RED HEADED BOOK LOVER

From Darkest Skies, Sam Peters

Detective & Private Investigator, Literature & Fiction, Science Fiction & Space Opera, Teen & Young Adult

After a five year sabbatical following the tragic death of his wife and fellow agent Alysha, Keona Rause returns to the distant colony world of Magenta to resume service with the Magentan Intelligence Service. With him he brings an artificial recreation of his wife’s personality, a simulacrum built from every digital trace she left behind. She has been constructed with one purpose – to discover the truth behind her own death – but Keona’s relationship with her has grown into something more, something frighteningly dependent, something that verges on love.

Cashing in old favours, Keona uses his return to the Service to take on a series of cases that allow him and the artificial Alysha to piece together his wife’s last days. His investigations lead him inexorably along the same paths Alysha followed five years earlier, to a sinister and deadly group with an unhealthy fascination for the unknowable alien Masters; but as the wider world of Magenta is threatened with an imminent crisis, Keona finds himself in a dilemma: do his duty and stand with his team to expose a villainous crime, or sacrifice them all for the truth about his wife?

As a reader who has a passion for Science Fiction, I was thrilled to have come across this book. Not only does the synopsis above tell us that it is going to be a thrilling ride, it also tells us that it will be a thought-provoking one. As soon as I read that Keona – our protagonist – had created an artificial version of his deceased wife Alysha, I was sold! I mean come on book lovers, this is incredible and so intriguing! Upon finishing this novel just now I can honestly say that it is one of my favorite science-fiction novels I have ever read and that takes a lot for me to say because I have read a hell of a lot of Sci-Fi! Now let me tell you a little bit more about the story.

Nobody wants to witness a loved one die, and nobody wants to see that person be gone forever. This is predominately what From Darkest Skies is about… What happens when somebody you love tragically dies…somebody you thought you knew everything about; and what if you were able to take all of the memories, thoughts, and feelings of that person and install them into an Artificial Intelligence who can talk to you exactly how your loved one would have. So that really, this person has not left your life and is still beside you. What would you do?  Would this Artificial Intelligence help you to grieve or stop you all -together from moving on and recovering? These are some very important questions From Darkest Skies asks you and to say it starts to make you think is an understatement.

Agent Keona Rause has been mourning the death of his wife and fellow agent – Alysha Rause – for five long years with no indication that he is ready to heal and move on. So instead of doing just this he does the opposite and doesn’t accept her death but rather, has her memories transferred into an Artificial Intelligence which talks to him and acts exactly how his wife would have. He has created a false version of his deceased wife in a bid to unlock her memories and the secrets of her mind which could in turn help solve the tragic murder that took her life.  Just as he is shipped back to his old planet, Magenta – which was where his wife was killed – he must try to uncover her murder to find out what truly happened and who his wife truly was all whilst working as an agent with his fellow colleague and trying to avoid the detection of his AI – which is in fact, illegal.

Science Fiction as a genre can be one of two things. It can either be an intricately layered novel filled with enough information to blow your mind or it can be a simplistic novel with just enough information without the danger of overloading you. From Darkest Skies is one of those Science Fiction novels which is intricately layered and intense with a lot of information but just the right amount and never too much. Peters manages to balance all of the information and themes in this novel so perfectly that it makes him the master of space; this book is simply a work of art.

The world of From Darkest Skies is a vibrant and alternative one… a world like nothing I have read before. It is subtle too, Peters takes his time to build this world inventively and intricately and build the characters this way expertly also. The story itself follows many different avenues, its main focus is the crime however we get great insight into an alien race which has carved its mark into the world we live in and take over. Shipping huge amounts of humans to other planets for no apparent reason. In other words, this novel is shrouded in great mystery, a mystery which so elegantly and beautifully unravels that you can’t help but read more and more.

To summarise my thoughts on this novel I would say that I definitely recommend it and implore you all to read it! Peters has created a masterpiece here with his eloquent writing and fascinating characters and plot lines. It is a wonderful Sci-Fi thriller and I think all of you would really adore it! The book gets Four Stars from me.

