Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT Scarborough Fair by @MargaritaMorris #YA #HistFic

Today’s team review is from Noelle, she blogs here http://saylingaway.wordpress.com

#RBRT Review Team

Noelle has been reading Scarborough Fair by Margarita Morris

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Book Review: Scarborough Fair by Margarita Morris  #YA fiction #Historical fiction #time shift mystery

I love time shift fiction and am quite content to read a book classified as YA – there is a basic simplicity to these books that appeals to me. I think Scarborough Fair will appeal to adults, too. This is a smashing historical mystery, alternating with a modern day detective story with young sleuths.

In 1899, Alice comes with her personal maid Mary to the seaside tourist town of Scarborough to find freedom and relaxation. She is escaping for short time from her older, demanding and overbearing fiancé, Henry Blackwood, who has been forced on her by her family because of he is an aristocrat. Alice does not love him and does not want to marry him, but she has a large inheritance that Henry wants and needs. While in Scarborough, Alice meets a young painter and they fall in love. Henry will do anything to own Alice, including sending a man to follow her and report back to him. The prologue of the book recounts the hospitalization of Alice by Henry in a horror of an insane asylum, to keep her isolated until she is old enough for them to marry.

In 2016, Rose comes to Scarborough to spend the summer with her mother and grandmother. She is not happy to be there, since all of her friends are spending their summers in exotic locations and her boyfriend has apparently dropped her. Then she meets Dan, who comes to apologize to her when his father, driving his red Ferrari too fast, nearly runs her over. She and Dan hit if off right away and make a date to go to the Scarborough Fair together. Dan’s father is mixed up with a drug dealer to make money to keep his failing arcade business going, and Dan comes face to face with two menacing men looking for his father. Dan is determined to find out who they are and drags Rose along as he follows them.

The author does a fantastic job linking these two stories, with lots of tension and well-drawn, interesting characters. Even the two thugs looking for Dan’s father are carefully and distinctively limned. There is enough description for the reader to feel at home in Scarborough in both eras, and the relationship between Rose and her grandmother tugs at the heart. The huge building, once a manor house that was an insane asylum, looms menacingly as a character in itself in both story lines.

The only real drawback I noted was the jumping back and forth between eras in the same chapter, without warning; I would have preferred these two story lines to be separate chapters. And Dan’s apparently willingness to drag Rose into danger with him, leaving her behind when they are being chased, seemed a little forced, especially since he didn’t know her all that well.

Those considerations aside, this book is a page-turner and I read it straight through. I highly recommend it and have a few YAs in my family who will get a copy. There is a sequel to this book in the works, and I plan to grab it.

Book Description

1899: Seeking sanctuary in the seaside resort of Scarborough, Alice discovers she is not safe from her fiancé’s jealous clutches. She jumps at the chance to run away with a man she truly loves, but when a plot to help Alice escape goes dreadfully wrong, she finds herself in terrible danger.
2016: Forced to spend the summer in Scarborough with her mother and grandmother, Rose doesn’t think her holiday is going to be much fun. Especially when she’s almost killed by a Ferrari driver on the first day. Things start to look up when she meets Dan and he asks her to go to the fair with him. But Dan’s father is mixed up with a criminal gang and Rose and Dan find themselves drawn into a life and death situation.
For both Alice and Rose, the fun of Scarborough Fair soon turns into the nightmare of a Victorian lunatic asylum. They must both escape if they are going to survive.

About the author

Margarita Morris

Margarita Morris was born in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, in 1968. She studied Modern Languages at Jesus College, Oxford and worked in computing for eleven years before leaving to work with her husband on their internet business. Ms. Morris particularly likes writing novels set in historically interesting places, and she has published three other novels, Scarborough Ball and The Sleeping Angel, both time slip stories, and Oranges for Christmas, set in Berlin in 1961. When she is not writing, she enjoys singing in an Oxford chamber choir and gardening. She lives in Oxfordshire with her husband and two sons.

