‘#SelfHelp advice about taking back control of your life.’ Rosie’s #Bookreview of The Forgotten Self – The “You” You Should Say Hello To by Brigitte Quirion

The Forgotten Self - The The Forgotten Self – The “You” You Should Say Hello To by Brigitte Quirion

4 stars

The Forgotten Self is a short non-fiction book that offers self-help advice about taking back control of your life.

Author Brigitte Quirion asks us to look at our unhealthy obsession with the negative and, with brief examples, makes suggestions about how we can make positive changes in how we approach our future.

Each chapter is illustrated with beautiful hand-drawn pictures and the tone is kept light with jokes as Quirion’s friendly writing style talks the reader through each topic.

Easy-to-read and a quick book to give us all a reminder and a lift in these challenging times.

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The Forgotten Self – The “You” You Should Say Hello To. The book genre is spiritual, motivational, self-help and metaphysical. It providse a unique perspective to life. The intent is to open the eyes of the reader to see life in its true form. To help them navigate through life using everything at their disposal. Most people make things harder than it should be and don’t know about all the help they actually have at their disposal. The message of the book is to simplify things for the reader by showing them they are fully in control of their lives.

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‘A woman with a long reach from the grave’. Rosie’s #Bookreview of #Paranormal Tale The Grimy And The Greedy by Meaghan Curley.

The Grimy and The GreedyThe Grimy and The Greedy by Meaghan Curley

3.5 stars

The Grimy And The Greedy is a paranormal thriller with a bit of a comedy sub theme; in short it is about the death of a woman and her long reach from the grave.

Fizzy is at work when she learns of her Grandmother’s death; the news does not come as too much of a shock as few people liked the woman. Fizzy even throws a party to celebrate. However, Grandma Jeanette is still pulling strings from her grave and one of those demands is that Fizzy will attend her funeral.

Jeanette also holds a bar owner to a favour that he owes her; he is given the task of getting Fizzy to the funeral, or his own mother will die.

The story is fast-paced and full of twists, so much that at times I wasn’t quite sure what was happening. It’s a mix of dreams, fantasy and the supernatural all drawn together by colourful descriptions and language; I wouldn’t recommend it to those easily offended by swearing.

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The odious Jeanette Sobriquet is dead and her granddaughter, Fizzy, is too relieved to grieve. Unfortunately for her, when Fizzy announces her refusal to attend the abusive woman’s funeral, her life becomes a living nightmare. Now, she has demons, ghosts, and the threat of homelessness hunting her down, all demanding she caves into the dead woman’s iron will.

Bar owner, Affidious Dixon, is forced to carry out Fizzy’s dead grandmother’s last requests; otherwise, the ghost of the Bosnian war criminal that is following him around will murder his mother.

The Grimy & the Greedy is a comedic paranormal thriller about one woman’s fight to save herself from tyrannical death customs and one man’s journey to save his mother from pure evil.

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Pendragon Devon Is The MC In #YoungAdult Magical #Fantasy Honour’s Rest by Judith Crow @jayzed_kay @CrowvusLit

Honour's RestHonour’s Rest by Judith Crow

4 stars

Honour’s Rest is book one of The Rite Way series of young adult magical fantasy stories. The story is set manly in Scotland and is about a teenage boy who discovers that he has inherited an ability to manipulate things around him in a magical process known as The Rite.

Pendragon (Pen) Devon is sent to stay with his uncle in a remote Scottish castle after pushing a school bully into a lake. Even though Pen was sitting in the library at the time, this was the first example of The Rite appearing in Pen. He must learn to control The Rite under the tutelage of his Uncle Napier, who is the Rendelf or overseer of The Rite in all of the United Kingdom. During their time together Pen makes friends with Marley and Niamh, two youngsters who will help him with all the responsibilities that becoming the Rendelf’s apprentice holds.

I enjoyed this story; the world-building was good and the Scottish setting was delightful. There’s quite a lot for Pen to learn and he often gets angry, which became a bit boring after a while. However, it didn’t detract from the main narrative which moved at a good pace. The book ends with a good set-up for the next one in the series which I shall look forward to reading.

There were aspects of the story which reminded me of Harry Potter: the Scottish castle with its loch, a young boy growing into his magic, two friends to help him on his adventures and someone to teach him who I couldn’t help picturing as Professor Snape. So if you enjoy similar magical adventures, then this might be a good series to start reading.