As always thank you so much for reading! I really appreciate it. Please do comment below and let me know your thoughts on From Darkest Skies and whether you could see yourself reading it. Also, let me know whether you adore Science Fiction and what you think of the premise of the novel. Could you take all of those memories of a lost loved one and put them into an Artificial Intelligence? Let me know below I would love to know your thoughts!

P.S. Here is a preview of the book for all of you lovely readers to enjoy! Please have a read of the preview and if you find that you have loved what you have read then all you need to do is click the Buy on Amazon button and it will take you straight to the book on Amazon USA! If you are in the U.K. then below I have attached a link to the book for the Amazon U.K. website. I have also attached some links about the author and this wonderful book! Thank you so much again for reading book lovers, I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on this book!   

Amazon U.K. / Goodreads / Book Depository / Publisher; Orion – Gollancz

Thank you so much again for reading!

 

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booksrock2017
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New to wordpress and had to say that your blog is awesome and so is this comment! Agree with what you said 100%. follow my blog for when its ready. Keep BOOK ROCKING!

Sharmishtha Basu
Guest

Sounds interesting. Great review.

Troy
Guest

I’m always on the lookout for something truly original that breaks the cookie cutter mold of what’s out there. This looks to be exactly that kind of book. Great review.

Troy
Guest

Off and on. These days it’s more non-fiction with Star Wars or Star Trek tossed into the mix.

Troy
Guest

Tough call. Star Wars opening day was my first memory. Trek was there for me when the original trilogy ended and expanded my horizons. I don’t think I can make that choice.

Troy
Guest

That’s how to grow a geek! Nice

Troy
Guest

That one is easy. The Empire Strikes Back.

Troy
Guest

No worries. It happens sometimes. I’m cautiously optimistic about the sequel trilogy, but Rogue One impressed me to no end. It’s a different era now. I’m hoping they can Branch out and stay true to the core. That’ll get harder as they go.

Troy
Guest

Star Wars was always written with kids in mind. The problems were far deeper. I have to hold final judgment until I see 8 and 9. I’m trusting the process at this point.

Troy
Guest

Nothing feels as raw as when it’s brand new. As long as I’m entertained and it all makes sense, that’s pretty much all I ask.

Troy
Guest

Let’s just say I’ve watched that ending a couple hundred times now. That’s Vader as we always understood him to be. It was glorious to see him unleashed like that!

Troy
Guest

I want to be. As I say, I’m cautiously optimistic about the numbered saga films. I see a lot of problems, I see a lot of potential, and I’m just hoping for the best.

Troy
Guest

The list gets smaller all the time. Up until it just ended, Planet of the Apes was a big one for me. James Bond and Indiana Jones are priorities. As much Disney / Pixar content as I can get my paws on. I cherry pick Marvel. I could probably go on and on, but that’s what my blog is for. 😛 You?

Troy
Guest

I have, just recently! I even blogged about it.
http://knightofangels.com/2017/08/17/apes-together-strong/

Troy
Guest

May it live up to any perceived hype. 😛

Troy
Guest

Picking my favorite Bond is just impossible. lol. I like them all for a variety of reasons. Craig is a ball of awesome though. I have to give the man points for giving it everything he has and then some. No one can accuse him of phoning it in.

Troy
Guest

Actor, no. The only films I’m not so keen on are Diamonds are Forever and A View to a Kill. Even then, there’s something on them I enjoy. Nostalgia…

Troy
Guest

Sounds like perfect excuse for a box set purchase and some movie marathons!

Troy
Guest

Craig said he wanted to go out on a high note, and I have nothing but faith that they’ll find a way to pull that off. The wait is already killing me.

Troy
Guest

Right there with you. The media has trained me to expect things yesterday.

Troy
Guest

If I had to pick at gunpoint, I’d alternate between Casino Royale and Skyfall. CR is back to old school Fleming, and Skyfall just hits all the right chords for me.

