Posts Tagged ‘love’

Death of a Friend

March 6, 2013

ImageMy friend Brenda has died. But she will never be dead to me. She is too much part of my childhood, influencing who and what I am.

I recall the day I first met her. We were about eight years old. She was skipping outside the huge gate and high walls of her big garden. Her big ‘mansion’ house — posh to me — was the other side of the road from where I lived with my family in a modest late Victorian semi. Her garden is stuck in my memory too. Not just the profusion of fruit growing on trees and bushes — apples, pears, plums, raspberries, loganberries, gooseberries, and such — but the grass on which we played silly games, practiced three-legged races, played tennis with each other and her brothers, pretended we were famous entertainers. And, oh, so much more. It was another world where make-believe became almost reality. Plant pots were moulds for making sand cakes and pies. The sand having been carried back from the river a mile away, no easy task for a couple of young girls.

But if the garden was another world, so was the attic room where we played on cold and wet days. Her lovely mum would even light us a little fire occasionally, which we would huddle round and daydream. As we grew older, we even danced to my sister’s old wind-up gramophone, eventually turning our efforts into concerts for the family.

We bought our own records. Over the years, we developed our tastes through visiting the cinema a lot, sitting in the gods at the Nottingham Theatre when a ballet was on. And attending concerts at the Little Theatre, and generally ‘picking up’ our musical tastes from what we saw and heard. But not just musical tastes: we enjoyed the cinema and had our favourite films and stars. We saw one 1947 film — Song of Scheherazade — so many times that we wrote out the script then acted the parts at Brenda’s house. We saw all of Jean Pierre Aumont’s films.

As young teenagers, what a pair of dreamers we were. We carried the wind-up gramophone to the local gravel pits by the river. There we played our Swan Lake record to the swans gathered there.

As young children our amusements were quite simple: Skipping, hop-scotch, ball play, pencil and paper games, including battleships and cruisers. We collected wild flowers and pressed them in books. Wanting an Arrowhead flower that grew in the local canal, I dangled Brenda over the edge of the tow path and sat on her legs while she picked it with a garden rake. We drew and painted pictures. And we made our scenery for our little concerts. A large hall mirror flat on the attic floor, with flowers and leaves around the edges, made a lovely pool to go with Dance of the Flowers. Coloured paper over a bike lamp, plus sticks for the ‘fire’, and a bowl of water to throw liver salts into for effect, was great when dancing the Ritual Fire Dance (her young niece screamed when the liquid suddenly ‘bubbled’ up sending froth over the floor.) Bolero was a favourite too. We made our own costumes.

We lit too many candles one day and the wax ran all over the concrete floor. Brenda was very good at scrubbing, she was a methodical and steady worker. I soon gave up patient scrubbing and quickly mopped my part of the floor. Brenda cleaned the outside of the window by sitting on the outside cill with me holding on to her legs. We trusted each other.

There are so many things I could talk about concerning our childhood. (Many things are in my little illustrated book of childhood memories — When Phones Were Immobile and Lived in Red Boxes, extracts are on my various blogs) In our teens we had holidays together — Prestatyn, London, Isle of Wight.) I could write a chapter on each one! It was meeting my husband-to-be that eventually separated us. We moved to a different part of the country but we always stayed in touch.

Dear Brenda, you will always be a part of who I am — the gentler part.

Photo — Brenda (on front horse) and me, having a go at riding while on holiday at Little Canada Holiday Camp IofW 1952

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Winter Chill

January 24, 2013

Winter Chill

Many years ago I used to visit a lovely gentle lady. She had been blind for a few years and then a stroke made it difficult for her to talk. But somehow we managed to communicate. I visited her twice a week on my way home from work. I would sit next to her and read from books that took her out of her darkness into a world of light, of action, conversation, memory and imagination. She loved these times together, and so did I.

This dear lady did not live alone, her elderly husband cared for her with the help of relatives and others. From our talks I discovered that in their ‘late in life’ courting days they would walk the local lanes. On the mantelpiece there was a figurine of a couple under an umbrella. I was told laughingly that people in the village saw it as being them. This dear lady had been a member of the choir until old age and blindness made things difficult. But my strongest memory of her when she became blind, but before she was housebound, was of her husband leading her up the aisle to receive communion. I think everyone in the small church was struck by their mutual devotion.

