Sunday Bookshelf #SundayBlogShare Cold Sacrifice by Leigh Russell #books

Sunday Bookshelf

This feature is to get more shout-outs for books that are sitting of my bookshelf waiting to be read.

Sunday Books

Cold Sacrifice by Leigh Russell

When Henry’s wife is stabbed to death, he pays a prostitute to give him an alibi. Her body is discovered, strangled, and the police realise they are dealing with a serial killer who will stop at nothing to cover his tracks. While they are hunting for evidence, another prostitute is brutally murdered. On the track of a vicious killer, Ian doesn’t realise he is risking the life of his young colleague, Polly. Already established as a popular character in his own right, Ian Peterson appears in a supporting role in the first three Geraldine Steel novels. Cold Sacrifice is the start of his own career as protagonist in a brand new detective series.

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

Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT The Widow’s Tale by @paulacmoss1 #Historical #bookreview

Today’s team review is from Terry, she blogs at http://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.co.uk/

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Terry chose to read and review The Widow’s Tale by Paula C Moss

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The Widow’s Tale by Paula C Moss

3 out of 5 stars

The Widow’s Tale tells the story of wild, spirited Charlotte Hart, a seventeen year old widow living in the time of the English Civil War. Land she sees as rightfully hers has fallen into the hands of her late husband’s family. Charlotte and her own family become embroiled in the crossfire between Royalists and Parliamentarians, especially officer Nate Wetherall.

The three stars I’ve given this book represent the fact that the author has clearly has much love for and knows her subject; I am not very knowledgeable about this period but most of the historical and domestic detail seems accurate, with details woven in subtly – all good. There is enough description about the landscape, etc, to set the scene, but not too much, and most of it is well done – another big tick. Many of the characters speak in a rural Yorkshire accent and this is convincing, too.

It’s never easy to review negatively, but, alas, I did struggle a bit with this book. Rather than a piece of historical drama about the clash between the two sides and the effects on the family, which is what I was expecting, much of it has the atmosphere of a jaunty, light romance. If this is what the author intends it to be, that’s fine, but the blurb does not reflect this. Aside from it needing a bit of tightening up generally, there are editing problems: repeated use of the adjective ‘snarky’, for instance, which did not make its appearance in the English language until the early 20th century, and the term ‘spooning’, in its modern sense (ie, a physical position involving two people), which originated in the 1850s. The other main downside is the punctuation. There are errors all the way through: numerous missing and ill-placed commas, random semicolons and capital letters inserted here and there, missing question marks. If the author has paid for a proofreading service she should ask for her money back.

I regret not being able to be more encouraging, but I hope that the author will take these comments as constructive, and bear them in mind for future works so that she may use her descriptive and dialogue capabilities and knowledge of her subject to greater effect.

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

Big Men’s Boots by @EmilyBarroso1 Welsh Revival #Histfic #BookReview

Big Men's BootsBig Men’s Boots by Emily Barroso

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Big Men’s Boots is a piece of historical fiction set in Wales in 1904, at a time of great social and political upheaval. It is based on true newspaper reports from the era. Wales has been know as “The Land of Revivals” since around the 3rd Century.

The story is about the Welsh Revival 1904-1905. To explain fully what a Revival is I shall quote from the book;
“A Revival is a Supernatural phenomenon that occurs when God pours out his Spirit (the Holy Spirit) on a people, group or country, miraculously healing and transforming them, this phenomenon often spreads through the nation and across the world.”

This story revolves around a family group who live in North Wales in a slate mining community; Owen is a young boy gifted with second sight, his older brother Huw works in the slate quarry, his father is a Baptist Minister and his mother is a supporter of the women in the community. The book opens with the funeral of Owen’s young friend Stephen who died on the mountains after a fall when the two lads were out. Owen loves the mountains he finds them spiritually uplifting, but he is suffering in his grief at the loss of his friend.

There has been a long strike at the mines and miners who have gone back to work for the sake of their families are being labelled “Blacklegs” and there is a lot of bad feeling towards these strike breakers. Owen’s parents try to bring the community back together by encouraging forgiveness. Chapel meetings are a large part of this community and Jacob tries to get the men to turn back to the word of God.

There is much talk of a Revival to save the people and turn them from the evil which filters in. There have been many Revivals before and the talk is about a new one coming soon. Local women Anna is a prophetic and she announced the Revival will come from the South. It becomes the full focus of many of the people, they believe it will be their saviour like the coming of Jesus. Critiques call it a social hysteria.

Owen is visited by an Angel and in December he is given an earthly assignment by a golden being. He does struggle with the decisions he must make, but he also has the love and support of his family. The belief in the Revival is so strong that the power the people have when they gather together is enormous. As the Revival takes over there are miracles of healing and men and women convert from their old bad ways to a new enlightened life.