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The Limpet Syndrome by Tony Moyle @LimpetSyndrome #SciFi #Fantasy

The Limpet SyndromeThe Limpet Syndrome by Tony Moyle
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Three Point Five Stars.

The Limpet Syndrome is a science fiction fantasy novel about John Hewsen, his death and a mission his soul is sent on. When John’s soul finds itself in “Limbo” he faces a trial, with the outcome offering a chance of redemption via a task; he must re-capture two lost souls.

The plot revolves around British Prime Minister Byron T Casey, Sandy Logan, the Minister for Homeland security and his right-hand man, Ian Noble. John has just two months to complete his mission before the summer solstice and the collapse of the universe, unless balance amongst the lost souls can be returned. It made me think it could fit into something similar to a Dr Who series.

This book is an intense read, the writing style is full of well written evocative descriptions, but I sometimes felt it slowed down the plot with a tendency to meander into side issues which took me away from the main story arc, with some of them superfluous rather than relevant sub-plots. For instance, conversations and observations by some of the minor characters.

So who will enjoy this book? Those who don’t mind a slower paced book and are happy to read about Heaven and Hell, reincarnation, souls, possession of others, animal rights and a British government in an alternative world scenario.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Book description

From the Back Cover: Imagine there was a politician whose only ambition was to corrupt and manipulate the very people who elected him, without them even knowing it. This was Byron T Casey’s ambition. It helped that he was the Prime Minister and had just acquired Emorfed, a substance that had the ability to alter a person’s soul. Sandy Logan was the only person capable of stopping him. But there was one problem. Sandy was dead. It complicated matters that his death had been aided by the mysterious Limpet Syndrome, which meant he wasn’t dead dead. Very few people understood why Sandy’s soul had lingered on Earth, least of all Sandy. —– If you love books about reincarnation, corruption, the human condition, OCD and talking pigeons then this is the book for you. Ok you’ve never read a book like that before…here’s your chance! About the Author Tony Moyle was supposed to be a Chemist. Turns out he was rubbish at it. A book formed in 1996 and took 21 years to escape on to paper.

About the author

Tony Moyle

Tony Moyle was born in the small town of Shepton Mallet in 1976. He’s spent the last four decades attempting to find a third reason for the town to be known behind Babycham and a Frank Bruno World Title fight. Although he studied Chemistry at Exeter University he was terrible at it and instead found a role within the business community. After twenty years of deliberation and prevarication he published his first novel, ‘The Limpet Syndrome.’ With any luck the next book won’t take quiet so long. He lives in the small town of Ashington at the base of the South Downs national park with this wife, Laure, and two children.

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Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT The Curse Of Arundel Hall by J New @newwrites #SundayBlogShare

Today’s team review is from Barb, she blogs here, http://barbtaub.com/

#RBRT Review Team

Barb has been reading The Curse Of Arundel Hall by J. New

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Again, J. New doesn’t disappoint. In true homage to the genre, in The Curse of Arundel Hall all the suspects are gathered together in the drawing room while the detective lists each one’s opportunity and motive for murder. The victim, American social climbing actress Patty Mae, had revealed herself guilty of every sort of character fault, including that most unforgivable of all—bad manners. Although the author withheld a vital clue that solved the crime until that final summation, I have to admit that the identity of the murderer would have been just as complete a surprise to me at either point.

Wikipedia defines a cozy mystery as “a subgenre of crime fiction in which sex and violence are downplayed or treated humorously, and the crime and detection take place in a small, socially intimate community.” True to the definition, sex, profanity, and violence are “behind the door” and only gently referenced. Sleuth Bella is an amateur who gathers a posse of essential helpers—in this case the Police Commissioner, his chief medical examiner, and her own well-connected family.

I did have a couple of places where the required “willing suspension of disbelief” was more of a stretch. And the writer’s device of ending each chapter with somewhat heavy-handed foreshadowing—”Little did I know it would be sooner than I expected.”—got old quickly. But the thing that raises this series to five stars for me and makes me anxious for to read the next book, is the genre mix of paranormal with cozy mystery.

