Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT Alternative #Rome Perfiditas by @alison_morton #TuesdayBookBlog

Today’s second team review is from Jessie, she blogs here http://behindthewillows.com

#RBRT Review Team

Jessie has been reading Perfiditas by Alison Morton

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Years have passed since the events in Inceptio but our main character Carina is no less awesome for it.

It’s possible she’s quite a bit more awesome, or maybe it was because this book dives a bit deeper into the culture of Roman Nova (the society founded by Ancient Romans and ruled by women ever since) but regardless I enjoyed this book even more than the first.

Carina continues to overcome obstacles by being a general kick-ass lady, and yet stays remarkably human and even, dare I say, feminine when dealing with controversy as she finds herself thrown into the middle of a conspiracy to overthrow the government.

Would I recommend it? This book certainly earned the “thriller” in it’s series title (Roman Nova Thriller Series). I had a terrible time walking away from it once I was a few chapters in. Which is basically the best problem one can have with a book. But, of course, start with book one.  Starting midway through a series has the potential to upset the natural order of the universe. Consequences can be dire, don’t risk it!

You can find a review of the first book here: https://behindthewillows.com/2017/08/02/inceptio-by-alison-morton/

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I discovered this book because I’m a proud member of Rosie’s Book Review Team!

Book Description

Present day, alternate reality. Captain Carina Mitela of the Praetorian Guard Special Forces is in trouble – one colleague has tried to kill her and another has set a trap to incriminate her in a conspiracy to topple the government of Roma Nova. Founded sixteen hundred years ago by Roman dissidents and ruled by women, Roma Nova barely survived a devastating coup d’état thirty years ago. Carina swears to prevent a repeat and not merely for love of country.

Seeking help from a not quite legal old friend could wreck her marriage to the enigmatic Conrad. Once proscribed and operating illegally, she risks being terminated by both security services and conspirators. As she struggles to overcome the desperate odds and save her beloved Roma Nova and her own life, she faces the ultimate betrayal…

About the author

Alison Morton

Even before she pulled on her first set of combats, Alison Morton was fascinated by the idea of women soldiers. After six years in a special communications regiment, she left as a captain, having done all sorts of interesting and exciting things she can’t talk about, even now…
The mosaics at Ampurias (Spain) and their creation by the complex, power and value-driven Roman civilisation made her wonder what a modern Roman society would be like if run by strong women.
Now, she writes Roman-themed alternate history thrillers with tough heroines, tends a Roman herb garden and drinks wine with her husband of 30 years. Sign up to Alison’s newsletter for a FREE ebook of series starter INCEPTIO: http://eepurl.com/ckNeFL

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Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT #HistFic The Lost Letter by @MimiMatthewsEsq #TuesdayBookBlog

Today’s team review is from Liz, she blogs here, https://lizannelloyd.wordpress.com/

#RBRT Review Team

Liz has been reading The Lost Letter by Mimi Matthews

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The Lost Letter by Mimi Matthews #NewRelease

Here is a classic tale of love lost and ensuing misfortune.  Paralleling the situation in the tale of Beauty and the Beast, the heroine, Sylvia Stafford finds herself in a stately manor house where the Earl of Radcliffe, badly injured in the Indian rebellion, hides himself away from society so no-one can see his facial scars.

But Miss Stafford had originally met the Earl 3 years earlier in London, when he was Colonel Sebastian Conrad.  There had been flirtation, the exchange of kisses and he had taken a lock of her hair as a keepsake.  Since then, her circumstances had changed dramatically.  Her father, losing all his money at the gaming tables, committed suicide.  Penniless and alone, Sylvia had accepted a position as Governess with a family in Cheapside and Sebastian had not contacted her.

Sylvia Stafford is a determined, proud, young lady of 25.  She carries out her teaching duties enthusiastically and will not demean herself for the sake of money.  Sebastian now believes that she is a fortune hunter, despite the efforts of his sister, Lady Julia Harker, to bring the two together.

Mimi Matthews writing reflects her deep academic knowledge of Victorian social history, subtly making every action and speech believable.  Much of the story is told through conversations between the two protagonists and this engages the reader with their personalities and a wish for their happiness.  The essence of this thwarted romance was deceit and misunderstanding and they extricate themselves from this in a credible way.  I found myself rooting for Sylvia and enjoying every moment of this delightful novel.

Book Description

A Proud Beauty

Society beauty Sylvia Stafford is far too pragmatic to pine. When the tragic death of her gamester father leaves her destitute and alone, she finds work as a governess in a merchant’s household in Cheapside. Isolated from the fashionable acquaintance of her youth, she resigns herself to lonely spinsterhood…until a mysterious visitor convinces her to temporarily return to her former life—and her former love.

A Scarred Beast

Colonel Sebastian Conrad is no longer the dashing cavalry officer Sylvia once fell in love with. Badly scarred during the Sepoy Rebellion, he has withdrawn to his estate in rural Hertfordshire where he lives in near complete seclusion. Brooding and tormented, he cares nothing for the earldom he has inherited—and even less for the faithless beauty who rejected him three years before.

A Second Chance

A week together in the remote Victorian countryside is the last thing either of them ever wanted. But when fate intervenes to reunite them, will a beastly earl and an impoverished beauty finally find their happily ever after? Or are some fairy-tale endings simply not meant to be?

About the author

Mimi Matthews

Mimi Matthews writes both historical non-fiction and traditional historical romances set in Victorian England. Her articles on nineteenth century history have been published on various academic and history sites, including the Victorian Web and the Journal of Victorian Culture, and are also syndicated weekly at Bust Magazine, New York. In her other life, Mimi is an attorney with both a Juris Doctor and a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature. She resides in California with her family, which includes an Andalusian dressage horse, two Shelties, and two Siamese cats.

