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Book Review: Torn Trousers…

February 24th, 2015

This last year was mostly spent in a miasma of story consumption. I read books like a story-starved creature. The part of my brain that produces stories had malfunctioned. Strangely, It wasn’t writers’ block. I felt nothing as if someone had disconnected the story part of my brain. Then I started meeting up once a week with my friend Gwynn (who’s also a writer) and we’d talk about world events, history, anything that came up as well as discussing stories and writing.

Torn TrousersIt was Gwynn who suggested in October that I try writing something different. I took her advice and decided to try writing a contemporary romance. I started at the beginning of November and I’m now half way through a whole book. After two years, I’m hearing my Regency characters demanding attention once again. I think my problem was that I was so ill (literally dying) while editing Dancing the Maypole that it wounded my story teller. I think my brain pulled the plugs in self-preservation, but I’m now working again and it feels really good. Thanks Gwynn!

So during the last year or more while she’s been encouraging me to write, Gwynn has also been working on various stories and projects. One of those has been to finish an autobiography (jointly written by her husband) of a year they spent in Botswana, Africa, managing a remote Safari camp. The title, “Torn Trousers” refers to Matanta (it’s the meaning of his name), who was head chef and Assistant Camp manager. If your life feels too safe and boring and  you’re tempted to run off on Safari…this is for you! Once they arrive at Camp Tau there are no boring hours…even when they want one.

My review: 5 Amazing Stars! Even if I’d never met the authors! This was an amazing story (that happens to be true) that I was barely able to put it down (I read most of it in one sitting).

Beautiful. Funny. Poignant. This is a joint autobiographical account of a year by the authors (tired of the daily grind in Johannesburg, South Africa) decided to become managers of a remote Safari Camp in the Okavango Delta in Botswana. What could possibly go wrong in Paradise? What couldn’t? When they aren’t salvaging the kitchen from a marauding fridge-chewing hyena they’re attempting to work miracles with very little assistance from their boss (who appeared to work hard at being as unhelpful as possible). I don’t think this could have been told as well from one point of view. The husband’s view is woven with his wife’s and you get this brilliant technicolor view of their lives. At the heart, this is a love story. The main love if for the Okavango Delta, the local people and wild life, but underneath much more subtle is the love between the two people who sold up everything they owned and took a blind leap into an adventure that would prove more amazing, amusing and scarier then they could have imagined. The interplay between all the main characters (including Morag “the poisonous snake in Paradise” (best friend of the Safari Camp Owner’s wife) who thinks she has carte blanche to make life hell for everyone)…is divinely human. When I finished I was disappointed there wasn’t another adventure of Gwynn and Andrew to read! If you want to meet my friend Gwynn, It’s for sale on Amazon!


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  1. jana
    March 29th, 2015 at 08:41 | #1

    yay, looking very much forward to hearing from your characters again 😉

  2. March 30th, 2015 at 02:01 | #2

    Smiling, yay it works.

  3. April 4th, 2015 at 12:14 | #3

    I apologise to everyone who tried to comment and it didn’t work. I must have somehow accidentally turned off the comment accepting feature ages ago (or it was affected when they updated the software). It didn’t even occur to me to check to see if it was working. I just assumed no one was in the commenting mood. Genius!

    It does feel good to be writing again! I’ve mainly been working on a contemporary romance (because I’m obsessive compulsive), but I am also back to work on my Regency romance, Once Upon a Wager (which only has a few more chapters and half an Epilogue to go). If I can just stop staying up all night reading Listverse comments (Listverse.com) I may even finish it before I die of old age. I’m not addicted…yeah right. 🙂

  4. Larella Maria
    June 16th, 2015 at 10:49 | #4

    How are you going with your new book?
    I devoured all of your other stories in just a few days. The way they are linked, the back stories, the continued mention of charachters who found their love in a previous novel – and finding that their personalities have not been diminished – weaves an intriguing web that follows you into your waking dreams.
    I have read all of your novels previously (in hardcover). Finding this site and feeling the echoes of a much loved storyline in the first book i read made it impossible not to subscribe.

    Please let us know when we can expect your next novel. Regency England is the perfect story setting in my mind, and i have rarely enjoyed other authors as much as i have enjoyed your works.

  5. September 10th, 2015 at 15:01 | #5

    @Larella Maria
    Hello Larella Maria,

    Thank you for your kind words! I apologise for taking so long to respond. I must have missed the e-mail notifying me of your comment (I missed a lot of things in June – I thought I was dying – brain wasn’t working – turned out to be iron deficiency – I’m now starting my third month of pills and feeling alive, hopeful and productive again). I’m working on finishing Once Upon a Wager. I just finished chapter 35 yesterday. The heroine is the first cousin of the Earl of Mulgrave (Mulgrave ends up the third main character in the story). Mulgrave sets the story in motion, always being short of cash he sees an opportunity to win some money and at the same time rid his life of his cousin, Theodora (who he detests). He ends up a sort of evil Cupid…he wagers Lord Finley (who also dislikes Theodora) that he and Theodora will be wed before the last day of the London season. Mulgrave then sets out to make sure he wins by hook or crook. I’ve really enjoyed these characters though I’ll be very happy to finish the story. When I get close to finishing the edit I’ll note it in a blogpost and then when it’s done I’ll send out a members newsletter. 🙂

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