Rosie’s Book Review Challenge – Manda reviewed The 20’s Girl, The Ghost and All That Jazz by June Kearns

Reviews from the book review challenge are still coming in and today we have a review from Manda.

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She chose to read The 20’s Girl, The Ghost and All That Jazz by June Kearns.

The 20'sGirl,The Ghost and All That Jazz  - June Kearns

The 20’sGirl,The Ghost and All That Jazz – June Kearns

Here is Manda’a review.

THE 20’S GIRL, THE GHOST AND ALL THAT JAZZ

By June Kearns

Review by Manda Ward

 

I thoroughly enjoyed this. June’s portrayal of a quintessential English girl in the 20s is spot on, and combined with Cooper’s more than laid-back attitude the book had me laughing out loud in certain places.

For me this book ticked all my boxes, a feisty heroine who isn’t afraid of being herself, a hero who is completely the opposite of the heroine that you just want them to get together. Add a few quirky characters to the mix and in my opinion, this is a fantastic read. I particularly enjoyed the banter between them and the thoughts running through her head.

Thoroughly enjoyable and a corker in my book. Definitely a keeper and one to go back to time and time again, especially when you need cheering up.

Find a copy of The 20’s Girl, the Ghost and All That Jazz, here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

 

Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT Karen reviews A Different Place To Die by RR Gall

Today we bring you a review from Book Review Team Member Karen. She blogs at http://mytrainofthoughtson.wordpress.com

rosie3Karen chose to read A Different Place To Die by RR Gall

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The book introduces you to Inspector Tom Quiss, 52 years old, obsessed with bowling, who is forced to return to the murder team. Additionally he leads a newly founded civilian support group, consisting of Shona Bally and Elspeth Brown. This team is also drawn into the murder investigation. These very different characters are cleverly elaborated, and very believable due to their flaws and actions. It is easy to relate. It is more than a simple Scottish mystery; it is a story of coping with personal needs and conflicting points of view, cooperating, and solving a series of strange crimes. I will not tell you more about the story than shown in the Amazon plot description. This would spoil the fun of reading this book yourself.

With A Different Place to Die, RR Gall has created an intriguing mystery. A Different Place to Die is an entertaining, gripping, and not too fast read – I would love to read more about this team. I was drawn into the story right away. I felt quite close to the protagonists and everything that happened. All characters were believable with all their virtues and flaws. A Different Place to Die is a great story not only for Scottish mystery lovers; it consists great twists – making your inner sleuth rethink.

This is a book to read again.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Guest Author Mike Martin

Today our guest is Mike Martin, author of yesterday’s book Beneath The Surface. Here is a link to the book review if you missed it. http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-5D1

Mike Martin

Let’s find out more about Mike and his writing.

Where is your home town? 

I was born in St. John’s, Newfoundland, on the eastern tip of Canada

How long have you been writing? 

I have been writing all of my life, but professionally for about 20 years. I have been a freelance writer, a ghost writer, an editor and a publisher. I have always written short stories but I started writing fiction about 5 years ago.

Beneath the surface is the 3rd book in the Sgt Windflower series are they all set in Newfoundland? 

All three books in the Sgt. Windflower Mystery Series. The Walker on the Cape, The Body on the T and now Beneath the Surface are all set in small communities on the southeast coast of Newfoundland.

Tell us a bit about Sgt Windflower. 

Sgt. Winston Windflower is a Cree from Northern Alberta. He is an officer with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and as part of a national police service he gets posted all over Canada. For the last couple of years he has been in Grand Bank, Newfoundland and although he is a complete outsider he has been welcomed warmly into the community. He even finds himself a girlfriend who just happens to own the local café where Windflower can indulge his hearty appetite.

Windflower is a Cree descendant, tell us a bit about the history of the Cree in Newfoundland .

There are no Crees in Newfoundland, and apart from a few isolated bands of First Nations there are hardly any Aboriginal people in Newfoundland. There was a major First Nation called the Beothuks who were there when the first Europeans arrived, but they were driven off the land and disappeared.  In Beneath the Surface Windflower finds out a little bit about the Beothuks and what really happened to them.

