Biting the Stick – A Story Of Female Genital Mutilation

March 16, 2014 in Books, Cultural Heritage

Biting the Stick is a story about personal conscience and and an internal struggle over the subject of female genital mutilation of little girls. The big question this book asks is what would you do, speak out or stay silent?

Click here to buy it on Amazon.comA young woman, Tania, working as a student support counselor stumbles upon a ritual genital cutting on her university campus. A little girl is pinned to a bed while her mother looks on as an older woman is cutting the girl’s genitals with a knife. No anesthetic, music playing  to cover the sounds of her screams and more women with their children waiting their turn outside.

It seems incredulous to her that this activity should be taking place at all, never mind that it is happening in the UK, in a public facility.

So what happens next, does she speak out or stay silent? Susannah Carlton, the author of this book, has worked as a counselor and she knows that things are seldom as straight forward as they should be. She goes on to tell the story of Tania, her own personal circumstances, how she came to be where she was to witness the event and what happens after she has.

In typical Susannah style, she pulls no punches, she tells it how it is, the internal struggles with conscience, the politics that enter the arena, the secret agendas of people in authority and the possible justification of a procedure that, outside of the cultures that practice it, would be considered nothing less than barbaric.

So do the cultural differences between the modern western world and the people across Africa or the Middle East explain this practice, justify it even? Can there really be a justification to allow this practice to continue……at any level or for any reason?

Now published as a paperback on Createspace, this is a book that is a must read and it is Susannah’s second novel, so if you enjoy Biting the Stick you can go and get a copy of Lonely Mirrors to get even more of a flavour of Susannah’s writing skills.

Biting the Stick on Amazon

Biting the Stick on Createspace

A Goodreads Review

Biting the StickBiting the Stick by Susannah Carlton

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Susannah Carltonhas written another cracking novel, once again on a very difficult subject. Female genital mutilation is very much in the news these days, so the timing is good.

Susannah has written this book from the perspective of a support worker and through her eyes demonstrates how hard it is to deal with problems of this nature. Deeply embedded in culture and involving close family and relatives, how can the authorities tackle the issues, never mind the individuals on the ground?

It displays human frailties and faults, how personal, political and selfishness can all play a part in the actions that are taken. Black & white, Susannah shows it is anything but that and leaves you asking the question – Speak out or Stay Silent?

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The Wake Crasher

November 4, 2013 in Books, Fiction, General, Humour, Romantic Novels

The Wake CrasherThe Wake Crasher is a new book and debut novel from new Indie author Robert Durrant.

It is a book that examines moral principals and can divide opinion on whether you think the principle characters are just having some harmless fun or are a little bit sick and misguided. A dark humoured romantic comedy that describes the consequences of being a ‘Wake Crasher’.

The Wake CrasherInitially the perpetrators embark on what they see as a harmless way of getting a few free drinks and a bite to eat at a time when they are struggling to pay the bills in a world that is in financial meltdown.

It is not too long however before they come to realise that there is no such thing as a free ride and that every action they take comes at a price, especially when they dabble in the dark side of life!

New relationships are formed and the principle characters get a little more than they expected from their endeavors. Trouble is the starting point for any new relationship is from a position of deceit and dishonesty and how can that work in a modern world where everyone knows everyone and life is little like living in a goldfish bowl?

A book that will appeal to young adults and teenagers but also for those that like to cringe a little!

Purchase This Book

If you would like to purchase this book it is now available in Kindle format from Amazon for immediate download. You can literally be reading it in minutes. Available worldwide and for ease in the USA or UK via the following links:

Smashwords Listings

Wake Crasher on Apple’s Itunes

United Kingdom:

To find out more about the author you can visit his author page via his link here Robert Durrant

Jersey’s Secret Assassin

April 19, 2013 in Action & Adventure, Books, crime, Espionage, Fiction, Military Fiction

Jersey’s Secret Assassin – an Action, Adventure & Suspense Novel by Eddie Kirkup

A story that starts in Jersey in the Channel Islands and is concluded in Cyprus, another island, but this time in the Mediterranean, a little nearer the maelstrom that is the Middle East. One connection between them is that two brothers each live on one of the islands. The story begins when Richard, living in Jersey, seems to have been the victim of a tragic domestic accident that results in his death. Frank, his brother, knows differently, not only had he been speaking to him shortly before he died but he also knew there was no way his brother would have died under the circumstances described. He may have been two thousand miles away but he knew his brother had been murdered. What he didn’t know: who was the secret assassin that killed him?

