Hey everyone! I’m so excited to be on the blog tour for CJ Bentley’s The Shield (July 18, 2017 – Clink Street Publishing). Today, CJ is sharing her Top Ten List of Inspirational Books! First, here’s more about The Shield:
People lose their belongings. That is a fact of life. It can happen by accident, but sometimes it can happen when you put them in a very safe place and forget where that safe place is. Not many people are good at finding them again.
A young, gutsy girl with a kind heart, who’s searching for her own identity growing up in the 1960s, just happens to be very good at finding things. Can she be the one to help return whatever is lost – anywhere and at any time – to its original owner?
With the help of a beautiful yet mysterious wise woman and a chivalrous knight she does just that. She finds and returns his shield, lost in battle, which unbeknown to her holds a secret that is important to his King, the safety of the Kingdom and the life of the daughter of his best friend.
The Shield is the first story in The Finder Series, taking our heroine on extraordinary journeys back in time. Her first adventure takes place in Medieval England in 1340 where she meets King Edward III, his wife Philippa and their son, who will later become the Black Prince.
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And now for CJ’s post! Enjoy!
Being asked to write about only ten books that I have personally found inspirational is quite difficult. It’s like being asked which friend I love the most and I have many friends and many books and many of my books are friends. I have been an avid reader from as far back as I can remember. I can’t ever remember a time when I was not reading a book. To think of only ten is quite difficult so I will put them in to three different stages of reading. The books I remember for being inspirational to me as a child, as a mother for passing on a love of reading to my own children and as myself as an adult, books that I have enjoyed reading for my own pleasure, because I have been unable to do anything else until I have read them, so here goes.
As a child the book I remember being totally enthralled by and made me fall in love with reading, was ‘The Wind in the Willows’ by Kenneth Grahame. This book was read to us by our Year Five teacher Miss Allen. If we managed to finish our week’s work and been deemed ‘good’ she would read to us on a Friday afternoon, the better and more productive we were the longer she would read and what better incentive was that. She was an amazing teacher and an exceptional, dramatic reader. We were transported back to the river bank with Ratty, to the middle of the road with Toad as he fell in love with motor cars, her wonderful timing with Toad’s “poop poop” had us all in stitches. She took us inside Toad Hall as the weasels tried to take over the house and we listened to the calming and wise words of Badger as he gave his opinions. We couldn’t wait for Fridays. I still possess my own copy my sister bought for me, requested for my tenth birthday present and have reread it many times.
My parents bought me a set of ten classics for Christmas one year. I read all ten by Easter and loved them all. ‘Children of the New Forest’ by Captain Marryat brought the English Civil war alive for me. It instilled in me a love of history and inspired me to read more historical books which I do today. The thoughts of fighting between neighbours and even family members written in this book has been brought to the fore in this twenty first century by what has happened in Syria, it is as relevant now as then.
‘The Coral Island’ by R M Ballantyne inspired me as a child as it opened my eyes to the world, the different and beautiful planet we live on. This book inspired me to travel, to see different places, to meet different people with different cultures and ways of living and I am very thankful that I have been able to visit many different countries and yes, eventually, even a coral island in the Coral Sea.
As a mother reading to my three young boys we were introduced to ‘Winnie the Pooh’ by A A Milne. It is a book for children but also enjoyed by adults whilst reading, one of our all-time favourites. For sheer pleasure of reading to them as a parent I remember reading the ‘What a Mess’ books by Frank Muir. They thoroughly enjoyed hearing about the adventures of a very messy dog and we enjoyed shared laughter at his antics and adventures. As they matured Roald Dhal was the next writer who grabbed their attention. We read them all, loved ‘Danny the Champion of the World’ and ‘George’s Marvellous Medicine’, all of his books made such an impact on their falling in love with reading and for different reasons so it is very difficult to choose one book in particular.
Now I have time to read for my own pleasure again I like a book to take over to the point that I get nothing done until I have read it. ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’ by Khaled Hosseini was a book I read from start to finish in a day, sitting by a swimming pool as my husband attended an interview for a new job. He left me at eight o clock in the morning and returned at five at night. I did not move from the lounger, apart from a toilet stop and to order a sandwich for lunch and when he returned ready to talk I warned him I needed ten more minutes to finish the book. When I finished it I held it lovingly to my chest as he regaled his day to me. I simply loved it. It moved me and for a book to do that is a wonderful thing. ‘Cutting for Stone’ by Abraham Verghese is another book which hooked me in and grabbed my attention immediately and I thoroughly enjoyed reading. It transported me to Ethiopia as the characters became alive and it had an extra special meaning as I had a friend at the time of my reading the book, an Ethiopian girl I had met at school in Dubai. We enjoyed long discussions about her childhood growing up in Ethiopia and became firm friends all due to my reading a book based in the country of her birth, a country until I had read it, I had known nothing about.
About the Author:
Originally heralding from the North of England, C.J Bentley has travelled extensively and enjoyed living in a variety of countries across the world from Dubai to Doha, Qatar and now the countryside in the South of France. A background in teaching and childcare she has always enjoyed creating adventure short stories. However, it was when she became a grandma and with her grandchildren growing up that she discovered that books seemed to contain only stories of vampires, zombies and farts that she decided seriously to take matters into her own hands and put pen to paper which today she calls The Finder Series.
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