As I said, when she became housebound, I visited her twice a week. The visits were on regular days. But one week I called on an extra day. I gave no thought to what her husband would think of it. After all, maybe he wanted to watch television instead of having to switch it off. It was a thoughtless action of mine and one which I lived to regret. I saw another side to the relationship that I had never suspected — one I kept to myself.

I wrote this poem a long time after the event, in fact many years after they had both died.

Winter Chill

She sits there…

June in the December of her life:

withered skin,

eyes unseeing

speech mangled,

a stroke deadening half her brain

leaving her part vegetable,

part human,

the human crying out to walk and talk again.

….

Not yet rotting in dark grave

but compelled

to dwell in darkness

inside a swift decaying shell.

‘Bell. Someone’s at the door,’

June tries to say

in garbled words

desperate to be heard.

….

‘No one’s at the door,’

her husband bellows above the din of

shouting crowds

and thundering hooves

of horses at a racetrack many miles away,

brought into their room

courtesy of BBC

on a TV screen

that June will never see.

….

‘Bell… door… bell,’ June insists,

frantic to let her caller in —

a hand to hold?

a voice to cheer?

a friend to read?

Awkwardly she struggles

to loudly speak the words —

‘Bell… open…the… door.’

….

No one’s at the bloody door,’

her husband, minus hearing aid,

yells in rage.

‘You’re always hearing doorbells ring

when no one’s bloody there.

For god’s sake, woman —

Shut up!….

I’m trying to watch the race.’

….

I do not ring the bell again,

I walk on home,

James Herriot book in bag…

sad for June, for whom I read

and for a gentle man

that once I knew

but would never be the same again.

Yes, weeping for the suffering endured

when life with meaning is no more.

Gladys Hobson….

Never mind the title, feel the heat!

May 28, 2010

Reviews for the three books in my Love By Design trilogy — Awakening Love, Seduction, Checkmate are hotting up. Visit Fools Paradise to see Payton L Inkletter’s last review — of my Seduction! (a previous publication was known as Seduction By Design)
You can read it here but you miss the animation — you’ll laugh your socks off!

Also posted here is a review by Andrew O’Hara (Andy is deeply involved with the Badge Of Life. Visit the BOL site, for eye opening revelations about their work.)

Go to my author site Hobsons Books for more reviews

SEDUCTION BY DESIGN

Seduced by design. Designed for seduction!

“Seduction by Design” is a triumph. Entertaining, wild, erotic (sheesh :), and full of enough twists and turns to keep the reader engrossed. A great piece of reading, written with Gladys Hobson’s very typical skill! (Longer one below)
Andy O’Hara

Seduction By Design

I was keen to sink my teeth into this novel, ‘Seduction by Design’, Gladys Hobson’s second in her ‘Designed For Love’ series, because she had me hooked with her first, ‘Desire’ (known in the UK as Awakening Love).

These are no ordinary romance novels. They are written by a mature age author, whose abundance of wisdom invests the chapters with a fragrance rare. A young person simply could not achieve this, and the gems of insight Ms Hobson scatters throughout her story delighted me.

As for the characters, my dislike of the arch bastard Robert Watson magnified in this instalment, while my love for the beautiful June Rogers nee Armstrong was tempered – Ms Hobson portrays just what a flawed woman she is despite her enormous and rare talent for couture design; and to make matters more arresting for me, I am tarred with many of the same brushstrokes as June, if I want to be honest.

Thus I was not only entertained by this engrossing tale, I was a tad convicted.

It is the early seventies, the setting having jumped a couple of decades from that of ‘Desire’, and my word how well Ms Hobson has integrated the plot from that instalment!

The thermostat regarding eroticism has been turned up a few notches in ‘Seduction…’, and that’s saying something, and yet, as with her first, there is nothing dirty or obscene in her explicit portrayals, and I tip my hat to her for this achievement: sexually charged encounters aplenty, without impurity – trashy romance writers take notice!

