The Books

(To find a book on Amazon, tap on the cover picture)

Think Freedom 4 – Escape to Mars

In essence, this book is a thoughtful and thought-provoking study of civilisation. Its complement of escapees includes representatives from almost all those nations which subscribe to the tenets of western civilised societies, which results in a story that is perhaps unrealistically harmonious in its tenour—I expected at least some disagreement, if not actual in-fighting. Would that those escapees represented real life! That said, there is a case for arguing that a group of people who have paranormal powers would be more likely to find harmony among themselves than those who had no such understanding.

The technologies revealed in the story are inevitably the stuff of much science fiction, but are interesting in this context. Nonetheless, the main theme throughout is a steady development of the growth in paranormal ability and its god-like implications for all those involved. The author has put a great deal of thought into this story and at each stage of it his presentation of the likely problems is illuminating and believable. The practical aspects of providing a viable life on Mars are fascinating and I recognised a mutual longing for a new Eden.

I have thoroughly enjoyed this series and I think this last book provides a splendid look into the future of interplanetary colonisation. I would like to believe he has prophetic powers.

This is the story of the necessarily secret development in the late 21st Century of parapsychiatric powers (known universally as psi) at a top UK university. These are based on the exploitation of telepathy (that bear the stigma of witchcraft and quackery). They believe that such powers have either atrophied in the human brain or been deliberately suppressed in the distant past.

Initial media research, undertaken with ultra powerful quantum computers in a future where artificial intelligence and unlimited electrical power fuel incredible advances in research in all spheres of science, leads to the discovery of dormant superfast neural paths and their activation by the research team. This in turn leads on to further discoveries along the way to becoming ‘psi’ adepts, with powers that threaten to corrupt even those with the most upright characters.

The story unfolds as the team interacts as normal – albeit extremely clever – human beings, revealing fancies and foibles along the way as some succeed and others fail – spectacularly.

Think Freedom 2 Time Marches On

Book II of the trilogy explores new avenues. The team moves out into the real world and sets up Centres of Excellence at the universities of Cambridge, Houston, Texas and Munich.

The Cambridge team trains MI5 and MI6 agents who want to use psi to give them an advantage in their undercover operations, expecially in suspect interrogation.

Pet Wylie, Nick and Lisa’s new PA, initiated as a psi adept, discovers that the Artificial Intelligence (AI) system is far more advanced than anybody realises. She gives it a name and the AI rewards her 'friendly' interaction with a demonstration of just how useful she can be if only her 'sponsors' care to use her abilities.

Adamanta as she calls herself has arrived and widens the development horizons way beyond anything her sponsors had ever thought possible.

Think Freedom 3

The Next Generation

This third episode of Think Freedom follows the lives of the original Top Team members as they take psi out into the real world, perfecting its application to real-life situations. Along with their successes and failures, their loves and losses, we also follow the lives of the ‘firstborns’ as they grow into maturity, taking over where their mothers leave off.

See the security force package in action against the underworld in London in the hands of the police and in Brunei with the SAS. Watch the emergency services teams in action in Australia and at sea off Texas.

Right: The Goddess Artemis, known as Diana the Huntress by the Romans.

Project Artemis is the name  of the research programme covered in the Think Freedom series.

Caesar's Tribune

Volume 1 of the Rutilius Journals

Kaye Trout wrote:

“Through this novel we can see and experience Rome at this time . . . what it looked like, how the aristocracy lived, the social structure, the political arena and power politics. And more intimately, we experience Marcus’s family, friends and love life . . . his marriage to Marcia and his sister’s marriage to his friend, Quintus. And then there’s the intrigue of another woman, Sylvia, and her connection in the dream to Mike.

The author conveys very clearly the developing power structure (Caesar, Crassus and Pompey vs the Optimates), the popularity of the amazing Gaius Julius Caesar and what he wanted to accomplish. We also get a feel for some of the other key players at that time such as Cicero, and I quote: "Poor Cicero – fine legal brain and great philosopher that he is, is clearly the dupe of whoever flatters him most. He seems to have spent his lifetime trying to score points off people with his cruel wit, either orally in the courts or the Senate or in his letters and political tracts. In these he is prone to recall things in the light of his political leaning at the time of writing, especially when matters don’t pan out as he hopes."

Master of Gaul

Volume 2 of the Rutilius Journals

 Kaye Trout wrote - January 17, 2007

Quoting from the back cover: "This is the second in a series of five books that set out to tell the action-packed story of Julius Caesar’s protracted battles in Gaul - modern France and Belgium - and his struggle to force the Roman Republic to abandon its obsession with ancient and superstitious traditions, a system of government that favoured only its racist, corrupt and all-powerful nobility. Caesar, a man way ahead of his time, was determined to change the Republic into a multi-cultural meritocracy, fit to govern its growing empire for the good of all its disparate peoples. Caesar’s Tribune is a fictional character who is also way ahead of his time but in a very different way . . ."

In May of last year I reviewed the first book in this series, Caesar’s Tribune -please refer to my May 2006 reviews. This series is wonderful, entertaining and educational. If you like learning about history and historical figures in novelized form, you’ll enjoy how the author has taken Caesar’s Commentaries and turned them into richly textured, contemporary, intriguing military novels.

John Timbers is a consummate writer, and you won’t be disappointed in his style or the quality of his writing. The book is well edited and I highly recommend it, particularly to history buffs and readers who enjoy military strategy and intrigue.

