TREADING ON DREAMS – AVAILABLE NOW

Treading on Dreams by Jeff Gardiner - 1800-300dpi

TREADING ON DREAMS is my new novel – out now from Tirgeaar Publishing.

It is a novel exploring obsession and unrequited love.

Here’s the blurb:

Donny is obsessed with his housemate, Selena – but his love is unrequited. He enthusiastically accepts her willing friendship, which only fuels his deepening fantasies.

Jaz is their crazy landlord who likes sleeping with women – lots of them. He takes pleasure in educating the once innocent Donny in the hedonistic pleasures of sex, drugs and rock’n’roll. It blows Donny’s mind.

Selena is engaged to Melvin – the perfect man – but is also keen to befriend the ever-demanding Donny … until she falls pregnant and her wedding looms.

Donny expresses his true feelings at the wedding, causing mayhem and anger. But there remains a chink of hope: perhaps Selena’s marriage to Melvin is not quite as perfect as it seems.

To read an extract visit: Heart Of Fiction

To buy a copy visit: Tirgeaar Publishing Website

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IGBOLAND: THE MAKING OF A NOVEL

Igboland cover5My novel, IGBOLAND, is inspired by the photos, diaries and stories of my Mum and Dad, Janet and Gerald. They lived in the Nigerian bush for six years as missionaries, during the Biafran War. They faced many difficulties and hardships, but remember their time with great joy; for them it was a life -changing experience as a young couple. I was born out in Nigeria (in Jos), and my parents brought up two children with relatively few resources.

Below is a selection of some photographs from their time out there – taken between 1964-70.

1037 Village MethodistsA friendly welcome from the brightly-dressed local villagers.

1053 J with manse catMum and the pet cat – mainly kept to catch mice and rats.

box 1021 FrangipaniDad admiring the frangipani blossom. Plants grew very quickly and dramatically in the West African climate.

1080 Usha bridgeMy parents’ VW Beetle attempting to cross another precarious bridge. Most of the roads were dirt tracks, which after rain just became mud pits.

1127 specsA vital resource during the long dry seasons. The eagle-eyed among you might spot my brother – Trevor.

1133 JeffyThis is me, looking very determined (not to mention cross-eyed!). Proud to be born in Nigeria.

IGBOLAND is a tale of passion and conflict set in Nigeria in the 1960s. It is not the story of my parents, but a work of fiction using the context of my Mum’s diaries, and extensive research into Igbo culture and beliefs.

To purchase a copy visit my website: jeffgardiner.com/

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Guest Post by Author Tim Taylor

TT picI’m pleased to welcome Tim Taylor to my blog; author of the brilliant Zeus of Ithome. He’s here to give us some context and background to his historical novel.

Thank you very much for inviting me onto your blog, Jeff.  This is the third in a little series of blog posts I’m doing about my writing.  The first two (kindly hosted by Nancy Jardine and Alison Lock) covered the relationships between history and fiction and between fiction and poetry.  Today I’d like to talk about the ancient and the modern.

Every story occupies a time and a place. One of the things I love about historical fiction is the fact that this context is outside the ordinary experience of the reader. That is not unique to historical fiction, of course – it is also true of a novel like Igboland (at least for British readers). This other-ness of the setting is something I enjoy in itself – recreating it through a combination of research and imagination is very satisfying. But another thing I like about it is the opportunity to compare the place and time of the novel with the present; to draw parallels and understand differences.

My novel, Zeus of Ithome, set in ancient Greece, follows the struggle of the ancient Messenians to free themselves from three centuries of slavery under the Spartans. That story is in some ways unique, but it also has resonances with more recent events. An obvious parallel to draw is with the emancipation of slaves in the USA and other countries in the nineteenth century. The experience of African slaves would have had much in common with that of the Messenian helots – both were regarded as fundamentally inferior by their masters, though in the case of the Spartans their sense of superiority was more cultural than racial.  Both were forced to work the land and subjected to frequent brutality and sometimes rape and murder.

ZeusThe differences are also interesting.  The Messenians were very much a special case: they attracted sympathy and eventually support from elsewhere in Greece, not because they were slaves but because they were Greeks who were slaves.  There was none of the enlightenment revulsion against slavery itself that has gradually spread throughout the modern world.  All Greek states kept slaves, though for the most part they were better treated than the Messenian helots, and would continue to do so for many centuries to come.