If I came on holiday to Grand Bank I would be really excited to see a moose, how much of a problem on the roads are they? 

Last year there were over 800 moose-vehicle accidents and there were a dozen fatalities. They are nice to see on the side of the road when you are driving slowly but they are a very real danger when travelling at night or in poor visibility.

Why were the Chinese visitors to the area not reported as being unusual? 

They were seen as unusual but not in a bad way. That area is used to tourists and welcomes their attention and money. The other factor is that the southeast coast of Newfoundland has a long history of smuggling and in some communities the RCMP is not exactly seen as their friends or allies.

What was the strike at the fisheries about? 

For centuries people fished off the coast in this part of the world and for most of that time there was plenty of fish for anybody who wanted it. But in the 1970’s and 80’s the fishing became so widespread by large factory ships and trawlers from all over the world that the main species, Atlantic cod, became near extinct. That resulted in a massive downsizing of the industry and a fight by everyone involved for what was left. The strike at the fish plant in Beneath the Surface was about a fight over who would get a share over what was left in this area.

Tell us briefly about the first 2 books in the series.

The Walker on the Cape. A dead man’s body is discovered along a well known but seldom used pathway in the hills above Grand Bank, Newfoundland. At first a heart attack or stroke is suspected but soon it is discovered that a main cause of this man’s death was arsenic poisoning. The case of discovering how this could happen in such a quiet small community is assigned to Sergeant Winston Windflower of the RCMP along with his trusted side-kick Eddie Tizzard.  Along the way Windflower also discovers two more things; a love of living in a small Newfoundland community that is completely different from his up-bringing in a Northern Alberta reserve and maybe the love of his life. He gets a taste of Newfoundland food and hospitality as well as a sense of how crime and corruption can linger beneath the surface or hide in the thick blanket of fog that sometimes creeps in from the nearby Atlantic Ocean.

The Body on the T is the second book in the Windflower mystery series. The story begins when a body washes up on a beach near Grand Bank, Newfoundland. There is no identification on the body and few clues to identify who the person was or where they came from. But this is just the beginning. There is also a devastating accident on the highway and another suspicious death to deal with. Throw in a rogue police officer and an international drug ring operating in the waters off the coast and Windflower’s peaceful world is turned upside down. Windflower also continues to enjoy the food and home-style hospitality of this part of the world. Cod tongues, pan seared scallops and even figgy duff become part of his diet, and his long list of favourite foods. Windflower may be a long way from his Cree home in Northern Alberta but he has found a new place to love in the fog and mist of Newfoundland.

10) Where can readers find out more about you and your writing?

beneaththesurface.co

Twitter @mike54martin

You can follow Sgt. Windflower on Facebook at

Windflower Mysteries

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Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com or Amazon.ca

 

Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT Jessie reviews The Wrath Inside by RR Gall

Today we have a review from book review team member Jessie. She blogs at http://behindthewillows.com

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Jessie chose to read and review The Wrath Inside by RR Gall

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Here is Jessie’s review.

Often it starts with a setting that interests you, then the characters paint their lives full and rich, the plot hooks you for good and there you are engrossed in a good book.

As a story set it AD 15 The Wrath Inside certainly interested me and perhaps that was the problem. I was so busy being analytically interested I never became emotionally involved. So much of my inner dialog was saying things like; “Ha- of course teenagers were still smart alecs.” “Is that what their houses are like?” “Are those wood working tools really as old as all that? I wonder what they looked like?”  ” Wait, what are they eating?” “Should I know this person?” “How much of this is real?” I was Googling, and defining and learning… and completely missing getting wrapped up in the character and plots.

I missed connecting with the young boy who was sucked into schemes he knows little about and the angry Roman commander who has come to take the census of his town. And as for the many plot lines that were being woven, well, I was too busy wondering over cooking tortoises to puzzle over any mystery. Finally when the different plots started weaving together near the end, promising more action in the following book, I was surprised at all that had been going on while I was marvelling over roofing design!