Something rare for me: I was actually mesmerised in places as I consumed this believable story involving an assortment of characters that would exist in any big town and city. And as in my previous review, let me reiterate that, as a writer, I continued to be informed and educated regarding effective technique to convey and captivate.

Well done Ms Hobson, and when is the final novel, ‘Checkmate’, going to be finished for me to learn what happens to these characters, who have become such a part of my imagination?
Payton L. Inkletter (writer, thinker, humorist)

SEE INKLETTER’S ANIMATED REVIEWS AT Fools Paradise!

Seduction by Design (about to be published by Turquoise Morning Press as ‘Seduction’ by G B Hobson)

Here’s a book that carries the reader right along in a smooth, continuous delight of romance, erotic adventure and well woven suspense. Author Gladys Hobson kicks right off with a bang, introducing us to the sensual June Rogers. A fashion designer by trade, June is grieving the death of her husband, Arthur, and begins to take readers on a tangled journey of love and hate with the attractive Charles and the ever despicable Robert–and is he ever!

Trite as that might sound, Hobson truly brings these three main characters (and a surrounding cast of delightful cast members) to vivid life in her “Seduction by Design.” This book keeps the reader on one’s toes as misfortunes lead to twisted plots and motives, and then to one misunderstanding after another that almost lead to tragedy and final heartbreak and yet, in the end — well, the writer sums it up best as, “Deja vu,” which you will have to find out by reading this delightful piece of work!

Gladys Hobson is a well practiced writer, spinning a tale smoothly and naturally. She is economical and yet she is capable of painting entire scenes and montages with dialogue, a quick glance, the sparkle of an eye or the dart of a smile so quickly that a reader doesn’t even know it’s happening. This is a rare talent and a delight.

“Seduction by Design” is good reading. It’s flat-out entertaining, suspenseful, erotic, fun, and heartwarming!

Andrew O’Hara (editor of The Jimston Journal, author of prize-winning The Swan, Tales of the Sacramento Valley) lives in the USA and now runs the Badge Of Life.

Please note: My trilogy and Smouldering Embers will now be published by Turquoise Morning Press and my The Dark Mirror (previously published as When Angels Lie) is being published by Storm Moon Press

CHECKMATE — G B Hobson

May 12, 2010

CHECKMATE is the third book of the Love By Design  series. The first book is called Awakening Love, The second book is SEDUCTION  and finally(?) CHECKMATE

CHECKMATE front cover

A heated game of lust and envy v love and integrity

A pre-published review of Checkmate by Gladys Hobson
Reviewed by Geoff Nelder: award-winning author and co-editor of Escape Velocity magazine.

Gladys Hobson’s Checkmate is much more than a romance novel. It is a tour de force of the strengths and weaknesses between members of two powerful families. It is the English Lake District’s own Dallas only with more three-dimensional characters. The plot rotates around the conflict generated by Robert, whose sexual magnetism lures women and steers his business to the detriment of his arch-enemy. This reader felt an overwhelming desire to travel to Cumbria, find Robert and smash his face in. However, Gladys is too subtle to allow simple revenge. Instead the rogue is given a long leash… but suffer he does.
Although I mainly read and review science fiction and fantasy novels, the characters in Checkmate are so engaging you get to experience what each character thinks of each other: scheming men and women, the devoted and the deluded. Compelling reading.
As a romance novel, you’ll need asbestos gloves to read these fiery pages. It is far more than eroticism: it is a perceptive and insightful exploration of a family’s relationships, lusts and passions. In amongst the wily machinations there is humour. For example you’ll not keep a straight face reading a hilarious sex-in-a-car attempt.
Gladys Hobson is an experienced novelist and it shows in her masterful writing. Any reader of romance will be enriched by reading Checkmate, a must-read addition to their bookshelves.

