The Henry Girls @ Jegel-Scheune in Wendelstein, 2018-10-12 #TheHenryGirls

As soon as I learned about this autumn’s Henry Girls tour programme I started the usual chain reaction; we interviewed family and friends if they were interested in The Henry Girls concert in Wendelstein. Wolfgang could finally buy the tickets; following were weeks of impatience and anticipation.

Due to various obstacles like fallen ill colleagues or late train arrivals, we had to change our initial plan for a joint dinner at Wendelstein. Wolfgang, Elfe, Markus, and I left Erlangen at 4:30 p.m. to avoid being held up in traffic. Despite a minor traffic jam we arrived early. As we were all hungry, we parked our car at the venue and went in search of a restaurant. After five minutes of discussing, we decided on having an early dinner at the “Goldenes Herz” restaurant. Elfe, Markus, Wolfgang, and I were lucky to get a table at the window. Sipping my beer, I looked outside, did hardly trust my eyes – three well-known faces were passing by the window. A few moments later the Henry Girls took their seats at the neighbouring table. The surprise and joy were mutual. We chatted until they had to leave. On parting, I asked them if they were going to sing Dúlaman (originally by Clannad). They told me that they hadn’t performed that one for months – déjà-vu.

When we returned to the venue, we met the rest of our lucky bunch: Ingrid and Gerhard, Ruth and Daniel.

The concert began.

We listened to…

  1. Far Beyond the Stars (a capella)
  2. I Don’t Wanna be the Reason
  3. December Moon
  4. Couldn’t Ask For More
  5. Falling in Love Again
  6. Don’t Call Me Honey
  7. Slow Down
  8. Home
  9. Here Beside Me
  10. The Garden Where the Praties Grow
  11. The Weather
  12. O’Neill’s Lament (incl. harp solo)
  13. O’Neill’s March
  14. Dúlaman (Lorna dedicated it – again – to me) :mrgreen:
  15. No More Maybes
  16. Don’t be Afraid
  17. Watching the Detectives
  18. A Shine of Rainbows
  19. Hey-Ho
  20. Rebel Girl
  21. We Shall Overcome
  22. So Long but Not Goodbye
    >>>As a bonus, The Henry Girls performed these songs<<<
  23. St. Louis Blues
  24. The Parting Glass (a capella)


When Lorna announced Dúlaman, you could have heard a pin drop. It was perfect. This time, we did not have the opportunity to record Dúlaman. The following version is from one of the concerts in Fürth. (picture only)
I added the lyrics at the end of this post.

Afterwards, it was time to say goodbye until – the next concert in Poppenreuth (2018-10-21). You can guess who will be there…  :mrgreen:

Thank you for this unforgettable Friday evening, dear Karen, Lorna, and Joleen McLaughlin! Markus, Ruth, Daniel, Ingrid, Gerhard, Elfe, Wolfgang, and I (Karen O.) enjoyed every minute. Until next time, my friends.

Dear friends and readers,

Whenever there is an opportunity for you to visit their concerts – you won’t regret it. Karen, Lorna, and Joleen are awe-inspiring musicians and love to interact with the audience, including a personal chat.


More about The Henry Girls:

Irish Spring (Roth, 2012)

The Henry Girls (Nuremberg, 2013)

The Henry Girls @ Kulturforum Fuerth

The Henry Girls @ Kultur-Forum (Fuerth, 2016-04-20)

The Henry Girls @ Loni-Uebler-Hause (Nuremberg, 2017-03-26)



