Baby Girl Book 1: In The Beginning by Elle Klass

Baby Girl Book 1: In the Beginning (Baby Girl, #1)Baby Girl Book 1: In the Beginning by Elle Klass

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Baby Girl is the first book in a series, it is just 38 pages long and can be read quite easily in one sitting. We are introduced to a young girl who has had a harsh, lonely upbringing from a part-time mother who treated her shamefully. When her mother leaves her for several months, our twelve year old narrator, takes matters into her own hand and runs away.

The Big City offers an escape from prying eyes and our little girl survives pretty well considering what might have happened. She finally meets some other runaway kids and they become a family. Cleo and her friends make do as best they can, keeping one step ahead of capture. With Einstein she has a solid friend and they make big plans to leave America. Yet the path they all walk is never easy.

With a new identity the story will continue in the next book.

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

View all my reviews on Goodreads.

Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT Babus reviews Romancing My Love by Melissa Foster

Today’s book review comes from Babus, she blogs at http://ajoobacatsblog.wordpress.com

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Babus chose to read and review Romancing My Love by Melissa Foster in conjunction with Brook Cottage Books

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Rebecca Rivera lost her mother to cancer 6 weeks ago, is living in her car and has just been fired from her job as a bartender by her jerk of a boss, so when Pierce Braden comes to her rescue she rebuffs him, not because she is not attracted to him but because she is fiercely independent. Pierce is intrigued by this headstrong and stubborn woman and falls for her but will the differences in their circumstances prove too much of an obstacle for their relationship?

 

This feel good romance has plenty of heart and deals with emotions and the psychology of the characters very well. Romances are not my staple choice of genre but this was very easy to read and entertaining. This is not a book for those who like their romance and language clean, but if not adverse to explicit romance and swearing this is a very capable feel good romance with depth.

 

Pierce is very dashing, successful and sports a shoulder tattoo, ticking all the boxes of masculinity you would expect in a romance. With a reading time of just over 4 hours for me, it was a lovely read, but I did feel it was drawn out a little too much near the end, with a very verbose account of scattering Rebecca’s mother’s ashes and the final conclusion to the book. However I could relate to Rebecca and there was real depth in the emotions Foster writes about and if she can melt the heart of a very occasional romance-reader like me, then I am sure she will appeal to the contemporary romance fans looking for their next great read.

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

Friday Challenge – Appreciating What You Have By Giving Something Up

Friday Challenge – Week 2

Welcome to week 2 of the Friday Challenge, a set of articles written for us by Shelley Wilson as a gift to you the reader. Author of How I Changed My Life In A Year, Shelley is sharing some of her own challenges with us and motivating us to make our own lives better.

If you missed week 1 here is a link to the post http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-5MH

Over to Shelley…

Shelley Wilson

Can You Appreciate What You Have By Giving Something Up?

 

After taking part in this year’s Cancer Research Dryathlon, whereby I refused all alcohol for the month of January, I decided to carry this challenge on and am now tee-total (nine months and counting). Don’t panic readers, we’re not asking you to give up your Friday night glass of vino… well not yet anyway!

 

In my book How I Changed My Life in a Year, I dedicated an entire chapter to giving up the demon drink. For my month seven challenge, to appreciate what I have by doing without, I had to come up with four other activities to forgo.

 

With the television, Facebook and my car eliminated from my life for a single week each, I felt much better. More time to write, no incessant stream of notifications and increased exercise were the benefits of my challenge. The fourth week, however, was a very different story. At my twelve-year old daughter’s request, I gave up wearing black clothing. A simple task you may think, but oh no!

 

Here is an excerpt from my book.

 

I realised the magnitude of this challenge when, on day one, with bleary eyes and bed hair, I fished around in my underwear drawer for any other colour of pants! (Note to self – pants situation critical.)

 

   Fast forward to the 3 p.m school run and thank goodness for blue denim.

 

   With two minutes to spare I stood in my jeans and bra (white one) looking at 25 black tops. If I turned up at school in just my underwear, my daughter would disown me, then I remembered a multi-coloured T-shirt I’d bought for an eighties fancy dress party – yes, I wore it.

 

   I didn’t think it was possible for an eye roll from a twelve-year old to stop me in my tracks, but hey, this challenge was never going to be easy.

 

Giving up wearing black clothing may have seemed a trivial goal but it certainly made me appreciate my wardrobe and think about my image. Interestingly, as I opted for a more colourful palette, I noticed a change in my moods and emotions. Leaving the dull, dreary black clothing behind meant I filled my life with reds, pinks and greens and benefited from a little colour therapy along the way.