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“So, it’s – what – like magic?”

No, according to Pen’s uncle, the Rite is not magic at all. But, if it’s not magic, then how could Pen push the school bully into a pond while he was really studying alone in the library?

When Pen’s family realise he has the Rite, he is sent to live with his Uncle Napier, who can help him control his ability.

But Napier has other duties. He is the Rendelf, in charge of the Rite in the UK, and he has gathered many enemies over the years…

…enemies who would be delighted to use Pen against him.

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‘She’s Britain’s best-loved psychic’. Rosie’s #Bookreview of Secret Spirit by Sally Morgan @SallyMorganTV #TuesdayBookBlog

Secret SpiritSecret Spirit by Sally Morgan

5 stars

Secret Spirit is a non-fiction book written by Sally Morgan. Often known as Britain’s best-loved psychic, in her latest book Sally talks about the spirit energy that resides in all of us and how we can become more attuned to it. As spirituality becomes more popular many people are looking for guidance about their own paths. The events of the last two years have forced changes on us and made most of us look at the way we live. Sometimes those changes have been positive; for some, it’s stopped the daily speeding train of existence and many have decided to make their own way to new destinations.

Sally’s book sets down easy-to-read advice on ways to improve our spiritual journeys. The book is sprinkled with stories and anecdotes from Sally’s many years of psychic readings, while she also talks openly about recent readings for people who have lost loved ones during the pandemic.

If you’ve ever seen Sally on stage or television and enjoyed what she does and her style of delivery, then you will probably really enjoy this book as much as I did. In a way it brings Sally alive and helps to spark that spirit energy that we hold inside, inspiring readers to pick up the baton and run with the ideas. Highly recommended.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

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No one knows more about the secrets of the spirit world and the hidden energy that it holds than Britain’s favourite psychic Sally Morgan. And now, for the first time, she shares her knowledge with you. Secret Spirit is Sally’s ground-breaking guide to the power of spirit and how to harness it to improve life, love, health and happiness. At a time when the world craves healing, Sally takes the reader on a journey of discovery to connect with the ancient power of spirit that resides in us all. Drawing on her own amazing encounters with the world of spirit and peppered with anecdotes about her crazy showbiz psychic life, Secret Spirit lifts the veil on life and death and positive spirit power. Part memoir, part self-help guide, this fascinating book takes the reader through the history of spirituality, what it means in the world and how Sally’s version for the modern age can be harnessed in the personal space. Secret Spirit is an uplifting book about hope and happiness, that deals with the dead as well as a brighter way of living – and is told in Sally’s inimitable, lovable, no-nonsense style.

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#MagicalRealism And #Steampunk, Set Around The Turn Of The Twentieth Century. Rosie’s #Bookreview Of The Raven And The Pig by @AuthorLouKemp

The Raven and the PigThe Raven and the Pig by Lou Kemp

4 stars

The Raven And The Pig is book two of the Celwyn series of magical realism tales. These are also steeped in steampunk and set around the turn of the twentieth century.

Celwyn is an immortal magician and the book opens with him suffering a terrible injury. He is aboard the Nautilus submarine owned by Captain Nemo, and is being taken to the Cape Verde Islands in search of a special healer. With Celwyn are his associates and friends from book one; Kang, an automaton, and Bartholomew, along with Jules Verne and Celwyn’s estranged brother.

There are many adventures for the travelers as they encounter immortals, witches, vampires and villains of the human kind; several are after the designs for a wonderful new flying machine which Kang and Bartholomew are working on.

As with book one this is a steady paced novel, sprinkled with details of the era which support the magical elements. Celwyn’s love of classical music continues and later his magic is enhanced which allows him to create new exciting abilities. Another good book from this writer.

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As the music dies, the magician Celwyn is mortally wounded. His darker, immortal brother Pelaez brings him back, barely, with his magic and the party of protagonists travel on the Nautilus to the Cape Verde Islands and the healer of immortals. During the journey, Professor Kang and Bartholomew cannot tell if Pelaez will keep his brother alive. Captain Nemo is ready to evict Pelaez forcibly, but keeping Celwyn alive is the only thing that restrains him.
After Celwyn is saved, the healer requests payment for his services. This sends the adventurers to the catacombs in Capuchin, going underground with ancient and fresh corpses, and an experience they will not forget. If it hadn’t been for Captain Nemo’s foresight, they would have been lost. Before it is over, several of the protagonists question why it seems everyone from warlocks and vampires to witches, seem to be congregating in their world. Through it all some of them become surprising allies, and a few of their allies turn against them.
In part II, work on the new flying machine begins in earnest bringing attention from the Mafioso and a cherub-like warlock called Duncan.

