Review – The Portswick Imp

Part of a review by Sarah Hegarty recently published in Writing in Education

Review, Sarah Hegarty, Writing in Education, no. 78 (Autumn, 2109)

A sense of yearning for a simpler time, long gone, permeates some of [Michael W. Thomas’s] tales. The title story, told in the voices of a husband and wife, traces his boyhood passion for push-bikes, which he has put aside. Seeing cyclists on the road, “throwing air over either shoulder”, brings his true love back “like an old song”. At first, despite hating the “dank shops, each with its mumbly little man in a brown coat stuffed with pens”, his wife helps him search for the perfect bike. But no single machine is the answer. The end result, “five bikes’ worth”, he names the Portswick Imp, after a childhood memory. Out in the countryside she watches him ride, until his bike lights are “just a bit of the Welsh moon broken up”. He has ridden away, back into the safety of his childhood imagination.

Sarah Hegarty

C:/Users/HP/Documents/Writing Projects/Black Pear/The Portswick

Click here to get your copy.

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‘Something Wicked’

When Emma’s elderly uncle dies in a fall from a Devon cliff it soon becomes clear it was no accident. As she tries to uncover the truth behind his death she steps into a world where even a family fishing boat becomes a tool for acts of the darkest criminality. Emma is forced to confront the sinister undercurrents in her personal life and question whether she has misplaced her trust.

Another terrific read from Frances Bennett, who thrilled us with her debut novel Seeds Of Destruction five years ago. Something Wicked is her second novel and Frances would be interested in presenting her book and writing career to organisations looking for speakers.

Front cover

Pick Your Own—Amanda Bonnick

Amanda Bonnick’s debut pamphlet ‘Pick Your Own’ was launched April 2019 at Drummonds Bar, Worcester. Readings, guest poets and music led to an amazing evening enjoyed by all present.

Reviews

Pick Your Own is a beautiful collection of poems which prove that time travel is, in fact, possible. The childhood memories are particularly impressive and well captured. The sense of loss, of a father and of a child self,  permeates the collection. There are moments that caught my heart – especially in Creature – and many that tugged at my own memories. I look forward to revisiting this collection many times.
Susan Davidson—actor and poet.

These poems paint a vivid portrait of a girl negotiating the awkward passage to adulthood while coming to terms with her father’s death.That they never become maudlin or overly-nostalgic is a testament to Amanda Bonnick’s skill as a poet. From the subtle use of kennings, to the nod to Heaney in ‘Weeding’, these poems are aware of poetic tradition but move beyond it into something new. These are poems that know that even if prayer doesn’t work, sometimes it is important to pray,
and they are prayers to terrestrial gods, including fathers, boys, and nature.
Ben Parker—poet-in-residence at The Museum of Royal Worcester (2015), poet-in-residence at The Swan Theatre, Worcester (2016).

Amanda’s pamphlet is available direct from Black Pear Press.

C:/Users/HP/Documents/Writing Projects/Black Pear/Does My Bass/D

Get your copy direct from Black Pear Press £5.00 plus P&P:

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Two Reviews

Here are two of the latest reviews for Heather Wastie’s Don’t Oil The Hinges:

“I’m enjoying Don’t Oil the Hinges enormously… I love the way Heather weaves introductions into the book, I’ve never seen this done before and it creates a lovely, intimate reading experience.”
Nancy Campbell, Canal Laureate

“You can’t help but warm to Heather Wastie’s enthusiasm, creativity, and zest in putting poetry at the heart of a community.”
Greg Freeman  (Write Out Loud)

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£6 +P&P

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A Review of Michael W. Thomas’s ‘The Portswick Imp’

5* Amazon Review from E.M. Eames

“This is a fine collection of humane tales by a consistently excellent author of both prose and poetry.
The title story was the first to grab me, and I was delighted to find that all the other pieces matched it in quality. Thomas has perfected a blend of quiet humour and telling social commentary. These are timeless tales.”

Read the review here

Michael W. Thomas books

Max & Luchia–The Game Makers

Kevin Brooke’s second novel for young readers of 7-11 (but everyone will love it) Max & Luchia–The Game Makers is receiving rave reviews! Max & Luchia–The Game Makers takes you on a magical journey into an online game invented by the imagination of Max & Luchia.

Front cover–Max & Luchia

Illustrated throughout by the super-talented Seraphim Bryant, this is an exciting, engaging read that young readers have said is unputdownable! Here’s what some of them say:

‘This book is a wonderful adventure! I really enjoyed reading about how the children played ‘Ma-Chia’ and I always hoped they would get to the next level. The descriptions are so good that I felt I was part of the story.’ Elinor van Dam, aged 8

‘I enjoyed Max & Luchia as it led down some unexpected routes’
Ellie Cross, Student at Blessed Edward Oldcorne

‘I couldn’t put it down. It is an amazing book’
Jake Rouse, Student at Blessed Edward Oldcorne

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Come along to the launch, doors open 4pm for a 4.30pm start on Sunday 23 September 2018 at The Hive, Worcester.

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