Dúlaman – lyrics

Irish Gaelic English
A ‘níon mhín ó, sin anall na fir shúirí
A mháithairin mhín ó, cuir na roithléan go dtí mé
Oh gentle daughter, here come the wooing men
Oh gentle mother, put the wheels in motion for me
Dúlamán na binne buí, dúlamán Gaelach
Dúlamán na farraige, be’fhearr a bhí in Éirinn
Seaweed from the yellow cliff, Irish seaweed
Seaweed from the ocean, the best in all of Ireland
Tá ceann buí óir are an dúlamán gaelach
Tá dhá chluais mhaol are an dúlamán maorach
There is a yellow gold head on the Gaelic seaweed
There are two blunt ears on the stately seaweed
Bróga breaca dubha are an dúlamán gaelach
Tá bearéad agus triús are an dúlamán maorach
The Irish seaweed has beautiful black shoes
The stately seaweed has a beret and trousers
[Curfá 2x] [Chorus 2x]
Góide a thug na tíre thú? arsa an dúlamán gaelach
Ag súirí le do níon, arsa an dúlamán maorach
“What are you doing here?” says the Irish seaweed
“At courting with your daughter,” says the stately seaweed
Rachaimid chun Niúir leis an dúlamán gaelach
Ceannóimid bróga daora are an dúlamán maorach
I would go to Niúir with the Irish seaweed
“I would buy expensive shoes,” said the Irish seaweed
[Curfá] [Chorus]
Ó chuir mé scéala chuici, go gceannóinn cíor dí
‘Sé’n scéal a chuir sí chugam, go raibh a ceann cíortha
I spent time telling her the story that I would buy a comb for her
The story she told back to me, that she is well-groomed
[Curfá] [Chorus]
Cha bhfaigheann tú mo ‘níon, arsa an dúlamán gaelach
Bheul, fuadóidh mé liom í, arsa an dúlamán maorach
“Oh where are you taking my daughter?” says the Irish seaweed
“Well, I’d take her with me,” says the stately seaweed
Dúlamán na binne buí, dúlamán Gaelach Seaweed from the yellow cliff, Irish seaweed
[Curfá] [Chorus]
Dúlamán na binne buí, dúlamán Gaelach
Dúlamán na farraige, be’fhearr a bhí, be’fhearr a bhí
Dúlamán na binne buí, dúlamán Gaelach
Dúlamán na farraige, be’fhearr a bhí, be’fhearr a bhí
Be’fhearr a bhí in Éirinn
Seaweed from the yellow cliff, Irish seaweed
Seaweed from the ocean, the best, the best
Seaweed from the yellow cliff, Irish seaweed
Seaweed from the ocean, the best, the best
The best in all of Ireland




2018-10-07: Song of the day

Gerry & The Pacemakers – Ferry Cross the Mersey (1965)

Life goes on day after day
Hearts torn in every way

So ferry ‘cross the Mersey
’cause this land’s the place I love
And here I’ll stay

People they rush everywhere
Each with their own secret care

So ferry ‘cross the Mersey
And always take me there
The place I love

People around every corner
They seem to smile and say
We don’t care what your name is boy
We’ll never turn you away

So I’ll continue to say
Here I always will stay

So ferry ‘cross the Mersey
’cause this land’s the place I love
And here I’ll stay
And here I’ll stay
Here I’ll stay

Peace, black coffee, and a cheesecake.  ☘



The Fireborn by Trent P. McDonald #BookReview @trentpmcd

Cover: The Fireborn
by Trent P. McDonald

The author sent me an ARC of this book (epub format) in exchange for an honest review.

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)

(by Amazon)

In the shadowy area where myth and history collide, an unlikely hero is forced to save the world from an ancient Celtic curse. Dr. Elliot Everett-Jones knows that shadowy area well, having spent most of his life exploring its dimensions as given by a host of unreliable sources and imaginative speculation. Some would say he daydreams over the improbable plots of second-rate Romantic era authors. These fantasies, however, come to life after the discovery of the Cauldron of the Dead.

When the Cauldron produces the evil fireborn, Elliot is forced to confront an army of these mythic undead with nothing but his obscure knowledge and the hope of finding the legendary Lady of the Lake to give him Arthur’s sword. Even more frightening is the idea that he might have to confront his ex-wife, Eleanor.

“The Fireborn” is part joyful romp through history, myth and legend, and part fast paced adventure set in modern England and New York. The entire book, though, revolves around Elliot’s relationships with a large variety of characters. These relationships form the key that may unlock the mystery or lead to utter defeat.


Genre(s): Kindle eBooks
> Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Paranormal & Urban
> Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Paranormal & Urban
Series: n.a.
Length: 326 pages
Release date: 2017-08-21



The video disturbed Elliot all the more because of the news he’d heard from Colonel Wright earlier in the evening about the escalation of the “war”. If there really were over a hundred, maybe a couple of hundred, victims, then he was just seeing a fraction of them on line. Elliot had found evidence of no more than twenty videos. He could have missed some, but not hundreds.

Elliot saved the link to the latest video even though he knew it would be removed within the next 24 hours. He had scoured the Internet every chance he got and grabbed everything he could find, but soon discovered that they were removed almost as fast as they were posted.

My Opinion

This book introduces you to Dr. Elliot Everett-Jones, called to the English countryside where his older brother, archaeologist William, has discovered a sensational artefact.