Bella sees ghosts, and even talks to them. Her cat, Phantom, is usually a ghost. Except (he’s a cat after all) when he’s not. Mixing the paranormal elements with the main mystery, and adding dessert toppings of secondary mysteries/ghosts keeps the story lively and makes the reader look forward to learning more about the characters (both living and dead).

As a cozy mystery, as a paranormal detective story, and as a completely entertaining series in a historical setting, I am delighted to recommend The Yellow Cottage Mystery series.

Book Description

One ghost, one murder, one hundred years apart. But are they connected? 
Ella has discovered a secret room in The Yellow Cottage, but with it comes a ghost. Who was she? And how did she die? Ella needs to find the answers before either of them can find peace. But suddenly things take a nasty turn for the worse. 
Ella Bridges has been living on Linhay Island for several months but still hasn’t discovered the identity of her ghostly guest. Deciding to research the history of her cottage for clues she finds it is connected to Arundel Hall, the large Manor House on the bluff, and when an invitation to dinner arrives realises it is the perfect opportunity to discover more. 
However the evening takes a shocking turn when one of their party is murdered. Is The Curse of Arundel Hall once again rearing its ugly head, or is there a simpler explanation? 
Ella suddenly finds herself involved in two mysteries at once, and again joins forces with Scotland Yard’s Police Commissioner to try and catch a killer. But will they succeed? 
‘Miss Marple meets The Ghost Whisperer’ – Perfect For Fans of Golden Age Murder Mysteries, Cozy Mysteries, Clean Reads and British Amateur Sleuths 

About the author

J. New

J. New is the British author of British Vintage Murder Mysteries, which have been dubbed by readers as ‘Miss Marple meets The Ghost Whisperer’. 
A voracious reader and writer all her life, she took her first foray into Indie publishing in 2013, and has never looked back.
She has an eclectic reading taste, ranging from the Magic of Terry Pratchett, JK Rowling, Tolkien and Neil Gaiman, to Dean Koontz, Eion Colfer, Anne Rice and Agatha Christie. 
A lover of murder mysteries set in past times, where steam trains, afternoon tea and house staff abound. She is convinced she was born in the wrong era as she has a particular aversion to cooking and housework.
She also has an impossible bucket list, which includes travelling on the Orient Express with Hercule Poirot, shopping in Diagon Alley with Sirius Black, lazing around the Shire with Gandalf and Bilbo, exploring Pico Mundo with Odd Thomas and having Tea at the Ritz with Miss Marple.

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2017 Kindness Challenge #RevOfKindness Week #3 Self-acceptance @NikiMeadowsWA

The 2017 Kindness Challenge has been created by Niki Meadows Week #3 is all about self-acceptance What is self-acceptance? Self–acceptance is an individual’s satisfaction or happiness with oneself, and is thought to be necessary for good mental health. Self–acceptance involves self-understanding and an awareness … Continue reading

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT The Merchant’s Pearl by Amie O’Brien @merchantspearl #HistFic

Today’s team review is from Eleanor, she blogs here http://www.eleanorsauthor.com/

#RBRT Review Team

Eleanor has been reading The Merchant’s Pearl by Amie O’Brien

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The Merchant’s Pearl by Amie O’Brien

Set in a Turkish harem in the dying days of the Ottoman Empire, this novel explores how love can succeed against the odds, amongst themes of trust, sex and politics – the latter of the harem, royal court and the wider world. Leila, a slave harem girl, battles with her new station in life, dreaming of when she was free and trying to reconcile herself to the fact that she will probably never be free again. Told from Leila’s point of view, we watch how she battles harem politics and expectations, develops a deep friendship with Dariya, a woman who is also a harem slave to the same man and, how Leila falls in love with Prince Emre despite herself.

Prince Emre has loved Leila for years but, despite being a Prince, had to wait for the opportunity to present itself before he could claim her as his. He is somewhat unusual for a man in his position as he chooses to give Leila the space and time she needs before she decides to be his in fact. However, this was accomplished in an entirely believable manner.