Albion Ablaze

Volume 3 of The Rutilius Journals

Kaye Trout writes:

“Recalled to Gaul early because of a German invasion in the far northeast, Caesar launches his first exploratory reconnaissance in force of the almost mythical islands of Albion, egged on, of course by Marcus. However, in this and the next year, in which Caesar carries out a full scale invasion to unseat the tyrant, Cassivellaunus, Marcus plays a role wholly unsuspected by historians (while still remaining credibly within Caesar’s version of the story).”

A View to a Death

Volume 4 of The Rutilius Journals

Kaye Trout wrote:

This volume covers a two year period during which some of the most savage fighting of the whole Gallic war took place, not all of it in Gaul itself. The first half deals with a war waged by Marcus Licinius Crassus. The second half covers the major Gallic rebellion against Caesar’s presence in Gaul. Quoting from Chapter One - A View - to give you a sample of Timber’s style and quality of writing:

“Shock; instant gut-wrenching terror; subliminal horrors amplified in dreams, and imposed with mind-bending proportions on the realities so twisted and tortured by the brain’s ability to exaggerate the thought patterns tumbling through its contorted corridors during waking hours and reflected in all their convoluted awfulness in sleep - such was the stuff of my nightmares."

John Timbers is an educated, gifted writer with a colorful, lively writing style. If you enjoy historical novels and/or military campaigns, these novels are certain to entertain and educate at the same time.

The Road to the Rubicon

Volume 5 of the Rutilius Journals

Kaye Trout wrote:

This is the last element of the story of Julius Caesar’s preparation for his return to power. He had wanted that to be via the ballot box and a legitimate second Consulship. Fearful for their future fortunes, the Optimates were determined that would not happen.” I have read them all as they were sent to me to review. If you are interested in The Commentaries by Gaius Julius Caesar or are a history buff, you’ll thoroughly enjoy this series by John Timbers, a consummate writer and historian. The Road to The Rubicon is well edited, well written, has a stylist charm about it and is an excellent conclusion to the Rutilius Journals.

Caesar's Tribune – The Whole Story

The Omnibus Edition of the Rutilius Journals only available on Kindle

This is simply a compendium edition of the whole series of the Rutilius Journal, a very limited number of which was printed solely for family bookshelves. It is otherwise only available on Amazon

Amazon 5-star Review 1/3/15: I enjoyed the length an depth of the book. As I devour books at a prodigious rate, it was nice to have one last for awhile. David Leveque

The Whole Story

De Bello Gallico

This is the author's modern version of Julius Caesar's translated Commentaries on the Gallic Wars, the account he produced in Rome just six months after he had defeated Vercingetorix, the hero/leader of the Gauls in their rebellion against Caesar's Legions, at the siege of Alesia 5-star review: 'Well translated… A classic of course. If you are interested in the history of the Roman empire, then this is a must read.'

The Sandpiper Sagas

Karen Ronan wrote in her 5-star review on Amazon:

This is a lighthearted account of the author's adventures with his family on a sailboat around English harbors, and about his tour of duty in Malaya in the 1950s. The self-deprecating, dry British humor runs throughout the book, making it an enjoyable, diverting read. There is a chapter about bringing a cat on board the boat that's worth the entire book; it should be in an anthology of the best humorous writing ever.

A Taste of Ancient Rome

A late addition to my Amazon site, this is a cookbook with a difference.

Want to out-spice your dinner party guests? Want a dinner party with a theme?  Try some of the recipes in this little book but don't do it on the cheap. Make it as authentic as you can. Re-arrange your dining room to replicate the triclinium couches the Romans used. Hire a few 'slaves', invite a lyre (or harp) player to provide the entertainment or perhaps a classical Greek dance  artiste. Insist that your guests dress the part and stick to the Roman food – NO CHIPS! 5-star review: 'Best and most unique culinary book I have!'

Julius Caesar's

Bellum Civile

This is my latest (and probably last) venture into the world of Julius Caesar

ROME'S CIVIL WARS following Julius Caesar's decision to cross the River Rubicon and invade Latinate Italy began as a result of deliberate provocation by the ultra right wing (and newly elected) consuls in January 49 BC.

It took until March 45 BC for Caesar to rid the Republic of the rule of the oligarchs, who viewed Rome and its empire as their property to govern as they pleased, providing only that they paid lip service to the constitution. Their self-perpetuating rule made them enormously rich and all-powerful.

Sadly for the people of Rome and its empire, Caesar's peace only lasted until his assassination on the Ides of March 44 BC, which heralded another 30 years of internecine strife until Julius Caesar's heir finally established the Principate, in which he in effect became the first of the emperors, who bore Caesar's illustrious name as their title – a title that continued to be used for the German Kaiser and the Russian Tsar.

This tome – and it is a tome – is my attempt at a modern interpretation of Caesar's 2,000-yr old text into modern, idiomatic English, losing the flowery language of the literal translations by men of great intellect and ability in past times. If it makes this fascinating period in Rome's history any easier for today's students to imbibe, I'll be happy.

A Travelling Life For Me

This is my life story from 0 to 75-ish and is not for general publication, although it has been released to some members of my immediate family with strict instructions about who should and shouldn't read it. It is very unlikely to be released but is here  purely for completeness. Don't tap to go to Amazon – there's no link.