and bibliophile as well as the Guardian and blundering typist for Mawson Bear, Ponderer of Baffling Things and one of this bright world’s few published bears.