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text 2015-10-22 20:37
TBR Thursday* October 22, 2015
Private Papers of Eastern Jewel - Maureen Lindley
Playing With Fire (Sultry Southern Nights) - Deborah Fletcher Mello
By Vincent Lam The Headmaster's Wager (Reprint) - Vincent Lam

Feeling really meh about new books that are coming out, especially in romance. So my pitiful list this week is down to three books. All books were on sale.

 

1. The Private Papers of Eastern Jewel by Maureen Lindley. To be honest, I don't remember a damn thing about this book or why I picked it up. Probably because I have been on a real theme of Asian-inspired/located/peopled books lately.

 

2. Playing with Fire (Sultry Southern Nights #1) by Deborah Fletcher Mello. Third book I have picked up by this author. Contemporary romance that sounds promising.

 

3. The Headmaster's Wager by Vincent Lam. A book that explores an immigrant's life in Vietnam after the war.

 

*bookish meme created by Moonlight Reader

 

 

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review 2014-12-09 14:51
The Ties That Bind (Georgie Connolly #2)
The Ties That Bind - E.L. Lindley

Author: E.L. Lindley

Kindle Edition

Crime/Mystery/Thriller

 

After a harrowing couple of months, Georgie and James Finn prepare to take their relationship to the next level, only to find their plans scuppered by the arrival of Georgie’s estranged mother, Marilyn, who is accused of murdering her husband. Suddenly Georgie has to deal with issues that resonate back to her troubled childhood. 

 

Georgie Connolly is back. And although she may have been under the impression she and James Finn could spend quality time together after the traumas of recent weeks and their entanglement in the seedy world of a Russian gangster, a phone call from Los Angeles Defence Attorney, Leonard Spalding puts their plans on hold. Georgie’s mother, who abandoned her when she was six, has been charged with the murder of her husband. Bail has been set and Marilyn is now, much to Georgie’s discomfiture, released into her custody. Georgie hasn’t seen her mother for ten years and initially Marilyn’s self centred attitude clearly shows why mother and daughter are not close and explains Georgie’s reluctance to let go of her deep-rooted feelings of hurt and abandonment.

 

As James listened intently the attorney explained the situation and it wasn’t good. Georgie’s mother had married a man called Charles Beck, seven months ago and had actually been residing in Beverley Hills. He was left reeling by the idea that all this time Georgie had no idea that her mother was living here, in LA.  He could have quite happily strangle the woman on Georgie’s behalf.

 

James and Julie Sellars have become partners in a private investigation and security business and have decided to take on Marilyn’s case. James has serious doubts about the validity of the accusation levelled against Marilyn after speaking to Detective Sean Collins, his and Georgie’s very good friend and newly promoted Lieutenant in the Hollywood division. As James and Julie’s investigation deepens the case becomes ever more involved.

 

Callie Delaney, Georgie’s best friend, has offered to have Marilyn to stay at her house, much to her husband Eric’s chagrin. Georgie, on the other hand, is grateful and guilty in equal measure. She decides to put her time and effort into research for the job at hand. Little does she know this, along with her mother’s situation, will lead her into peril from the world of gang culture with its appalling and sordid crimes.

 

I’m really enjoying this series and the way the books are written, with serious and sometimes deadly implications as well as a light-hearted and humorous slant. Thank goodness Georgie and James’ unpredictable relationship gains ground eventually, with both ready to admit their feelings although even then, nothing goes smoothly. They’re each too good at disrupting the balance and it doesn’t help that James is struggling with life after the Marines and Georgie is focusing more on making her documentary about the public schools system. 

 

E.L. Lindley has created a great cast of likeable and realistic characters. Georgie is fortunate in her supportive network of friends and I love that she has her own personal friendly cab driver. Georgie is still as impulsive and liable to put herself in dangerous situations however, and this instance is no exception. 

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review 2014-11-13 10:23
Business As Usual (The Georgie Connelly Stories #1)
Business As Usual - E.L Lindley

Author: E.L. Lindley

Kindle Edition

Category: Crime, Mystery, Romance

 

A thrilling crime novel, introducing Georgie Connelly a feisty protagonist along with a cast of loyal and likeable characters who surround her. If you enjoy novels that have heart and humour why not give it a try.

 

Many thanks to E.L. Lindley for sending me a copy as part of Rosie Amber’s book review team

 

As we meet former teacher, now a Los Angeles based documentary film maker, Georgie Connolly, she is about to start a stint of community service. Due to an embarrassing mix up she was convicted of driving under the influence. Her penance is to teach media studies to decidedly uncooperative students one day a week. Georgie is a volatile character, with an explosive temper, and sometimes (a lot of the time actually) acts before thinking things through properly, landing her, and sometimes the people around her, in precarious situations. But underlying her irritability and tendency to jump in with both feet, she has a good and caring heart and is quite sensitive. 