 

Challenge accepted and achieved. It can help us to appreciate what we have in our life by giving something up, so I extend my challenge to you – Give something up such as twitter, diet coke or taking the car and embrace the experience.

How I Changed My Life In A Year

 

‘How I Changed My Life in a Year’ – http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00KAAUE88

Also on Amazon.com

 

Find Shelley on Twitter http://www.twitter.com/ShelleyWilson72

We’re back next Friday with another challenge.

 

Guest Author Juliet Greenwood

Today we have Juliet Greenwood as our guest author, she wrote We That Are Left which I reviewed yesterday, see this link for the review http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-5MX

Let’s find out more about Juliet and her books.

Juliet With We That are Left

 

 

1) Where is your home town?

I live halfway up a mountain on the edges of a village in Snowdonia in North Wales. In one direction I look up to the mountains, and to the other I look over the romantic Island of Anglesey, and some pretty gorgeous sunsets. I lived next to the Hammersmith flyover in London for several years, so I certainly appreciate the peace and quiet!

2) How long have you been writing?

All my life! I wrote my first rip-roaring historical at the age of ten, and never looked back. It’s taken me a long time to be actually published and begin to be the writer I want to be. It’s been a long learning curve, but I feel that time and experience is often vital to the creating of a long-term career as a writer. Having your first book published is really only the beginning of the journey.

3) What was the one idea behind this book?

I wanted to write about the amazing women in WW1, who not only kept life going at home under the most difficult of circumstances, but also worked on the front line risking their lives as ambulance drivers, doctors and nurses, but who have been largely forgotten.

4) For readers who don’t know the book yet, can you introduce us to Elin?

At the start of the book, Elin is a typical wife of her time, living a comfortable, but rather unfulfilling existence in the country estate in Cornwall. Her husband, Hugo, is much older, and sees her in the way women were generally viewed at the time, as delicate and in need of protection, and is quite unable to share his own traumas from fighting in the Boer War. Like many women, Elin is left to take charge of the estate when WW1 breaks out, discovering new strengths and depths that eventually take her on a desperate rescue mission in the battlefields of France. It’s an experience that changes her forever.

5) Mouse is such a fun character, can you tell us about some of her beliefs.

I love Mouse! Like Elin, she’s frustrated by the limitations of being a woman in Edwardian times, but coming from a rich, aristocratic family she has far more choices. She is adventurous, and loves to shock. She flies her biplane over to France and back for a bet, wears trousers (very shocking at the time), speaks her mind and is determinedly independent. She has no wish to be tied to a rich husband and forced into tedious domesticity. When the war comes and her brothers go off to fight, she is determined not to be left behind. Like many rich women of the time, she takes off with supplies to help on the frontline of the fighting. Despite the things that she goes through, she never loses her free spirit.

6) How does Elin grow into her role as leader at Hiram Hall once Hugo leaves for war?

 

Elin soon realises that she will need to use the estate’s kitchen garden to help the local population as food prices rise, and eventually shortages kick in. She rediscovers old recipes and remedies to cope with the shortages, and she also rediscovers her own passion for baking, inherited from her mother.

 

As the war goes on, Elin takes on more of the responsibilities, learning to deal with staff and the accounts, and discovering that she is perfectly capable of running a large estate, as well, if not better, than her husband. Like many women during the war, she becomes the linchpin of the local community, dealing with the grief and loss of those around her, and reassuring them in the face of the danger from Zeppelin air raids. When Hugo returns, he can no more understand this change in her than she can understand his experiences of war, meaning that, for Elin, the end of the war is where her own battles begin. It was something that happened for many couples after WW1, in fact so much so that the level of those seeking to divorce after the war finally led to divorce being made possible for ordinary people.

 

7) What do Mouse and her friends do to help the war efforts?

 

In WW1 there were plenty of wealthy women who were determined to do their bit for the war effort, despite being scornfully dismissed by those in authority. It was totally chaotic, with volunteers simply taking off with supplies and going over to France to do what they could. Mouse and her friends fit out a truck and set off with food and medical supplies to help on the frontline, driving ambulances and helping in the makeshift field hospitals. One of the real-life women who did this was the Duchess of Sutherland who set up her own field hospitals: http://www.westernfrontassociation.com/great-war-on-land/casualties-medcal/2383-millicent-duchess-of-sutherland-ambulance.html They were truly brave and heroic women!

 

8) Can you explain how the front line might move from day to day and how the field hospitals coped?