PLEASE NOTE: THIS BOOK AND THE OTHER TWO OF THE TRILOGY IS NOW BEING PUBLISHED BY TURQUOISE MORNING PRESS (USA) AND WILL BE AVAILABLE VERY SOON (BETWEEN SEPTEMBER AND THE END OF 2012)

Writing For Joy, my author and books site.
Magpies Nest Publishing

The Dim Light

May 2, 2010

The Dim Light — a true story by Gladys Hobson

The light grows dim


In the dim light of the bedside lamp, I stood by the pink-flowered curtains that were keeping at bay the dark miserable night, and looked across at my yellow-skinned father’s head lying on snow-white pillows. With yellowed eyes closed, gurgles of laboured breathing came out of his open mouth in some semblance of sleep — the sleep of the dying.
My eyes followed the shape of his body under the lightweight bed cover and I reflected on the skeleton it had become, with parchment skin so thin that his bed sores refused to heal. I didn’t want to see his emaciated body; it seemed totally wrong for a daughter to see her father naked, especially his private parts, but he’d asked for his bottle so he could urinate. I’d given it to him and he’d performed, quickly returning to sleep. I could only be thankful. I did not want to hear him moan or scream.
Tears welled up in my eyes and I became fearful of speaking lest he awake and I betray my sorrow. Here lay a once proud, well-built man. A man who’d faced life’s challenges — and there’d been many of them — with courage and determination. Maybe he hadn’t been a perfect father, and without doubt he’d often treated my mother like a doormat, but much outrageous behaviour could be excused by his frustrations when, for years, trying to work in spite of increasing physical handicaps and pain.
My stalwart father, now reduced to this — a helpless bag of bones enclosing a rotting inside eaten away by a spreading cancerous growth.
I knew the district nurse had inserted suppositories to quell his pain. I also knew that this could mean the end. For months his suffering had been severe in spite of the many codeine tablets he swallowed daily. We knew that the change in treatment would prevent his fight against death — two, maybe three days away, or so the nurse had said.
No one had spoken to my father about dying. We had not dared. I recall a friend telling me that my mother had told her that when my dad thought he was dying, she woke to find his hands around her throat. He’d said that he thought he was dying and he didn’t want to die alone. I didn’t think he would have carried it out — surely not. Maybe he needed to express his fear. Afterwards he would have sobbed with shame. That is what he did — fall into depression — when he’d allowed his emotions to lead him into dark areas of his soul.
Earlier, I thought his end had come. I woke my mother and together we stood over his bed. But Dad opened his eyes:
‘Why are you looking at me like that?’ he demanded with new strength in his voice. ‘Do you think I’m bloody dying?’
Then his eyes closed again and mother went back to her couch in the lounge to try and rest a little longer. I kept up the watch, for that is why I had left my husband in charge of our children. My mother, weary with sleepless nights, needed me to be there.
How I would have loved to sit on his bed and take his hand in mine; to speak to him quietly and tell him that I loved him. But no one ever spoke of death and dying, no one ever spoke of cancer. My dad had major problems with heart, lungs and a creeping paralysis — these things were obvious to him and everyone. He believed he was suffering from jaundice and no one, not even the doctor was prepared to tell him different.
Is this what it must be for another two days? With my mother, already suffering acute weariness of body and soul, fading away; and my dad struggling with only agony waiting for him should he wake before another administration from the district nurse?
Time to pray. Not aloud. And time to talk to my dad, not with sounds but soul to soul.
So I whisper from my heart, prayers of love, repentance and forgiveness. I pray that God will take him now, not tomorrow or the day after. But now, in the peace and quiet of His presence.
And I turn to my dying father. I remember my granddad had been a lay minister who had gifts of preaching and healing. Yes, surely he would approve of the healing found in a peaceful death.
‘Let go, Dad. Don’t be afraid. Granddad is waiting for you. He’ll look after you. We all love you. God loves you too. You can let go now. Let go, Dad, let go..’
Gurgling noises come from my father’s throat, shortly followed by a deep, deep sigh…

The valley of the shadow...


The light shines on in the darkness


The darkness has not overcome the light...

Checkmate — pre-published review

March 6, 2010

A pre-published review of Checkmate by Gladys Hobson
Reviewed by Geoff Nelder: award-winning author and co-editor of Escape Velocity magazine.