Troy
Guest

It’s really hard to argue that. Judi Dench and Javier Bardem pretty much steal that film.

Troy
Guest

He’s amazing. I watched him in Goya’s Ghosts, and he just blew me away. Everything I’ve seen him in since, he’s pretty much stolen the film.

Troy
Guest

It’s an indie movie about the painter Francisco Goya (played by Ian Holm – Bilbo in LOTR). Bardem plays an inquisitor in the Spanish Inquisition, and Natalie Portman… well, you have to see this performance to believe it. This movie needed far more recognition than it got. I first saw it on Netflix, so you might check there.

Troy
Guest

You’ll love it. It’ll really put his art into perspective.

Troy
Guest

My pleasure!

Troy
Guest

I actually majored in fine art and animation in college. Art and music go hand in hand for me. Twin muses.

Troy
Guest

So much fun. 🙂

Troy
Guest

My college career was a spectacular disaster. I learned far more on my own than in a classroom. The learning never stops, in fact. The list of faves is as long as your arm. Renaissance era, the Pre-Raphaelites, and the Impressionists are my tops, but I pretty much run the entire spectrum.

Troy
Guest

Me too. This is part of why I have so many movies in the backlog. 😛

Troy
Guest

Who hasn’t? I’ll be waiting for home video, but I am curious. I mean, it’s Harrison Ford. I’ll see pretty much anything he does. Report back with a review!

Troy
Guest

Speaking my language! Leonardo, Raphael, Botticelli…

Troy
Guest

They depicted what they thought was the world around them, just as Christianity in the Middle Ages or really any other time and place. Art elevates concepts for people in a way nothing else really can. I envy your travels, let me tell you.

Troy
Guest

Seems wrong somehow. You might try classical music. Much of the repertoire is like the classic novels and the classic works of art. Many of them go hand in hand and play off one another. For example, Impressionism. Listen to Claude Debussy while gazing at Claude Monet.

Troy
Guest

Some do, some don’t. If we were all the same, life would be boring. Still, you don’t know what you’re missing. 🙂

Troy
Guest

I agree with him. My Dad doesn’t get music either. I’m convinced he’s not human. Music is our first human language. Go outside in nature…. it’s there all around you, in the animals, the insects, the trees, the wind…

Troy
Guest

I’m pretty sure it was hardcoded into my DNA from the start.

Troy
Guest

Nice pick. Maybe that’s where you should start. Go pick up some Yo-Yo Ma. The man is incapable of a substandard performance.

Troy
Guest

There you go! Redeemed my music!

Troy
Guest

I’ve heard of it, but I’ve not seen it yet. One more for the list!

Troy
Guest

Nice. I’ll definitely keep an eye out for it.

Troy
Guest

I’m fascinated by Britain as a whole. I cut my teeth on stories about King Arthur, Robin Hood, and Paddington Bear. It sort of went from there.

Troy
Guest

Sadly, no. On my budget, I’m doing good to leave my own city once in a while. There are so many places I’d love to see though. In the meantime, to help tide me over and dream bigger there are books, videos, and Google Earth.

Troy
Guest

Tough one. Traditionally, I’d be forced to say Blofeld, but there are so many. And then if you count henchmen too… how do you make that choice? These are the characters that make those films so much fun!

Troy
Guest

Who would you pick?

Troy
Guest

I’m in the minority on this, but I can’t sit through Guardians of the Galaxy or Ant-Man. And I’m not real keen on Iron Man 3 or Thor 2. Beyond that, they do pretty well, all in all. Really looking forward to seeing Black Panther. It’s got potential.

Troy
Guest

I like the first IM, but they kind of fall apart after that. Ah well, still love the character.

Troy
Guest

I think she offered up the counterpoint she needed to. She’s more grounded, so it contrasts with the things that drive Stark to do what he does in the suit. It’s sometimes hard to appreciate those kinds of characters, the ones that hold the stars back. But it does serve the purpose of pushing them forward. Something in the chemistry didn’t quite gel, I think, but the idea was there.