This isn’t an easy read, it is filled with religion and Biblical references. The writing style has many long paragraphs covering several pages which left me wishing for more breaks to make the reading experience less intense. The building of the Revival is very good, with the scene well set. You can understand the fears those outside of Wales had for this strength and power that the people created. An interesting read about a subject I knew nothing about when I began the book.

This review is based on a free copy of the book given to me by Hillman Publishing

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

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Delwyn Of The Realms by Kelly Proudfoot #bookreview @ValiMyers4eva

Delwyn of the Realms (Storming Archives - Book 1)Delwyn of the Realms by Kelly Proudfoot

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Delwyn of the Realms is a fantasy story and book one of the Storming Archives series. Set in Australia the book deals with Delwyn a thirty year old women who suffers from many psychiatric disorders; Narcolepsy – a disease with fits of sleepiness and drowsiness, Hypnopompic and Hypnagogic hallucinations – visual, tactile, auditory, or other sensory events, she also claims to astral travel and have mental splitting issues – where a person can have a personality disorder.

This makes her a complex character and we first meet her as she leaves a two month stay in a psychiatric ward. Her Aunt has agreed she can go and stay with her on her farm. Delwyn has always preferred the dream world as an escape from reality and we learn of a troubled upbringing which may have contributed to her current state.

Whilst at the farm Delwyn discovers a magical mirror which takes her to another realm, a dream world where she meets Varun the guardian of her dreams in a place called Onesol. This is a new secret for Delwyn and she stops taking her medication and thrills at her visits to this world, a place of discovery where she believes she can face her fears.

In the real world Delwyn must still have sessions with a psychiatrist and under hypnosis she reveals too much of her dream realms and others try to take away her chance to become a Portal Stormer.

The psychiatric disorders make Delwyn’s character very hard to relate to, she is full of aggressive anger, fear and her moments of regret are shallow. The book centres around Delwyns dream adventures and the realms she visits will be continued in book two of the series.

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

View all my reviews on Goodreads.

Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT The Case Of The Bullets At The Ballet by C. S Boag @misterrainbow1

Today’s Team Review comes from Liz, she blogs at https://lizannelloyd.wordpress.com/

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Liz chose to read and review The Case Of The Bullets At The Ballet by C. S Boag

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The Case of the Bullets at the Ballet by C S Boag

Rainbow is a Private Eye based in Sydney. In retro “pulp fiction” style, C S Boag takes the reader on a hectic, dangerous journey, the clues piling up but the solution elusive. In this fourth book about Rainbow, his daughter, Imogene, has gone missing leaving hints which lead him to Paris via a succession of mysterious deaths. Accompanied by Hélène Damnation, a “sloe-eyed” attractive blonde who is probably not to be trusted, he travels under an assumed name, shadowed by members of a crime syndicate. They search for a male ballet dancer from the Ukraine and a mysterious French man who according to Rainbow’s estranged wife is “the perfect man.”

 

Everyone is suspect. Rainbow’s Aunt Rube had warned him, “You’ll keep coming across familiar faces. It doesn’t mean you’re being followed. They’re just people on the same journey,” but why do the old Australian couple Harold and Madge keep turning up when dramatic events take place such as a death in the Louvre?

 

Without giving anything else away, the plot is complex and full of action. Rainbow is brave but also has a wry sense of humour. It took me a while to get used to the writing style but the adventure is an enjoyable read, peopled with fascinating characters.

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

Would You BUY or PASS? #FridayFiveChallenge Australia Blues – A Scot at the Ashes by @StuartCroll

Welcome to my #FridayFiveChallenge anyone can join in, if you have a blog and want to post tag myself on Twitter @rosiamber1 or @terrytyler4, use the hashtag and we’ll help share.

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Get yourself a cuppa and give yourself 5 minutes.

In today’s online shopping age, readers often base their buying decisions from small postage stamp size book covers (Thumb-nails), a quick glance at the book description and the review. How much time do they really spend making that buying decision?

AUTHORS – You often only have seconds to get a reader to buy your book, is your book cover and book bio up to it?

My Friday Five Challenge is this….. IN ONLY FIVE MINUTES….

1) Go to any online book supplier,

2) Randomly choose a category,

3) Speed through the book covers, choose one which has instantly appealed to your eye,

4) Read the book Bio/ Description for this book,

5) If there are reviews, check out a couple,

6) Make an instant decision, would you BUY or PASS?