Gladys Hobson’s Checkmate is much more than a romance novel. It is a tour de force of the strengths and weaknesses between members of two powerful families. It is the English Lake District’s own Dallas only with more three-dimensional characters. The plot rotates around the conflict generated by Robert, whose sexual magnetism lures women and steers his business to the detriment of his arch-enemy. This reader felt an overwhelming desire to travel to Cumbria, find Robert and smash his face in. However, Gladys is too subtle to allow simple revenge. Instead the rogue is given a long leash… but suffer he does.
Although I mainly read and review science fiction and fantasy novels, the characters in Checkmate are so engaging you get to experience what each character thinks of each other: scheming men and women, the devoted and the deluded. Compelling reading.
As a romance novel, you’ll need asbestos gloves to read these fiery pages. It is far more than eroticism: it is a perceptive and insightful exploration of a family’s relationships, lusts and passions. In amongst the wily machinations there is humour. For example you’ll not keep a straight face reading a hilarious sex-in-a-car attempt.
Gladys Hobson is an experienced novelist and it shows in her masterful writing. Any reader of romance will be enriched by reading Checkmate, a must-read addition to their bookshelves.

Checkmate is the third book in the Designed For Love series.
The first book, Awakening Love, is published by Magpies Nest Publishing
This book is also published by AGPress (USA) as DESIRE

The second book of the series, Seduction By Design, is also published by AGPress

Checkmate is in preparation.

Visit my author blog — Hobson’s Books

Praise Indeed! Review of Awakening Love

February 11, 2010

Here is a novel, Awakening Love, that I thoroughly enjoyed from an author, Gladys Hobson, who quickly pulled me into the lives of her characters, set in the restlessly reenergising world of post Second World War Britain.

It was easy to empathise, if not fall in love with, June Armstrong, a stunning and very young woman from humble beginnings who was determined to carve a career for herself, as well as establish an outlet for her astonishing creativity, in fashion design, and whose naivety regarding her great beauty and high-potency sex appeal quickly saw her the object of desire and more of several rich, charismatic, powerful – and some ruthless – men. That she wrestled with her own searing awakening sexual desires – the equal of her suitors – pitted against her moral sense, with chequered success, was not a surprise, but made excellent reading.

It quickly became obvious that this writer, surely, was weaving a tale of truth tantalisingly close to actual reality from those days, she tells it so well; only someone who has worked in the industry, fashioned the cloth, walked the corridors, and experienced much adoration of her own beauty and charisma is likely to be so convincing; alternatively, it would have to be someone who can marshal the visceral visions in her imagination to breathe and live on the written page.

Gladys Hobson had me admiring June’s fiancé Arthur, while wanting to take to her boss, and later business associate, Rob, with a cricket bat to teach the bastard how not to treat women; I give Ms Hobson full marks for how her wordcraft got me so engrossed.

Explicit sexual encounters there are aplenty, yet painted with such taste and consummate restraint, that I would happily have let my early teenaged daughter read this book had I owned it then, to help her understand and anticipate the world of sexual promise and pitfalls out there in the big bad world.

I have an enhanced and valuable insight now to what the class conscious Britain of those times was like, as well as a quickening of my understanding of primal human nature, thanks to reading Awakening Love. Also, it is a pleasure to read a book written by an author who has garnered much wisdom: their books are the better ones, the wisdom glistens from page after page, and only time and enlightened self-examination can bring such a harvest.

As a writer myself, there were gems aplenty that caught my eye and informed me among Ms Hobson’s paragraphs.

I commend the author for her remarkable achievement, and I will be reading the sequels.

;Payton L. Inkletter (writer, thinker, humorist)
+paytontedwithlove

VISIT Inkletter’s review pages

DESIRE by Gladys Hobson

August 9, 2009

Desire_Cover_600DESIRE published by AG Press can now be ordered through Amazon and AG Press for $16.95 (353 pages).
This handcrafted book is of a good quality and has a ‘good feel’ that separates it from the ‘run of the mill’ publications.
The story is a US version of Awakening Love, and the first of a trilogy. Realistic post-war Britain settings from an author who started her career as a young designer in that era. (Just as the heroine of the story.)
The original book has already gained two awards (see posts on Awakening Love). With this creative cover by Charles Davis, it should prove a winner, and with the crafted binding eventually a ‘collectors’ prize possession?