Troy
Guest

I used to follow the comics religiously for years, then they rebooted, twice in 5 years. The films went even further. I don’t recognize those characters anymore. Not for lack of trying. Give me 90s animated DC any day.

Troy
Guest

I used to read Hellboy back when it was new. Back in the day, I read nearly everything released. These days… money talks, and I have little of it, so I don’t keep up very well.

Troy
Guest

There’s a time limit? I was not informed. lol. Don’t worry about such things.

Troy
Guest

No problem at all. 🙂

Troy
Guest

Hellboy was one of the best comics Dark Horse ever produced. Clever, fun… if you ever get the chance to read the originals, do so. The new movie? I’m all over this. I’ll miss Perlman, but it looks like they’re staying true to form so far.

Troy
Guest

Fight Club was a good movie. It’s a better novel (go figure, right?). Can’t say I’ve heard about Fight Club 2, but admittedly I’ve been out of the loop on comics for about a decade now.

Troy
Guest

I did, and I liked it, but it was more about the way it was written than the story itself. The movie made more of an impact on the story.

Troy
Guest

Can’t say I have, no. I’ll check into it.

Troy
Guest

I believe you. I have an entire mountain of books on my list like that… I have the attention span of a 5 year old sometimes, and the laser focus of a robot other days, so things get lost in the shuffle as I bounce down rabbit holes. lol

Troy
Guest

Sounds familiar. *nods*

Troy
Guest

One? Oh, that’s funny… I don’t even have only one series waiting on me that I want to burn through.

Troy
Guest

Oh yes. I’ve been following him since Beauty and the Beast. He’s an amazing voice actor as well. Speaking of Hellboy, he and his cast for those did two animated Hellboy features as well. They are awesome.

Troy
Guest

For some reason I read this as “abhor.” Apparently I need more coffee. Ok, let me try again. I love Captain America, the first Iron Man, Avengers… those are the ones that I tend to come back to time and again.

Troy
Guest

Chris Evans did for Cap what Chris Reeve did for Superman. He’s perfect for the role. I’m all in for Avengers!

Troy
Guest

He really is. I had him pegged first from Fantastic Four, because he was a little too good at Human Torch, so when they cast him for Cap, I was skeptical. He proved me wrong! The man’s got acting chops.

Troy
Guest

The First Avenger is my favorite one, but I love Winter Soldier for completely different reasons. Quality wise, the two are very close in my book.

Troy
Guest

Bucky. That is one tragic storyline…

Troy
Guest

Character has always been their mandate. Their heroes are relatable.

Troy
Guest

Hasn’t everyone? lol. They’re kind of hit and miss for me, much like the comics of old, but they’re fun. I think X2 and First Class are probably my favorite ones. You?

Troy
Guest

I can’t claim them all, but when they nail it, it’s something special.

Troy
Guest

Logan was probably the best of the bunch. It’s also closest to the comic, which is why it worked so well. Fantastic performances all around.

Troy
Guest

Most of the movies barely scratch the ideas behind the characters. You can say that about most comics-to-films translations, but in the case of X-Men, it’s particularly watered down by necessity. It would be like trying to capture the entire Lord of the Rings in half an hour, depending on which story you try go with.

Troy
Guest

I feel your pain on that one. As long as they can get the characters right, I’m more forgiving, but only to an extent. That’s the problem with adaptations: they are somebody else’s version of a better story.

Troy
Guest

But of course! It’s not perfect, but this goes back to what I just mentioned about adaptations. There’s a lot in the book that wouldn’t translate, and other things that had to be streamlined for screen. Visually and musically… I couldn’t have asked for better.

Troy
Guest

That’s always been my argument. The concept of the superhero was born in the Depression and the years leading to WWII. No matter how much they adapt to modern times, they’ll never recapture the magic or the sense of purpose of that era. And visually, stuff just looks cool.