With “The Fireborn”, Trent P. McDonald presents us with a wonderful combination of myth, history, the present, and adventure. The story is skilfully elaborated, comprised interesting turns, and has a  great flow. Trent P. McDonald introduces each character with finesse, providing them with sufficient depth for their respective relevance. I was drawn into the story right away – very close to Elliot. I could easily envision the characters and locations. I had a great time reading “The Fireborn”. It is a very enjoyable read.

A great story by a skilful storyteller.

This is for you if you like urban fantasy, myth, action, very likeable characters to cheer on their thrilling trip, surprises, and excellent storytelling.

This is a book to read again. Highly recommended!

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Mood Hopeful
Pace Steady
POV Third person – past tense
Language :mrgreen:  (decent enough)
Violence 😳 – 😡  (scattered fight scenes include some gore)
Sexual content :mrgreen:  (decent, some kisses)


About the author

I never decided what I wanted to do when I grew up. I compose and play music, draw and paint, take a lot of pictures, and yes, I write. I’ve written a couple of books that are sitting on my shelf waiting to go out and I write a new short story almost every week, which I often post on my blog, I’ve collected some of the best short stories I’ve written and put them out as “Seasons of Imagination”.

I also like to eat, so I work as a computer nerd during the day while I figure out what it is I really want to do.

If you really need details, I was born and raised in Ohio by the shore of beautiful Lake Erie and now split my time between mountainous New Hampshire and the coast of Massachusetts.

One thing to know about me is that I hate to write bio-blurbs in the third person.

Connect with the Author:

Amazon:  Trent P. McDonald

Please take a look at my statement on reading in My train of thoughts on …reading.  Now I am asking you.  🙂

My questions for you bibliophiles:
What about you?  What did you think about “The Fireborn”?  Or – if you did not yet read “The Fireborn” – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂


From Child Scribbler to Global Success: Art Inspiration in ‘Connectedness’ @SandraDanby

Connectedness is the story of Justine Tree, a globally successful artist who goes in search of the daughter she gave away when she was an art student. To get an idea of Justine’s success think Tracey Emin, Paula Rego, Tacita Dean, Phyllida Barlow. Key to Justine’s story is the risk she takes in searching for her lost daughter. She has built her career, her public image, her reputation, on baring her emotions for the world to see, of searching the depths of her soul and putting it into her art. Except she has been hiding a large secret for twenty-seven years.

In order to understand the adult Justine, I had to know how she started out as an artist. So I set her childhood in a location I know well, the East Yorkshire coastline where I also grew up. There are two key influences at this stage of her life.

The first, Pablo Picasso, is mentioned by her father when her attempt to draw a pigeon is proving a challenge:

The woodie was getting restless in his box in front of the Rayburn. He could move his wing and her mother was making noises about him being shifted from the kitchen to the shed. Justine wanted him to get well and fly again, but she wanted to keep him too. So far she had thirty-three sketches of him. On Saturday the touring library van arrived, and she quickly found a book about Pablo Picasso. She flicked through the illustrations and found one of a dove, but it was not what she expected. It was a black line drawing on a white background. Pigeons weren’t white. Davy Jones was mostly grey with a pink breast and two white patches where his collarbones would be, if birds had collarbones. Justine made a mental note to ask her father.

She closed the book with a bang.

‘Are you all right, dear?’ The lady who drove the library van was sitting at the tiny desk where she kept the wooden box in which were stored everyone’s library cards. They were little envelopes, really – blue for children, red for adults – into which the library lady slipped the ticket for each book borrowed. When you returned the book, the ticket was put back into the book, which was returned to the shelf.

‘Are you searching for something in particular?’

Justine was standing beside the adult section of the bookshelf, out of bounds to children.

‘I’m trying to find out about Picasso because my dad said he drew a pigeon and I’ve got a pigeon. Davy Jones.’ She waited for a reaction.

‘Davy Jones,’ she said again, ‘like the Monkee. The English one.’

There was no sign of recognition on the library lady’s face.

She started to sing ‘Hey Hey We’re the Monkees’, including some dance moves popular in the playground. The library lady did not smile. Justine stopped dancing.

‘He’s not a pet, he’s wild. But he’s injured and I’m trying to make him better. But,’ she held up the Picasso book, ‘this isn’t a drawing of a pigeon. It’s white.’

Maybe Picasso didn’t draw a pigeon after all, or maybe it wasn’t Picasso who drew it but another artist altogether. But her father was always right. He knew everything about birds: where swallows went in the winter; why owls sicked-up their poo; why a woodpecker’s beak didn’t break with all that hammering.

‘Well now, let’s have a look.’

They both leant over the page, studying the illustration.