 

The part set in France is not only in the trenches but on the edges of the battlefields, the tiny bits of land that were fought over constantly during the years of the war. What was horrible about the fighting was that it was over such small advances that caused huge losses on both sides, and then the line moved back again, with the civilians who had nowhere to go caught in the middle. This meant that in places the front lines were constantly shifting, which caused huge suffering not only for the soldiers involved but also for the French civilians. I have family in France who experienced the effects on civilians in both wars, something that has always haunted me. I also read accounts of the women working on the frontlines, in field hospitals in whatever building they could find, who frequently had to move as the fighting grew too close, losing precious vegetable gardens that supplemented the lack of food, and desperately trying to take wounded and dying men to some kind of safety. So much is written about the soldiers and the battles, I wanted to give a sense of what it must have been like for civilians caught in the middle of the horror and the chaos of war.

 

9) Is this your only book set in this time period? What else have you written?

 

This is the only book I’ve written that covers the period of the war. My first book for Honno Press, ‘Eden’s Garden’, is a timeshift set in Cornwall, London and Wales in contemporary times and the late Victorian era. The historical story of ‘Eden’s Garden’ ends just before WW1, and it was during my research that I stumbled across the stories of the women during the war, and so the idea behind ‘We That are Left’ began.

 

 

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

 

These are my media links:

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Juliet Greenwood

‘We That Are Left’, Honno Press, 2014

The Welsh Books Council’s Book of the Month, March 2014

The National Museum of Wales Book of the Month, March 2014

Waterstones Wales Book of the Month March, 2014

Amazon Kindle #4 May 2014

http://www.amazon.co.uk/That-Are-Left-Juliet-Greenwood/dp/190678499X

Amazon.com

 

‘Eden’s Garden’, Honno Press, 2012

Finalist for ‘The People’s Book Prize’, May 2014

Amazon Kindle #5 June 2014

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Edens-Garden-Juliet-Greenwood/dp/1906784353

Amazon.com

 

Website:     http://www.julietgreenwood.co.uk/

Blog:            http://julietgreenwoodauthor.wordpress.com/

Facebook:    https://www.facebook.com/juliet.greenwood

Twitter:      https://twitter.com/julietgreenwood

 

 

We That are Left

Juliet Greenwood

Elin lives a luxurious but lonely life at Hiram Hall. Her husband Hugo loves her but he has never recovered from the Boer War. Now another war threatens to destroy everything she knows.



With Hugo at the front, and her cousin Alice and friend Mouse working for the war effort, Elin has to learn to run the estate in Cornwall, growing much needed food, sharing her mother’s recipes and making new friends – and enemies. But when Mouse is in danger, Elin must face up to the horrors in France herself.



And when the Great War is finally over, Elin’s battles prove to have only just begun.


Waterstones Wales Book of the Month, Wales Independent Bookshops Book of the Month and Wales National Museums Book of the Month, March 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT Angie reviews Twilight Images by Ethel Lewis

Today’s book review comes from Angie, she blogs at http://angieslifeblog.wordpress.com/

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Angie chose to read and review Twilight Images by Ethel Lewis

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This is a story about Thad Connors who lost his parents ten years ago and although the authorities had ruled it as murder/suicide, Thad couldn’t help thinking that maybe there was more to the story and it need to be investigated further…..he needed to know the truth. After years of sleepless nights tormented by nightmares and demons, Thad decides its time to get the truth about what happened to his parents in order to live a happy life with his wife Dorothy and dog Ben.

Thad travels to the cabin where the suicide/murder happened and decides to get back in touch with therapist who counselled him through the investigation and death of his parents.Together, they slowly delve into the nightmares Thad has been having and try to make sense of it all, what do the dreams represent? Is his sub-conscious trying to tell him something?

Whilst staying in the town, he makes friends with a girl called Lily who works in the local stationary shop and has problems of her own; her mother had an accident years ago and has never spoken since, so Lily has to care for her when she isn’t at work. Lily and Thad help each other help and manage to solve the mystery of what happened to his parents.

Even though I have been delayed in writing this review due to technical issues and a few internet hiccups, I found this story quite a light read that I managed to finish fairly quickly (I had to go caveman style and write the review by hand and then type it up once everything was working). I enjoyed how the author threw a few twists as to what could have happened to the parents and it is only right at the end that you found out what happened, where as a lot of stories like this tend to give you inclinations quite early on. I was also left in suspense as to what part Lily and her mum played in it all whether they knew about the murder or whether they were just friendly characters.