Troy
Guest

Oooh… tough one. Rural England? Or maybe Tuscany? Some place with little noise, open spaces, and stars. I ask for so little. What sounds good to you?

Troy
Guest

Astronomy, yes! Astrology… I don’t see how anyone can classify the entire human race into 12 ready-made categories and make that work. It’s fun to think about though.

Troy
Guest

Don’t get me wrong, it’s fascinating stuff. I picked up on some of it studying medieval mysticism. It’s more fun in context. I just have a difficult time reconciling it with modern information.

Troy
Guest

It’s amazing how many do though. Astrology is one of the oldest “sciences” in human history.

Troy
Guest

Sometimes it works out.

Troy
Guest

Some of the traits do make sense. Capricorn – I head up the mountain in the most difficult way imaginable, but I’ll get there in the end. But there are things that don’t fit in either. I have no head for numbers, I love music and the arts, and so on. Caps are known to be stodgy accountant types on some level, successful in business. 😛

Troy
Guest

Just enough to know that I do everything the exact hardest way possible on the path that others can’t or won’t tread. Sadly, it makes perfect sense for me too.

Troy
Guest

Works against the Marine type, I would think. The discipline alone would beat that out of a person. But I’m not a Marine, so what do I know? Tell him I said “thank you for your service.”

Troy
Guest

I don’t doubt it. Marine is a lifestyle of strength and perseverance. That ripples through everyone around that center.

Troy
Guest

Capricorn – I guess I jumped the gun answering these. lol

Troy
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You? No… lol

Troy
Guest

Amazing, isn’t it? It’s the like the more we know, the less we understand.

Troy
Guest

Exactly. That’s the logic behind all megalithic art and architecture too. Every giant statue, every cathedral and castle, ever skyscraper… all designed to assert dominance. The tallest buildings represent the most important aspect of civilization throughout time. And yet… the stars are always there bearing silent witness to our smallness.

Troy
Guest

I see no reason not to. Everything we know points pretty solidly to it.

Troy
Guest

Another one for the list, I’m afraid. And I have to be honest… after Nolan killed Batman for me 3 times, he’s not really on my priority list. My understanding is the science in this film doesn’t make sense either. It’s like they learned it, then ignored it to fit the story, which is what you sometimes have to do in film.

Troy
Guest

I’m sure it made sense. Any good writer can make it work for those in the audience who don’t deal with this stuff. It’s one part science, one part salesmanship. I love some good technobabble.

Troy
Guest

That sounds right. Lines up with what I know about it, which admittedly isn’t much.

Troy
Guest

In the end, that’s what matters most. Movies like that have merit if they can entertain me and give me something new to think about.

Troy
Guest

Well done!

Troy
Guest

Oh, yes. I’m familiar with all the parts of England, though admittedly it’s through books, and largely before 1620 or so. 😛

Troy
Guest

I figure he’ll be killed off, but hope not.

Troy
Guest

I think we’ll all have that anger. It’s natural. Ultimately, whatever Luke’s going through, I want him to rise again as the hero we know him to be before he becomes one with the Force. That’s the problem with continuing the saga, though. The characters that earned their happy endings no longer get happy endings. That sort of thing becomes a moving target.

Troy
Guest

Thank you. I wish it weren’t true. I think whatever happens, it’s the middle chapter… somebody’s going to scream. It’s got to happen.

Troy
Guest

No worries on delays. We all have lives. lol. I’ve read some of the novels. Reviewed some too. I tend to cherry pick by character. Anything with Vader, I’m there.

Troy
Guest

lol. You really have no need to apologize. I’m based in Dallas, TX. You?

Troy
Guest

Depends on what part you’re in. Mostly it’s just hot, and you need a car because everything’s 20 miles in any direction. lol

Troy
Guest

Around here, you need a car. And as much as traffic jams suck, there is something to be said for the freedom a car can bring. You need to change routes? No problem. You decide you need to stop for food or random toy shopping? Done. Want to sing along with the music without annoying other passengers? Kick the passengers out. lol. I kid…!