I loved the realism; there were many true to historical period and culture hurdles for Emre and Leila to overcome. Emre already had two wives and two children; Leila could never become his first and most important Kadin. Dariya didn’t enjoy sleeping with Emre and Emre knew that sharing him with other women was a red line for Leila but he continued to do so for a significant period of time in any case –all because he was male, a Prince, he could and it was expected of him. Leila may have been physically innocent but she was years wiser than Emre in the realities of harem life. She was very conscious of ensuring that she conformed to the foreign rules (except for her avoidance of intimacy) and Emre was concerned with how many rules he could break. The difference in their religions was explored very thoughtfully and, I felt, faithfully to the times.

Whilst Emre and Leila fear the unknown the collapse of the Empire would bring, their fate is entwined with its failure; only then can they be together in the way they wished. The narrative was compelling, despite being written in a modern, American vernacular (it was consistent so didn’t jar) and I fell in love with the characters and begrudged every moment I had to put the book down and do something else. The beautifully rendered, poignant emotional journey that Leila undergoes often had me in tears. There was good juxtaposition of the various differences in how the harem girls reconciled themselves (or not) to lives of sexual slavery. The novel was well-researched and was a fascinating insight into the daily life of the Royal family and how, despite Emre being a Prince, he was just as much a prisoner of his existence as the slaves.

A central tenet of the novel is that Leila is terrified of physical intimacy; during the course of the novel she falls in love and eventually overcomes her fears. But for a book that was wholly about love and sex, there was a curious lack of description regarding the latter and this was one of the things that stopped this from being a truly great book for me. I know sometimes less is more, and Amie was very good at this in all other aspects, but this didn’t have to be erotica – even a few descriptive paragraphs would have added to the story. There was plenty of frank talk about sex in the abstract, which I felt added to the realism given this was set in a harem, but hardly anything about sex in actuality. We know Leila’s intimate thoughts about everything else that happens to her but have to guess a lot of it when it comes to actually experiencing intimacy which I found frustrating. And I hated that I never got to find out exactly how Leila disgraced herself in her first encounter with Emre; the various illusions weren’t enough for me.

Secondly, I really didn’t like how Emre was so blasé about the prospect of leaving behind his two children if he and Leila did manage to leave the country if the Empire collapsed. Maybe that was deliberate and Emre didn’t care – he only appears to have seen his children less than a handful of times throughout the entire novel. But his lack of care doesn’t ring true as he wanted his second child to be a daughter so she potentially wouldn’t have been in as great a danger as a son in any future power struggle. The birth of his daughter was barely mentioned, one minute his wife was pregnant and the next he had a daughter. I know this birth would not have been celebrated like a child of the Sultan would but I think Leila would have had considerable interest in the children of the man she loves so I found her lack of emotional reaction here to be an omission. Maybe this was part of the historical realism and men in Emre’s position didn’t interact with their children very much and Emre truly didn’t mind that he might never see his children again. But Amie had already broken a lot of rules to make Emre such a different and compelling character from his counterparts anyway, I felt this could have been stretched too, even if it was a sop to the sensibilities of the modern reader.

Like any good book, this book ended too soon and with plenty of leeway for the reader to complete Emre and Leila’s story – perhaps too much; I could have quite happily kept reading for several more chapters. Leila considered Dariya a sister, someone she needed “as much as I needed him”. Given this extremely close relationship, I wanted some firmer answers on how Dariya could remain part of their lives if they left the country. The book didn’t quite get to the happily-ever-after part, only hinted at its potential.

When all’s said and done though, I still loved this book and I will definitely be watching out for future novels from Amie.

Book Description

The opinionated, only daughter of a missionary, is enslaved and gifted to an Ottoman prince who has an inner vow to win her affection. 

Sarai was led to believe that the whole world could exchange their beliefs for hers. But when her parents are murdered, she quickly learns that the world never stops for just one person. The world takes, forgets, and swiftly moves on. 