Would I recommend it? The book was interesting but not captivating. Of course, that said, I’d like to read the next one. I think I need to know what happens next!

This honest review was given in return for a free copy of the book from its author.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Beneath The Surface by Mike Martin

Beneath the Surface (Sgt. Windflower Mysteries #3)Beneath the Surface by Mike Martin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Beneath the Surface is the third book in the Sgt Windflower mystery series. The book is set in Newfoundland, Canada, and taught me so much about the area and the people. I found it fascinating and it had me grabbing my atlas to pinpoint St. Johns, Grand Bank and Marystown. Sgt Winston Windflower is a Canadian Mountie and the book opens with the body of Amy Parsons, a local rowing champion.

Windflower is returning to Grand Bank and Sheila his girlfriend, is coming home after a serious car accident. There are few police officers to police the vast area and thoughts of serious crime rarely reach this outpost. Houses are left unlocked and tourists are welcomed, the biggest threat is from speeding motorists and Moose on the roads. So when it looks like Amy Parsons was murdered and then a second body turns up, there is a need to step up the policing in the area.

There follows a slow and relaxed mystery involving Russian gangsters, Chinese immigrants and the seedy world of escort agencies, drugs and human trafficking. This is all mixed with interesting details about life in this part of Newfoundland. Windflower is a Cree Indian descendant and it was great to hear about his daily traditions and I liked his Uncle Frank who was a dream weaver.

Windflower works with other police departments and becomes under pressure with his senior officer. The clues are found and new evidence is revealed that will shock the police force. On top of this he has to deal with a local strike at the fish plant and is suffering from disturbing dreams of his own. Windflower is a respected officer, but finds himself in a difficult situation when he speaks his mind over a sexual harassment issue.

The mystery was good and the background setting of Newfoundland was very enjoyable. We join Windflower for many meals full of local and traditional delicacies. I also enjoyed learning about the indigenous people of the area and the every day lives of the people who currently live in this peaceful part of the world. There were small parts of the book that I felt were too much, and dragged the story on, for instance too many meals were described. There is also an over use of “He said/she said” during most conversations. If there are only two people in the dialogue the reader can easily follow the ping pong of replies without every “Said Windflower/ Sheila said” A few teaks and this book would be a good solid 4.5-5*’s.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com or Amazon.ca

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Mike will be joining us on th blog tomorrow as out guest author, do come back and find out more about him and his books.

Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT – Karen reviews Cleaver Square by Sean and Daniel Campbell

Today we have a book review from Book Review Team Member Karen, she blogs at http://mytrainofthoughtson.wordpress.com/

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Karen chose to read and review Cleaver Square by Sean and Daniel Campbell

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Here is Karen’s review.

The book introduces you to DCI David Morton and his team. They are called to the Hackney Marshes where the body of a child has been found. Due to the harsh winter, they can at least identify a time frame. How can a child not be missed? David Morton’s credit card issues make his life even more exhausting. The story comprises several threads which are easy to follow. The main characters are realistic with all their virtues and/or flaws. I will not tell you more about the story than shown in the Goodreads plot description. This would spoil the fun of reading this book yourself.

With Cleaver Square, Daniel and Sean have created a fine British mystery novel. Cleaver Square is an entertaining and intriguing read, not only for hobby sleuths. I was drawn into the story right away. I felt quite close to DCI Morton and his team. All characters were believable and well described, still leaving a little room for the readers’ imagination. Cleaver Square is a great story for British mystery lovers. Cleaver Square is the second book of the DCI Morton series. The first book in this series, Dead on Demand, will certainly be one of my next reads.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Good Deeds Challenge – Year 2, Week 17

Welcome to my second Year of Good Deeds, a challenge I set myself during April 2013. I decided to do at least one Good Deed a day for a whole year, now I an into my second year.

New Good DeedsDuring my week I’ll also being updating you on My Kindness Challenge which I’m also doing. I read about a new challenge to make the world a better place to live in. “Speak Kind Words, Receive Kind Echoes” see the inspiration on  The Kindness blog . During my learning process I’m donating money to charity for my slip-ups to make me work harder to achieve results. I earn no money from any of my book reviews, so having little to spare should focus my mind.

