A Police Officer’s #Memoir. Black, White, and Gray All Over by Frederick Reynolds, reviewed by @OlgaNM7, for Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Today’s team review is from Olga. She blogs here https://www.authortranslatorolga.com

Rosie's #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Olga has been reading Black, White, and Gray All Over by Frederick Reynolds

This is a memoir, and as far from fiction as one could imagine. In fact, it is so full of facts and data that it can become overwhelming at times. The sheer number of events, of characters (well, not really characters, but real people: relatives, friends, neighbours, infantrymen, police officers, detectives, criminals, victims, local authorities, politicians…), of dates, of cases… make the book overflow with stories: sometimes those the author, Frederick Douglass Reynolds, participated directly in; others, stories providing background information to the situation or events being discussed or introducing some of the main players at the time of the action. I think anybody trying to recount even a small amount of what happens in the book would have a hard time of it, but anybody interested in the recent history of Compton law enforcement and local politics will find this book invaluable.

The author goes beyond the standard memoir, and although his life is the guiding thread of the book, he does not limit himself to talking in the first-person about his difficult childhood, his traumatic past, his petty criminal activities as a gang member in his youth, his time as a Marine Corps Infantryman, his less than stellar experience with personal relationships (until later in life), his allergy to compromise for many years (to the point of even refusing to get involved in the life of one of his children)… This well-read and self-taught man also offers readers the socio-historical-political context of the events, talking about the gangs, the rise of crack cocaine, the powerful figures moving the threads and holding authority (sometimes openly, and sometimes not so much), and he openly discusses the many cases of corruption, at all levels.

There is so much of everything in this book that I kept thinking this single book could become several books, either centring each one of them on a particular event, case, or investigation and its aftermath (for example. although Rodney King’s death didn’t take place in Compton, the description of how the riots affected the district makes readers realise that history keeps repeating itself unless something is done), or perhaps on a specific theme (as there is much about gangs, racism, corruption, the evolution of police roles and policing methods, violence in the streets, LA social changes and local politics, drugs…). Another option would be to focus on the author’s life and experiences growing up, on his personal life (his difficulties with relationships and alcohol, his PTSD…), and later his career, but perhaps mentioning only some of the highlights or some specific episodes, and with less background information about the place and its history (although some brief information could be added as an appendix or in an author’s note for those interested in knowing more).

This is a long book, dense and packed with a wealth of data that might go beyond the scope of most casual readers, but there are also scary moments (forget about TV police series. This is the real deal), heart-wrenching events (the deaths of locals, peers, colleagues, personal tragedies…), touching confessions (like the difficulties in his relationship with his son, becoming grandad to a boy with autism and what that has taught him), shared insights that most will find inspiring, and also some lighter and funny touches that make the human side of the book shine. Although Reynolds openly discusses his doubts, and never claims to be spotless, more upstanding, or better than anybody else, his determination to get recognition for his peers fallen in action, and his homage to those he worked with and who kept up the good fight clearly illustrate that his heart (and morals) are in the right place.

Most people thinking of reading this type of memoir are likely to know what to expect, but just in case there are any doubts, be warned that there is plenty of violence (sometimes extreme and explicit), use of alcohol, drugs, and pretty colourful language. 

I recommend this book to anybody interested in the history of policing in LA (particularly in Compton) from the 1980s, gangs in the area, local politics, corruption, and any major criminal investigations in the area (deaths of rappers included). It is also a book for those looking for an inspiring story of self-improvement, of managing to escape the wrong path, and helping others do the same, and it is a book full of insights, inspiration, and hope.

I wonder if the author is planning to carry on writing, but it is clear that he has many stories to tell yet and I hope he does.

Desc 1

From shootouts and robberies to riding in cars with pimps and prostitutes, Frederick Reynolds’ early manhood experiences in Detroit, Michigan in the 1960s foretold a future on the wrong side of the prison bars. Frederick grew up a creative and sensitive child but found himself lured down the same path as many Black youth in that era. No one would have guessed he would have a future as a cop in one of the most dangerous cities in America in the 1980s—Compton, California. From recruit to detective, Frederick experienced a successful career marked by commendations and awards. The traumatic and highly demanding nature of the work, however, took its toll on both his family and personal life—something Frederick was able to conquer but only after years of distress and regret.

