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THE GOLGOTHA GATE
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Love, passion,tragedy, humour, cruelty,violence, murder, saintliness, and compassion. Joe Richardson experiences them all as he enters different lives across centuries of time.

The key to his journey from the present to the past is hypnosis and pre-birth regression -- but once the key has been turned Richardson and hypnotherapist John Kirkham find they are no longer in control of events. An unwilling and increasingly fearful Richardson is fated to pass through the Golgotha Gate to participate in and witness the trial, crucifixion, entombment and resurrection of Christ.

He is also an unwitting instrument in the Second Coming of the Messiah. The question is: In what form does the Messiah return? This book goes beyond Mel Gibson´s ´Passion´. It follows Christ into Hell and speculates on what happened to the Messiah in the three days before the Resurrection.



BOOK ONE
They will come back, come back again,
As long as the red earth rolls.
He never wasted a leaf of a tree
Do you think He would squander souls?
Rudyard Kipling

There is not room for Death,
Nor atom that his might could render void:
Thou - THOU art Being and Breath,
And what THOU art may never be destroyed.
Emily Bronte


BOOK TWO
Life is itself but the shadow of death, and souls departed but the shadows of the living. All things fall under this name. The sun itself is but the dark simulacrum, and light but the shadow of God.
Sir Thomas Browne 1605-1682

He who has saved one man, it is as though he has saved the world.
Talmudic saying


BOOK THREE
For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face.
Corinthians. St Paul


BOOK FOUR
…from the dank dark thoughts that shiver
Upon the sighful branches of my mind.
Such is, what is to be?
The pulp so bitter, how shall taste the rind?
I dimly guess what Time in mists confounds
Yet ever and anon a trumpet sounds
From the hid battlements of Eternity,
Francis Thompson


BOOK FIVE
Shall mortal man be more just than God?
Shall a man be more pure than his maker?
Job


For a free read, two chapters can be downloaded
here (Prologue),
here
(Chapter Two) and
here
(Chapter Twenty One).

 

BEYOND 'PRIDE AND PREJUDICE'
LYDIA'S LIVES
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At 16, Lydia Bennet, married Mr Wickham. And not before time, everyone declared – for wicked Lydia had shared Wickham’s bed without benefit of clergy.  Some said she was born to be hanged. But – with a helping hand from Wellington and royal friends – there was a more interesting fate in store for Lydia.

Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy fought against the rip tides of pride and prejudice to achieve happiness. For Lydia, at 16 the youngest of the Bennet sisters, there was no so such struggle –driven by passion she dived most willingly into Mr Wickham’s bed – without benefit of clergy. And Wickham was just the first!

Who was Jane Austen? The woman, not the writer. Unfortunately, we can never have a true picture – for the last  breath had hardly left her body before her sister Cassandra and her evangelical preacher brother  had burned a great quantity of Jane’s personal diaries and papers – one of the greatest acts of vandalism in literary history. All done to create a new public persona – Saint Jane. A plaster cast, almost bloodless saint. An Elizabeth Bennet deprived of all wit and passion. I imagine any tremors felt in Winchester over the last 200 years have not been due to earthquakes but a furious Jane spinning in her grave.

Unfortunately, the only portrait we have of her gives little away – but even that shows this was not the face of a saint. We do know she was witty, fun loving, fond of the theatre, balls and dancing. Men were attracted to her – she had a number of proposals and one of history’s briefest of engagements. So what unknowns – deep secret passions – are hidden in those burned papers?

We can recognize much of Elizabeth Bennet in Jane’s surviving persona.  But how much of Lydia Bennet was there below the surface.

I had often wondered if Jane had not died so young would she have eventually re-worked the character of a Lydia – the girl and woman. It was thinking along those lines that started me writing ‘Lydia’s Lives’.

In writing the book I have kept in mind the tone of some of the young Jane’s favourite books, including Fielding’s raunchy ‘Tom Jones’ – which scandalised Doctor Johnson but delighted Jane. Sterne’s  ‘Tristram Shandy’. Another was ‘The Monk’ a tale of rape, incest and necrophilia – a book that shocked even Byron.

 

Beyond ‘Pride and Prejudice’


From an early age – a very early age – Lydia, the youngest of the five Bennet sisters, was suspected by the neighbours of being the naughtiest member of the Bennet family. Her recently discovered memoirs, diaries and other documents show there was some justification for their suspicions.

Elizabeth Bennet settled for the tall, handsome and wealthy Darcy. For sister Jane it was Mr Bingley – first, last and always. Lydia was not so easily satisfied. She had a wider world to explore and conquer. A world centred on men.

In the first volume of Lydia’s Lives the hot-blooded, warm-hearted Lydia proves that being naughty as well as nice (spiced with a little luck) can lead to good fortune – not the poorhouse  or the gallows  as predicted  by so many kindly neighbours.

Lydia is taken in hand (literally) by the Reverend Wellyboy, who suspects that the lusty, busty girl of 14 is full of sinful thoughts. He recommends baptism – but a ducking in the parson’s scummy duck pond only gives Lydia a bad head cold – and the sinful thoughts remain.

The following year Lydia seduces her flute tutor. At 16 she pursues and weds Lieutenant Wickham.

Lydia celebrates her 18th birthday with Napoleon in Paris and two days later meets the Duke of Wellington in Brussels. (The Duke, who was invigorated by the very brief encounter with his young countrywoman, went on to defeat the French leader. Napoleon, for whom the encounter in Paris was not brief, was said by his aides to be physically weary and mentally distracted throughout the battle of Waterloo – as though his thoughts were constantly elsewhere).  Some French officers later said the defeat was all Lydia’s fault – she was England’s secret weapon at Waterloo.

And those were just the early days …. in Lydia’s Lives

 

For a free read, two chapters can be downloaded
here
(Chapter One) and
here
(Chapter Seven).

 

LITTLE BUDDHA'S
BIG MIRACLE IN LAI SHAN ROAD
Beyond 'Pride and Predjudice' Lydias Lives
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A compassionate little Buddha contemplating eternity sits in the garden of a most unusual hotel in a once upon a time Singapore.

The little Buddha brings wealth and happiness to a charming young Chinese cabaret dancer and singer, Mei Lin. Fame and a full belly go to the ferocious wrestler, Mad Mick McGurk, always hungry and, says his manager, someone with a face like a very bad tempered gorilla.

These are the main characters in The Little Buddha's Big Miracle In Lai Shan Road, the first of 16 stories, all with a variety of people, mood, time and locale – including India, China, Malaysia, Japan, London and Liverpool.

Take, for example, two very different tales of love, both set in the Middle East. The star crossed lovers are Death, who is shocked to discover that he does have such a thing as a heart for a lost love and an Englishman who's visit to the Sultanate of Oman could mean a lifetime of searching.

War, not love, is the subject of another story as history students in a far, far away galaxy study World War on a Planet Earth - as seen from the multiverse. In their current study they have a close up picture of Winston Churchill and Adolf Hitler in a fight to the death in a shell hole on the Western Front...

So many different themes, times and places – and these are just four of the 16 tales in Little Buddha's Big Miracle In Lai Shan Road.

For a free read, two chapters can be downloaded
here (Author's Foreword) and
here (Title Story)

Available to BUY online NOW.
Little Buddha's
Big Miracle In Lai Shan Road

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Beyond 'Pride and Predjudice'
Lydia's Lives

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The
Golgotha Gate

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Copyright © John Alan Rickard. All rights reserved.
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