Troy
Guest

I could not agree more, and I am jealous. I grew up in the country. I’m only in the city now because that’s where the job is. Given the chance to move back, out where I can see stars? I’d be there in a heartbeat.

Troy
Guest

If only we didn’t need to work…

Troy
Guest

Ah, Merry Ol’ England. Someday I hope to go visit there and absorb the history.

Troy
Guest

I grew up with American history. It, and really all history, fascinates me. Thing about American history… you can’t understand it fully without knowing British history. Most Americans will never understand that, but it’s true. The path to what we have here started with Magna Charta, goes right through the Reformation, comes to a head in the Revolution, and continues on through two World Wars alongside England and the Allies. The two countries are joined at the hip as I see it.

Troy
Guest

Would that more did.

Troy
Guest

Well, the potential is still there, certainly. I worry about the US more and more all the time. But that’s another story. The wheel will turn again eventually.

Troy
Guest

I haven’t yet, actually. Is it good?

Troy
Guest

I’ve been there once. A friend of mine used to live in Fort Collins, so I went out there to spend a week, did some hiking in the foothills of the Rockies. Gorgeous area.

Troy
Guest

The closest I’ve been to Canada is I’ve seen it from the American side of Niagra Falls. I’d love to see more of it. Beautiful country. My means of travel are severely limited by money and circumstance, otherwise there’s SO much I’d want to see and do. Still… that’s what books are for, to fill in the gaps.

Troy
Guest

I totally did. It rocked.

Troy
Guest

Nope, it was the end of June. Perfect weather for a dash in the waves.

Troy
Guest

If you’re all about Vader, you need to read Dark Lord: The Rise and Fall of Darth Vader and Lords of the Sith. The first one from before the Disney buyout, picks up right after Ep. III, so you see the transition of Anakin inside the armor into the Vader we know. Lords of the Sith is Disney era, so it’s “new canon” (if that matters). It’s smack in the middle of the Dark Times and all that implies.

Troy
Guest

My pleasure! Hope they work as well for you.

Troy
Guest

Anytime. Feel free to hit up the contact page and ask directly if you need more. There’s always more. lol

Troy
Guest

Back at you. 🙂

Troy
Guest

I just realized I wrote “The Rise and Fall of Darth Vader.” I’ve been reading a lot of Rise and Fall type material lately, sorry. The book is Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader. We all know the fall doesn’t happen until ROTJ. lol

Troy
Guest

Enjoy!

Troy
Guest

Right now, he’s Darth Vader lite, and that bugs me. But the fact that he’s actively fighting his inherent Light Side is interesting to me, if they can develop that journey adequately. Right now, he’s very much a rough sketch of a character. Time will tell.

Troy
Guest

I replied, but an error occurred. Trying again. I was there when Star Wars began, and Trek filled the void when it was gone. I don’t know that I could make that choice.

Troy
Guest

My pleasure.

Troy
Guest

WP is my only social media, aside from a Goodreads account I barely use… so, probably not. 😉

Troy
Guest

Probably not. I’m not on any other platforms. 😉

Troy
Guest

Apologies for multiple replies. The WP app is showing errors, but the site says awaiting moderation. Feel free to delete duplicates.

Troy
Guest

Yeah, no system is perfect.

onni78
Guest
onni78

I’m not really a fan of the sci-fi genre – but you just may have sold me on this one!

onni78
Guest
onni78

Hi – sorry I’m not getting notifications so I’ve missed your messages. Are you on Goodreads? If so, it’s easier to make recommendations in there. That way I can see what kind of romance reads you like 🙂

sjhigbee
Guest

…and on checking, I realise it’s in my TBR pile awaiting to be read and reviewed for later this month. Yippee! I’m REALLY looking forward to this one, now:)).