By 1875, she isn’t even Sarai anymore. She had spent her teenage years repackaged as Leila, a palace concubine-in-waiting for the overly indulgent, Ottoman Sultan, Abdul’Aziz. Leila does her best to stay out of the eye of ‘Aziz as well as his son, Prince Emre. But when young and thoughtful Emre claims Leila for his own harem, she is forced out of her shell and thrown into a ring of competitive women. Here, she cannot hide from the attention her young master wishes to lavish upon her. Nor can she can avoid the ruthless retaliations of his prior favorite, Aster. But it’s the unexpected gift of sexual sanctuary and an inside look into his family’s struggles that really collides with Leila’s upbringing. Soon, despite her better judgment, she finds her heart becoming increasingly tied to him. 

But can she submit her faith and independent spirit to such a future—a future where to be loved means settling for the fact that she can only ever be his favorite? Will she be able to take turns sharing him among the four beautiful girls he had received before her, one being a jealous rival and another a closest friend? And what will happen to their love if Emre’s father can’t hold together his fragile kingdom, an empire that has grave threats encroaching from every side…including within?

About the author

Looking back, I’ve always believed that story matters. Pouring over Jane Austen novels and living through the lens of an overconfident, beautiful, and desperate-to-be-corrected heroine was exactly the distraction that carried me through years of teenage captivity. My one and only sibling, a reckless brother, had rocked the parental boat so thoroughly it left me distrusted, vehicle-less, and with a ten o’clock curfew (even in college) right up until I met my own Mr. Darcy.

Perhaps that’s why I love the ultimate freedom of what I do now: a woman in my thirties, traveling to some of the world’s most beautiful and often misunderstood places, humbled by sharing stories that represent countless women whose entrapment is far more genuine.​

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT A Taste Of His Own Medicine by @LindaFawke reunion drama

Today’s team review is from Georgia, she blogs at http://www.georgiarosebooks.com

#RBRT Review Team

Georgia has been reading A Taste Of His Own Medicine by Linda Fawke

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I received a copy of A Taste of his own Medicine from the author as part of Rosie Amber’s Book Review Team and in exchange for an honest review.

I chose to read this book because I liked the premise of it. Kate has been invited to a thirty-year reunion of all those with whom she had graduated her pharmacy course. The mere thought of this fills me with horror. I can’t remember names to put with faces and the idea of catching up, reminiscing and the inevitable retelling of stories that would only show what an idiot I was back then brings me out in a sweat. Still, each to their own.

Kate doesn’t want to go either, initially, however, encouraged by her husband, Neil, the idea grows on her but mostly because of the opportunity for revenge. She enrols her long-time university friend, Becky, in her plans, although Becky is a little reluctant to go on the weekend (with good reason it turns out!) At first I thought Kate was only wanting to get back at one person but her ambition then grew and several were involved, which seemed a little unrealistic.

While I liked the idea, for me much of this story line was overly detailed. Quite rightly pharmacists need to be incredibly precise people and this author showed her character, Kate, to be just that by the way she was writing her but it did slow the story down somewhat. The dialogue could also do with a bit of a tighten up as well. When in conversation people rarely get the chance to say much more than one sentence, maybe two, in the general back and forth and there was a lot of explaining, which isn’t always necessary.

I thought the fallout from the weekend was particularly interesting though and enjoyed where the storylines led. The author has also left much open for the sequel with the surprising ending.

Book Description

How long can the desire for revenge last? 
Kate Shaw, a successful pharmacist, goes to a thirty-year reunion at her old university and uses the weekend to settle some old scores. Her main target is her ex-lover, Jonathan. She decides to scar him for life as he scarred her. Her bizarre plan works but he shocks her with his strange, unwanted reaction. 
What is the unexpected link between Jonathan and Kate’s husband? 
What is the significance of the ‘Love Bite’ photograph? 
What hold does Jonathan have over Kate? 
Revenge is never simple. 
A darkly humorous story of love, lust, loss and vengeance

About the author

Linda Fawke

Linda Fawke is an arts person who studied science but always wanted to write. Now retired, she indulges this passion, writing fiction and non-fiction, even occasional poetry, preferably late at night. She has recently completed her first novel, ‘A Taste of his own Medicine’, using her background in pharmacy for its setting. 