This week I’ve been doing the following;

August 10th – Have been drafting up Romancing September posts, and a book review post. Had a lovely chat to the student who served me at the supermarket till about his new course he’ll soon be starting at University, made time to be interested in what he had to say.

August 11th – I’ve been spending my Amazon vouchers on books! Some for me and others to share with family and friends. I’ve read some great books in e-format which I would like to share with others, so today I bought Saving our Pennys and The Singing Bowl by Roy Dimond in paperback. I’m also looking forward to re-reading them. Both books really impressed me and got me thinking about life and I wanted to share them with others.

Augustt 12th – It’s been a hard day today, I posted my 3* review of a book for an author who took offence, ( 3* stars! I said there were parts I liked! Get a reality check) I have already put up with a rude e-mail and he has added a vile comment on Goodreads to my review. He posted a equally bullying comment on my blog which I removed. My review stays because I will not bow down to an author who behaves this badly. My book review policy clearly states “I’ll never try to degrade an author or their hard work, but we all have our own tastes, so please RESPECT MINE. Should you dislike my review, then we will have to agree to disagree. Any further ranting about it especially on any of my social sites will not help your cause.” Not clear enough for some people it would seem. The kindness challenge has gone out of the window today and the charity box is firmly closed, I will not pay out my money in this  situation, sorry, I will try harder tomorrow.

Good Deeds received ; Thank you everyone for you support at this trying time.

I’m pleased to say it hasn’t put me off reviewing, I have sent of a review for a lovely YA book Spirit Warriors; The Scarring by Della Connor. As you know I do like a book that has a bit of ghosts and spiritual connections, so this book was right up my street. I have also taken on 3 more books for review today.

August 13th – I’ve bought another book today, my Amazon vouchers have nearly all gone! Isn’t it a lovely feeling to just splurge sometimes? Today I bought How I Changed My Life In A Year by Shelley Wilson . Helped author Charles Yallowitz spread news of his book tour for his latest book The Compass Key I’ve signed up for a day and e-mailed a few others to ask if they can help out. Added a new book to the book review team list, this one is a little different and proceeds will go to those living on the streets. Gotta Find a Home: Conversations with Street People by Dennis Cardiff

Good deeds received: An apology from the author who had his temper tantrum of my 3* review.

August 14th – Have nearly finished all 30 drafts for the Romancing September Tour. Downloaded a free book from Author Rae Rivers who will be one of our guests on the tour, a quick prequel to her series, The Keepers: Sienna. Sent my youngest child out on a play date with chocolate cakes to share.

August 15th – A couple of friends birthdays today so we are off to deliver presents and best wishes. Wished another friends son good luck with his driving theory test tomorrow. My oldest is learning to drive too and so are many of her friends, its all the next step in growing up. A bit scary though, sitting in the passenger seat and not being in control of the car while she learns.

August 16th – Started a good tidy up of the house and garden, to help reflect the need to tidy up my life. Started reading Patriot by A.S Bond ready for a book review. Drafted up a couple more posts for later in the month.

 

Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT Fran reviews A Different Place to Die by RR Gall

Today we have a book review from Fran. She blogs at http://disappearinginplainsight.com/

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Fran chose to read  “A different Place to Die” by RR Gall.

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Here is the review.

4 star Amazon Review – A Different Place to Die by R.R. Gall

Quirky Glasgow Investigators in a Mystery that Twists and Turns

The first thing to hook me in R.R. Gall’s mystery/thriller, A Different Place to Die, was the characters. From the start, it is obvious Inspector Tom Quiss is struggling with his work. He thinks of just jacking his job in and taking up lawn bowling with dreams of playing on the Scottish National Team – even though he has never played on a team. The way he seeks escape makes him the type of character a reader can bond with.