Secret Assassin

The Secret AssassinFrank does what only a brother must do, he travels to Jersey to find out for himself the truth of what has happened to his kid brother. One thing for sure is that whoever did this is going to be sorry. Richard may have been a reporter and used to getting his nose where it wasn’t wanted, but Frank was a different character entirely, he had no fear of physical conflict and was very capable of taking care of himself.  Something he was able to demonstrate very soon after his arrival in Jersey; much more effectively than the so called hard-cases of the criminal fraternity expected.

It doesn’t take long for Frank to make a few friends and a lot of enemies. He also realises that there are sinister undertones around his brother’ death and a connection with another, seemingly unrelated, death. He also discovers police corruption at the highest level, criminal activities and a secret plan to disrupt world peace. Problem is, who can he trust, who are the good guys and who are the assassins, criminals and murderers.

The Secret AssassinUnfortunately he finds out who some of the good guys are when they meet their demise trying to help him out. He manages to get out of Jersey before the same can be done to him and takes his story to Interpol. He gets short shrift from the CIA when he offers to help them find the killers. They make it clear that they place him as a rank amateur and advise him in the strongest terms that he should return to Cyprus and keep a low profile, while they and Interpol  deal with what are becoming serious criminal and political threats.

Trouble is Frank doesn’t know the meaning of ‘low profile’, especially when there are still assassins and criminals running around, one of which secretly murdered his brother.

Purchase this Book

If this sounds like an action-adventure and suspense story you might enjoy, it is available now in Kindle format from Amazon, you can purchase the book and be reading it in a matter of minutes. Use the links below:

Smashwords Listings

You can find out all about Eddie Kirkup on his author page using this link.

Apple iStore Listings


For further information and a book  review, you can visit Amazon where Eddie is already picking up 5 star reviews. Or you can visit Eddie’s Author Page.

Related Books

Tuscan Cats get into Mischief

February 18, 2013 in Books, Childrens Illustrated Books, Fiction, Pets and Animals

Italian Cats Making MischiefThe Naughty Italian Cats Go on Holiday

This is the second in the series of popular childrens books by Laura Graham describing the adventures of the dancing, talking cats from Tuscany. The cats take charge as they spend a mischievous holiday in the sun at the country residence of their English mama and Italian babbo (Italian for father). But now there is a new usurper on the scene in the form of Spiritino, a tom cat from the local farm and a very attractive ‘Tom’ as far as Julie is concerned.

Talking Cats From TuscanySpiritino is no stranger to naughty behaviour himself and he sets himself the task of getting to know Rosetta and Julie a little better. Romantic cats, it could only happen in Italy, like a bit of adventure and before you know it all three cats are getting into all sorts of trouble, there is definitely a scent of amore in the air. But which of the girls gets the guy?

Julie is besotted with Spiritino, but Rosetta is not at all seduced by a common farm cat. Still Spiritino is not put off, he gets to know Julie and Rosetta a little better then introduces the ladies to a little wine and teaches them how to celebrate in a country style. So will a little merry making and a few well placed compliments change a girls mind, can Spiritino turn the girl’s heads and convince them that a life in the country may be just what they are looking for.

It goes without saying that these tales of cats misbehaving and the  games they play will have an appeal to all cat lovers. So can you resist the urge to find out what the outcome is? The cats in the eyes of their adoring owners can do no wrong, so how do they deal with the amorous advances of Spiritino? You will need to read the book to find out and I am willing to bet that even if you buy the book for one of your children, you will be the one that finds it very hard to put down!