She has been a winner of the Daily Telegraph ‘Just Back’ travel-writing competition and has published in various magazines including ‘Mslexia’, ‘Litro’ online, ‘Scribble’, ‘The Oldie’, ‘Berkshire Life’ and ‘Living France’. She was recently a finalist in the ‘Hysteria’ short story competition.

She is now writing the sequel to her book.

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Voyager by @CarlRackman fast paced Techno #Thriller #fridayreads

VoyagerVoyager by Carl Rackman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Voyager is an American based techno-thriller.

It opens with the terrible events of 9/11 and introduces us to Bradley Barnes.

Chapter one begins in September 2016 as Barnes and his team from the FBI are about to storm a building containing suspects with terrorism links. Unfortunately the main suspects escape—with super-human speed.

In California, Dr Callie Woolf, project manager of the Voyager Interstellar Mission, is alerted to a security breach; a probe, far out in space, begins sending back unexpected images. The data is highly sensitive and Callie’s team are put on immediate paid leave. These vacations become permanent for some, in a series of mysterious deaths. Callie is also targeted, but quick reactions keep her alive; however, her attempts to go on the run are short-lived when she is arrested for espionage.

When Barnes is told to pick up a British pilot suspected of smuggling at Newark airport, he joins Agent Breecker for the job. He doesn’t know it, but he’s about to come face to face with a genetically enhanced super-soldier. Created by the Triumvirate, a group of manipulators who cause chaos to undermine governments and manoeuvre money and power around the globe; the super-soldiers remove those in their way.

This book is fast paced and a race against time, as the tension is built between the main players, and the story unfolds to reveal quite believable possibilities. Sadly they may well echo many such power-hungry groups around the globe today. Recommended for readers who enjoy American law enforcement stories and techno-thrillers.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Book Description

Voyager One. A tiny probe hurtling through the void of outer space more than twelve billion miles from Earth, it is the remotest human object in existence. Callie Woolf, Voyager Project Manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, is stunned when the probe unexpectedly downloads a series of increasingly disturbing images.

Within 24 hours, she is running for her life.

Brad Barnes, a conflicted FBI agent assigned to the case, soon uncovers a deadly plot that could change the balance of power on Earth and bring the United States to its knees. He must fight for survival in a race against time to defeat the conspirators, and confront a potentially explosive reality: that mankind may not be alone in the universe.

Voyager is an action-packed conspiracy thriller by Carl Rackman.

About the author

Carl Rackman

Hi! I’m Carl Rackman, a British former airline pilot turned author. I come from a naval military background and have held a lifelong interest in military history and seafaring.

I spent my working life travelling the world and this has given me a keen interest in other people and cultures. I’ve drawn on my many experiences for my writing.

I write suspense thrillers with a flair for evocative descriptions of locales and characters. I enjoy complex, absorbing storylines combined with rich, believable characters, so that’s the sort of fiction I write. I try to create immersive worlds for the reader to explore, and characters who are more than just vehicles for the story.

I hope you’ll enjoy my books and leave reviews. I try to personally thank reviewers if they’ve particularly enjoyed my books.

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Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT A Taste Of His Own Medicine by @LindaFawke #Fiction

Today’s team review is from Jenny Reeve

#RBRT Review Team

Jenny has been reading A Taste Of His Own Medicine by Linda Fawke

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Review by Jenny Reeve

I give this book 4 stars

A Taste of His Own Medicine by Linda Fawke

Fiction

Set around a 30 year University reunion.

This book is a good read overall with good plots. Kate Shaw is after revenge whilst she attends a 30-year reunion at her old University. There are a few old ‘Uni pals’ that need to be taught a lesson. The characters are very different from one another, which helps the story to unfold at a good pace. Some authors can drag a story out whilst introducing characters, but Linda does a very good job at keeping the saga steady.

Kate’s best friend Becky unwittingly gets dragged into helping Kate with the revenge plots, mostly by distracting others. Becky arrives at the reunion late and leaves early. There is a very exciting reason for her behaviour. You must read the book to find out what it is. It was unexpected that is for sure.