 

James Finn, an ex Marine, is hired, albeit reluctantly on James’ part, by his friend, Eric, who is also Georgie’s boss and her best friend’s husband, to protect Georgie from a white supremacist, out for revenge and sending death threats. Georgie exposed the group in a previous documentary and as Georgie bounces from disaster to disaster James is in turn infuriated with her and trying to deny the spark of attraction growing between them.

 

“Stay there,” he ordered, disconnecting the call. He didn’t need to tell Georgie that he would be there as fast as humanly possible. More and more, she was coming to rely upon James’ strength and his innate sense of always knowing what to do and, for the second time that day, she had an uneasy feeling, wondering what her life would be like once he had moved on. 

 

When one of Georgie’s students goes missing, Georgie’s attention is drawn to Maxim Petrov, a questionable Russian and suspected abductor, with ties to ‘gentlemen’s clubs’ and the seedier side of life. Not one to let an opportunity pass her by, Georgie decides to investigate Petrov by making him her next documentary subject, not realising just how dangerous and corrupt he is until it’s too late. 

 

I like the twist of Georgie making documentaries instead of being connected to law enforcement. The cast of characters surrounding Georgie are all interesting, real and easy to identify with. The relationship between Georgie and James had me wanting to knock some sense into them both at times though.

 

This is a fun and entertaining read, even though there are darker aspects and menacing connotations involving corruption, prostitution and trafficking, both in drugs and girls. This adds to the drama, and the action and suspense is kept on the boil throughout. The story flows, and is paced well. I look forward to following more of Georgie’s adventures.

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review 2014-11-12 19:12
Dare To Lose
Dare To Lose - E.L. Lindley

Author: E.L. Lindley

Kindle Edition

Crime, Mystery, Romance

 

For Nicola Mills, approaching middle age doesn’t seem so bad as she enjoys the settled, ordered life she has always dreamed of. Cracks start to appear, however, with the arrival of her mother, whose chaotic life threatens to overshadow Nicola’s routine. Life becomes even more uncertain when she loses her job but, encouraged by her friend Lizzie, Nicola embraces the opportunity to follow her dream and opens a seafront cafe. Fate it seems has other ideas though and, when one of her of her employees goes missing, Nicola is thrown into a dangerous world of crime and murder, which leaves her dreams in tatters. 
Dare To Lose, is a novel about friendship, loyalty and strength in the face of adversity. By losing everything, will Nicola finally be able to live?

 

 

After being forced out of her job as a school teacher after upwards of 25 years and being on the receiving end of some nasty school politics, Nicola opens the cafe she’s always dreamed of and her life begins to turn a corner. That is, apart from having her mother as a permanent houseguest and until her young American waitress, Jessica, doesn’t show up for work one day and is nowhere to be found. As Nicola becomes increasing worried she phones Jessica’s family in the United States. Nicola has no idea how this will impact on her life.

 

Jessica’s good looking but very uncommunicative and aloof father, Jack Nash, arrives in response to Nicola’s call. The local police aren’t making Jessica’s disappearance a priority so, as he is a detective in Chicago, Jack decides to start his own investigation and search for his missing daughter. Nicola, Jack, Nicola’s mother and her boyfriend, Ron, find themselves embroiled in a situation they could never have envisioned and are drawn into something very threatening and dangerous.

 

It was the voice which caught her attention first and she felt her hands freeze as, knife in hand, she turned to find herself face to face with a large, scowling mass of a man. The Texan drawl left little doubt that he was somehow connected to Jessica, as Nicola put the knife aside and picked up the tea towel to wipe her hands.

 

There’s a lot of action and suspense throughout the story which held my attention fully. I can’t make up my mind if Nicola is very brave or very foolish. Maybe I’ll settle for a mixture of both. It’s a nice change for the main protagonist to be an older woman and Nicola is easy to like, and someone who puts others first. She’s also someone to rely on. All the characters are well drawn and easy to picture in the vivid scenes and places running through my mind.

 

Nicola and her mother have a complex relationship and they exasperate and comfort each other in equal measure. I like the role reversal, Nicola being the one shocked and embarrassed by what she sees as her mother’s irresponsible behaviour. In the end though, Nicola realises family, friends and dependability are everything, finding love is a bonus.

 

I enjoyed the story, the humour and E.L. Lindley’s writing style, very much.

 

About the author

 

ELLindleyE.L. Lindley is an indie writer and general lover of books in all of their forms. She has written numerous contemporary novels, including the Georgie Connelly series as well as standalone novels. When she is not writing, she is devouring the works of other writers and is delighted by how indie publishing has thrown open the world of publishing. She sees it as a win win situation, allowing writers to publish their work, whilst providing readers with a richer and more varied choice.

