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Last week's position: 727

first registered 04.09.08

last online 1 hour ago

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about me

I am a lawyer - retired, thank God. My debut novel "So Sour the Grape" (part reproduced here and available through Amazon and leading booksellers, rrp £7.99) tries to portray the hopelessness of the committed alcoholic - and the helplessness of the lover, spouse or friend who believes they can walk on water, can fix it - to find that they can't ... for, seemingly, nothing can.

Writing is addictive; and my second novel, "The Mine" is somewhat different. Taking place in South Africa in 1985, when apartheid was at its height - as was the resistance to it - a black man and a white man are trapped in a mine, the sole survivors of a mining disaster. Yet it's nothing to do with mines - it's about segregation and an Africaans 'kaffir boetie's' ( a sympatiser) obligations to the child of the black man who, in the mine, saved his life and who, when he finds her, turns out to be someone more than just a child.

But black and white must be segregated in the South Africa of 1985.

favourite books

Change of Address - Lee Langley.
The Shipping News - Annie Proulx
The Bridges of Madison County - R J Waller
Border Music - R J Waller
Any thing by Hemmingway
Anything by Steinbeck
And 2 real oldies: These Lovers Fled Away - Howard Spring and 'Bonjour Tristesse' - Francoise Sagan

my websites


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my books



A love story, the association of two alcoholics - so, by definition, a tragedy. You can but pity the hopelessness of committed alcoholic..

"Tam takes the urn to a rose bed in the middle of the garden. It seems an appropriate resting place for one who had been at the middle of all their lives - someone who they had, all of them, loved and tried to help - and failed."

Michael, a dis-functional lawyer, enters a rehab clinic, where he meets Lottie, interior designer, Kensington socialite and a hardened alcoholic. Both wounded in their different ways, they prop each other up amidst the rigorous regimes of a rehabilitation clinic. A relationship develops between them, but, Montague and Capulet-like, it is a forbidden relationship - because relationships in early recovery are strongly discouraged.

Back in Kensington, living with Michael, Lottie relapses, spinning into a tragic downward spiral and leaving Michael to ask himself whether he is the one to blame for her downfall.

A tragedy - but not all doom and gloom, because the committed alcoholic has the same fatalistic sense of humour of many who are afflicted with a terminal illness.




The only time Steiger ever held a black man by the arm was when he needed to inflict discipline on him.

South Africa, 1985. Apartheid is rife - and so is the resistance to it. Against this background a black man and a white man find themselves trapped underground, the sole survivors of a mining disaster. The black has been blinded by the explosion and the white man is badly injured. Segregation or not, only if they can work together can they get out - but do they?

Just say that one escapes. What are the reactions of that survivor to the young daughter of the other - particularly when Apartheid segregates black from white?

Although this story starts with a mining catastrophe, it is of a greater catastrophe that I write: Apartheid - which was a disaster for both blacks and whites alike. Fiction it may be - but it is fiction woven around the framework of cruelty and oppression inflicted by white on black in an attempt to keep a strangle hold on a 'beloved country' that wasn't theirs to hold in the first place.


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Glacis wrote 1 day ago

Hi, donkeyjacket. Thank you so much for your comment and backing m....

Glacis wrote 2 days ago

Hi donkeyjacket. I have just read the first chapter of your book a....

J J Lawson wrote 6 days ago

Hello again and thanks for your message. Your book really does appeal....

J J Lawson wrote 10 days ago

Hi. I like the sound of your book and have added to WL. Hope to revie....

fledglingowl wrote 11 days ago

A.J. Thanks for your kind words and encouragement. Have published Th....

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my comments


I wrote 1 day ago

Not yet backed - but on the watch list. I dearly want to see how the story is going to develop. Funny old world: 'Grape', which has sat festering at the bottom of the slush pile for yonks, seems to be taking off at last. But let's not hold our breath! It is actually a whole lot of fiction woven ... view book

I wrote 1 day ago

Therese/Vanya/Glacis - or how should I address you? Not a bad start - five days on site, I backing and 3 watch lists (four now - hoping I have the stomach for the erotica - those who can do; those who can't read about it - I am intrigued enough to W/L this.) You have a relaxed, unhurried - alm... view book

I wrote 4 days ago

Did someone say great voice and terrific pace? I'll second that. view book

I wrote 4 days ago

This is very vivid - and the fact that the English with which it is written is not that of an Englishman, makes it all the more vivid and authentic. It was easy to read - perhaps told a little bit straight from the shoulder; and I think I would have had more enjoyment from it had the action been som... view book

I wrote 51 days ago

Poppy, Did I say that I expected to discover something zany? (Zany: crazy, madcap, wacky, screwball, screwy.) It was all those and greatly entertaining to boot. Loved the title: It spoke volumes about what I was to expect – story, narrator, style all encompassed, so it was almost a short... view book

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