I also liked the relationship between Thad and Dorothy and the fact that even though they both had a lot of things to deal with, they still made time for each other, and worried about each others problems. You normally find in the kind of situation where a character is having to deal with something personal like Thad did, the author tends to portray them as somebody who shuts everyone out and marriages break up over it etc, but it was refreshing to see that it was the opposite with this story.

I would give this story a 3/5 – it needed just a little pinch more of suspense for me but I still enjoyed it as an easy read and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a bit of mystery but like me gets spooked easily so needs to occasionally read something lighter.

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

We That Are Left by Juliet Greenwood

We That Are LeftWe That Are Left by Juliet Greenwood

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

We that Are Left is set around World War 1. It is the story of Elin, wife of Major Hugo Helstone, their home, Hiram Hall in Cornwall and the story of Elin’s friends and family.

It begins in August 1914 a time of great anticipation and anxiety as rumours of war spread. Previously Hugo fought in the Boar war, far away but still with it’s own nightmares which he has never shared with Elin. The war in Europe is much closer and everyone begins to consider the impact it may have on their lives.

When a bi-plane piloted by Lady Margaret Northolme lands unexpectedly near Hiram Hall, Elin and her cousin Alice meet “Mouse” as she affectionately known, someone who will come to play a major part in their future lives.

War against Prussia is declared and a monumental tide of men rush to sign up to fight thinking they are off on a huge adventure, while England is left to the women. Alice finds work in a hospital organising supplies, Elin makes plans to grow more foodstuffs from the gardens to feed the local community and Mouse heads off to France with a truck full of supplies.

No one is prepared for the horrors and losses that the war will bring. When the causalities start pouring in from France and Belgium, the madness of war is brought home, yet there is no end to the deaths and pain, while others show unending strength to carry on. News of Mousse’s capture as a spy has Elin and Jack rushing to France on a daring rescue mission and Elin sees and experiences first hand the devastation caused.

This is such a moving story, one full of emotion and the author captures the atmosphere and adds details that make you feel as if you are there too with Elin. I loved the parts about Anglesey just as much as the being in the vehicles that Elin drove or helping make meals from scraps and the endless cups of tea. It really was a delight to read this book and I didn’t want it to end at all.

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

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Juliet will be joining us as our guest author tomorrow.

Rosie’s Avid Readers #RBRT MayDay by Clive Cussler

Rosie's Avid Readers

Rosie’s Avid readers are people who like reading and have a book to tell us about, they are the voice of a friend who says ” I just read this book….”

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Avis reader’s thoughts.

A great adventure in the Mediterranean all woven together with history, geology and underwater exploration and the usual double cross. I think that later editions call this book The Mediterranean Caper.

Book Description.

A psychotic ex-Nazi, a vicious narcotics dealer, a bloodthirsty Greek strongman and a beautiful double agent set Pitt off on the trail of a warped mastermind behind a devastating sabotage plot in this action-packed adventure story.

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

We welcome recommendations especially from non-authors for this feature, and would love to hear from anyone who would like to leave a comment and follow the blog.

Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT alison reviews His To Possess by Delores Fossen

Today’s book review is from team member Alison, she blogs at http://alisonwilliamswriting.wordpress.com/

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Alison chose to read and review His To Posses by Delores Fossen from The HarlequinE Shivers Boxset volume 3

Harlequin E Shivers Box Set 3

His to Possess by Delores Fossen

When Olivia meets the enigmatic and handsome Lucian Wilde for the first time she feels that she knows him and also feels an overwhelming attraction for him. The feeling is mutual and the two realise they are being possessed by the souls of two lovers who have brought them together to help solve the mystery of their murder. Finding themselves in danger, they struggle to find answers, wondering if the attraction they have for each other is genuine or if it is simply a memory, an echo of the passion shared by Marissa and Damien.

This is a very clever idea for a modern gothic romance. The two main characters are likeable, particularly Olivia whose vulnerability is well-drawn without making her seem completely helpless, and adds a subtle yet strong edge to her character.

However, I did feel that the relationship between the two wasn’t developed enough – it all seemed a little too rushed. And, without spoiling the ending, the whole ‘reveal’ was over too quickly and conveniently – all the pieces put together in a rather hurried way, with Lucien simply telling Olivia all the information needed to fill in the gaps. After all that tension, it was a bit of a let-down. At times too, the writing was a little clunky, and there were lots of dialogue tags like mumbled, spat out, verified etc., that, once I started noticing them, became very distracting.

That said, ‘His to Possess’ is a good bit of escapism with enough tension and heat to keep you turning the pages.

