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Brave Lake Manor by AB.

William King

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Spotlight on Brave Lake Manor by AB

the book reviews and author interview 




the book

Brave Lake Manor by AB 

The Jarrow family were brought together by one tragedy only to have their lives torn apart by a second. Now Peter, the eldest of four brothers, must assume the role of father and take responsibility for his younger siblings. Together they must face the trials and tribulations of adolescence, the growing pains of the twin seven year olds, and the malicious intentions of some dastardly adversaries. With a new life in the country comes new friends, new challenges, but also those with evil and deadly intentions.

Read the book - Brave Lake Manor by AB


an extract

  “I…uhm…shouldn’t have, but I ehmm followed you three upstairs earlier…I sort of…heard everything…no don’t be afraid, I will not tell anyone anything…and I really, really do not mind since I am also gay,” he said in one breath and really fast. “I’ve known since I was ten and I’ve…well sort of…have had a crush on you since I was twelve…but you know until now I really didn’t know how or what to say to you…and then I started going to Jack’s dojo and unwillingly hanging out with that jackass Terry and I thought I would never have a chance to…tell you…I think I was also afraid of you being straight and outing me to the whole town and/or school so I said nothing…but then today I saw you running upstairs almost in tears and just as I was coming to see if you were alright, Ryan and Jason got to you first…and well…you know the rest…” Timmy said as fast as he could, taking in breaths only when he had to breath.


reader comment

“Let me just say your story touched me in so many ways it ain't funny. I loved it and the ending was perfect.  I sure hope you write some more.”


the book reviews


REVIEW by Jay.

What an amazing story of bravery, perseverance and growth. You may find yourself totally lost in this story, feeling right in the thick of things as you read, so much so that you cannot help but get emotionally involved. At times you will cry tears of joy, the whole gambit of emotions is in play and I enjoyed every bit of it.

This story of four young brothers is sure to warm your heart. The eldest brother Peter finds himself forced to grow up faster than he thought, whilst Ryan the next oldest is navigating a minefield of teenage emotions. An adventure of adolescent  life and relationships that come crashing down on him in more ways than one. The youngest of the four, twins Malthe and Christian are so much alike in many ways, but different in others. You will easily sympathize with them all. I particularly related to Peter, he has to keep the family from falling apart, deal with his own relationships, and defend the family from unseen dangers. Finding himself in the role of a father to these boys was not what he expected his life to be. 

The best quote which I feel sums up the story is when Peter is questioning his role of father, "But I'm guessing deep down in your subconscious you have many conflicting emotions your happiness and needs conflicting with your desire to look after others and your brothers". You may get this if you care to read this awesome story.

I found the chapters a bit long and would have liked more breaks within them. There are a few grammar mistakes and maybe a few word changes that could be made. I found later on in the story that when the author was relating events from different points of view he could have been clearer. You could get lost and a bit confused, as I did, but I got back on track quickly and still enjoyed myself.

The interaction between the boys and their friends is described well. The intimate relationships are hot to say the least, but I didn't find them vulgar in anyway, actually quite pleasing and enjoyable.

If you like tales about personal growth and a family conquering adversity, then you will love this. I have to say that this one is – A Must Read!


REVIEW by William King.

There are some caveats if you are going to read this story. First, you need to be able to see past the mixed up English prose and rewrite it in your head as you read. Second, you have to suspend belief at the often improbable scenarios and read it with the idea that it’s a good yarn. Thirdly, you need to know that it depicts scenes of a sexual nature between young boys.

You have to think of this story like a brilliant children's book or a great comic strip. Chapter Two had me smiling, then laughing when Peter and the boys arrive at the manor and are greeted by a butler and three valets. There’s also a maid, cook and chauffeur. But it's the estate manager Peter has to deal with and he soon puts the lazy no good sleaze in his place, “Do I make myself, absolutely crystal clear worm?” He tells him.

The more I was reading, the more light hearted the book was becoming, a great adventure straight out of Boy’s Own, complete with Latin inscriptions over the door and quotes from Plato. Was the author trying to impart a little education and culture to his readers, the glossy mahogany doors to the bedrooms were, “carved after a different renaissance painting, this room was carved after Caravaggio’s “Amor Vincit Omnia”, the next one after Tintoretto’s “Veronica Franco” 

I wondered what exactly “a cult Swedish backpack” was and whether the author owned one just like Malthe's. The only thing I have ever owned that was Swedish and you could carry things in, no it wasn't a Volvo, it was one of those blue bags from IKEA!

It's the way the author writes the English language, which he struggles with, that being in the right frame of mind matches the adventure and is also mildly amusing,   “Okay guys select your bikes,” he told them and waited by the counter as he chatted up the owner. I'm sure he meant – chatted to the owner, but chatting up the village bicycle shop owner made me smile again.

Some of the comments are just so funny I had to laugh, “He had a sneer on his face that made him look like a banshee from a fantasy novel. Ryan decided almost instantly that he didn’t want to be his friend in this world or any other.” Sometimes the comments get quite crude, “He was horny all day, all night, every day and night, anything with a hole seemed…well…fuckable and desirable.” 

