gillyflower recent comments

written 1342 days ago
cherry

This is a gripping and exciting account of events already taking place, which encourages us to look for and expect even more in the near future. The Whore and her Mother is a examination of prophecy fulfilled, which should be read by everyone with an interest in this subject and indeed by everyone with an interest in the human race, and its future.
Well written and easy to read, this book is a real page turner. Dan Brown invented his story, but Raymond McCullough has based his on the actual words of the Hebrew prophets and on the real happenings which lead us to believe their accuracy. view book

written 1424 days ago
cherry

I'M VERY GRATEFUL TO THE PEOPLE WHO KEEP BACKING ME, BUT I"M NOT ACTIVE ON THIS SITE NOW THAT I'VE GOT MY GOLD STAR, SO I WON"T BE RETURNING BACKINGS AND COMMENTS! PLEASE TAKE NOTE OF THIIS!
THANKS ANYWAY!
GERRY view book

written 1440 days ago
cherry

Thanks, everyone, for your support and comments. I'm really grateful to everyone who supported me and brought me to my current position with a gold star. You're great!
Now that the book has gone to Harper Collins to be read, I really don't need either backing or comments any more, so please don't be wasting your valuable time by continuing to do this, as quite a few people new to Authonomy have done. I'm unlikely to be on the site, except for a very occasional quick check in, and I can't guarantee to return either. In fact, it would be wise to assume that I won't.
I've already left a message about this on my profile, but this is just an extra way of letting new members of the site know.
All the best,
Gerry view book

written 1454 days ago
cherry

The mention of Miss Marple in your pitch was enough to make me determined to read this book, and I'm very glad that I did. This is a fresh, beautifully written and exciting story. The opening scene, with Heather having what seems to have been a rather upsetting dream, and then, as she wakes up, finding that she has, indeed, been attacked, is highly original, gripping, and a great hook into the rest of the book. You then introduce us to Morag, a very likable, individual girl, and we quickly feel that we know her well. The mystery of the cat being named Heather, too, draws us further in. Morag's care for animals, which makes her reluctant to develop affection for the ones in the Shelter who will probably be put down after three months, is a warm and attractive feature of her personality. Morag's discovery of what seems to be a dead body moves your plot on dramatically, and you leave us wondering whether she'll report it or not. Vijay is another interesting character, and the fact that both are Trekkies is an interesting thread to the book. Your writing is clear and very readable, your characters are well drawn and believable, and your plot promises exciting developments. Backed.
Gerry McCullough,
Belfast Girls. view book

written 1454 days ago
cherry

This is a gripping, compulsive read. The first paragraph of your prologue, which you tell us is true, sets the mood straightaway. Violence, crime, and mystery take us into the territory of not just criminals but conspiracy theories, with undercover agents and cover-ups vying for centre stage with the drug barons. Your plot takes off quickly and hooks us in with no delay. Your characters have a three dimensional quality not always found in this genre. Jim, the prospective naked body, is drawn realistically; and his feelings as the drug takes effect and he becomes 'calm... dispassionate,' and 'distant...' are entirely convincing. Anton and Liam are strikingly vicious people, particularly Anton, who kills like a child playing with a video game; whereas Liam has the grace to be sick at what he sees happening. The murder of Dzung and his girl friend are equally grotesque, and Anton's only reaction is to be pleased that he's taught not only Dzung but his other employees a severe lesson. The shock effect of this is amazing. Anton, a complex character, refrains from killing the girl who would have shot him if she could, because, he says, 'I like your spirit.' He can laugh as he kills, and make jokes like, 'he'll still have Helle to pay.' You write well, in a fast moving, entertaining, and often horrifying style. You demonstrate a gift for observation and exact description; for instance, 'in the funny monochromatic way night vision and IR systems do,' and this brings your settings and action vividly to life. Backed.
Gerry McCullough,
Belfast Girls. view book

written 1455 days ago
cherry

This is a riveting story, and the fact that you heard most of it first hand from your father, a senior FBI man fully involved in the investigation of the assassination of Martin Luther King, makes it immediate and convincing. You take us back to the sixties with the sort of detail that brings the book vividly to life, with stories of the protesters with the slogan, 'Never trust anyone over 30!' so reminiscent of that time. This is a book which is moving as well as exciting; and when you shock us by telling of the 'hate letters' send to Martin Luther King, probably forged by the FBI, this is gripping. You write well, smoothly and professionally. A story I'd like to read much more of. Backed.
Gerry McCullough,
Belfast Girls. view book