The author’s descriptions of the man are fresh and catch the reader’s imagination. “Quiss has become slightly more handsome with age: his features finally gathering together after decades of gawky detachment. They have collected to bring a touch of distinction, a hint of appeal.” There is something so human about Tom Quiss

Next up is Shona Bally, a civilian investigator for the Glasgow police. The reader meets Shona as she goes through her daily makeup rituals. She is preparing to start a new job that will bring her into conflict with Inspector Quiss. Shona would never want to appear unfashionable and it is a stroke of writer’s genius to introduce the reader to her as she painstakingly deals with her appearance. One of Quiss’ ongoing observations of Shona has to do with her makeup. Whenever she blinks he imagines her eye lids like blinking semaphore flags sending out some mystery message.

The final character who will figure prominently in the mystery is Elspeth, Shona’s civilian investigator partner. We first see Elspeth through Shona’s eyes – a frumpy middle-aged woman dressed like she’s off to Church. Shona can’t help but think some makeup would help.

The novel is off and running and the reader is often given brief asides as to how the three main characters view one another. These asides serve to tell as much about the character in question as the one doing the assessing. Shona sees Quiss as teetering on the edge of casual and unkempt. She thinks, “Straighten up, man.” Those three words set the stage for all the interactions between Quiss and Shona. She pushes him continually to straighten up and do his job.

“He thinks she is too young for the job. She thinks he is too old for the job. She wears too much makeup. He needs to comb his hair.” And so it goes, back and forth in a delightful string of inner dialogue.

Elspeth’s take on Quiss is about the only thing she and Shona have in common. “She noted the crumples in his shirt – a match for his rumpled trousers – and wished he would see to his appearance. An image of him in his underwear came to her; an image of him standing beside her ironing board at the start of the morning, waiting for her to finish pressing his clothes. And she thought of the comb sitting in her handbag right now: wondering how he would react if she handed it to him one morning. A quick pull through would make all the difference.” Again, the author has masterfully foreshadowed just what makes Elspeth tick – she wants to be needed.

The second thing that hooked me was the actual mystery. This book is a page turner with a number of twists and turns that keep the reader guessing. When the actual motive for the bizarre string of murders is revealed, I freely admit, I never saw it coming. Enough is held back, and more than a few red herrings are tossed out along the way to make readers feel as though they are involved in the actual investigation.

R. Gall has managed to write a mystery/thriller that is both character and plot driven and one aspect never overshadows the other. Through snappy dialogue between the characters much is revealed about each without the author feeling the need to elaborate on their backstories. We see them as they are for the period of time it takes the novel to unwind and are left to speculate about the details of the rest of their lives. On a couple of occasions, I felt I had to speculate too much – Elspeth and her mystery husband’s fate really left me pondering. There were a few too many threads left dangling with the crime resolution for my liking. But hey, it’s not necessarily a bad thing for an author to leave a reader wondering.

Kudos to R.R. Gall for the ability to create characters with broad brush strokes who came alive to the point that the reader craves to know more. Double kudos for placing those characters in a mystery that kept the heat turned up page after page.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Guest Author Margaret Langstaff

Today we welcome Margaret Langstaff to the blog, author of yesterday’s book “Twilight’s Indian Princess”. Here is a link to the book post. (Link to be added)

Margaret Langstaff

Let’s find out more about Margaret and her writing.

Where is your home town?

I live in a small town just west of Gainesville, FL (home to University of Florida, my alma mater) on a small farm with lots of large animals, many of them “rescues,” and crawling with wildlife. I moved here 12 years ago after leaving a career in book publishing to write full time.

How long have you been writing?

I started “writing” in elementary school when I was about ten and took advanced degrees in English Lit and writing at UF.

What genres do you enjoy writing and why?

I don’t really write genre fiction if by that you mean romance, fantasy, sci-fi etc., although I’ve written two funny satirical mysteries starring one Garnet Sullivan, a snoopy over-wrought reporter for a tiny newspaper in the fictional “Punta Bella, FL,” a town and area much like my childhood home. It’s a little series I started and there will be more titles coming.

The first one, Marlin, Darlin’ was #3 on Goodreads best mysteries list when it came out.