Jonathan is the best revenge of them all, but Kate has to make it worth the effort that she puts into organising the final act. A lovers revenge that has a real good twist at the end.

It was easy to read this story and I had to keep picking up my kindle to read more between doing work and chores.

Revenge can be bitter sweet…..so I am told. If you’re not careful it can backfire and hit you like a hammer on a nail.

Book Description

How long can the desire for revenge last? 
Kate Shaw, a successful pharmacist, goes to a thirty-year reunion at her old university and uses the weekend to settle some old scores. Her main target is her ex-lover, Jonathan. She decides to scar him for life as he scarred her. Her bizarre plan works but he shocks her with his strange, unwanted reaction. 
What is the unexpected link between Jonathan and Kate’s husband? 
What is the significance of the ‘Love Bite’ photograph? 
What hold does Jonathan have over Kate? 
Revenge is never simple. 
A darkly humorous story of love, lust, loss and vengeance

About the author

Linda Fawke

Linda Fawke is an arts person who studied science but always wanted to write. Now retired, she indulges this passion, writing fiction and non-fiction, even occasional poetry, preferably late at night. She has recently completed her first novel, ‘A Taste of his own Medicine’, using her background in pharmacy for its setting. 

She has been a winner of the Daily Telegraph ‘Just Back’ travel-writing competition and has published in various magazines including ‘Mslexia’, ‘Litro’ online, ‘Scribble’, ‘The Oldie’, ‘Berkshire Life’ and ‘Living France’. She was recently a finalist in the ‘Hysteria’ short story competition.

She is now writing the sequel to her book.

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Dissension by Katie Salidas @QuixoticKatie Book #1 in a #Distopia #Vampire series

Dissension (Chronicles of the Uprising, #1)Dissension by K.A. Salidas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Dissension is a paranormal dystopia novella and book #1 of the Chronicles Of The Uprising series.

The prologue opens with a description of the end of the world on December 21st 2012. Few survived, but those who did were forced to work together for survival. Vampires came out of the shadows and in the beginning collaborated with humans.

One hundred years later, the vampires are slaves to the humans who use their weakness to sunlight as a weapon against them. Near the Pacific coast, in New Haven City, Mira has been imprisoned for almost thirty years. She’s forced to be a fighter in a Gladiator style arena with many others, who suffer daily torture and humiliation at the hands of humans. Mira longs to escape.

The faint whiff of hope is offered by Regent Lucian Stavros. Mira is right to be suspicious, especially when she finds herself being part of a medical experiment, but Lucian insists he wants to help Mira.

When Mira refuses to entertain the crowds in one last arena fight, she pushes the authorities too far, but luck is on her side and she takes the slim chance to freedom and the hope of reaching the mythical place of sanctuary for the supernatural.

Recommended for those who enjoy the supernatural and futuristic dystopia genre. The story is continued in book #2 of the series.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Book Description

The great cataclysm wiped almost all life from the face of planet Earth, but tiny pockets of survivors crawled from the ashes, with only one thought: survival, at any cost.
But not all survivors were human.
In the dark, militant society that has risen in the aftermath, vampires, once thought to be mythical, have been assimilated and enslaved. Used for blood sport their lives are allowed to continue only for the entertainment of the masses. Reviled as savages, they are destined to serve out their immortal lives in the arena, as gladiators.
And there is no greater gladiator than Mira: undefeated, uncompromising…and seemingly unbreakable. When an escape attempt leads Mira into the path of Lucian Stavros, the city’s Regent, her destiny is changed forever.
Lucian, raised in a culture which both reviles and celebrates the savagery and inhumanity of vampires, finds Mira as intriguing as she is brash. An impulsive decision – to become Mira’s patron – changes more than just Lucian’s perception about vampire kind. The course of his life is altered in ways he could never have predicted – a life that is suddenly as expendable as hers.
Can Mira prove to Lucian that all is not as it seems? Can Lucian escape centuries of lies, bloodshed, and propaganda to see the truth? Or will the supreme power of the human overlords destroy them both?