written 1457 days ago
cherry

You have an interesting and exciting plot, outlined in your pitch; and you plunge us straight into the heart of it as the man disguised as a priest visits the dying Robert in hospital and tries to force him to sign a paper. We are hooked at once by this gripping and dramatic scene, and as the nurse later reads the notice saying, 'Do not resuscitate,' we wonder if it was genuine or if the stranger put it there. You then introduce us to Harriet, a shy, but warm-hearted woman, with a temper which drove her husband away, a daughter she can't talk to on the phone for more than five minutes without running out of things to say, and a mother in a nursing home. I loved the story of her dropping the bus pass, jumping off the bus, and staying away from buses for the next three weeks, because the bus driver couldn't hear what she said and asked her to repeat it. You bring Harriet, a complex character, beautifully to life with such incidents as these; and we are ready to believe the activities promised for her in your pitch. The letter and phone call which told her about her legacy draw us in to find out more, and the five letters from Robert make a great hook at the end of your third part. Your writing is clear and crisp, often humorous, and your can also grip us when necessary. Backed.
Gerry McCullough,
Belfast Girls. view book

written 1457 days ago
cherry

You have an interesting and exciting pitch, and you move on quickly with its development, as Jack wakes up and writes down his dream. The dream is thrilling and gripping, and it leaves Jack confused and worried, as he lives through the truck which nearly runs him over, his friend Billy running from him, but possibly wanting him to follow, and the frozen feeling in his legs which keeps him motionless. Getting into work, Jack is faced at once with the uncomfortable situation of his boss, Janie, a former girlfriend, still pursuing him, and the prospect of a business weekend with Janie constantly there. And at night, he knows he'll have the mysterious, worrying dream again. You've taken your book off to a whizzing start, and really hooked us in. Jack is a very likable man. His loss of his closest friend Billy when he was a youngster has clearly left some trauma, and you depict this really well through his feelings about the dream. You write well, in a clear, flowing style, your characters are lively and well drawn, and you can grip us as well as amuse us. Backed.
Gerry McCullough,
Belfast Girls. view book

written 1457 days ago
cherry

You have an attractive pitch, and your plot is exciting and interesting. Madelynn, off boys understandably after Joey tries to seduce her on what was meant to be a study date, is a very likable, smart, feisty heroine. You take us inside her head by making her a first person narrator, and we feel close to her as you allow us to share her thoughts and feelings. Giselle, her twin, is a very different character, still hurt from breaking up with her boyfriend, and compensating by spending everything she earns on designer clothes. Madelynn's meeting with Wes at the jousting is funny and exciting, and you quickly make it clear that the spark between them is going to light a serious fire. The magic is beginning to emerge, too, as Madelynn notices that the scratch on Wes's cheek has already disappeared, in an unnaturally swift time. Your plot, as well as your characters, are hooking us well in by now. Your writing is clear, straightforward, often funny, and gripping when you take us into an action scene like the jousting. Your descriptions are lively and convincing. Backed.
Gerry McCullough,
Belfast Girls. view book

written 1457 days ago
cherry

You pitch is exciting, full of enthralling ideas. A dragon turned into the stones of the house - this is an original, imaginative idea. Glimmer is a normal, realistically drawn boy, whom we immediately like, in spite of his grumbling. The appearance of the 'garden gnome' (another brilliant idea - I laughed out loud, truly) is evidence that Glimmer has some magic, since he can see him. It becomes obvious to us, though not, as yet, to Glimmer, that the Mage is teaching him something. Glimmer doesn't understand the Mage when he speaks of, 'The magic that returned my book to me.' Glimmer tells him that all that happened was that he did a wrong thing, and was sorry. 'And you think this is not magic?' replies the Mage. But now, five years later, Glimmer has the book again, and feels no guilt because, it seems, he has now grown enough to have it by right. Glimmer is about to experience dream magic, and you have hooked us in firmly to read more. Your writing style is amazing, beautiful and full of the type of lyrical imagery which brings us right into your settings and makes them live. I could quote almost every line to illustrate this, but will limit myself to, 'peas primly trellised, cabbages like buried rings set with pale green gems of lapped leaves.' You also use this gift with words to build up excitement in the proper place. At the end of your first chapter, for instance, when you speak of the raven leaping into the sky unseen by Glimmer, 'black flight following his path like a second shadow,' you send shivers up our spines. Backed.
Gerry McCullough,
Belfast Girls. view book