 Purchase this Book

Available now from Amazon, you can purchase this tale of dancing cats, and  be reading it in minutes if you chose the Kindle version. Use the links below:

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Apple iTunes Lisitings

  • Tuscan Cats Get Into Mischief: USA
  • Tuscan Cats Get Into Mischief: Australia
  • Tuscan Cats Get Into Mischief: United Kingdom
  • Tuscan Cats Get Into Mischief: Canada
  • Tuscan Cats Get Into Mischief: France
  • Tuscan Cats Get Into Mischief: Germany
  • Tuscan Cats Get Into Mischief: Italy

Book Reviews

Eagerly awaited by me and my 8 year old granddaughter is Laura Graham’s further adventures of the marvelous speaking Tuscan cats! Now Spiritino enters the story and romance comes with him. Rosalbo’s charming illustrations enhance the characters of the cats, although they appear almost human with such clever linguistic skills too. Laura takes one into a magical world – but beware – once you start reading this glorious book you’ll find it impossible to put down!  – reference Francesca from

To see more reviews like this one, click Here

The Author

To find out more about Laura Graham, how to follow her and a little more about her life you can visit her author page – Laura Graham Children’s Author and Expat Writer An interesting lady who has managed to change her career from that of being a successful actress to one as a successful writer.

Related Books

Italian Cats from Tuscony Italian Cats Making Mischief Tuscan Cats

Goodread’s Review

Tuscan Cats Get Into Mischief (The Dancing, Talking Cats)Tuscan Cats Get Into Mischief by Laura Graham

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A slightly more adult theme to this second in the series. Still a lovely book for children but with the introduction of Spiritino, the drinking of wine and amorous intentions, the appeal to adult lovers of cats definitely goes up a notch or two.

View all my reviews

A Tale of Two Tuscan Cats

February 18, 2013 in Books, Childrens Illustrated Books, Fiction, Pets and Animals

Italian Cats from TusconyThe Talking, Dancing Cats of Tuscany

Who would have thought cats could talk in one language, never mind two. But these cats don’t just speak in both English and Italian, they are also dancing cats with aspirations to be famous Italian artists, or at least Rosetta is. Julie is a little less ambitious, she is just very gratefull to have been given a home by her beloved English mama. Rosetta on the other hand was born wild, a feral kitten saved from the forest and brought into the home of the English mama and her artistic Italian husband.

Italian CatsShe is very grand, very intelligent and takes life in her stride. She also manages to get Julie into all sorts of trouble with the games she plays. Some might say they were naughty cats that get up to mischief they shouldn’t, but they are both adored by their English mama, who is constantly entertained by their antics. Especially when she discovers just how talented they really are.

If cats could be human, they would definitely be considered prime candidates with their talking, dancing and artistic ambitions. This is a delightful story, written for children yes, but with an appeal to all cat lovers, children and adults alike.

Laura Graham moved to Italy to make a new start in life after working for many years as an actress in the UK. She is an avid cat lover and has an eye for their antics and behaviours which she has captured beautifully in this first of her series of cat stories and adventures in the Italian sun.

Also available is her second books ‘Tuscan Cats get into Mischief’, which is equally as appealing and introduces a male lothorio into proceedings in the form of Spiritino. A tom cat with an eye for the ladies, especially Rosetta and Julie who he discovers when they arrive in the country for a painting holiday with their adored babbo and their English mama.

 Purchase this Book

Available now from Amazon, you can purchase this tale of talking cats, and  be reading it in minutes if you chose the Kindle version. Use the links below:

Smashwords Listings

Apple iTune Listings

Book Reviews

A lovely read together book for the young and old who love cats, reading and the pleasure both bring. An ideal book for reading with pre-school children who love colourful illustrations and guessing what the mischievous cats are going to get up to next. Well done Laura, I look forward to more adventures of the Two Tuscan Cats!reference Toonmaker on

You can find more reviews like this here

The Author

To find out more about Laura Graham, how to follow her and a little more about her life you can visit her author page – Laura Graham Children’s Author and Expat Writer An interesting lady who has managed to change her career from that of being a successful actress to one as a successful writer.

Related Books

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