Ancient Greece was the birthplace of our western civilisation. So much of what we see as central to our culture began with them, and indeed was far more highly developed in their era than for much of the intervening period.  Thus readers will find things in Zeus of Ithome that seem surprisingly similar to our modern society. The early democracy that began in Athens and had spread to Thebes and elsewhere by the fourth century BC, when the novel is set, was different in structure to modern democracies – it was a participative system, where every citizen could speak in the assembly, rather than a representative one.  Nevertheless, the debates that were held in those assemblies must surely have had a fair amount in common with those in modern parliaments.

Yet, at the same time, other aspects of Greek society are quite alien to us.  Though this period saw the beginnings of science and philosophy, the beliefs of most ordinary Greeks would strike us as quaint superstitions. The religion which pervaded every aspect of their lives was not the monotheism that dominates today, with its tightly controlled belief systems based upon holy books, but a chaotic paganism of numerous personal and capricious gods, who lived on the borders of the human world and were thought to intervene in it, demanding animal sacrifices in order to secure their favour.  And every quirk of the weather; even the behaviour of animals and the arrangement of their internal organs (as discovered on sacrificing them) – not to mention, of course, the ambiguous pronouncements of oracles – was thought to be a clear sign of divine will.  Those seemingly primitive beliefs have a strong hold on the characters of Zeus of Ithome, and thus influence the development of the story itself.

For me, these parallels and contrasts between the time and place in which a novel is set and those in which it is read provide an extra dimension to the enjoyment of fiction – both the reading and the writing.  I hope readers of Zeus of Ithome will share that enjoyment.

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Tim’s website:  http://www.tetaylor.co.uk/

Tim’s blog:  http://www.tetaylor.co.uk/#!blog/c1pz

Author page on Crooked Cat website:  http://crookedcatpublishing.com/our-authors/authors-t-z/t-e-taylor/

Zeus of Ithome on Amazon:  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Zeus-of-Ithome-ebook/dp/B00G7S04D2

Video trailer:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-C2qR0x0mm4

IGBOLAND BLOG TOUR

The IGBOLAND BLOG TOUR is underway. I’ll be visiting a number of other author’s blogs and posting extracts and information about my novel IGBOLAND. I’ll also be including pgotographs from Nigeria in the 1960s and explaining how the novel was inspired by the experiences of my own parents who lived in Nigeria for six years. During their time there I was born in Jos, and to this day I consider Nigeria my spiritual home.

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Please visit and like this facebook page set up especially for news about the novel:  https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Igboland/595879100465696

Blog Itinerary and links:

  1. Tim Taylor’s blog: http://www.tetaylor.co.uk/#!blog/c1pz
  2. Jane Bwye’s blog: http://jbwye.com/2014/02/25/want-to-see-whats-underneath-the-cover/
  3. Nancy Jardine’s blog: http://nancyjardine.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/come-fly-with-with-me-to-fascinating.html
  4. Ailsa Abraham’s blog: http://ailsaabraham.com/2014/03/01/igboland-by-jeff-gardiner/comment-page-1/
  5. Miriam Drori’s blog:  http://miriamdrori.com/2014/03/03/igboland/#comments
  6. Cathie Dunn’s blog: http://cathiedunn.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/author-jeff-gardiner-introduces-new.html
  7. Sarah Louise Smith’s blog – Sunday 9th March
  8. Shani Struther’s blog – 10th March
  9. Frances di Plino’s blog – 15th March
  10. Catriona King’s blog – 19th March
  11. Elizabeth Delisi’s blog – 28th March

MYOPIA into the People’s Book Prize Final!

My novel MYOPIA has made it to the final of The People’s Book Prize.

Thanks to everyone who has voted, read it and supported me, so far.

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Here is the link to show the finalists for 2013/14:  http://www.peoplesbookprize.com/finalists_2013.htm

pbpMYOPIA is a gritty YA/Adult crossover novel exploring the effects of bullying and prejudice.

A selction of comments from voters:

“Thoughtful, intelligent and imaginative”

“the story is dynamic”

“involving and deeply satisfying”

“full of insight and humour”

“poignant, beautiful and heart-wrenching”

“a fantastic read for all ages”

“the bullying theme was so sensitively handled”

 

For more details visit my website: http://jeffgardiner.com/

To puchase a copy (paperback or ebook) please click on the cover below.

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