Review
Few are able to write romantic fiction with the skill, ardor and sensitivity of Gladys Hobson. Gladys lays out her characters in such vivid color and her plots with such perfect timing that one can’t help but be swept up and carried along in her delightful tales. This is the third book I have read by this author, and she never disappoints. — Andrew F O’Hara (prize-winning author and editor of The Jimston Journal).

A Storm In The Church…?

July 5, 2009

Before my book ‘When Angels Lie’ was first published (Magpies Nest Publishing) five years ago, I asked a Cambridge scholar if he would kindly read it and give his opinion. It must be noted here that the gentleman in question happens to be a churchwarden in the Anglican Church and not someone to champion gay rights, nor is it a book he would normally read.
He had a number of conclusions. One was that ‘… your book could cause a storm in the Church’ and another, more specific, ‘…could make the general public look at the Anglican Church, its clergy and its adherents with new eyes.’
I will ignore here the positive remarks made by him, and those of a newspaper reviewer who spoke of an urgency to read on and on. And elsewhere you can read a ‘tens across the board‘ review. Here I want to concentrate on the unjust situation as regards gay clergy and the Church’s attitude to homosexuals generally.
Five years on since I published that book. Have things changed? Legally, yes. In Church circles? It seems to me, not a lot. And that has surprised me as, at the time, there seemed to be positive movements for greater acceptance. Yes, there has been acceptance at the price of celibacy in some circles, but even that is beyond consideration for some Evangelicals where homosexuality is considered evil sinful or a sickness.
Biblical quotations continue to be made as regard the sinfulness of homosexuality. Should we then comply with the Bible on all matters? Punish by stoning? Bar women from public speaking? Condone slavery? We live in enlightened times. Not so many years ago, slavery was accepted by Christians, just as was poverty for those born into it (the rich man in his castle, the poor man at his gate, God made them high and lowly and ordered their estate’)
But, the prophets’ message is one of justice and equality for all people. We do not worship a book, or anything other than God himself. For a Christian that is the God we see in Jesus Christ. God is love. It is God who calls and God who enables. Who is man that he should deny those whom he has called to serve? St Peter would have denied Gentiles water baptism but God acted first and baptised them in Holy Spirit.
It follows then, that those whom God has called, of whatever colour and sexual orientation (and that person shows forth the necessary gifts and fruit of that calling) the Church cannot, in Truth, deny that calling.
To a certain extent, that is what my book is about. Other issues abound as the setting is a Parish of three churches, in the throes of change and of controversial Holy Spirit revival — not all of it welcome. The characters are drawn from life, and so are the relationships, conflicts, co-operation, friendliness, love, joy and pain of daily situations. Of course, for truthfulness of daily living, sexual relationships come into the story — women falling for their vicar and a shocking affair involving an ‘angelic’ teenager who brings about a crisis threatening all that has been achieved.
The story is seen through the eyes of a cleric whose whole will is devoted to answering his calling, serving God with heart and mind. And with the comfort and support of the man whom God had brought into his life. A perfect partnership of love and ministry within two sets of parishes drawn together in team ministry.
I won’t give away the end.
I had considered a sequel of ‘five years on’ but the way things are progressing in the Church, what I had in mind then, will have to wait a few more years to be written!

1949 Dress Designs and Awakening Love

June 28, 2009

A previous post ‘1949 fashion sketches for Awakening Love trailer video — maybe‘ (my highest scoring post) has been updated with more 1949-1950 designs. The video is now done but the designs are not used.
TopTen2008d
Here is the Apex video, (click on Apex video) and below are the review and interview for my book — Awakening Love .