AmazonUK AmazonUS

May’s #BookBloggerSupport22 10 Book Blog Posts I’ve Recently Shared. @PagesUnbound

Challenge 5 in my year long support for book bloggers from the ladies at PagesUnbound.

Twitter is my chosen site for sharing blog posts, over the years I’ve built up my following and it’s where I am comfortable with the book community.

Everyday I share book blogs posts; it’s what I do, but for this challenge I have chosen 10 specific posts that I think might interest my readers.

  1. How to create suspense in writing. A guest post from Alex Cavanaugh.
  2. Book review for Things My Son Needs to Know about the World by Fredrik Backman
  3. ‘a beautiful nod to female empowerment and strength’. KKreads reviews The Change by Kirsten Miller
  4. King’s Mistress, Queen’s Servant: The Life and Times of Henrietta Howard by Tracy Borman
  5. Writing Tips. Choosing the Right Proofreader and/or Editor by Terry Tyler.
  6. Who gives narcissists their playbook? Asks Barb Taub. Plus a book review for psychological drama Where There’s Doubt.
  7. A very sophisticated thriller. Mairéad reviews A Traitors Heart by Ben Creed.
  8. Top 10 writing tips from multi-genre author Paula Roscoe
  9. A Brighton Mysteries book. Liz reviews The Midnight Hour by Elly Griffiths
  10. A Honey of a Book, says Davida about The Book Woman’s Daughter by Kim Michele Richardson.

Book Blogging: It’s About More Than The Book. #BookBloggerSupport22 @pagesunbound

Challenge 4 in my year long support for book bloggers from the ladies at PagesUnbound. Today’s post delves deeper into book blogging.

If you are active on social media and you love reading, you’ve probably read your fair share of book reviews from book bloggers – and, if you’re like me, I imagine you’ve been inspired to click the Amazon link a few times, after doing so!

This is why I started book blogging: I want to be a positive force in this corner of social media, linking readers to writers they may never have heard of before, and talking about books which I enjoy. Although I mix my reading with mainstream authors, I prefer to support indies.  Giving them an extra voice amongst the many million in cyberspace gives me great satisfaction.

There are no rules about writing a book review (except to avoid spoilers); everyone has their own slant, though it’s not just bloggers who are talking about books; pick any social media site and you will find book enthusiasts. However, a blog post can offer an opportunity for a longer article as opposed to other social sites which rely heavily on soundbites. A book blog gives a personal touch—most regular reviewers will have had a review rejected by Amazon, for any number of reasons; language, comparison to other works, sensitive subject matter, whatever. On your own blog, though, you can write exactly what you wish – and when you wish.  You might want to review two books a week, or one every two months.  Novels, short stories, novellas, whole series – it’s up to you.

A book blog gives a personal touch

Book bloggers are of key importance to the reading world as they are prepared to share their thoughts and feelings about a book online, where billions of potential readers can access the reviews. There’s no word limit, which is good when you feel the need to wax lyrical about a book, one you stayed up late reading or a book you just don’t want to let go. There’s nothing quite like finding another bookworm who felt the same way about a particular story; I have some fabulous book friends made through book blogging.  We’ve had meet-ups where we talk book for hours – it’s marvellous!

Some say that its popularity is on the wane; like everything that first made its stamp as the internet found its way into everyone’s homes, it has ebbed and flowed. Perhaps book blogging could be likened to those who don’t mind travelling in the slower lane; those who want to watch the view and take their time. However, I have no doubt that there are still new audiences to capture, for anyone who wants to use their social media profiles to join us in sharing their bookish thoughts in the online bookworm world! Rosie Amber’s Book Review Blog has been going for ten years now – it’s taken time, enthusiasm, adaptability and the support of my family, review team members, publishers and authors who submit to me regularly.  My best blogging tool, though, is the fact that I enjoy it.

‘Perhaps book blogging could be likened to those who don’t mind travelling in the slower lane; those who want to watch the view and take their time.’

