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I’m giving you a copy of ‘Return to Madrid!’

I’ve still got copies left to give away! So please get in touch if you want one. You can e-mail me on gordonl.thomas@gmail.com. Go on!

Gordon L. Thomas

Yes, I’m giving away 15 paperback copies of my latest novel, Return to Madrid!

9780995677838small The cover

Is there a catch? No! I’ll even pay the postage! But, I would expect any lucky recipient to review the book on http://www.amazon.uk and http://www.amazon.com.

If you think you’d like to participate, email me at gordonl.thomas@gmail.com or message me on twitter @GordonLThomas with your postal address and I’ll send you a brand new, hot-off-the-press paperback copy.

I’ll send them on a ‘first come first served basis’ so if you want one, you’ll need to move fast!

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I’m giving you a copy of ‘Return to Madrid!’

Yes, I’m giving away 15 paperback copies of my latest novel, Return to Madrid!

9780995677838small
The cover

Is there a catch? No! I’ll even pay the postage! But, I would expect any lucky recipient to review the book on http://www.amazon.uk and http://www.amazon.com.

If you think you’d like to participate, email me at gordonl.thomas@gmail.com or message me on twitter @GordonLThomas with your postal address and I’ll send you a brand new, hot-off-the-press paperback copy.

I’ll send them on a ‘first come first served basis’ so if you want one, you’ll need to move fast!

Sorolla at the National Gallery

My pal Chris and I went to the exhibition on Wednesday. It was even better the second time around and of course better to go with a friend who knows a lot more about art than I do!

Gordon L. Thomas

On Friday, I had the privilege of visiting the exhibition of sixty or so paintings by this Spanish master. You may know that his full name is Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida, that he was born in Valencia, lived from 1863 to 1923 and was married to Clotilde by whom he had a son, Joaquin and two daughters, Maria and Elena.

I knew little about the artist before being overwhelmed by many of his outstanding paintings. The range of subjects, moods and his use of colour – in particular white – is incredible. Diego Velazquez is my favourite artist so I was delighted to see that a number of Sorolla’s works built on those masterpieces of Velazquez. One of most obvious is a nude (1902) of Sorolla’s wife which has its origins in the Rokeby Venus, one of the nine Velazquez’s on display at the National Gallery.

-1336842502_20190315_125814_4061867_resized Huge Sorolla poster at entrance to exhibition. Shows a…

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Two more days of signing!

Yes, the two other days of book signing at WHSmith’s great store in the Centre Court shopping precinct in Wimbledon were great fun. I so enjoyed chatting to the many people who stopped by to ask more about my books and/or to by one (or better still both!)

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As seen on Mums Net!

One kind lady, who bought one of each of my books (‘Return to Madrid’ my latest, and ‘Expulsion’) even put this article up on Mums Net about my signing event. So thank you, Julieta Capitani!

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Aisha, her daughter, Sarah, and me!

This lady bought a copy of ‘Expulsion’ because she wanted to learn more about the Moslem history of Spain in the 17th century. She had the smart idea of taking this selfie of this little group!

Other people I met over the two days included two surgeons, one based in London and a retired general surgeon who practiced in Edinburgh. His daughter, whom I also met, was also a surgeon who did research on cures for cancer. I also met a lady from the USA and her granddaughter of about 18 years who lived in Colliers Wood. Another lady lived in Madrid and I told her about the Sorolla exhibition at the National Galley (featured in my blog of last week). She had a great love of this amazing artist.

So thank you once again, Ashley, the manager of the store and his staff, Kelly, Rosalind and Rafael who helped and encouraged me the whole time I was there. I sold 38 books in all over the three days. I was pleased and so was Ashley!

Signing TODAY and TOMORROW at Wimbledon WHS!

Hello everyone!

I did a book signing yesterday at Wimbledon WHS at Centre Court and met some amazing people. The former Chief Constable of Kent, Michael Fuller stopped by and bought a copy of ‘Return to Madrid’. What an interesting character, the first ethnic minority cop to reach the rank of Chief Constable. He recently published ‘Shoot the black one first’, the touching story of his struggle to the top. We had a long chat in which I explained my role on ‘the other side of the law’ hahaha at the Home Office.

A lady whose grandson worked in California bought ‘Return’ and Expulsion (for the bargain price of £16!). He loves Spain based novels, it seems. I also talked to an author of ‘grunge punk’ whatever that is! A lady from the Portugal bought ‘Expulsion’ for her dad, bless her.

These youngsters were great fun and wanted their photos taken with a yet to be famous author! Who was I to stop them?

So thank you Ashley the manager for letting me do another signing and his staff, Kelly and Rafael for helping me.

And I’m back today and tomorrow if you’d like to pop along, if only for a chat! There from about 11am to 4pm with a 1pm break for a spot of lunch at Costa!

 

Return to Madrid

Hello again followers and visitors to my blog! I said I would update you about my latest book, as I was progressing towards getting it into print.

… and here is the cover, designed by Rohan Renard (www.RenardDesign.com)

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The cover!