http://www.apexreviews.net
info@apexreviews.net
Awakening Love
Gladys Hobson
ISBN: 9781602760363
Stonehedge Publishing
Reviewed By Tracy Moore
Official Apex Reviews Rating: *****
Young, attractive, and with a limitless future ahead of her, June has the world at her fingertips – and the chief subjects of her domain are the doting Arthur and his handsome younger brother, Charles. Both men desire to keep June for their own, and each has resolved within himself to woo her to the fullest extent possible in order to win her lasting affections. With such strapping, devoted men at her beckon call, how could life get any better for June?
Enter Robert, June’s crafty boss and mentor. Ruthless and relentless when he sets his mind on something, his sights are set squarely on his delectable protégée, and he’ll allow nothing – and no one – to come in-between him and the desires of his heart. As a result, Robert launches an all-out stealth attack in an effort to thwart Arthur and Charles’ advances, and he has just the moxie and resourcefulness to pull it off.
In the complicated love quadrangle that ensues, June is forced to make some of the toughest decisions of her life – including whether or not to follow the equally compelling leanings of her heart or her mind.
Awakening Love is a tantalizing tale of love, desire, and self-discovery.
Through a vivid cast of characters who find themselves in all-too-real situations, Gladys Hobson treats the reader to a vicarious journey deep into the wistful logistics of the heart. With so much being thrown at her at once, June acts (and reacts) much like anyone else who may find him or herself in the same position.
You may be initially inclined to blame her or find fault in her ostensibly fickle tendencies; but you ultimately come to acknowledge and appreciate the fact that the playing out of June’s indecisiveness – however painful it may be – fosters her much-needed individual growth and development, which is ultimately to her benefit.
An engaging coming-of-age story of the thrilling highs – and crushing lows – of love, Awakening Love is a rewarding literary treat, and a welcome addition to the world of romance. Highly recommended for its inherent enlightening value and its boundless, timeless themes.
AwakeningLove

Official Apex Reviews Interview: Gladys Hobson (Awakening Love)

Thanks for joining us for this interview, Gladys. We’re looking forward to learning more about your book.

What inspired you to set the book in the late 1940’s?
ANS: Some years ago, I began to write my autobiography for the benefit of my children and grandchildren. I recalled an incident when my friend’s much older brother took me by surprise by kissing me with a man’s passion — hard against my lips, actually bruising them. I was fifteen, he in his thirties and not long demobbed from the army. I was utterly shocked. He was a man and I had no idea that he thought of me in that way. So began a secret ‘kissing only’ affair. When I was a little older and it looked like he wanted more I froze and it came to an end. Thinking about it, I thought what if…? So began Awakening Love and brought to life as we lived it in that special era of change.

What is it about June that makes her so irresistible to her determined potential suitors?
ANS: June is beautiful and creative. But also men are drawn to her youthful innocence and vitality. A girl determined to get somewhere in life and on her OWN merits — spunk!

How is June unable to see the manipulative motives behind Robert’s efforts?
ANS: Like most of us, she sees what she wants to see. As the lynch pin to his new fashion venture, she knows he is the key to realising her own ambitions. He also has a sexual charm that draws her like a magnet. Robert senses this and exploits it to the full.

As our reviewer mentioned, June’s character, for a variety of reasons, is one to which many readers will be able to relate. How were you able to depict her in such a vivid and realistic fashion?
ANS: There is a lot of me in June. This is the era of my youth. I was naïve and innocent — totally inexperienced in matters of sex and of the heart. We all start out that way even if innocence may be lost sooner now. I wanted to be a designer and trained in that actual factory where June worked. You learn a lot in factories. The setting is completely authentic. But no sexy entrepreneur to help me up a ladder to fame. Even so, I was designing at her age. An office girl, like June, had a boyfriend much older than herself. Workers smirked and talked about the romance, thinking she was being taken advantage of. I could see June in the same position with Arthur.

The other characters in the story are no less unique and lifelike. Are they based on people that you know?
ANS: This is quite possible, but not consciously. They just came into my mind in complete form, to the extent that I have to remind myself to ‘show’ them as I hear and see them. No doubt some are like people I have known over the years. But, when I was writing, I fell in love with both Arthur and Charlie and even I did not know who would end up with June. But the shadow side of me is drawn to Robert — a man with rugged good looks, who knows what he wants and is determined to get it. You know — a hate-love thing. I found myself driven by the characters. At times, I would be caught weeping at my computer. When I read the end of the story, I still do.

What advice would you give to anyone who finds him or herself in June’s position?
ANS: Always keep your integrity. If the question refers to a certain incident pivotal in Awakening Love that could have destroyed June’s happiness, I would advise to see yourself as others see you, and don’t get trapped by sending out confusing messages. Follow the desires of your heart, but be true to the one who loves you and try to avoid hurting others in the process.