Is there a future for book blogging? Sadly, the majority of readers in the general public don’t post book reviews, which is why, for authors and publishers, book bloggers are like angels sprinkling magic dust. Unless a book has the backing of one of The Big Five publishers with a large marketing budget, getting it seen by its target demographic is an uphill challenge. If book reviewers start raving about a book, it will hit social media and draw attention to itself. Every person who sees its cover, sees someone tweeting the title, notices that it’s got yet another great review, is another who may decide that, yes, today is the day they’re going to Amazon to buy it. 

Book bloggers are like angels sprinkling magic dust.

If, like me, you enjoy delving a little deeper into a book after reading the book blurb but before making a purchase, go seek out some book blogs who read the type of books you love.  We’re not paid by publishers or authors, so we have no agenda – we simply write what we feel.  We don’t claim any great skills in literary critique; we use our own words, as they come out of our heads.  We’re ordinary people who have one massive thing in common with you – we’re obsessed with books, and we want to tell the world about those we love! 

Popping With Spring Blooms #SixOnSaturday #GardenTwitter

The first full week in April has thrown all sorts of weather at us here in Hampshire. At times it has felt like a gauntlet run just to get down to the bottom of the garden.

Now a quick public service message: Yesterday I found out that WordPress are making lots of price changes to their blog plans. I currently use the free WordPress, but I am conscious of how much media space I use weekly in posts, which they want to cap. It’s not the only thing to be aware of. It’s worth reading BookerTalk’s post about it all here.

Back to the Six. Last week I was very pleased when I discovered the name of one of my plants, that we inherited with the garden, after seeing it featured on Graeme’s post. Viburnum carlesii, Korean Spice or Arrowwood. Mine is just coming into bloom. It has a lovely fragrance.

Second photo goes to the Heart’s Tongue Fern which is beginning its new growth. This one is in a shady patch otherwise I don’t think it would like my sandy heath land soil.

Third photo goes to my Tulips, yellow with some orange stripes. Not sure of the variety.

My fourth photo is of a plant rescued from a skip this week. It looks like an Elephant Foot Yucca. My husband arrived home with it on Monday. I gave it a hair cut to removed the dead leaves. Next job is to investigate repotting it.

Photo five is of a cheeky Kerria Japonica Plentiflora, which is trying to invade from next door’s garden. We had the same invasion tactics from this plant at our last house.

Last photo goes to the white bluebells. I always thought that they were domestic flowers rather than wild ones like their blue cousins. However, I defer to the experts for the answer to this.

Thank you for joining me for this #SixOnSaturday post. I hope that you enjoyed it. If you would like to know more about this hashtag, read founder Mr Propagator’s post here also find him on Twitter here.

Happy gardening

Rosie

I shall scatter a few links to other gardening posts below:

  1. Mr P’s post for the week
  2. It’s autumn in Sarah’s Australian garden.
  3. Pádraig’s got a bit of a sing-song going on.
  4. Graeme’s got Tulips out.
  5. Check out Fred’s Abies Pinsapo
  6. More news form My Secret Garden’s internship.
  7. Autumn is drawing in in New Zealand gardens.
  8. Doc’s creeping Jenny and the Heucherella look great.
  9. Granny’s wild garlic is going wild!

Clever, But Violent. Sherry Reviews #Thriller Ashes In Venice by Gojan Nikolich, For Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT

Today’s team review comes from Sherry. She blogs here https://sherryfowlerchancellor.com/

Rosie's #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Sherry has been reading Ashes In Venice by Gojan Nikolich

I chose this one to review as I thought it took place in Venice, Italy. I love Venice and was looking forward to an adventure in that city. Imagine my shock when I started reading and the first chapters were full of graphic violence and not a canal or Doge’s palace in sight. I actually went back to the cover several times on my kindle to see if I was reading the right book. And yes, it still said Ashes in Venice.

The action takes place in Las Vegas and eventually, when the character got to the Venetian Hotel, I thought maybe that was where the title came from even though that was still misleading. I admit, I was liking the main character and was intrigued by how the various threads of the story were coming together, but I also have to admit I was very distracted by why I thought from the blurb that the story was set in Italy.  Eventually, all that became clear but it was deep into the body of the book before it did.

The graphic violence was pretty startling. I’d warn potential readers about that. It wasn’t really gratuitous, but it was a bit over the top for this reader. I could see how it fit into the storyline, but sometimes, it was too much.