written 1457 days ago
cherry

This is a fascinating book. You have a great plot idea, and you handle it with skill, moving quickly through Grant's different options, and hooking us in each time to know what comes next. The relationship between Grant and Misery is warm and convincing. I loved your first few sentences, where you explained her name. Grant shows intelligence and insight, as he says his mum was convinced her miserable life was due to fate, rather than, 'her ability to consistently make poor decisions.' Grant is in hell because he took revenge for his sister's death. It doesn't seem a sufficient reason, as Big Mike points out. Your imaginative portrayal of the punishments meted out, which allow the 'Hell's Angels' to use Grant and the other inmates to spread evil, by causing potholes, and, more seriously, by, 'Convincing people to make the wrong decisions,' in video games which play out in real 'realtime.' There's a definite touch of The Screwtape Letters here. Grant is horrified to find that the people he killed in video games were killed in real life. This is an engrossing read. You build up the story episode after episode, until we see the pattern, that Grant can't escape being forced to do more and more wrong all the time. Your writing carries us quickly along, your characters, especially Grant and Misery, are vivid and individual. I loved Misery's birthday, which was both funny and touching. Grant is a complex character; damaged from childhood, with many good points, such as his kindness and generosity to Misery; and we feel ourselves liking him, relating to him. I'm intrigued to know how this will end, and would certainly expect to be able to buy the published version of this highly original and well written book before very long. Backed.
Gerry McCullough,
Belfast Girls. view book

written 1457 days ago
cherry

You have captured the atmosphere of the time you are writing about perfectly, and you bring it vividly to life with lots of interesting, believable detail. Judith's position, as a girl who is clever enough to learn to read and write, and is prepared to think for herself, is one which makes her life difficult. Her father is proud of her, but doesn't want her to step too far out of line. The women think it's unnecessary for her to learn any more, and that she should concentrate on the more usual womanly skills like spinning and weaving, which she finds boring. When she wants to learn the blacksmith's skills, she has to resort to dressing in boy's clothes. The blacksmith believes she's a boy, and has given her the nickname 'Little Hammer.' Judith is a strong central character, intelligent, rebellious, and feisty. We empathise with her immediately, and like her. Your writing is vivid, clear and fast moving, and your characters are all beautifully drawn and convincing. This is a book I want to read more of. Backed.
Gerry McCullough,
Belfast Girls. view book

written 1458 days ago
cherry

A very engrossing story. Gloria is an interesting, likable character, full of imagination, brave, daring, feisty. Her trip with the truck driver is worrying. We expect a bad outcome, as you make us aware of his thoughts and her attraction to her. But Gloria, blithely unaware of her danger, tells him to stop and let her off as her school approaches; and he laughs, not having realised she's still a schoolgirl, and relinquishes his intentions. Gloria's imagination promises her a future when she'll be able to travel the world and do as she likes. This is both amusing and moving, for we know how unlikely it is. She is rebellious, cutting school regularly on Mondays, and no-one notices for seven weeks, a foretaste of the general neglect of this girl. Her visit to her grandmother and aunt, while previously bringing only boredom, many be different this time, but Gloria doesn't expect much from it. This is a very enjoyable book. Your writing is clear, vibrant, and easy to read, and your descriptive images are vivid and bring your settings and characters to life. Backed.
Gerry McCullough,
Belfast Girls. view book

written 1458 days ago
cherry

I remember reading this book when it first came out, and enjoying it immensely; in fact I still have a copy somewhere in the house. It's just the sort of book I loved then, time travel going back into history, with a heroine I could relate to, and whose adventures I could feel myself living through. Reading it again, I still love it. It's every bit as good as I remember, and it's a real pleasure to come across it and realise that it's being re-issued. I'm sure this generation of children with also love it; will experience Karen's adventures alongside her, and will thrill to the moment when she finds the bronze mirror, green with age, on the beach, and rubs it, hoping to be able to see her face. What a magic moment that is, 'She glanced into the mirror, slowly.' Wow! For years after that, I dreamt of exploring ancient sites, and finding a bronze mirror of my own. Unfortunately, it never happened. Backed without the slightest hesitation.
Gerry McCullough,
Belfast Girls. view book