About the author

Katie Salidas is a best-selling author known for her unique genre-blending style that led to the award-winning Paranormal Dystopian Thriller: Dissension.

Host of the Indie YouTube Talk show, Spilling Ink, nerd, Doctor Who fangirl, Las Vegas Native, and SuperMom to three awesome kids, Katie gives new meaning to the term sleep-deprived.

Since 2010 she’s penned four bestselling book series: the Immortalis, Olde Town Pack, Little Werewolf, and the RONE award-winning Chronicles of the Uprising. And as her not-so-secret alter ego, Rozlyn Sparks, she is a USA Today bestselling author of romance with a naughty side.

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT Ronald Laing by @davidboyle1958 #NonFiction

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

#RBRT Review Team

Terry has been reading Ronald Laing by David Boyle

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RONALD LAING by David Boyle

4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed for Rosie Amber’s Book Review Team

The name R D Laing is one that I’ve often seen around, probably on my parents’ bookshelves, too, but I’ve never really known who he was.  I’ve long been sceptical about psychiatric diagnoses, so this book piqued my interest.  It’s only novella length, so I knew it wouldn’t be a huge chore to get through if I didn’t like it.  Happily, I did.

Laing was an unorthodox Scottish psychiatrist who challenged methods of psychiatric treatment during the 1940s and 50s, was greatly influenced by existential philosophy and became a cult figure in the 1960s.  This book is not long enough to be a biography; it’s more an overview of his life and an examination of his principles, theories and work in relation to the trends of the time.  David Boyle writes intelligently, clearly and in language plain enough for the general reader with no knowledge of the subject.  He gives a few instances of Laing’s experiments when working in psychiatric hospitals, such as this one: ‘…In one ward, he reduced the drugs to practically zero and locked the door.  In the first week of the experiment, about 30 windows were smashed.  Nobody was hurt, so from the second week onwards he unlocked the doors and found there was no rush to leave, and the windows stayed intact … it was being locked up that they resented.’

Like others of his brilliance, philosophies, era and convention-challenging ideas, Laing sank heavily into the bottle and became something of a caricature of himself.  I was interested in much of what Boyle touched upon, found myself constantly nodding and highlighting passages, and will find out more, I am sure, probably from the bibliography at the back.   This mini-bio ends at 87%, after which there is the beginning of another work by David Boyle, and a list of others, which I was interested enough to look at.

‘He had a complete lack of interest in any kind of small talk or going through the social motions’.   Hang on while I go and look him up on YouTube…

Book Description

The radical psychiatrist R. D. Laing took the world by storm in the 1960s and 1970s with his ideas about madness, families and people’s need for authenticity. At the height of his fame he could fill stadiums like Bob Dylan, and often did so. He became an icon of the movement that held psychiatry to be an agency of repression, his phrases on a million hippy T-shirts. Then he fell from grace, flung out of the medical profession, and his influence has been waning since. His basic ideas have been regarded as having been discredited. Yet, despite this, his influence is also everywhere – but largely unnoticed and unremarked. 

This book tells the extraordinary human story of his struggle, first with the authorities as a psychiatrist in the army and then a series of mental hospitals. It explains his extraordinary influence in the context of the upheavals of those psychedelic days – and it looks at what we can still learn from Laing today. Boyle finds he still has an unexpectedly potent message.

About the author

David Boyle is the author of Blondel’s Song: The capture, imprisonment and ransom of Richard the Lionheart, and a series of books about history, social change and the future. His book Authenticity: Brands, Fakes, Spin and the Lust for Real Life helped put the search for authenticity on the agenda as a social phenomenon. The Tyranny of Numbers and The Sum of Our Discontent predicted the backlash against the government’s target culture. Funny Money launched the time banks movement in the UK.

David is an associate of the new economics foundation, the pioneering think-tank in London, and has been at the heart of the effort to introduce time banks to Britain as a critical element of public service reform – since when the movement has grown to more than 100 projects in the UK. 

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