The story itself was gripping and the book was a page turner. I stayed up late to finish it when I got close to the end. I figured out a lot of it by about midway through, but it was compelling enough for me to read to the end and see if I was right.

Overall, I liked the story and the flawed detective who was trying to solve the crimes. He was a completely drawn personality, warts and all. His love for his wife who was ill was lovely. He had gambling and financial issues, but he was doing his best to make things good for his wife. The humor the author gave him in his internal thoughts was a welcome relief from the violence of the story. I really enjoyed the wit of the author.

The author’s imagination is a wild place based on the evidence in this tale. Some of the things he conjured were mind blowing. Clever, violent and unique is how I’d describe this book. If you’re squeamish, though, give it a pass.

4 stars.

Desc 1

A psychopath with size 16 shoes, nursing home hookers and an irreverent Las Vegas homicide detective with a gambling habit set the tone for this off-beat tale of revenge and retribution.

Blackjack addict Frank Savic is deeply in debt and facing family problems when he’s asked to delay his retirement to catch a vigilante killer who murders other murderers in a manner the veteran cop has never seen.

While dead bodies stack up in quick succession, the motorcycle-riding policeman gets reluctantly involved with a desperate mother who will do anything to get justice for her dead son.

Savic, his investigation complicated by a suspected FBI coverup and a prison bribery scandal, is also unaware that the quirky murderer might also be the solution to his own financial and domestic dilemma.

Add the brooding backdrop of Venice, Italy…and a vengeful killer who reads Shakespeare, and you have a teasing psychological thriller where surgical bone saws and spiders are just tools of the trade.

Yes, there are spiders.

AmazonUk | AmazonUS

Challenge 3: Leave Comments On Ten Book Blogs #BookBloggerSupport22 @pagesunbound

It’s time for challenge 3 in this year long support for book bloggers. Created by the ladies at PagesUnbound I have committed to this because I enjoy being part of a great body of book lovers.

This month the challenge is to leave comments on ten different book blogger’s posts. I decided to make a blog post about this with links to the posts and book bloggers that I visited. This was actually harder than I anticipated because although I might comment on lots of blog posts, the interest is mine, while I wanted to make this post universal for other readers. So I chose posts more carefully to add to this list.

  1. Author Rennie St James runs a monthly book chat post which breaks down a chosen book. Rennie takes a sample of reviews of each book and discusses the book from a reader’s point of view and then from a writer’s point of view. February’s book was urban fantasy Urban Shaman by C.E. Murphy
  2. Book blogger Siena, posted about her reasons for quitting Instagram. Any social media platform has got to work for you and be enjoyable. She found it hard to drive traffic to her blog from Instagram. This can be a problem as you can’t have a live link to your blog from each Instagram post (like Twitter).
  3. Becky from Crooks Book Blog ask us about love triangles in books. Do you like them or not?
  4. Damyanti wrote a post that featured avid reader Kacee Jones Pakunpanya, who talks about how she found a way to work with her dyslexia so that she can still enjoy reading.
  5. Saturdays At The Cafe is a round up of the books that Jonetta from Blue Mood Cafe has added to her book shelf. There is always a great selection to tempt me.
  6. Davida wrote a #SixOnSunday post using books covers to show her support for #StandWithUkraine
  7. Sue has been running a month long feature on book sequels. This post is about Tom Williams and his historical fiction series based on a British spy during the Napoleonic wars. 
  8. Karen from Booker Talk is joining in with #ReadingIrelandMonth22 her post talks about her 5 favourite Irish writers.
  9. Cathy from 746 books has more Irish themes. Her Six Degrees Of Separation post is Irish themed.
  10. Raging Fluff is also a co-host of Reading Ireland month. Here is an interesting post about two different books written about former slave Tony Small.

Read my introductory post here.

Plus my challenge 1 post: 10 Book Bloggers Whose Posts I Enjoy Reading here.

My challenge 2 post: 10 New-To-Me-book bloggers is here

What about you, do you try to leave comments on blog posts?

Challenge 2: Introduce 10 New-To-Me Book Bloggers. #BookBloggerSupport22 @pagesunbound

Brought to you by the ladies at Pages Unbound, this idea is to help boost book bloggers.

