Guest Post: The Aladdin Trial by Abi Silver.

Thank you to the wonderful people at Lightning Books for sending me this marvellous book to read and thank you so much to Abi Silver for writing me a guest post. I am half way through this book and I LOVE LOVE LOVE IT, please go check it out. So, without further ado – welcome to my place on the blogging tour:

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Title: The Aladdin Trial
Author: Abi Silver
Pages: 368 pages
Blurb:

When an elderly artist plunges one hundred feet to her death at a London hospital, the police sense foul play.

The hospital cleaner, a Syrian refugee, is arrested for her murder. He protests his innocence, but why has he given the woman the story of Aladdin to read and why does he shake uncontrollably in times of stress?

Judith Burton and Constance Lamb reunite to defend a man the media has already convicted. In a spellbinding courtroom confrontation in which they once more grapple with all-too-possible developments in artificial intelligence, they uncover not only the cleaner’s secrets, but also those of the artist’s family, her lawyer and the hospital.

A new Burton and Lamb legal thriller with an AI twist from the author of the acclaimed The Pinocchio Brief.

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Guest Post:

Do not mistreat foreigners who are living in your land…love them as you love yourselves’: Leviticus 19:33-34

#These are a few of my favourite things – part two

It always takes time for my ideas to bed down, sometimes months, sometimes years. That’s the nature of the beast called #amwriting, I suppose. Some days I overhear a snippet of conversation on the underground, I make a mental note and use it that very night. More often, I squirrel it away for a wintery day, when it suddenly and unexpectedly becomes relevant. Other times, ideas flood in at night and I thrash around, attempting to tame them, before scribbling them on a notepad I keep by my bed. Sadly, there have been occasions when I’ve been unable to decipher my scrawl in the morning – enough said!

But throughout 2015, the refugee crisis was featuring most nights on the News and it could not fail to stimulate my interest and evoke my sympathy. Overloaded boats of all shapes and sizes were taking to the water and promptly sinking, with tragic consequences. Our inspired response? To cease patrols of the Mediterranean, in the hope that would stem the flow.

Camps of destitute migrants were expanding at Calais; our answer was to tear them down. Young, desperate men were storming lorries bound for the Channel Tunnel in the hope of reaching England before arrest, so we increased security and threatened drivers with prosecution. Further East, Hungary closed its border with Serbia, ceased all railway crossings and mounted-police patrolled barbed-wire fences, forcing families to take long and often treacherous journeys on foot, to reach their desired Western European destinations. I watched and gawped and felt totally and utterly powerless.

Then I realised there was something I could do, something I often do when I am trying to make sense of what is going on around me; I could write about it. And as the focus slowly shifted from exclusion towards ‘integration’ and our then PM, David Cameron, committed the UK to accepting 20,000 migrants from Syria over the following five years, I began to reflect on my own immigrant past.

Just over a century ago, all four of my grandparents arrived in the UK, fleeing persecution in Eastern Europe. As with many of today’s refugees, we don’t know the route they took, how long they were travelling or how they managed to travel so far. They certainly didn’t talk about it to me; Kitty, Joe (my maternal grandparents), Bernard and Esther (on my father’s side), not their real names of course, but the closest approximations in English to their birth names. They didn’t get to keep their long, difficult-to-spell surnames either, being lumped in with the people in front in the queue, suddenly creating a whole new artificial, extended family.

There were not many clues for my younger self to my grandparents’ foreign past. They spoke English, apart from the odd Yiddish word, which tended to escape from their mouths in moments of tremendous angst, when there really was no English substitute (I challenge you to find an appropriate synonym for ‘Oy a Clog!’ – sort of OMG but imbued with centuries of bondage, woe and affliction).

Grandma Kitty loved the Queen (‘I think she’s marvellous’ she would say) as she munched on Ryvita with cottage cheese for breakfast, Grandpa Joe liked to write long, almost illegible letters to Margaret Thatcher (he had only spent three years at school) and never missed an episode of Hawaii Five O and Grandad Bernard, who had worked as a tailor, was ‘a frustrated artist and musician’ (apparently he had played the violin as a young man but I never saw any evidence of this; I do, however, have some of his paintings up in my house today, so that part of his history, at the very least, must be true).

But as I watched the modern-day refugees on TV, disembarking on our shores, I wondered what life had been like for my grandparents when they first arrived, clutching a few personal possessions, dispossessed even of their names, knowing no one and saturated, no doubt, with a wealth of traditions and culture which most English people would have found strange and frightening.

And so with the inspiration of my grandparents firmly in mind, I created Ahmad Qabbani; a recent arrival on English soil, considered fortunate to have found cleaning work at my fictional St Mark’s hospital, but ultimately unlucky to have chosen to befriend an elderly patient who ends up dead, eleven floors below. Ahmad becomes the prime suspect in her murder and Judith and Constance, our accomplished double act, have to work hard to craft him a defence, in circumstances where the media has already judged him to be guilty; nothing like real life then, I’m pleased to say.

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Thank you once again to Abi Silver for writing such a wonderful piece.

Go buy the book here : https://amzn.to/2xv8CZB and to find out more about Abi and her writing go check out her website: www.abisilver.co.uk

To see more about the influences for The Aladdin Trial check out Shaz’s Book Blog, @ShazsBookBlog on 21 June and The Book Bag, @TheBookBag on 26 June, both part of The Aladdin Trial blog tour.

 

Photowall product review –

The lovely Jennifer from Photowall recently contacted me and asked me to review one of the companies canvases in exchange for an honest review…and of course, I said helllllll yeah! I always get overly excited when companies/authors get in contact with me. 