Mainly I write short stories and am working on a novel of which “Twilight’s Indian Princess” is the first “installment.” Originally I planned to publish it serially, first as ebooks, then in hardcover. But I am having second thoughts about that, and may have a larger publisher bring out the hardcover.

My stories have a small but fierce, intelligent and loyal following. They are all humorous and a bit off the wall. Surprising, I guess you might say. Flannery O’Connor is my role model for the short story, her wicked humor, moral sense and her amazing talent and skill with the form.

I’ve learned so much from studying all of the great writers, but I feel a particular affinity with Flannery O’Connor and Mark Twain. Both have been cited by way of comparison by some reviewers of my work. Both are from the American South, my native soil as well, and I too write with a southern sensibility and most frequently with a southern setting in my books.

 

I’m not really what you’d call a humorist, but I’d always rather make the reader laugh than cry! Laughter, I think, is healing, the best medicine, and affords us a means of transcendence over (and an antidote to) the all too common sorrows and anxieties of life.

What was the one idea behind “Twilight’s Indian Princess”?

I never start any piece of fiction with a concept or idea. My inspiration begins with a certain character in whom I’m interested. I want to know who they are, what makes them tick, why they do the things they do. Ideas emerge as I explore the character by writing about him or her. In the case of Sarah Sloan McCorkle of “Twilight’s Indian Princess,” I discovered this was a wonderful woman with a huge heart and huge sense of obligation to help others, not just the people she loved. She was very smart, but made (as we all do inevitably) some poor decisions. She was trying to do too much for everyone else as well. I’ve known people like that, of course. They are always in danger of burning themselves out, neglecting their own needs and goals/aspirations because they are in a sense afflicted by an outsized need to be “perfect.” I think women, particularly wives and mothers today, all have some Sarah in them. Most women I know today are just days or hours away from a meltdown at any given moment. Something about the time we live in spurs them to always do more, do better, to work harder and to give-give-give until they drop or crack.   

Tell the readers a little about Sarah, in the story.

Sarah fascinates me. Now an overworked middle school science teacher and mom, she grew up in a privileged southern aristocrat household with a doting physician father and a severe guilt-tripping mother. Her mother’s parenting really in a way thwarted her, atrophied parts of her, made her always deny her own needs in favor of others’ needs. It wasn’t all bad, though. Her happiest childhood moments were the times she spent with her pony Twinkie and her horse Nancy (when she got older), and of times spent talking to her father in his study. Her father is deceased when the story opens and her mother continues to be a loving but oppressive force in her life, constantly nagging her, berating her. Her mother is particularly annoyed and disappointed in her because she “married down,” chose a county fireman for a husband instead of someone from her own background. Sarah had her reasons, though. She wanted children, time was running out. There wasn’t a line of suitors and lover boys winding around the block in front of her apartment. I think the way they meet is classic Sarah and so funny.Though she and Wesley have little in common, and often drive each other crazy, she loves him unequivocally, devotedly. They have two great young kids and are great parents.

Where are her children? What are they doing?

Lonnie and Toot (actually “Mary Helene,” and named after her harridan mother) are away at summer camp, a typical summer activity-vacation for kids in the south. Camp Finley is a child’s paradise, they are having a blast. But Sarah had hoped for a respite from her mothering duties and stresses while they were away and this was not the case at all as it happened. Each develops crises, makes incredible demands on her, even though a hundred miles away and in a safe happy place, each creates enormous stresses for Sarah during her “time off” and their vacation.Their letters home in their own highly individual unique voices I almost channeled when writing. I could hear them talking, it was all so real to me and so revealing to me of who they were, what they were like, their ages and needs. Their comfort and assurance in their mama’s unswerving love and devotion comes through loud and clear. All very entertaining to me. Poor Sarah, no rest for the weary.

What does she discover when she sets her thoughts free to drift?