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‘A fictional military account’. Rosie’s #Bookreview of Black Entry by Regis P. Sheehan.

Black EntryBlack Entry by Regis P. Sheehan

3 stars

Black Entry is a fictional military account of a period during The Vietnam War and is specific to ‘Project Tiger’. This was a plan to train local Vietnamese soldiers and drop them into North Vietnam where they had various instructions which ranged between intelligence work, sabotage and infiltration of their enemy.

The chapters tend to be written in a report style and are filled with lots of names of serving officers in the US army and CIA agents. The historical evidence is quite interesting, but I do think that it could have been used to create more of a fictional tale. The opening and closing chapters were the most fictional in style and I was drawn in by the opening pages of the book. I imagined that I would then be reading something along the lines of a good spy thriller. Instead the author has written more of a factual account and sadly I did begin to lose interest towards the end.

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This is a fictionalized account of “Project Tiger”, which was an operation spanning 1962 and 1963 in which the CIA inserted numerous indigenous agent teams into North Vietnam for the purposes of espionage, sabotage and other special operations. It also relates the story to earlier CIA operations in which similar efforts were made to drop agents in Communist East Europe – with similar results.

Author Bio: A native of Pittsburgh and a resident of Northern Virginia, the author is a former Special Agent of the Diplomatic Security Service (DSS), U.S. State Department. His career included criminal investigations and dignitary protection in the Miami and Washington field offices, as well as a tour in MSD – or the DSS Mobile Security Division. With MSD he provided training, tactical support to protective details and emergency security enhancement to high threat embassies and consulates around the world. Assigned overseas, he was a member of the Regional Security Offices in El Salvador, South Africa and China. Prior to retirement, he served as the Chief of the DSS Counterintelligence Division.

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‘The characters were lively and the pace fast’. Rosie’s #Bookreview of #ContemporaryRomance Highland Games by Evie Alexander @evie_author

Highland Games (Kinloch Series, #1)Highland Games by Evie Alexander

4 stars

Highland Games is a mix of romantic comedy and hot contemporary romance.

Zoe gives up her safe life as an accountant in London and heads to a cabin in Scotland that she has just inherited. Little more than a shack, it has no electricity, no running water and no door. It also comes with a grumpy employee of the landlord who wants to get rid of her.

Rory had plans to move into the derelict cabin himself, but he couldn’t refute Zoe’s right to be there. Despite his attempts to encourage her departure, she begins to get under his skin.

The first half of this story was sprinkled with comedy, whereas the second half moved towards the hot romance theme. The host romance was fine, but I was never convinced that the two sub-genres of romance melded together in a believable way.

Having said that, it was quite readable; the characters were lively and the pace fast enough to keep me interested and I found myself reading late into the night. This is book one of a series and there promises to be more Scottish romance in the future.

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Welcome to Kinloch, and the hottest winter Scotland’s ever seen.

Zoe’s always played it safe, just as her parents wanted. But when her great-uncle dies and leaves her a ramshackle cabin in the Scottish Highlands, she decides it’s time to change her life.

Upping sticks seems like a good idea in her cosy London flat, but the reality is very different. There’s no electricity or running water, the roof leaks and there’s no front door. If that wasn’t bad enough, she’s moved up in the depths of winter and her scorching hot neighbour wants her out.

Rory’s got a fifty thousand tonne problem. If he can’t make Kinloch castle profitable, he’s out of a job. He needs a clear head, but there’s someone living in the cabin he saw as his own and she’s turned his world upside down.

Rory needs Zoe out of Scotland, and out of his life. The trouble is, she has no intention of leaving.

Let the games begin…

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Book one of a new crime series set in Wales. Noelle reviews A Final Regret by @JeffreyJWarren, for Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Today’s team review is from Noelle. She blogs here https://saylingaway.wordpress.com

Rosie's #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Noelle has been reading A Final Regret by Jeff Warren

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A Final Regret: A Pembrokeshire Murder Mystery is the first in a planned series featuring Sergeant Alys Carey and Detective Inspector Matt Vincent. It is set along the beautiful Pembrokeshire coast in England, which the author has described very evocatively.