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 If you know me personally, you will know that my room is scattered with pictures which spill out memories with every glance and that my sentimental soul cherishes products like this forever. I can honestly say that this company did not disappoint!  If you are looking to buy a canvas, go to this website…you won’t regret it!

ALSO GREAT NEWS – if you type in ShannonWatersCampaign2018 in at the checkout – you will get 20% discount…you can thank me later ;). 

PHOTOWALL WEBSITE 

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The screenshot above captures the beauty and professionalism of the company…come on, does this not make you want to buy everything and make your house unique and personal. As soon as I googled the company and looked on the website, I fell in love with loads of the products and wanted them all. 

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WONDERFUL COMPANY WITH EXCELLENT PRODUCTS. 

5-stars

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Reasons why I think this product deserves five stars:

  • Correspondence between myself and Jennifer was consistent and effortless. (Tick)
  • Unique prints.(Tick)
  • Options of wall murals and canvas prints. (Tick)
  • Beautiful designs available or the option to be personal. (Tick)
  • The delivery speed was superb! Even around the hectic Christmas period!  (Tick)
  • Free delivery. (Tick)
  • The product arrived safely. (Tick)
  • You build the product yourself – yasss I felt like a strong independent woman putting that canvas together. (Tick)
  • Amazing quality – I took a picture from my graduation and printed it off and it looks INCREDIBLE.  (Tick)
  • THEY MAKE PERFECT GIFTS. I gave the product to my mum because I knew she would absolutely love it (don’t worry, it wasn’t her only Christmas present, just an extra)…and she adored it! (Double Tick) 
    • Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching and how amazing would one of these be as a romantic gift.  Quick – easy – effortless and yet so full of love and sentimental reasons. 

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 My product:

*The product looks 1000x better in person, but, my mum is not great at photography and the iPhone camera does not do it justice.*

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I love it and cannot express my gratitude enough to Jennifer for the opportunity. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

So, if you want to be the best person ever and buy your loved one or friend a unique gift that they will hold on to forever – look no further! Go and useShannonWatersCampaign2018 at the checkout for 20% off. 

 

 

Those books that stay with you forever…

I’ve been thinking recently what books I use as a comfort blanket and what books have stayed with me since I read them.

  • Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
  • The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • On the Road by Jack Kerouac
  • The Trial by Franz Kafka
  • The Great Gatsby by F.Scott Fitzgerald
  • Harry Potter and the Philospher Stone by J.K.Rowling
  • A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder
  • The Hobbit by J.R.R.Tolkien

What books comfort or stay with you?

Book update- 

I have just finished reading my review copy of Some Kind of Wonderful by Giovanna Fletcher. OMG I LOVVVVVVVEEEEE IT!!!


I am currently reading Turtles All The Way Down by the one and only JOHN GREEN. I have been longing for this book since the moment I finish all of his other books.

What are you currently reading?

Bookstagram

I am becoming a frequent user of instragam, especially on my book page. I think you should go and check out my page and maybe give me a cheeky follow. Make sure you comment that you’ve come from my blog so I can follow you back! 😊 

My Instagram is – book_captivation    …here is a sneaky peak. 📚🤓💫🍂🍁👑📝


What I’m currently reading…

Last time I did this post I was reading Louis Pentlands book Wilde Like Me, which I will review soon. 

Now I am reading This is Where it Ends by Marieke Nijkamp. I was sent this in ARC form months and months ago but life has been super busy so I borrowed the physical copy and now I’m devouring it. 

  1. The cover for this book gives me life! 
  2. I’ve heard sooo many good things about it. 
  3. I’m nearly half way and I’m hooked. 
  4. The switching of perspectives makes the pace fast, which makes my adenraline pump with anticipation. 

 

Everyone has a reason to fear the boy with the gun. 

Blurb- 

10:00 a.m. The principal of Opportunity, Alabama’s high school finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve. 

10:02 a.m.The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.

 10:03.The auditorium doors won’t open.

10:05. Someone starts shooting.Told from four perspectives over the span of 54 harrowing minutes, terror reigns as one student’s calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival.Winter ‘

  1. Have you read this book? 
  2. Have I intrigued you to read it? 
  3. What did you think? 


2017 reading…

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So, I thought I would update you guys on what I have read in 2017 so far. I haven’t read as much as I wanted so far because I have been busy working on my dissertation.

I am doing my dissertation on the representation of trauma within Gillian Flynn’s novels, so I have been reading a lot about crime fiction. Oh yeah…that means I get to write 10,000 words on my love for Gillian Flynn and look at her novels: Sharp Objects, Dark Places and Gone Girl.

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Dissertation Books- 

  1. Adult Children: The Secrets of Dysfunctional Families by John C. Friel
  2. Twentieth- Century Suspense: The Thriller Comes of Age by Clive Bloom
  3. Thriller: Genesis and Structure of a Popular Genre by Jerry Palmer
  4. Unclaimed Experience: Trauma, Narrative and History by Cathy Caruth
  5. The Cambridge Companion to Crime Fiction by Martin Priestman
  6. Crime Fiction from Poe to the Present by Martin Priestman
  7. Trauma and Survival in Contemporary Fiction by Laurie Vickroy
  8. Too Scared to Cry: Psychic Trauma in Childhood by Lenore Terr

University Books- 

  1. Child of God by Cormac McCarthy
  2. Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison

Fun books-  

  1. Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick
  2. The Girl Before by J.P.Delaney

What have you guys been reading this year?