written 1458 days ago
cherry

This is a very original and well written story. You establish your characters quickly: Leah, a normal, likable girl, fond of her adoptive parents, clever and amusing; her Dad,entertaining and kind, fond of practical jokes; and her Mum, really to laugh at the tricks but with a fund of wit to respond with her words instead of with other 'Whoopy cushions.' The eclipse of Venus is an intriguing moment to start your action, and the appearance of Venus herself, taking us by surprise in the middle of a normal family occasion, works excellently. Venus's actions and words, terrifying in themselves, strike Leah deeply, and she is ready for danger and adventure. So are we, for by this time we are well hooked in. Your writing is smooth, fluent, very funny, and extremely gripping at the serious moments. Backed.
Gerry McCullough,
Belfast Girls. view book

written 1458 days ago
cherry

This is a great plot, which your pitch only hints at. Shannon Ireland (have to love the name!) is an interesting and likable heroine, easy to relate to; an attractive businesswoman, suddenly desolated by the surprise blow of her father's death. The extra shock of discovering that the pool man thinks her father expected her to marry him is something she doesn't know how to deal with. Her first assumption, that the pool man, Stretch, is mentally disturbed, turns out to be wrong, but it's still a problem. This is a brilliant hook, supremely original and imaginative. Stretch is a realistically drawn person, straightforward and likable, which makes his story to Shannon much more believable. Your writing is clear, concise, and amusing. You have a fluent narrative style, excellent descriptive powers, and authentic, convincing dialogue. I can't wait to read more of this very enjoyable book. Backed.
Gerry McCullough,
Belfast Girls. view book

written 1458 days ago
cherry

These are lovely poems, full of beauty and strong feelings. I particularly liked, 'This is why I cry,' with its final line, 'I cry for all those memories,' and 'The Empty Garden,' where you speak of, 'Soaking our lives with oceans of tears,' and, 'Being buried beneath our sorrow and pain.' You use some very vivid images, and assemble your words skillfully. I also liked, 'The final sunset,' a very emotional poem, where you tell us to, 'Be happy for all our sunsets,' and end on a warm note, 'for I have loved and been loved / and have had so many beams of light to share.' An uplifting read. Backed.
Gerry McCullough,
Belfast Girls. view book

written 1458 days ago
cherry

This is a lively, interesting collection of stories, with a variety of different themes, which work well. I particularly liked The Tell Tail Tale. I enjoyed your dry, tongue in cheek humour, and the moral which came through clearly but without preaching, 'Don't go around tellin' fibs, or you're liable to come away looking to the rest of the world like a monkey's ass!' The grandfather has a great, individual voice, both in conversation with his son Darius and the rest of the family, and as a narrator in the bedtime story. He's a lovable rogue, with his 'girls' who are sixty-seven, or two hundred and seventy five pounds. He's a tough, stubborn, independent man, determined to go on living in his own old house; and with no hesitation in telling his son that he doesn't approve of Darius's way of handling his finances. The bedtime story, although the children don't know this, is aimed at trying to prevent them copying their dad, who is showing off and deceiving everyone by pretending to be better off than he is. Malcolm and Malik are lovely, cute, realistic seven year olds, and their interruptions and general behaviour are authentic and convincing. A very well written story, like all the others in your collection. Backed.
Gerry McCullough,
Belfast Girls. view book

written 1459 days ago
cherry

This is exciting and even riveting. You introduce us to Anna when she's already in big trouble. The horrific torture scene is all the more dreadful because, as we learn with a shock towards the end, the man torturing Anna is Tom, whom she thought was her lover and future husband. Instead, you go on to show us that this cold, callous man was only using Anna to get information for, 'the biggest assignment of his career.' You give us professionally accurate detail of Tom's further moves, acquiring the duffel bags, killing Carter, and then picking up Annette / Barbara. You have got your book off to a great, thrilling start, and have certainly hooked us in. Your writing is smooth,fluent and crisp, your dialogue authentic. Your characters come quickly to life. Backed.
Gerry McCullough,
Belfast Girls. view book

written 1459 days ago
cherry

Your racy, fast moving book appealed to me as soon as I read the pitch. The ghetto mentality, popular with your kids who didn't come from a ghetto, possibly because of the rap songs they heard when young, is a subject you tackle with relish, humour, and a very enjoyable sarcasm. Mya , Ills, and the rest of your family come to life in your energetic prose; and your very individual voice pulls us in, to read on and find out more about you and your family. Mya and her trail of unsuitable boyfriends, and Ills, with his tattoos and his brushes with authority, are dealt with in a way that makes us laugh, but also shows us the pain you must feel. When you say things like. 'Without prayer where would he have been...Prayer has gotten Ill's and me all the way to where we are today...' it's both funny and moving. An excellent, very readable book. Backed.
Gerry McCullough,
Belfast Girls. view book