Malthe, the seven year old twin to Christian, Peter and Ryan's adopted younger brother, is the philosophical genius. “It is not that I desire or not for anyone to either understand or not of what I speak of…I only desire the creation of thought and the spark of intelligence in others. An answer understood directly has failed its purpose. One must think an answer as well as a question through. They should be…food for the brain,...” There is more in this book than you might assume through casually reading.

You get to know how much they weigh, how tall they are, plus other body particulars. When they go out anywhere they usually end up eating so you get to know what’s on the menu, the kids seem to love smoothies of all varieties and Peter is apple pie. 

It's odd how as a suddenly bereaved family they go from Peter, the older brother not knowing what to do and desperately thinking about getting a job, until his best friend points out the manor. He forgot they owned a massive run down estate in the country, complete with butler and staff. Somehow with the estate comes loads of money for new bikes, some furniture, and Ryan is spending a hundred dollars in the amusement arcade.

As I said previously it’s a great tale, you have to take some things with a pinch of salt, which is why I thought it would make a great comic, it reads rather like a comic strip. The good guys are good and the bad guys are fat and ugly! The book builds slowly to a tumultuous crescendo which will shatter your senses and send your emotions haywire. It really is a fantastic drama that deserves to be read.


the interview

The title of the book Brave Lake Manor is taken from the village where the family residence is. It doesn't actually become clear that the story takes place in England, until the Epilogue, when Ryan takes the Eurostar to London. I was convinced that with a name like that it was a village in America or Canada (you write in British English). How did you come up with the name and title? Did you intend to be vague about the country it was set in?

Yeah, in a way it was meant to be vague, I've lived in the UK but I also like New Zealand, although I've not yet been there, so up until the end I wanted it vague hoping/wanting people to think on which country it is set on.


I think I read that English is not your first language, something which is clear from the often peculiar phrases and juxtaposition, even sometimes misuse, of words. How difficult was it for you to write? People commented on this, as we did in our reviews, but overall I got the impression from those comments that it was not a big issue, the story transcended the language barrier. What do you think, did you get any real complaints about this?

I skimmed through a little of your more recent book Star Wars : Darklight, and I felt that your mastery of English, and hence your writing, has improved over these last three or four years. Would you agree? If you do agree, then is this improvement simply due to your own learning, or have you been helped in any way, for example by an editor?

I've not received a complaint -yet- that a story/chapter was unreadable because of English not being my mother language, but yes I have received proof comments, (this should be like this or that bc of that or this rule etc) and to a large degree I have made changes to that effect.  And yes, my grasp/writing has improved, I think, after some years of writing stories but I've also had an editor after BLM, I think he's also a member of CR and an author, Ricky  Beck.


I don’t want to start a huge debate about sex in books, but I am interested in your opinion on this topic. There are some graphic sex scenes in the book, they are not out of place, I found them in keeping with the storyline, and a lot of readers seemed to like a little spice in the story. In hindsight, what do think about the sex scenes? Do you still have the same scenes in your books, or have you changed your approach?

I think that it all depends on what kind of genre/story one is writing.  50 shades of grey wouldn't be 50 shades of gray without the graphic scenes I've been told it has, and Lord of the rings would not be lord of the rings if it had graphic sex scenes in it.  I was inspired to write Brave Lake Manor from reading one of Hunter's stories "Kyle's ten golden rules". It had an ending which caused me some emotional upset (good kind) and somehow that lead to BLM.  And due to personal reasons as well from some abuse from my childhood I envisioned it having the sex scenes so it had sex scenes but it wasn't about the sex, it was not about boy meets boy they have wild pornographic unrealistic sex that even experienced adults don't have and then that's it end of story.

Your other books are not in the same genre, but are Sci-fi and Fantasy, although I thought there was a hint of mysticism in the character of Malthe and his interpretation of the world, his mathematically detached view, and the secret writings which we never really discovered. Does your heart lie in the realms of Sci-fi and Fantasy or might we expect another adventure like Brave Lake Manor?

I did get a lot of emails desiring a sequel to BLM but I don't think it'll happen and yes my heart does lie closer to fantasy/syfy. I like some mystery in the world. I think everyone wanted a BLM sequel so that they could learn of Malthe's secretive writings but if one looks/reads closer the clues are all in there of what's in them, with some imagination perhaps but they're all in there in the story and I like some mystery in the world.  As a friend once put it, "The story is just a snapshot of the characters' lives, what happened before is explained in the story, what happens after is up to everyone's imagination."


And finally, to end our interview. Brave Lake Manor was your first book and despite the language handicap and the errors and traps that we all fall into as new authors, it was nevertheless very well received. Judging by the comments, it was a minor success, not at all bad for a first book. Was the reaction of those readers who commented and wrote to you very important and did it affect what you did next?

I think feedback to an author be it positive or negative is always important, maybe even more so in this free capacity that has no other payment positive, encouraging feedback is the only payment.  So yeah I dunno if I had received no feedback or supremely negative feedback I may or may not have written another story, but it was positive and it did endear me to continue. 

Thank you AB for taking the time to give us your views.


the extra



Looking at the three pictures above, the first one – top left – is Jack, that’s obvious. The last one, at the bottom is Sebastian, but who is the other one? You'll have to read the book to find out!


the discussion

If you would like to continue the discussion with the author, or read other comments on the story - click here.


the book

Read the book - Brave Lake Manor by AB



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