Anna Ryland


Green Eyes or Brown? #books #readingforpleasure

Some time ago, I saw mention that only 2% of the world’s population have green eyes. The majority have brown and 10% have blue.

Seeing this, I wondered how important it was for authors to specify their characters’ eye colour, so took a look through TSL’s books to see what authors have done. The result is below. Do you think it’s important to specify eye colour or should that be left to the reader’s imagination? Marthe Kylie-Worthington in Family are the Friends you Choose also questions authors focus on eyes.

The cat, Ginger, in Anna Ryland’s A Second Chance
Marla in Josie Arden’s Broken Ties of Time
Raphaela in The last rose of summer in This and That 2 by Josie Arden
Isabel in The Visit in Tea at the Opalaco by Jane Lockyer Willis
Fairytales and Oddities by Ezra Williams
Grey-green eyes feature in A Perfumed Holiday in Stuffed! by Johannes Kerkhoven
In a break from green eyes, brown eyes are mentioned in The Stillbirth Marriage in The Roots that gave Birth to Magical Blossoms by Amna Agib (Bit Nafisa)

Other books:
Doris Lessing’s lead character in The Summer before the Dark has brown eyes.

Thanks Pablo for the image

Anna Ryland, Fiction, Novel 1

On – A Second Chance – Anna Ryland

A Second Chance is the ‘cracking’ debut novel by Anna Ryland.

I met Anna at a local writers’ group I was talking to about publishing and over a cup of coffee she told me about her book. I was captivated with the idea. And the manuscript was no disappointment. It’s a tale of new beginnings and survival.

Set in 1980s London before Poland entered into the common European market and Poles could travel and work freely in Britain, A Second Chance recounts the experiences of young immigrants trying to make their way in a foreign city. Any new traveller to London, especially from overseas, will associate with the two friends trying to find each other at Paddington Station, the sense of disorientation and relief at finding someone you know.

Based on some of Anna’s own experiences and those of people she’s met, she encapsulates the fears and challenges of settling into a new city, and how this is exaccerbated when English isn’t your first language. But it’s not all negative and an uphill struggle. Interspersed are uplifting moments – so true to life where people, sometimes completely unexpected help solve a problem and give of themselves.

This is a book about life, in all its rawness.

And don’t just take my word that it’s a must read book, Keith Oswin posted

This book is addictive! Three chapters in and you’ve met the three main characters – and in my case decided that you actually care what happens to them.
With the current global nervousness about migrants, the release of this book could not have come at a more apposite time.
A cracking debut.

Have you seen?

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The Ashes – Cricket

I couldn’t resist. When this post was first written (June 2015) England and Australia faced each other to battle it out for the urn containing the ashes of English cricket. It has since been updated.

Cricket’s a game you either love or hate, although it seems that even within the sport there are strong opinions: you either love the 5-day test and detest 20/20 or vice versa. The one-day or limited over 50-ball game seems to be firmly in the middle, having moved up in the rankings of Test specialists. Coming to the game late, I understand those who have little time or interest in it. But there are some wonderful benefits to a day at the cricket. Think sun shine and a patch of grass to sit on (and a good book in the bag in case…).

TSL has been lucky to sign the BBC Test Match Special Cricket Statistician, Andrew Samson. With Andrew as one of our authors, we just had to feature a post on Cricket.

The most famous books concerning cricket are no doubt the Wisden‘s Cricketers Almanack. Our main interest though is novels or works of fiction, although if you’re interested in what the life of a Cricket Statistician entails, why not read Andrew Samson‘s The Moon is Toast?

Books mentioning Cricket

Prominent on the novel front is Charles Dickens’ The Pickwick Papers (1836) and Tom Brown’s Schooldays by Thomas Hughes (1857).

The game features on the cover of PG Wodehouse’s Mike (1909) and in Douglas Adams’s Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe (1982) the Ashes trophy gets stolen.

A game of cricket features in Shaka are Dead and Powerless by John Samson and a cricket cap in Ray Wooster‘s A Boy’s War Journal. Mention is made of the game in Anna Ryland‘s A Second Chance and David FerrisThe Secret Life of Creatures

Heaven’s RageLeslie Tate
Rhys’ adventures (Training a Greyhound and Urgent Pocket Money Required) – Beatrice Holloway

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Anna Ryland


About Anna

Anna has been working as a journalist for many years. Born in Warsaw she came to Britain in the 1980s. The stories of the main characters of the novel reflect her own experiences, as well as that of other Poles she has met in Britain. Anna lives in London with her husband and two sons. A Second Chance is her debut novel.

In July 2017, TSL author Leslie Tate met up with Anna Ryland for an interview.

Harrow Times profiles Anna (January 2017)
Anna speaks to Leslie Tate on Radio Dacorum (July 2018)

Books by Anna