sjhigbee
Guest

Yes! I read a fair amount of science fiction – it’s my favourite genre. The anthology is called ‘While the Morning Stars Sing’ and my short story is called Hit the Button – about a chap who was continually playing over his holographic home movies featuring his dead wife.

sjhigbee
Guest

That’s very kind of you to say so! Thank you…

sjhigbee
Guest

Looking forward to reading these:)).

sjhigbee
Guest

Thank you!

sjhigbee
Guest

Thank you:)

sjhigbee
Guest

I have a short story ‘Miranda’s Tempest’ featured in an anthology Eve of War and online you can read my short stories ‘Picky Eaters’ and ‘Damned Flies’. I’ve recently signed a publishing deal with Grimbold Books for my post-apocalyptic science fiction novel Netted, which will be published in 2019.

sjhigbee
Guest

Thank you – it is a very recent development and I’m delighted. They are small publisher, but with a great track record of producing a steady stream of quality, quirky reads – and they are also lovely, lovely people!

sjhigbee
Guest

I’ve been writing for quite a long time – but when the family commitments popped up, while I continued to write I didn’t do all that much submitting. And now I’m determined to get more organised and professional about that side of things – as well as going for a traditional career, I’m also hoping to self publish some of my work this year.

sjhigbee
Guest

Oh my goodness – four children! I’m very impressed! When my two were very small I stopped reading for 5 years, other than children’s books, for fear of getting lost in a book instead of feeding/bathing/looking after them. So I’m mightily impressed you not only can keep a blog going, but a book blog:)). Huge respect!

sjhigbee
Guest

Quite right, too:). And, like you, I lightened up once the grandchildren came along, though when I was looking after them a lot as babies and toddlers, that was when I stopped submitting my work – they are older now and both at school, so my services are no longer required so much:).

sjhigbee
Guest

Initially, I looked after my grandchildren a lot, as grannies so often do, which means I have a lovely relationship with both of them. And the icing on the cake is the knowledge I am also able to help my best bright bonny girl…

sjhigbee
Guest

No, I’m a Brit:).

sjhigbee
Guest

Blimey! We live just along the coast from Brighton at Littlehampton – so not far away from your old stamping ground:). Isn’t it a small world? My daughter and her family live in Brighton. So whereabouts in the US are you?

sjhigbee
Guest

It was very rundown and rather a sad place when we first moved here over 20 years ago, but a lot of improvements have taken place and it is now a great town with a lovely seafront.

sjhigbee
Guest

I just cannot get over that fact that you come from this part of the world – that is a crazy coincidence!

sjhigbee
Guest

Yes! It I wrote a story where someone I chatted to online about my books had lived half an hour up the coast, an editor would be shaking her head and telling me it was unrealistic…

sjhigbee
Guest

Do you get to come back to the UK often? I’m assuming you still have plenty of family here…

sjhigbee
Guest

Oh that’s marvellous – and must be SUCH a relief for you family who can keep in touch with you and your family – so important for the children:)).

sjhigbee
Guest

That’s great – they will grow up to be bilingual – English and American:).

sjhigbee
Guest

No wonder we get on so well. Himself is also red-haired – although these days his red is fast fading to white – and he also has a lovely red beard:). My son was born with beautiful auburn hair and I was thrilled – and devastated when it all fell out when he was 10 days old and grew back again blond! You’re right – culture and where you’re from and who you are matters. I was brought up by my grandparents, who would talk a lot about their families and tell me stories of the past. I always thought… Read more »

sjhigbee
Guest

Yes – he shaved it off once and we all immediately demanded he grow it back again – it didn’t look like him!

sjhigbee
Guest

Phew – yes, we were all mightily relieved and so was he. He grew a beard as a very young man, found it suited him and has had one all his adult life – he’s now quite cross it’s become fashionable.

sjhigbee
Guest

How lovely! Is there all that stupid teasing in the US about red-heads? J endured a lot of grief at school. Yes – we are all blonde, but there are red-haired second cousins and my granddaughter’s hair has the most beautiful copper tints in the sunshine.