On the whole a good read – 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Now released as single books find a copy of this book here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

 

Guest Author Sharon Black

Please welcome Sharon Black to the blog today as she tells us about her debut novel “Going Against Type”

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1) Where is your home town?

I live in Dublin. I was born here and I now live in Sandymount, which is right by the sea.
2) How long have you been writing?

I’m one of those people who literally started writing as a child. I was always writing stories, filling copybooks, later on starting books which I never finished. After I got my degree, I trained as a journalist and I worked for national newspapers here in Ireland. I’ve also had some short stories published and I won a national short story competition a few years ago.
3) What was the one idea which sparked off “Going Against Type”?

When I was growing up, I adored the old Hollywood movies of the 1930s and 1940s on TV. My favourite romantic pair on screen, were Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracey. In the film Woman of the Year, he plays a sports writer and she plays a high brow pundit. So I thought I’d see what would happen if the roles were reversed a bit. My heroine is a sports writer and my hero is a fashion writer who knows very little about sport. I actually make a reference to Woman of the Year in my book!

4) Where is your book set?

Going Against Type is set in Dublin.

5) Introduce us to Charlie.

Charlie is a single, Dublin born woman in her late twenties. She lives for sport, and actually tried to pursue a professional career in sport, until she was injured. She loves her job and she is great fun. She’s very feisty and doesn’t pull any punches. She’s also a bit vulnerable. She hasn’t had a lot of luck with men.

6) Please tell us all about Derry.

Derry is very good looking, droll and at ease with himself. He dates a lot of women but hasn’t had a serious relationship in a while. He has quite a high position in his paper, but he doesn’t talk about it. He’s originally from Cork and still has a very faint, lilting accent. He is attracted to Charlie because she’s very pretty, but also because she’s very different to the type of woman he usually dates. He finds her refreshing and challenging.

7) What type of things does Charlie write about in her new column?

As the only woman on staff in the sports department, Charlie knows she has to make her mark, or Side Swipe will be handed to one of the men. She is a bit of a purist when it comes to sport, so she just tells it how she sees it. For example, in one column she attacks highly paid soccer stars for wasting their time promoting underwear or writing their autobiographies. In another, she pokes fun at the women who make Ladies’ Day at the races, all about the designer clothes.

8) How does she come into conflict with a rival columnist?

As well as being a fashion writer, Derry writes a column called The Squire for a rival paper. He reads Charlie’s first column and decides to take Side Swipe down a peg or two. He actually thinks it’s written by a young guy, trying to make a name for himself. Both columns are written anonymously.

9) Where and when do Charlie and Derry meet face to face?

Charlie and Derry first bump in to each other at the Galway Races. Literally! By that stage, they have already had a few weeks of attacking each other through their columns. The attraction is instant but it’s not how they first get together!

10) Tell us where readers can find out more about you and your books.

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I am a debut author, so I don’t have any other books as yet, but I have a book page and an author page on the Tirgearr Publishers site.

They’re tirpub.com/sblack and tirpub.com/gatype

These pages will take you into my author page on facebook and my blog.

You can also find me on twitter @Authorsharonb

My buy links can be found on tirpub.com/gatype

and on http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00NJ2OL4M

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00NJ2OL4M

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23213024-going-against-type

Rosie’s Avid Readers #RBRT Heart And Soul by Maeve Binchy

Rosie's Avid Readers

Rosie’s Avid readers are people who like reading and have a book to tell us about, they are the voice of a friend who says ” I just read this book….”

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Avid readers’ thoughts.

Heart and Soul  by Maeve Binchy .  What a wonderful surprise! I found another Maeve Binchy,  written in her wonderful unique style. Whatever the problem there is always an answer, a good mix of characters from many backgrounds & yet they all work together for good.  Even some old favourites appear, places & people you just feel at home in Dublin.

Book description.

With the insight, humour, and compassion we have come to expect from her, Maeve Binchy tells a story of family, friends, patients, and staff who are part of a heart clinic in a community caught between the old and the new Ireland.

Dr. Clara Casey has been offered the thankless job of establishing the underfunded clinic and agrees to take it on for a year. She has plenty on her plate already—two difficult adult daughters and the unwanted attentions of her ex-husband—but she assembles a wonderfully diverse staff devoted to helping their demanding, often difficult patients.

Before long the clinic is established as an essential part of the community, and Clara must decide whether or not to leave a place where lives are saved, courage is rewarded, and humor and optimism triumph over greed and self-pity.

Heart and Soul is Maeve Binchy at her storytelling best.

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

We welcome recommendations especially from non-authors for this feature, and would love to hear from anyone who would like to leave a comment and follow the blog.