Read my introductory post here.

Plus my challenge 1 post: 10 Book Bloggers Whose Posts I Enjoy Reading here.

For my second challenge I have followed 10 new-to-me book bloggers and have been enjoying and sharing some of their posts on my social media.

Here’s who I’ve followed.

Kate from The Quick And The Read is from the UK and is a life-long bookworm. She is on a mission to read all the books that she can. Find Kate on Twitter @TheQuickandthe4

Jeff Sexton from Book Anon lives in Florida and became an exclusive e-reader in 2013 and now reads a book a week. I found Jeff on Twitter @jsxtn83 or on Instagram @jsxtn83

Donna from Donna’s Book Blog lives in Nuneaton, England and is an avid reader of books from netgalley. Donna’s on Twitter @dmmaguire391

Jonetta from the Blue Mood Cafe lives in Greensboro, NC but hails from Virginia. She reads most genres and appreciates those who not only write well but can deliciously craft a character and a tale. Twitter @BlueMoodCafe1

Belinda Witzenhausen lives in Toronto, she’s a book blogger, writer, creativity coach, artist, student, bookworm, history geek, armchair archaeologist, amateur photographer, coffee connoisseur & hubby’s grossly under-paid bass roadie. Find her on Twitter @BWitzenhausen or Instagram @bwitzenhausen

Gem from Dyslexic Reader lives in Cheshire, since she was diagnosed with dyslexia she has worked hard to prove that being dyslexic doesn’t have to stop you achieving academic and goals. She began her blog to post review of books that she has enjoyed reading. Gem’s on Twitter @dyslexicreader2 or Instagram @dyslexicreader

Katy from KKEC Reads live in North California and she says ‘The written word has always brought such peace to my life; books and stories have always been the best companions. Find Katy on Twitter @kkecreads or Instagram @kkecreads

Wendy is from The Bashful Bookworm and has retired recently, she now has time to renew her love of books. She’s from Flagstaff, Arizona. Find Wendy on Twitter @BashfulBookwm or Instagram @the_bashful_bookworm

Jenny from Jenny Lou’s Book reviews recently began book blogging during the pandemic as an aid to getting through the uncertain times. She lives in Essex, England. She’s on Twitter @McclintonJenny and Instagram @mcclinton1985

Kate from Everywhere And Nowhere lives in Scotland. She describes herself as a reader, reviewer, a composer of language, a listener of podcasts, a tasty treat maker, a procrastinator, a lady of ink, a purveyor of items with lenses. Occasionally a peculiar creature, oftentimes a typical one. Find her on Twitter @Kate_everywhere and Instagram @kate_everywhere

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It’s never too late to join a challenge like this. To find out more details check out the full post from Pages Unbound here.

Today I Am A Guest Visiting Kim At Brockway House As Part Of Her Book Bloggers Unveiled Series.

Re-blogged by kind permission from Kim.

Hello everyone and welcome to The BG Blog. Today’s post is Book Bloggers Unveiled: Meet Rosie the blogger behind Rosie Amber.

In the last decade, there has been a self-publishing revolution as I discussed in my first Book Bloggers Unveiled post. I have a strong appreciation for the book blogging community and the part it plays. It’s obvious to me that book bloggers are a valuable marketing resource for any author wanting to self-publish their novels. Not only will they read your novel and write an honest review, but they’ll share their thoughts with their friends – they have hundreds of blogging friends.

Therefore, I’m using my voice to sing the praises of the humble book blogger. Today, it’s the lovely Rosie @ Rosie Amber.

Book Bloggers Unveiled: Meet Rosie (Part 1)

Rosie B&W Soft

Hello Rosie, thanks for joining us. Firstly, let’s find out a little bit about you.

Why Did You Start Blogging?

I started blogging to combine a love of reading with a desire to embrace social technology; since then it’s developed into a passion to introduce avid readers to new writers, and offer a platform for little-known talent.

What’s The Best Part About Being A Book Blogger?

Creating a place where readers can discover exciting new books. Talking to writers and readers and that special moment when someone says ‘I have just bought that book after reading your review.’

What Books Do You Read?

I read both fiction and non-fiction

Are There Any Genres or Type of Books You Avoid?