‘Yes, I see what you mean. This is actually a print, a lithograph. The title is French for dove; it’s called ‘La Colombe’. Picasso made it in 1949 when he drew another very famous dove picture, ‘La Paloma’, which is also sometimes called ‘The Dove of Peace’. I know it’s confusing; two pictures of doves, made in the same year, one title in French and one in Spanish. But, you see, although he was born in Spain Picasso has lived in France for many years.’

The second influence on the young Justine is a real place, the Ferens Art Gallery in Hull. Justine visits on a school trip and is disappointed with the absence of Picasso works hanging on the walls. When she finds a picture of a tiger, it makes her reconsider what she is looking at:-

Justine trailed from room to room without a glance at her questionnaire or her study partner Susan Pratt. Painting after painting, wall after wall, room by room, it all seemed the same to her. Just like those sea paintings in the library at Brid. Dark brown and grey. Ships tossing on the sea. Fishermen pulling in nets. Mariners shipwrecked. And then she turned a corner into another room. It was empty of people; just four paintings but dominated by the largest. At first it made her think of a tiger, with a large eye, and green-striped fur. Then she thought it was a paper cut-out of a tiger, laid flat, like the dresses you could cut out of Twinkle magazine with tabs to attach to the body of the paper girl. Then she wasn’t sure at all what the painting was of, except that it definitely wasn’t a shipwreck. She read the small plaque on the wall. It read: ‘The Archer by Eileen Agar, 1967.’ That was all.

I was seven when this was painted.

She took three paces backwards and, with her arms folded and fingers neatly tucked in, studied the painting. Then with her sketch pad and best HB pencil, specially sharpened last night, she sat on the polished floor opposite the painting, her back leaning against the wall. She thought there was probably a rule saying ‘no sitting on floors’ but had purposely avoided reading any signs so, if caught, she could honestly say she didn’t know it wasn’t allowed.

‘The Archer’ had two outlines, one inside the other, which she drew. Each had shapes that were a bit like legs, a head, a mane. The outer shape was solid black and was the shape she imagined an animal skin would be if it was cut off the animal and laid out flat like a rug. What a disgusting thought. Surely that couldn’t be right. She concentrated on the inner shape. She sketched in the green tiger-patterned parts, though now she wondered if it was meant to be grass. At the top left, where the animal’s eye should be, there was a daisy.

She stopped and examined what she had done.

That’s not right.

She tore the page out of the pad, folded it into two once, again, and again, and then slotted it in at the back.

This time, she decided to really study the painting. To wait before drawing anything. To see what she could see.

She could see a tiger.


About ‘Connectedness’


Justine’s art sells around the world, but does anyone truly know her? When her mother dies, she returns to her childhood home in Yorkshire where she decides to confront her past. She asks journalist Rose Haldane to find the baby she gave away when she was an art student, but only when Rose starts to ask difficult questions does Justine truly understand what she must face.

Is Justine strong enough to admit the secrets and lies of her past? To speak aloud the deeds she has hidden for 27 years, the real inspiration for her work that sells for millions of pounds. Could the truth trash her artistic reputation? Does Justine care more about her daughter, or her art? And what will she do if her daughter hates her?

This tale of art, adoption, romance and loss moves between now and the Eighties, from London’s art world to the bleak isolated cliffs of East Yorkshire and the hot orange blossom streets of Málaga, Spain.

A family mystery for fans of Maggie O’Farrell, Lucinda Riley, Tracy Rees and Rachel Hore.


About the ‘Identity Detective’ series

Rose Haldane reunites the people lost through adoption. The stories you don’t see on television shows. The difficult cases. The people who cannot be found, who are thought lost forever. Each book in the ‘Identity Detective’ series considers the viewpoint of one person trapped in this horrible dilemma. In the first book of the series, Ignoring Gravity, it is Rose’s experience we follow as an adult discovering she was adopted as a baby. Connectedness is the story of a birth mother and her longing to see her baby again. Sweet Joy, the third novel, will tell the story of a baby abandoned during The Blitz.


Author Bio

Sandra Danby is a proud Yorkshire woman, tennis nut and tea drinker. She believes a walk on the beach will cure most ills. Unlike Rose Haldane, the identity detective in her two novels, Ignoring Gravity and Connectedness, Sandra is not adopted.


