Thursday, March 22, 2012

March Madness for March 21st Author M. A McRae.

March Madness for March 21st welcomes Author M.A McRae

Biography:   M. A. McRae (Marj) is Australian. Her father, grandfathers and great grandfathers all Australian and all farmers,  only that 'way back when', an ancestor came from Highland Scotland. She has been an avid reader all her life, but has only begun to write in the last few years.

Her first published book is ‘Not a Man.’

Description: From boy of the slums to Oxford Graduate. This is the story of Shuki Bolkiah, modern day eunuch.

"Not a Man' is set in an unnamed country of Arabia. Shuki is aged ten, and a 'bed-boy.' His master wants his beautiful boy to stay beautiful, so arranges for him to have 'a small operation.' This traumatic event changed forever the life of a clever, determined boy.

Shuki learns to manipulate his master. He learns to read and write, he gets his master into the habit of giving him large sums of money, and he makes friends with the master's sons.

Shuki becomes more beautiful with every passing year. His master becomes more possessive, more jealous, and Shuki is guarded. When his master takes him to England, he escapes and starts a new life with the money he's saved. He is fifteen.

Excerpt from a review by Harper Collins: ‘Not a Man’ is an ambitious and insightful novel; it tells the story of Shuki, a young boy from the slums of Elbarada, a fictional area of Arabia, who is castrated against his will at the age of 10. Shuki’s journey is one of great trial but also incredible strength, courage, and determination, and as a hero, he is fantastic, evoking not only sympathy, but aspiration and reverence. I loved the fact that the operation which is supposed to prevent him from reaching manhood is the very thing that makes him strong and mature. The novel is written in a pared down manner; the narrative reminded me of the prose styling of Paulo Coelho: unaffected and matter-of-fact.

The  book can be purchased from Amazon and other suppliers such as The Book Depository, which does not charge for freight.

I’ll also add that in June, I expect to release a second book about Shuki, ‘The King’s Favourite.’

It was the greatest scandal that Oxford had ever known. The culprits were the sons of the rich and famous, even of Royalty. The trials went on for years, and the story of the eunuch's uttermost beauty and desirability spread.

Shuki now lives in his own remote home, overlooked by his beloved mountains. He is happy with his family, his studies, and is respected.

Feroz Hady is just sixteen, yet he is the all-powerful monarch of an oil-rich country of Arabia. When an important and complex trade deal hangs in the balance, an extra concession is made. Shuki’s freedom is traded away by his own country, a gift for a king.

There are stories from ancient times of eunuchs standing at the side of kings, wielding enormous influence, and influencing the fate of nations. Can it happen again? 

Please remember you MUST leave a comment on this post to have a chance at winning this book!
PLUS...Follow this blog and be in the running to win not one but TWO books written by your host Soooz Burke under her pen name of Stacey Danson.."Empty Chairs" and "Faint Echoes of Laughter"


  1. This sounds like that 'something different' I'm always hankering after.

  2. I've had the privilege of reading this book already, and let me tell you, it's stunning. The recipient of this book is in for a real treat. Ms. McRae is an amazingly talented author. I'm eagerly awaiting the rest of the books in this series.

  3. Really interesting, read some parts of it on Authonomy before it was published. M.A. McRae is a heavy-weight.

  4. What a fabulous review! I don't know how I haven't picked this up before now. It sounds like an epic read...wonderful. Will certainly be seeking "Not A Man" out.

  5. A wonderful book that I have been lucky enough to have read. M.A. McRae is a fantastic author!

  6. My favorite book this year by far - Not a Man will snag you and it won't let you go. I'm counting the days until the sequel comes out!

  7. Thank you everyone. The HC review was not wholly positive, of course, but I did look at the areas they said I should improve. And I must one day look at the writings of Paulo Coelho, as I don't know his writing.
    I'll be sending 'King's Favourite' to Night Publishing in a week or so to see if Tim will acccept it.

  8. Like some others above, I first read part of this book on Authonomy and was very impressed. The review which mentions Marj's writing style is so true. An original and fascinating book.

  9. "Not a man" sounds like the stuff of nightmares to me. Small operations, bed boys, heroes staying beautiful are definitely not my normal reading material.
    However, I see that the ladies like it so it must be a well written piece.
    Good luck with it and good luck with "The King's Favourite" at Night Marj, I really hope it does well for you :-D

  10. An interesting story, constructed in fine style. This author's reputation is solid - and this book must surely be a must-read.

  11. Intrigued. If I don't win the free copy I will have to buy it now I've read about it and my interest has been piqued.

    The synopsis sounds horrific and yet a tale of triumph over adversity, something very dear to my heart.

    I hope it does well, I really do.

  12. The first chapter is a bit daunting for some, especially men, but in Chapter 2, the cunning kid from the slums organises to poison the doctor who did the 'small operation.' The Master never dreamed his sweet and loving boy could do such a thing. Shuki is a lot more than a mere victim.

  13. very unusual and interesting topic and it sounds like it's approached with sensitivity and appreciation.

    funny to see reggie's reaction.

    1. Laugh away Tantra, I'm only voicing my fears, lol. ;-D

  14. I suspect I've had lots of men crossing their legs and shivering. Mostly, it's women who've really liked Shuki, though I have had some very valuable support from men. It would not have reached ED on Authonomy without that support.

  15. A huge thank you to all the folks that stopped by and commented on Marj's post.

    Needed a bigger hat for the prize draw this we go...
    and the winner of "Not A Man" is Diane Nelson.

    Congratulations Diane...your e/copy will soon be on it's way.

  16. Well, this is a nice happening, since I won a copy of Diane's book a few days ago. I'll send it today, Diane.

  17. This doesn't sound like my first choice of reading, but I must admit I was taken by the plot summary. I hope it does well.

  18. "Not a Man" is an incredible book. Marjorie McRae must have done an amazing amount of research to come up with such authentic detail for her debut novel. It was not always an easy read, but I really enjoyed her excellent characterisation, and I am looking forward to her new book about Shuki when it comes out soon.


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