I prefer not to read horror, political works, high fantasy, scifi, poetry and short stories.

Do You Have A Favourite Genre, Author, Series? Tell Us More.

Yes, several! I will just mention a few.

  • Historical fiction – I really enjoy Kate Quinn’s war themed stories, I like anything realistic and gritty from either World War, especially if it is resistance themed.
  • Historical romance – I’m quite happy reading Mills and Boon/ Harlequin romance. A few of my current favourite authors are Virginia Heath, Janice Preston, Annie Burrows and Marguerite Kaye.
  • For contemporary adult romance I will read anything by Melissa Foster and I do enjoy a sports romance which tend to fit the new adult genre.
  • I like an action adventure and will read any Scott Mariani story, I recently read an indie author in this genre whose book was good too; Jenks by Barney Burrell.
  • I enjoy urban fantasy and can recommend books by Debra Dunbar, Kalayna Price and Kirsten Weiss.
  • This then crosses to the paranormal genre with books by India R Adams, Melissa Haag and Sarah Addison Allen.
  • While I’m going down my list, I like young adult stories too and would like to mention Joy Jenkins, Kylie Scott and Margot de Klerk.

Which Five Authors (Living or Dead) Would You Invite To Your Dinner Party? Tell Us Why.

Ooh a dinner party, that’s a thing of dreams with another Covid induced Lockdown looming! I’d actually like to host a dinner for some of the authors that I have built a great book relationship with: Reily Garrett (author of romantic suspense Moonlight and Murder stories), Marguerite Kaye (author of many Historical romances most recently the joint author of Her Heart For A Compass with Sarah, Duchess Of York), Virginia Heath (Historical romance author of many books; The Wild Warriners were some of my favourites), Kimberly Wenzler (contemporary author of Seasons Out Of Time) and Chris Bridge (His war story Back Behind Enemy Lines was brilliant).

What’s The Worst Part About Being A Book Blogger?

One of the most challenging parts is creating interesting content on multiple platforms to keep your audience entertained and to gain additional genuine followers.

Do You Have Any Hobbies Outside of Blogging? What Do You Do To Relax?

I like baking although I look on a recipe as a guide rather than something which I must follow! I also enjoy gardening. In the last two years I have been growing more and last year I created a kitchen garden.

Tell Us Something That Your Existing Followers Don’t Know About You?

I come from a farming background and I have a cow named after me, although she is can be quite awkward at times, so I hope I’m nothing like her!

Thank you for sharing your innermost secrets with us Rosie. Now, I’m even more excited to find out more about your book blog in part 2 of the interview.

Continue reading the rest of the interview here.

Challenge 1: Introduce 10 Book Bloggers Whose Posts You Enjoy Reading #BookBloggerSupport22 @pagesunbound

Previously I have introduced this new challenge from the ladies at Pages Unbound, with a blog post which you can be read here.

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Today’s post is my entry for challenge 1: Introduce 10 book bloggers that I enjoy.

Davida Chazan (Aka The Chocolate Lady) lives in Jerusalem. She posts book reviews for adult literary fiction – both contemporary and historical – with an emphasis on women’s fiction and biographical fiction. She likes culinary fiction and is passionate about chocolate. Davida often has posts which encourage a good discussion around book related topics. Find her on Twitter @ChocolateLady57

Karen from BookerTalk is a life-long book addict from Wales. On her blog you will find conversations about books. They might be reactions to the book she has just read or chats about her latest purchases or what she’s planning to buy next. Occasionally she might grumble about the size of her TBR mountain. Karen likes to support Welsh authors. Find her on Twitter @BookerTalk

Jo at Tea And Cake For The Soul is a life-style blogger, but she also loves books. She blogs about upcycling, travel, books, and of course cake. She also discusses matters such as sustainability, gardening, and money-saving tips, and offers ideas about how to promote kindness and improve your well-being. I discovered that Jo lives quite close to me and I have plans to meet her soon. Find Jo on Twitter @JoJacksonWrites

Kim from Brockway Gatehouse lives in Salisbury and is a fiction editor. She is currently promoting book bloggers in a feature on her BG blog, click through from here to read her introductory post. Do ask if she is still open for more book bloggers for her posts. Follow Kim on Twitter @KimProofreader