You initially published Awakening Love as a print book. What inspired you to release it in eBook format?
ANS: The print copy is available, (as are all MNP books) if ordered from Waterstones or any other good bookshop in the UK, or directly from Magpies Nest Publishing. But the eBook makes it available world-wide directly, and at a much cheaper cost. And I don’t have any handling to do. When Stonehedge Publishing offered a contract I was over the moon. It was a validation of my writing. As you may know, they have a reputation for good sellers. Stonehedge will also be publishing the sequel: Seduction By Design. That book reflects a change to the more permissive society of the late 60’s-70’s and the change in fashion — miniskirts are in.

The book has received rave reviews thus far. Do you plan to tour in order to garner more widespread attention for it?
ANS: Now that would be a wonderful thing, but I am no good at organising such events and I do not live in an area of easy travel.

Please share more with our readers about your other writings.
ANS: A print version of Awakening Love under a different title — Desire — is likely to be published by AGPress in the USA shortly, and will be available at Amazon.com and other top sellers. I am presently working on a stunning cover with the artist Charles Davis. Sequels already in Manuscript form to follow. Mythica Publishing has released When Angels Lie in eBook form and will be doing the same with Blazing Embers. An Illustrated book of childhood memories 1939-53, called ‘When Phones Were Immobile and Lived in Red Boxes,’ published by Magpies Nest Publishing, I wrote to raise money for a children’s charity. The book sold well and may be getting a second edition. Magpies Nest published two of my novels under pen names. (These two, When Angels Lie and Blazing Embers are now published by AGPress under my own name.) Awakening Love followed next, plus an anthology by nine authors, called Northern Lights which I co-edited and illustrated. I illustrated a book of poetry by Bob Taylor and published it through MNP. My latest anthology is Still Waters Run Deep, Stories Of Hidden depths. I have short stories in The Jimston Journal and Esdras Scroll Magazine.

Also, please share more with us about your publishers, Magpies Nest Publishing and Stonehedge Publishing.
ANS: My son set up Magpies Nest Publishing to publish the memoirs book and it seemed natural to go on to my novels. Publishing is a big hassle if you do it properly and we only publish my books and those of my friends. Magpies Nest may publish the sequels to Awakening Love as my readers are keen to read more.
Stonehedge Publishing has a number of award-winning authors with great books in all genres.
Mythica Publishing is a new eBook publisher with interesting titles.

What are your future writing/publishing plans?
ANS: To get the sequels published. Maybe start a new novel but only if truly inspired to do so — something quite different. Develop my blogs, especially a new one called Ask Gran Hobson. I already have a young man asking me some very deep questions. I’ll be posting them shortly.

Do you have a website where our readers can learn more about you and your ongoing efforts?
ANS:
http://www.myspace.com/gladyswrites
http://www.magpiesnestpublishing.co.uk
http://writingforjoy.blogspot.com
http://hobsonsbooks.blogspot.com
http://askgranhobson.blogspot.com
The latter two are still being developed as is the publishing site. I am on facebook and a number of ning web sites.

Also, how can they contact you directly?
All the sites have means of direct contact.

Any final thoughts you’d like to share?
Writing is jolly hard, but enjoyable work. Getting published is another matter altogether and requires dedication and stamina. A thick skin comes in handy and always be ready to learn. If anyone thinks they are god’s gift to readers, take a more humble approach. And if you are looking for good returns in money, you’d do better on the lottery. But when you hold that first book in your hand, the feeling is indescribable. This is your baby and YOU have brought it into the world!

Thanks again, Gladys, and best of continued success to you in all your endeavors!
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PLEASE NOTE: Awakening Love is no longer available as an Ebook by Stonehedge Publishing. The whole trilogy will soon be available through a different E-publisher. Awakening Love is still available in paperback in the UK £8.99 from Amazon, or post free direct from Magpies Nest Publishing. It is also available in the USA under the title of DESIRE – publisher AG Press
Or go to Amazon.com or Barnes and Noble.