I hope you all like it!

I’m expecting the actual books to be delivered from the printer next Wednesday. So if you’d like a signed and dated copy please let me know. It will cost £12.70 including postage and packing.

Sorolla at the National Gallery

On Friday, I had the privilege of visiting the exhibition of sixty or so paintings by this Spanish master. You may know that his full name is Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida, that he was born in Valencia, lived from 1863 to 1923 and was married to Clotilde by whom he had a son, Joaquin and two daughters, Maria and Elena.

I knew little about the artist before being overwhelmed by many of his outstanding paintings. The range of subjects, moods and his use of colour – in particular white – is incredible. Diego Velazquez is my favourite artist so I was delighted to see that a number of Sorolla’s works built on those masterpieces of Velazquez. One of most obvious is a nude (1902) of Sorolla’s wife which has its origins in the Rokeby Venus, one of the nine Velazquez’s on display at the National Gallery.

-1336842502_20190315_125814_4061867_resized
Huge Sorolla poster at entrance to exhibition. Shows a detail from a picture of Clotilde (left) and their two daughters

Another clear tribute to Velazquez is the Portrait of Ralph Clarkson (1911), a Chicago artist, which is set against a background of the Infanta Margaret Theresa in ‘Las Meninas’. Yet another is Jose Echegaray (1905) the Spanish Nobel Laureate for literature in a black coat against a plain, light grey background. It harks back to the portrait of Pablo of Valladolid in which Velazquez uses a similar contrast between subject and background.

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Another advertising poster! Not surprisingly, photography in the exhibition is prohibited

One of the most moving of Sorolla’s works exhibited here is Sad Inheritance (1896) which portays a number of disabled boys, moving with the aid of sticks, who are bathing naked on the Balvarrosa beach near Valencia. They are supervised by a priest dressed in black. It is a sorrowful scene and Sorolla vowed he’d never paint anything like it again.

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An excerpt from Running along the beach (1908) in another poster

I’ll also mention The Smugglers (1910) which shows a group of boatmen bringing their stolen booty on shore. The models for this picture must have braved the perilous slopes of the picture! Surprisigly, Sorolla extended this canvas by about a third, to the right, presumably for dramatic effect. If you look closely, you can even see the join!

Sadly, he died at the age of sixty, following a stroke, in the garden in which he painted the famous study of his wife and daughters. He was an uncompromising genius and I hope this brief article inspires you to see the exhibition. If so I may see you there. I’m certainly going again!

 

Return to Madrid – the blurb!

I promised something new this week about Return to Madrid, my up-coming novel. Here is the blurb, just a taste of what awaits the reader:

It is 1685 and autumn in Madrid. Life there is bad for men but much worse for women. Recently widowed, Francisca needs a new purpose in life. With the odds heavily weighed against her, she decides to investigate the mysterious death, sixteen years before, of her bright and gifted son, while at university. Did he die of some undetected illness? Did he commit suicide? Or was he murdered?

Disguised as mother and son, Francisca and her friend Inés leave Madrid to challenge the staff at Juan’s college, twenty miles away. How can these two women solve this cold case? How will they discover what happened and who can help? What dangers are lurking? Surely, any evidence will be destroyed or lost, after so long… or will it?

This fast moving thriller shows how unyielding determination can help unravel puzzling events of the past. It demonstrates how new friendships can blossom from the smallest of buds.

I hope it will draw you in!

 

Coming soon!

This spectacular picture, painted by Francisco Pradilla Ortiz, is to form the cover of my next novel, Return to Madrid. Pradilla was commissioned by the state to

La_Rendición_de_Granada_-_Pradilla
The surrender of Granada

paint this huge canvas. The picture shows Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand accepting the surrender of Granada from the last King of the Spanish Moors. It is 18 feet wide by 10 feet tall and is displayed in the Prado, Madrid. It took him three years to paint it! In his later years Pradilla was the Director of this world famous gallery.

The painting will, I think, make an ideal cover as it will wrap around the book quite nicely, giving a stunning portrayal back and front. My cover designer and friend Rohan Renard will be working on the design next week. He found this wonderful picture and I’m really grateful to him for doing so.

More about by latest next week!

 

A thriving and welcoming group

Last Friday, 4 January, I had the privilege of giving my ‘Latecomer Novelist’ talk to the Redhill and Reigate U3A group at Park Church in Reigate.  I can’t remember feeling more at home among a group of people I hade never met before. I was welcomed by Lynne, who showed me where to park and even help me carry my books into the hall. Mike, the president, also made me welcomed and I spoke, before and after my talk to a number of members about writing and getting published.

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The impressive entrance to Reigate Park Church
The talk seemed to go down well and my sincere thanks are due to Elizabeth who organised my visit, Mike and Lynne and all other members present who listened so patiently and, of course, all those who bought copies of my novels. So, as a result of my visit, I’ll be donating £16 to the Rotary Charity, ‘End Polio Now’ which the Bill and Linda Gates Foundation will make up to £48 in the fight to eradicate polio