Lindley has always loved writing but produced her first full length novel, Business As Usual, when she decided to move on from her career as an English teacher. She now supplements her writing by working on a free-lance basis. This also affords her time to travel and she has been fortunate enough to have travelled extensively throughout the world, using her experiences as a source of inspiration for her writing.

She currently resides in Sheffield in the UK but has lived and worked in many places including, London, Oxford, Southampton, Cheltenham and Brighton. She also studied for a couple of years at the University of Arlington in Texas and has consequently made many extended trips to the USA to visit and stay with friends. Her novels reflect this and tend to incorporate both sides of the Atlantic.

Lindley writes in a style which is both light-hearted and fun but with serious undertones, often tackling gritty subjects. In all of her novels, the characters reflect her belief in humanity and the fact that the human spirit will always prevail, regardless of the situation. Lindley’s primary goal is to entertain people but she is happy to take any response that she can get.

 
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review 2014-02-14 16:47
Einstein, Heisenberg and Bohr
Uncertainty: Einstein, Heisenberg, Bohr, and the Struggle for the Soul of Science - David Lindley

This book is a history of the development of the uncertainty principle (a.k.a. Heisenberg principle). It explains the interaction of Einstein, Heisenberg and Bohr (as well as the contributions of many others) in the development of this principle. The book makes the history clear, but I'm still trying to get my mind around the principle. The principle applies to atomic and subatomic particles, and basically says that it's impossible to know location and velocity (or momentum) at the same time.

It's not saying this as a limit of human intelligence or understanding nor as a statement on the limitation of current measuring technology. It's saying that at a fundamental theoretical level if a mathematical wave/quantum model is developed that targets a particle's location that an infinite number of possible velocities (or momentums) result, and that if the model zeros in on velocity (or momentum) an infinite number of locations become possible. The principle is saying that it's impossible to escape from this dilemma.

I want to make it clear here that we're not talking about the difficulty in measuring the length of something because the end of the measuring stick bumps into the object being measured (that's the level of my thinking). We're talking about particles at the atomic and subatomic level and their tendency to show wave characteristics and quantum levels of energy. Particles at this level do not behave like objects in our day-to-day world of Newtonian physics. The subatomic world seems to have its own rules which defy logic (i.e. Newtonian logic).

I don't feel too lonely in my confusion with regard to the uncertainty principle because Einstein insisted to his dying day that the uncertainty principle can't be the end to further understanding of the subject of elementary particles. I find it ironic that Einstein as a young man upset the scientific world with his theories of relativity, but as an old man refused to be budged by the new quantum mechanics.

The following quotation shows how Bohr and his new quantum mechanics was moving away from classical physics:

"…Bohr issued a paper calling for a new system of quantum mechanics, the first appearance of that term, a structure of quantum rules obeying their own logic and not necessarily following the time honored rules of classical Newtonian mechanics. …… The language of classical physics is the differential calculus devised by Newton and independently by Leibniz to deal with continuous variations and incremental change. But in trying to understand the workings of atoms physicists came up against phenomena that were abrupt spontaneous and discontinuous. First it was in one state and then in another. There was no smooth passage between the two. Traditional calculus could not cope with such discontinuities. So Bohr, making a virtue of necessity, proposed instead to substitute a calculus of differences, a mathematical system that would take for its basic elements the differences between states rather than the states themselves.

 

This Heisenberg could see bore some relation to what Kramers was doing with his virtual oscillators. Both approaches brought the transitions to center stage and pushed the underlying states into the wings . Digesting these ideas Heisenberg came up with an ingenious argument that justified theoretically one of the peculiar half-quantum formulas he and Landè had divined imperially some time ago. " (p107-8)

The following quotation describes the moment of Heisenberg's epiphany:

"Beginning with some quantum system of particles, for example, you could work out a classical picture in which the positions of the particles are the primary elements, or you could instead choose to speak in terms of particle velocities, or rather in terms of momentum (mass x velocity) which to physicists is the more fundamental quantity. Strangely though, these position and momentum portraits didn't match up as they should if they were simply alternative portrayals of a single underlying system. It was as if the position based account and the momentum based account were somehow depicting two different quantum systems not the same one in different ways. ... That was the conundrum that Heisenberg wrestled with. How could he find a way to force quantum mechanics to give up its secrets to let him see what was going on inside? He couldn't! That was the answer that flashed into his mind that evening ... " (p145)

Near the end of the book there is a discussion of the enthusiasm with which philosophers, theologians, and other fields of the humanities have claimed the uncertainty principle for their own fields of study. Of course these are at best metaphoric comparisons which may shed a bit of the cache of modern science onto their areas of study.

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