(then write a little analysis about your decision)

I need to get my teenage, cricket mad son reading over the school summer holidays, so I headed for his favourite subject matter CRICKET

Australia Blues: A Scot at the Ashes

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

Stuart Croll and David Alexander are Scotsmen on a mission of international importance. As life-long cricket fans they are heading Down Under to watch the Ashes and cheering for England. Will they be welcomed by the Barmy Army? How do the Scots, Irish and Welsh feel about supporting the mighty, mighty England? Five cities, five five-day matches, fifty days on the road. What begins as a childhood ambition turns into an epic voyage through a rapidly changing Australia, set against the backdrop of a legendary Ashes series. Blending travelogue, sport, psychogeography, scurrilous opinion and with laughter on every page, AUSTRALIA BLUES packs a lot in to one suitcase and a carry-on bag. Always funny, genuinely enlightening, occasionally poignant a unique book that captures the highs and low of a tour of a distant land. With cameos from some of cricket s biggest names, Australia Blues gives the fans eye view of the exhausting experience of criss-crossing a vast continent with too little money, too little sleep and too much to drink.

Number of pages; 360

Price; Kindle £1.99 $3.13

Reviews; 13 reviews

Would I BUY or PASS? ……BUY

Analysis

I need to find a book which will be a fun read for my son, he needs to be tempted to pick up this book, the book cover  says “FUN” to me, add the book description, my son is sporty and likes geography. The latest cricket Ashes is due to be played soon and I know he’ll be following it. I’m prepared to gamble on this purchase because the kindle price for 360 pages won’t put me too out of pocket if he refuses to read it. In fact I think I might sneak a read too! Outside of cricket loving nations and players I can see this book having limited appeal, but for now it’s a BUY from me, LOVE the cover.

Check out these links to other #FridayFiveChallengers

 

Cathy chose a #Thriller https://betweenthelinesbookblog.wordpress.com/2015/07/03/friday-five-challenge-would-you-buy-or-pass-follow-you-home-by-mark-edwards-fridayfivechallenge/

Shelley looked at #Selfhelp http://shelleywilsonauthor.com/2015/07/03/buy-of-pass-looking-at-self-help-and-cbt/

Terry chose OUTLAWS http://terrytyler59.blogspot.co.uk/2015/07/would-you-buy-or-pass-7.html

https://alisonwilliamswriting.wordpress.com/2015/07/03/fridayfivechallenge-rosieamber1-its-raining-purple-bananas-other-such-stuff-by-calum-d-robertson/comment-page-1/#comment-1346

 

July edition of @EHDirectory which features our #bookreviews

July sees our book reviews featured in just the Elvetham Heath Directory.

Find the online edition here http://www.ehd.org.uk, load the online directory.

July EHD

Rosie’s book review page is on Page 18 this month.

The following books are featured;

James Bone and the Italian Job by Frank Bell

Baggy Pants & Booties by Marilyn Chapman

Childhunt by Faith Mortimer

The Scarlet Wench by M.K Graff

Future Perfect by Katrina Mountfort

Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT Death in a Dacron Sail by N.A Granger @rhebrewster #Mystery

Today’s team review is from Babus, she blogs at http://ajoobacatsblog.com/

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Babus chose to read and review Death in a Dacron Sail by N.A. Granger

Death In A Dacron Sail by Noelle Granger

Death In A Dacron Sail by Noelle Granger

This crime thriller renters around character Rhe Brewster, who is pregnant, a consultant for the Pequod (Maine, Ohio) police department and a part time ER nurse. Rhe is compulsive reading as her private life goes through turmoil as the local police and FBI try to get to the bottom of missing local children, after the discovery of a child’s finger in a lobster trap. Her psychologist husband seems oblivious to her needs and disinterested in their unplanned pregnancy. Rhe’s role as investigative consultant has garnered her enemies, none bigger than the hospital administrator who is after her job.

I absolutely loved this whodunit, and really felt an affinity for Rhe, who cannot catch a break in this crime read. A lot of the time the protagonists’ private life is distracting in a read like this, but I was just as interested in what was happening with Rhe as the case.

I look forward to reading more from Rhe soon.

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

Rosie’s Avid Readers #RBRT 1984 by George Orwell #Bookreview #Classicbooks

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….”

1984 (Signet Classics)

 

 

Avid Reader’s Thoughts

‘1984’ by George Orwell is undoubtedly a literary ‘classic’, and it is for this reason that I was compelled to read the book in the first place: I felt like I had to. From the first chapter the reader is drawn in to a world that is at once recognisable but at the same time so far from our reality, and it is this disturbingly familiar unfamiliarity that puts you on edge from the very first page.