Actually, I think this would be a spoiler for the story should I answer the question. I will only say that when Sarah finally does indulge herself for just a few hours, she is so inexpert at doing so, so unaccustomed to it, that she kind of goes over the edge. Not completely, though, for I believe she discovers some very valuable wisdom about life in general and her own life in particular and it changes her. Even though she explodes, melts down and gives Wesley hell, what she learned enables her survival and makes her wiser.

 

Her crazy eureka moment in the bathtub, as wacko as it is, launches the process of moving toward some peace and resolution to her internal conflicts.

But nothing in this life is pure and simple. There are always unintended consequences, repercussions, some fall-out. Sarah scares herself half to death in some of the things she does, for she does some very ill-advised, silly things, but she still comes away wiser and more sure footed having learned what she learned, both about herself and life.

Tell us about some of your other books that you’ve written.

All my latest are on Amazon. I recommend my short stories and also my mysteries. The mysteries are somewhat less “literary,” I guess, than the stories, less serious, though all are at heart funny and leavening. I will issue a caveat for future readers, however, that my work pushes the envelope, pushes boundaries of the ordinary and expected; it is all somewhat outrageous, over the top, shocking and unusual because I write to discover why people are the way they are, how they really think, what really motivates their behavior. I’m interested in the truth, not pat, conventional or generic answers.

I suppose along with the humor and laughter there is also something unsettling about some of my work for some few people, people who read mainly to have their own ideas and opinions coddled and validated, and who don’t read to discover, explore new things, who don’t want to really dig into what’s behind the public persona of the individual lives in question.

 

Where can readers find out more about you and your work?

My literary blog is a good place, maybe the best! It’s http://margaretjeanlangstaff.com/ I’m also a Goodreads Author and have an author page on Amazon.

Thank you very much for your interest, Rosie.  This was a wonderful opportunity for me to talk about my work with the many followers of your blog.

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Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com.

Thank you Margaret and Good Luck with your writing.

 

Rosie’s Book review Challenge – Alison reviews The 20’s Girl, The Ghost and All That Jazz by June Kearns

Welcome to another review from Rosie’s Book Review Challenge. Today we hear from Alison, she blogs at http://alisonwilliamswriting.wordpress.com/

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Alison chose The 20’s Girl, The Ghost and All That Jazz by June Kearns.

The 20'sGirl,The Ghost and All That Jazz  - June Kearns

The 20’sGirl,The Ghost and All That Jazz – June Kearns

Here is Alison’s review.

The 20s Girl, the Ghost and All That Jazz – June Kearns

I loved this book! June Kearns has created a romantic page turner devoid of soppiness but full of heart, laughter and wonderful characters that draw you in to their well-drawn world.

Gerardina Chiledexter is struggling to fund the run-down bookshop that is all she has been left by her extravagant, glamorous aunt (except for a mountain of debts). Just when it seems she has nowhere left to turn, she receives a surprise inheritance – half a cattle ranch in Texas.

We are swept away with Gerry to the wildness and heat of Texas, where she is made less than welcome by co-owner Coop. Confused by her conflicting feelings towards him, Gerry makes some rash decisions that lead her further into debt and seem to pave the way to a life of lonely spinsterhood.

However, there are twists and turns and surprises galore, along with a helping hand from some friendly spirits hoping to guide Gerry towards a brighter future.

The author does a fantastic job of bringing two very different places to life – the contrast between the dry heat of the vast plains of Texas was contrasted beautifully with the cold wet winters of England. I could feel Gerry suffocating as she listened to the rain dripping on to the windows of Prim’s tiny cottage.

The context of the novel was really interesting. The lack of eligible men to marry after the end of WWI was a real problem for women who had few other opportunities in life. Gerry, although a bright, funny and lovely girl, is not immune to this pressure, or to the fear of spinsterhood. I hate it when writers give us feisty female heroines from history who live independent, happy lives immune to social pressures. It’s refreshing to have a realistic heroine who is more than aware of the social constraints that have a very real bearing on what she is and isn’t allowed to do. And the little quotes at the beginning of each chapter offered a real insight into the pressures put on women at the time.

I thoroughly recommend this novel and will definitely be reading more of June Kearns’ work.

Five out of five stars.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com