The story: A sergeant in the neighborhood police force of Madoc’s Haven, Alys Carey, is reunited after many years with a childhood friend, Matt Vincent, who is now a Detective Inspector and brought in to investigate the disappearance of a young mother. The reader learns just how Rianna Hughes disappeared in a tension and action-filled prologue.

After her body is discovered, there are no shortage of suspects in the story: the husband Dylan is an immediate suspect because they are separated. She was awarded custody of their baby daughter and also the home where they lived and he is bitter. There are also the people she is blackmailing, the men with whom she had affairs or who wanted to have an affair with her, the women scorned by these men, even the local vicar. Red herrings abound.

Matt Vincent had left Madoc’s Haven after the tragic death of his girlfriend, which he witnessed. Alys Carey, while somewhat younger at the time, liked him, His return creates an awkward relationship between them, not improved by their immediate attraction to each other or by the attitude of Vincent’s embittered sergeant, Beth Francis, who harbors animosity toward Vincent since she wanted his promotion to DI.

The relationships in this book are incredibly complex, so readers have to stay on their toes, especially after another murder occurs.

I greatly enjoyed this mystery and, bouncing between suspects, I wasn’t sure until the end who the murderer was. The dialogue was spot on and smooth and the descriptions of the countryside and coast were stunning. Readers can easily place themselves in the scenes. 

The prologue adds additional tension to the unfolding investigation since the reader is made to ask: When are they going to find Rianna?

The novel is written in third person omniscient, so it shifts between scenes and characters. This approach can be confusing (and occasionally is) but it also enables the reader to be introduced to various untidy aspects of Rianna’s life.

My one complaint is that some of the female characters could not be distinguished.  They seemed to run to a common type (except for Sergeant Beth Francis, who was spiteful and headstrong) and could have used more distinguishing features. Matt Vincent, despite being a DI, seems a little less than forthcoming when it comes to dealing with the women in his life. Hopefully he will find a clear path ahead in the next book!

There is romance (but no sex) and humor but no graphic violence, so this qualifies as a true cozy. It should appeal to everyone from YA to adult readers. I look forward to reading the next book in this series.

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A missing mother, her baby’s father a suspect

Young single mother Rianna fails to return from her cliff-top run. Did she have an accident, or did someone want her dead?

Neighbourhood Sergeant Alys Carey and Detective Inspector Matt Vincent are thrown back together when Matt returns to Pembrokeshire and takes on the case. There’s no shortage of suspects: Rianna’s blackmail victims; the men she beguiled; the women who loved them; the father of little baby Meg.

Can Alys and Matt unravel the complex web of relationships within the local community and ensure that justice prevails? Will Matt’s embittered detective sergeant, Beth Francis, derail the investigation? And what will become of Rianna’s baby daughter, Meg?

A Final Regret is a murder mystery set on the beautiful Pembrokeshire coast, with romance, humour and no graphic violence, sex or swearing.

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‘A mixture of police procedural, psychology, and close-to-home story-telling.’ Karen reviews #crimefiction Dark Is The Grave by @tgreidbooks #TuesdayBookBlog

Today’s team review is from Karen. She blogs here https://mytrainofthoughtson.wordpress.com

Rosie's #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Karen has been reading Dark Is The Grave by T G Reid

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The story starts in darkness; PC Hazel Garvey is bound and gagged, trying to remember what might have gotten her into this situation.

With Dark is the Grave”, TG Reid has created an expertly woven plot, an intriguing story of  a damaged (not broken!) investigator and his team chasing a copycat killer. “Dark is the Grave” comprises authentic main characters with sufficient depth – they gain complexity throughout the story. I had a great time reading – this is a very compelling read; I was drawn into the story right away, close to Duncan Bone, freshly reinstated to chase a copycat killer. The plot offers clues, investigative progress and throwbacks, and it is a true edge-of-your-seat read. I liked Bone’s thoroughness and stubbornness, the teamwork, and the determination to stop the killer. I consider “Dark is the Grave” a remarkable mixture of police procedural, psychology, and close-to-home story-telling. It is good to know that the next book in the series is on its way – I know that I have to read it!