sjhigbee
Guest

Exactly! It is a wonderful colour – and while blonde hair can easily be replicated by hair dyes, that glorious blazing red colour simply can’t. I think it is because it was so rare – and also several of the Scots clans were red-haired – that it became something to tease people about. Good for you to stand your ground:).

sjhigbee
Guest

I’ve always felt very lucky to have blonde hair – it was golden blonde until I had the children and breast-fed, when it suddenly went a shade darker. It lightened up again after Rebecca was weaned, but stayed very dark after Robbie – a line that looked like I’d dyed it and it was growing out… I found it very upsetting and every time I looked in the mirror, it seemed a stranger was staring back at me. So I went to the hairdressers and had it highlighted. It only needs doing 3 times a year as it brightens naturally… Read more »

sjhigbee
Guest

It’s interesting… I was always desperate to hear the ‘old stories’ in the family and have loved history – Himself and I met at college studying History – but my children have never been that interested. Though as they gone on growing older, I hope they might become more so.

sjhigbee
Guest

What a lovely story, Aimee:). I always loved the passage in Thomas Hardy’s ‘Far From the Madding Crowd’ when Gabriel Oak is proposing to Bathsheba and talks about sitting across the fireside reading and looking up and there she’ll be… We quite often turn the TV off and just read our books together. It’s lovely!

sjhigbee
Guest

Ah, but they won’t be suffering from a lack of identity, though, will they?

sjhigbee
Guest

Yes, we’re very lucky – we live 5 minutes drive from the beach and so get to go down there any time we like. Typically, we don’t go down there often enough!

sjhigbee
Guest

Yes – I don’t want to move away from being near the sea, again…

sjhigbee
Guest

Well you’re certainly in the right part of the world to be able to get a home with plenty of land – here you’d need to be a millionaire to achieve that! Best of luck with all your plans:).

sjhigbee
Guest

Yes – I’ve been lucky enough to interact with so many Americans online and they are the loveliest, friendliest people:). And I’ve seen sufficient of the country on TV to realise how beautiful and unspoilt large tracts of land are… You’re right – houses are just ridiculously expensive here.

sjhigbee
Guest

No, sadly not. I’m quite tethered at present. During the term time, I cannot go too far afield and during the school holidays we look after the grandchildren a fair amount of the time.

sjhigbee
Guest

Oh yes – once they get older, children don’t need their grannies and grandpapas so much, so it’s lovely we get a chance to keep the bond going for as long as they need us:).

sjhigbee
Guest

My daughter is 33 and my son is 30. My granddaughter is 12 and my grandson is now 7 ,which is the one that still winds me – when did he stop being ‘little’??

sjhigbee
Guest

Oh my word! Yes – you certainly have your work cut out for you! My husband is one of twins – unidentical. You wouldn’t even know they were brothers if you were to meet them! But at this stage, your workload must be insane…

sjhigbee
Guest

That’s lovely for you, then:)). So glad for you!

sjhigbee
Guest

Nothing to apologise for! Of course you are – and I think it’s great:)). I feel that way about the children and grandchildren.

sjhigbee
Guest

I was a teacher and finally stepped down when the admin just became crazy and didn’t allow me time to write – but I did miss the children. I loved the teaching bit… Luckily I still get to teach – though it is adults these days:).

sjhigbee
Guest

I didn’t train until my mid-30s when the children were older – it’s a great profession, though in this country there is a great deal of admin, these days. Which is a real shame…

sjhigbee
Guest

Yes – that’s a great idea.

sjhigbee
Guest

It’s the strangest feeling… so intense. I didn’t expect to be swept by such HUGE emotion. From the moment I first held each one, they ambushed me and the flood of love I felt is overwhelming. But it is very different. They are not mine, so I get to hand them back, but I’ve been so lucky to spend lots of time with them and enjoy them. This time around, I know the battles I need to win – and the ones to let slide by, so I’m more relaxed and have FUN with them.