The book is set in a political world that Orwell imagined ours to become when he wrote it in 1948 (a clever reversal of the dates established the title), and there are therefore many sinister semblances with our life as a modern reader, the presence of racism and class discrimination being examples. Orwell has a very blunt way of describing both settings and characters, going into deep but realistic detail especially with the physical descriptions of the main characters, Winston, Julia and later on, O’Brien. These realistic descriptions therefore create an equally realistic picture of these characters in our minds, and the way even repulsive qualities, such as Winston’s varicose veins, are highlighted by Orwell contribute to this harshly realistic image.

The plot of ‘1984’ involves corruption, deception, political strife and also romance, although the love between the protagonist, Winston, and Julia is presented as something politically necessary and useful, as a way of rebelling against the ‘Party’, rather than as something tender and conventionally romantic. Nonetheless, having a romantic plot thread did make the novel more emotionally relatable, especially to me as a younger reader.

Throughout the novel we are left in the dark in places, and there is a lot of mystery and questions that are left both answered and unanswered; due to this mystery I found the book quite hard to immerse myself in at first, because I was so confused, but after the first few chapters a lot of my major questions were answered and I could follow the story much more closely. However, on hindsight the mystery and wondering, such as not knowing who ‘Big Brother’ was, is what kept me reading, to try and find the answers. The ‘simple’ plot of the novel, if it has one, goes as follows: controlling the world in which the main character, Winston, lives, is the Party, which in turn in led by Big Brother, a symbol of total social repression, control and dominance.

This totalitarian state uses its citizens to rewrite history following the wars, in order to present their enemies, such as Eurasia, as cruel, destructive and inferior, whilst presenting themselves as strong and victorious; this is known as indoctrination. In the end it is these lies and the total loss of political, social and moral freedom (citizens are monitored by cameras, called ‘telescreens’, even when they are sleeping) that Winston wishes to rebel against. However, whilst at first this secret, underground rebellion seems to be both liberating and unnoticed, Winston soon learns that you can trust no one, not even yourself, and that the desires of the Party are much more sinister than he could ever have imagined.

Towards the end of the novel, the tone becomes much darker and more dangerous, with so much action and suspense that I just kept turning the pages; the sinister political and historical relevance of the novel becomes almost unnerving, but makes it much more relatable. Therefore, if you are looking for a novel that is complex, dark, exciting and disturbingly clever, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend that you read ‘1984’; it is a literary classic for all of the right reasons. 

Book description

Written in 1948, 1984 was George Orwell’s chilling prophecy about the future.

While 1984 has come and gone, Orwell’s narrative is more timely than ever. 1984 presents a “negative utopia”, that is at once a startling and haunting vision of the world — so powerful that it’s completely convincing from start to finish. No one can deny the power of this novel, its hold on the imaginations of entire generations of readers, or the resiliency of its admonitions — a legacy that seems to grow, not lessen, with the passage of time.

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.

 

Bones and Whispers by Catherine G Gault #Murder #Mystery #Bookreview

Bones and WhispersBones and Whispers by Catherine G. Gault

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Bones and Whispers is a murder mystery set in Edinburgh, Scotland. It opens with a prologue of a skeleton being discovered by kids. Kate McKinnery is a social worker. She juggles past and current work cases with a recent relationship break-up and her feelings of responsibility towards her Aunt who has just moved into sheltered housing.

Kate’s relationship with her Aunt Jean is tense because Jean recently revealed that Kate’s Mum committed suicide rather than the tale Kate had grown up with. The rift in their relationship caused by Kate’s anger at Jean’s news has stopped Jean confiding in Kate about dizzy spells she’s having. Jean moved to the sheltered housing to feel safer but when she discovers one of the other residents is Maggie Keenan, Jean is very worried.

Maggie is a bully, blackmailer and tormentor with a reputation that goes before her. She has fellow residents on her side and others who oppose her. Jean has known Maggie from her past and really doesn’t want to re-live that part of her life.

When Jean helps one of the carers into a locked room, they discover the body of fellow resident Harriet Post, but before the case is solved a second body is discovered and the police find themselves working with Kate and uncovering several stories. A third body has the news headlines claiming a “Serial Killer Stalking Elderly”.

Meanwhile Kate is also working through her own questions about her past and trying to piece together the jigsaw of her life.

There are quite a few characters in the book and many are introduced near the start, I struggled to get them all clear in my head. I needed stronger images created from deeper character profiles of the main characters. I therefore missed connecting with either Kate or Jean, the two main characters. Much of the storyline is dialogue led with too many he/she said/asked phrases, I would have enjoyed less inconsequential dialogue and more time spent showing the reader the situation through clever language. In other areas, the storyline lost me when meetings ended abruptly, chapters finished and lines of Kate’s thoughts stopped, leaving me expecting more explanations. I think there is room for expansion of the main drama within the book through emotions and a thinning of points which slow the storyline.

This review is based on a free copy of the book give to me by the Author.

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

View all my reviews on Goodreads