Stephanie Jane from Literary Flits is a proud vegan. On her blog she supports books from indie and small press publishers. She also reads and promotes books from global literature. Stephanie will review books that she ‘loved, liked or loathed!’ Find her on Twitter @Stephanie_Jne

Stacey and her team of reviewers at Whispering Stories post reviews for a wide genre of books. They also feature and promote authors each week on their blog. Stacey lives in Manchester and is a mum and carer for two of her children. Look out for the book related giveaways that Stacey runs. Find Whispering Stories on Twitter @storywhispers

Yvonne from vonnibee turned her love for reading into her book blog. I recently started following her book review posts. As well as her reading, Yvonne takes part in book blog tours and other book promotions. Find her on Twitter @yvonnembee

Jo from My Chestnut Reading Tree describes herself as a proud mum. Proud nana. Lover of Marmite. Book obsessed Norfolk girl living in Cheshire with her grumpy Scotsman. I met Jo in person a few years ago at a blogging event. Jo enjoys thrillers and contemporary fiction. Find her on Twitter @jocatrobertson

Sarah from By The Letter Book Reviews is an avid reader and loves to share the books that she enjoys. She is also a freelance publicist for Bookouture. I met Sarah, briefly, at a Bloggers Bash event. Follow Sarah on Twitter @sarahhardy681

Anne from Being Anne is retired and lives in Wetherby, West Yorkshire. Anne reads a range of books and has received several awards for her support of authors and their books. She was the RNA (Romantic Novelists’ Association) Media Star of 2019. I met Anne at a book blogging event in London. Find Anne on Twitter @Williams13Anne

It’s never too late to join a challenge like this. To find out more details check out the full post from Pages Unbound here.

Some Garden Projects For This Week’s #SixOnSaturday Because My Snowdrops Are Still Not Out! @cavershamjj

Last week on #SixOnSaturday I had snowdrop envy and as mine are still not ready to photograph I have been hunting around the garden for some inspiration. We have been in our current house for two and a half years and it’s the first garden that we’ve had which is large enough to flex our gardening muscles in. Since Covid, our time in the garden has completely changed and my husband has been building things.

The first major project was to replace the original rotting garden shed. He used recycled wood from heavy duty pallets for much of the frame, only buying the wall feather board, timber for the corner uprights and roof felt. We were given the window and found the door in our loft. Eventually the door will be repainted.

Second project were wooden obelisks. I used these last summer for my tomatoes which I grew in the conservatory and later to hold up the dahlias in the autumn. He also made the bird box which is one of a pair. I am happy to say that the birds nested in both but the magpies were clever and sat on the roof of each box at fledgling time and we saw one being taken. So a plan to deter this is needed this year.

The third project was the replacement of the rotten dove cote which we inherited with the garden. He used recycled wood for this one too. It is now a fancy blue-tit des-res and they have been investigating it already. Each hole has its own apartment. I hope that they don’t mind high-rise flats!

Fourth project is my greenhouse. This was a surprise Christmas gift for me which my husband then realised he’d have to add to his building project list. It’s a budget clear Polycarbonate design bought from Amazon and something to start my greenhouse future with. I am aware that in greenhouse etiquette this may feature near the bottom, but it’s mine and I am very excited with it. The instructions said we could build it in three hours. I think it took two of us five days. Now I’m muttering about wanting a wheel barrow to trundle soil, manure and plants up and down to my greenhouse.

Project five is a recently finished cold frame. Again this is made from recycled wood and has a clear plastic lid. Our lawn is covered in Astroturf, which I am slowing removing with my projects, so I have put a double layer of Astroturf under the cold frame for extra warmth.

My sixth photo is from my own small projects. Some of my readers know that I’m a very keen reader, so last year I was inspired to have a go at painting bricks to look like much loved books. This year I got excited by some woodland folk (Becorns) that I saw on David M Birds’s Instagram and wanted to try something similar myself. Check out this post which shows his best from 2021.

Thank you for joining me for this #SixOnSaturday post. I hope that you enjoyed it. If you would like to know more about this hashtag, read founder Mr Propagator’s post here also find him on Twitter here.

Have a great gardening week,

Rosie.