This is for you if you like thrilling police procedurals, occasional insights into the mental abyss, and authentic characters.

A remarkable story that requires reading the next in the series as well.

Highly recommended.

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A dead cop. A damaged detective. A copycat killer on the loose.

When the chief suspect in the notorious Peek-a-boo cop killer case blew himself up, almost taking lead investigator DCI Duncan Bone with him, the psychologically damaged detective thought his days on the force were over. But when another PC is abducted and murdered in the same deranged Peek-a-boo fashion, Bone is persuaded to return to lead the new investigation. But as Bone and his team hunt a copycat killer, and with time running out before yet another cop is slain, Bone’s terrifying past returns to tear open old wounds and push him to very edge of the abyss.

Can DCI Bone end the killing before the killing ends him?

Set among the dramatic hills and glens of Scotland’s Campsie Fells, Dark is the Grave is the first in a series of edge-of-your-seat crime thrillers that will keep you guessing right up to the nail-biting, heart-stopping climax.

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‘An entertaining way to learn more about this time period.’ Robbie reviews Spanish Civil War adventure The Exhumation by @nfpadron for Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Today’s team review is from Robbie. She blogs here https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/

Rosie's #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Robbie has been reading The Exhumation by Nick Padron

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The Exhumation is an exciting adventure, overlaid with a romance, set in war torn Spain during the civil war of 1937. This is not a period of history I know a lot about so I was keen to read this book and learn more.

Three Americans, an ex-military ‘hired gun’ nicknamed The Major, his interpreter and ‘right hand man’ who goes by the pseudonym of John and an older individual, Mr Jordan, travel to Spain to bring back the body of a young American, Robert Jordan, who has been killed in the fighting. His wealthy parents are prepared to pay a great deal of money for the return of their son’s body and have sent his uncle along to make any necessary payments to ensure it happens. The information the three men have to work with is scanty, but meetings have been arranged with people who know him to enable their investigation.

John is concerned that they will run into trouble going behind the enemy lines in Spain, but The Major is confident that with the help of a few locals, he and John can successfully find the corpse and bring it back to Madrid, and from there back to the US.

During their brief stay in Madrid, prior to the expedition into enemy territory, John meets a lovely young woman called Maripaz. He spends two evening with her and becomes emotionally attached. He resolves to persuade her to leave Spain and return with him to the US after the job is done.

The pursuit of the body and John’s romance entwine beautiful to create and interesting and exciting storyline.

The Major is a strong character who, despite being unorthodox and quite brutal in his methods, is able to put on a good show of being an amiable and likeable personality. He is driven by personal gain and is prepared to go to extreme lengths to obtain the money he has been promised for the return of Robert Jordan’s body. He is exposed as being unethical and ruthless in his behaviour with little consideration for consequences or respect for the lives of others. Despite his character flaws, he is held in high regard by John whom he saved from a difficult and life threatening situation.

John is a conflicted person who has become attached to The Major whom he treats like a replacement father. He comes across as a person who is searching for love and affection and quite easily falls under the spell of Maripaz, a nice woman from a good family. He quickly escalates their brief affair into the great love of his life and becomes quite obsessed with her. The romance is a branch of the main adventure, but it is important to the way the entire novel plays out.

The history is nicely woven into the novel and this book is an entertaining way to learn more about this time period. All in, an interesting and entertaining read.

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In the fall of 1937, besieged Madrid lies in near ruins, its people struggling under nightly bombardments. Into this uncertain world, enter three Americans assigned with the task to find and exhume the remains of Robert Jordan – a member of the International Brigade killed in action –and bring him home for proper burial in the States. They are Jordan’s uncle and the two-man team hired for the job: the amoral but winsome Major Williamson and their interpreter, John, who tells us the story of how one man’s greed-driven final act becomes another man’s shot at redemption.

Set over the course of three days, amid vivid depictions of wartime Madrid, we follow the team through the violent drama that surrounds Robert Jordan’s exhumation, the human cost of the undertaking, and then John’s Maripaz’s, the beautiful piano teacher he meets during an artillery attack, fateful escape from Madrid. More than a tale of action and suspense set in a world at war, THE EXHUMATION is a story about the meaning of loyalty, of love and loss and, finally, the unending search for a lasting ideal.

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