Author Links

Ignoring Gravity and Connectedness at Amazon

Author website

Twitter @SandraDanby





Photos [all © Sandra Danby unless otherwise stated]:

Book cover: Connectedness
by Sandra Danby

Photo: Sandra Danby, author
(c) Sandra Danby

Photo: Ferens Art Gallery
(c) Sandra Danby

Picture: Ceramic fragment of brick decorated with the face of a woman, Pablo Picasso, 1962 – Musée National Picasso – Paris
(c) Sandra Danby

Photo: “Three Doves” by Pablo Picasso, 1960
(c) Sandra Danby


Somewhere in San Diego (Somewhere, #2) by Dennis Macaraeg #BookReview @DennisMac2015

Cover: Somewhere in San Diego
(Somewhere, #2)
by Dennis Macaraeg


The author sent me an ARC of this book (mobi format) in exchange for an honest review.

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (4 stars)

(by Goodreads)

A thriller about best friends, scientific data, hired guns and a harrowing race with a past lover to stay alive.

Marine biologist Danny Maglaya must meet with his best friend and fellow scientist Blake Mason to upload the data demanded as ransom by the kidnappers of Blake’s fiancée. The task might have been simple, but every time the two scientists try to rendezvous, two contract assassins show up. With Danny and Blake’s phones hacked and each move they make monitored, the only way to survive is to outwit the men wanting to eliminate them. With an ingenious but risky solution, Danny teams up with his ex-lover to piece together secrets that only she, Danny and Blake know. A series of perilous events follows as Danny and his old flame, Valerie, race through San Diego County, solving clues about Blake’s whereabouts and about their possible future together. Will their love for each other be the catalyst for success or will the bitter pain of their breakup be a recipe for disaster?


Genre(s): Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction
> Action & Adventure > Travel
> Action & Adventure > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Thriller
Books > Literature & Fiction
> Action & Adventure > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Thriller & Suspense
Series: Somewhere, #2
Length: 227 pages
Release date: 2017-04-21



“Where are you?” Danny asked, worried for his friend’s safety.

“I left downtown and am hiding somewhere I hope is safe. I can’t tell you where for now. I don’t trust our phones.”

“Who are these men trying to kill us?”

“I really don’t know. It seems they won’t stop until they’ve got the thumb drive and the laptop,” Blake declared in a rapid voice.

My Opinion

This book re-introduces you to Danny and Blake. This time, they are trying to rescue Blake’s kidnapped fiancée Elizabeth.

With “Somewhere in San Diego”, Dennis Macaraeg has created a light fast-paced thriller with a touch of romance. The story has the characters criss-crossing San Diego and its outskirts, trying to avoid being killed before they can upload data requested as ransom and get Elizabeth back unharmed. It is a quite entertaining read with thrilling moments. Dennis Macaraeg lets the reader in on what Danny, Valerie, and Blake have to go through – even from a distance I just had to cheer them on. Danny has become a complex character; Blake and Valerie are also quite likeable and of sufficient depth.

This is a book for you if you like light and fast-paced thrillers with touches of romance.

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (three stars)
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (three stars)
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Mood Hopeful
Pace Fast
POV Third person – past tense
Language :mrgreen:  (decent enough)
Violence 😳  (some violence)
Sexual content 😳  (mostly decent, a little steamy on occasions)


About the author

I attended San Diego State University and earned a degree in teaching. I thought I’d be spending my working career in a classroom but life had different plans for me.

When I turned 40—not a spring chicken at that time—I remember asking myself what else is out there in my life. The answer came in the stories I’ve been reading.

I was listening to a thriller on an audio book or maybe it was a love story while driving to the beach. I liked both of them—the hero gets the girl, the money and lives to tell the tale—and right then, I had a serendipitous moment. Naively, I told myself, I could write a novel.

Storytelling is easy. All that’s needed is a beginning, a middle and an end, and about 53,000 words. Not true. There is nothing more difficult than inventing a story. With nothing but bits and pieces of inspiration here and there, I began writing stories in my spare time. I joined writing groups and enrolled in a creative writing class at a local college.

Not really knowing what to write, I thought of my trip to the Philippines in 1993. I went backpacking throughout the country just a few years after graduating from college, visiting the country’s three main islands of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. The seed for writing this novel was born.

Since I love reading thrillers, love stories, history and travel books, I decided to combine all categories and turn them into a novel. Words became sentences, then paragraphs. Finally, the compiled chapters turned into a book!

I hope you enjoy reading my novel just as I enjoyed writing it.

Connect with the author:

Please take a look at my statement on reading in My train of thoughts on …reading.  Now I am asking you.  🙂

My questions for you bibliophiles:
What about you? What did you think about Somewhere in San Diego”? Or – if you did not yet read Somewhere in San Diego” – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