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#My #Bookreview of #Thriller The Ninth Life by Jaye Marie @jaydawes2

The Ninth Life (Lives #1)The Ninth Life by Jaye Marie
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Ninth Life is a psychological thriller set mainly in Guildford, Surrey.

Kate is a fifty-nine year old artist. She has an unusual voice in her head that provides commentary on her life; however, she has always tried to ignore what it says. Kate is currently working on a series of seascape pieces for Sam, a gallery owner and best friend, who is opening a new gallery in London.

We learn about Kate’s earlier life in a series of memories; her hardships, relationships and her current desire for solitude are all fed to us in easy-to-absorb chunks. Early on we are introduced to a sinister character who is besotted with her. As the story develops there is a slow build-up of tension, with a net of mishaps and murder that draw closer.

I liked Kate, with her artistic flair and disregard for most responsibility unless it was connected to her paintings. It became her coping mechanism in the face of underlying fears. Her passion for art shone through and I could almost see the paintings she so lovingly produced. Her back story was interesting and filled out her character, but the method of introducing it got a little repetitive towards the end. I did want to know a little more about those who loved Kate and, perhaps, what drew them to her. For me, there were so many unanswered questions about many of them, I would have enjoyed a little more to flesh out the characters.

Overall a good debut novel. If you like art and enjoy the thriller genre, then give this a go.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Book Description

Nine Lives is the story of struggling and ageing artist Kate Devereau’s life as she tries to make sense of her often confusing existence.
She needs to understand what has been happening to her, and why she seems to have cheated death on so many occasions.
To understand why she has been plagued by the mysterious, tormenting voice in her head before it might be too late to do anything about it.

About the author

I am one half of a writing partnership.
I have been writing for a long time, and getting a bit old in the tooth now, but that hasn’t slowed me down at all, and can’t see anything changing in the future!

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Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT Speed Bump Himalayas by @mark_mgiblin #Travel #Memoir

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

#RBRT Review Team

Noelle has been reading Speed Bump Himalayas by Mark Giblin

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The reader knows there will be some fun in this book from the introduction by Sean Lock, a well-known British comedian who just happened to share a part of this travel adventure with the author. However, this is definitely not your average travelogue: it is gritty and horrifying for much of the time.

I will admit I was not entertained – except by the humor – for the first third or so of the book, which was basically the wanderings of a 20- something young man and his friends on a drug-infused trip through India and Nepal in the late 1980s. However, I was drawn in to Giblin’s gruesome story of survival, trekking out of the Himalayas, and his equally disturbing and unpredicted recovery from the undiagnosed illness that drove him home. Quite a contrast. The dry jocularity made it all palatable and ultimately, a page-turner.

Mark’s adventure begins at a time when young Englishmen were drawn to India and Nepal with the promise of cheap drugs, free love and high adventure. He is traveling solo in Nepal and in a dumb and dumber move, decides to cross a glacier with only his slick-soled shoes and no other equipment. He nearly loses his life escaping the glacier, but his adventures in India and Nepal send him home to earn enough money to return. He talks his friend Sean Lock into accompanying him, but they choose the wrong time of year for their trip. Sean becomes nearly unhinged when they arrive in a steamy, humid, pre-monsoon Dehli. When the two go looking for fellow travelers, liquor and drugs, all they find is boredom, mosquitoes, and snakes with nothing but humor, getting high and/or drunk and the occasional book to keep them occupied. Until they reach Katmandu…

Once there, with Sean healed from a bout with what is nicely described as arse-boils, they decide to try a four-week trek into the mountains, even though Mark is not feeling quite right. By the time they are halfway to their destination, Mark is feeling bad enough to send Sean to continue on his own. What began as ‘not feeling right’ turns into monumental pain and frightening, continuous loss of body fluids. At this point, it became a book not to be put down, even though you know the author survives.

I had my suspicions about what he suffered from, but that’s because of my medical background. Turns out I was close, but not quite on spot.

I was awed by Mark’s bravery, humor and determination to survive despite the increasing odds that he wouldn’t. The story of how he managed to get back to England in incredible pain, with no sleep, no food and little water, and most especially without any treatment (there were no MDs qualified to treat him) is unbelievable. His ability to make interesting observations, find kindness in strangers and even make fun of his situation may have helped him survive and definitely helps the reader! Even after getting to a hospital at home did not guarantee his survival, as his treatment threatens to kill him.

This book begins as a series of travel misadventures, but quickly morphs into a remarkable journey, seasoned with dry humor, and a testament to the human spirit, which runs strong and true in the author.

Book Description

It’s 1986. Mark Giblin discovers the ideal escape from the brawling pubs and concrete towers of Thatcher’s Britain.
India. Its vast scope for travelling mayhem suits Mark perfectly. His mate – a young Sean Lock – joins him after a carefully plotted eviction from acting school.
Once Sean regains his senses from landing in steaming hot, pre-monsoonal Delhi, the pair stumble aimlessly through Kashmir and Nepal. But on a remote mountain track, Mark discovers something far worse than the terrifying boredom of English suburbia, and is thrown headlong into a journey few could survive.
Speed Bump Himalayas will have you in stitches and tears as Mark charts the true tale of his remarkable journey, and his is fight to stay alive.

About the author

Mark Giblin

Mark Giblin is a cartoon making, song writing, guitar playing, banjo twanging English man. He also makes classic motorbike and car art for his company Revs And Threads.

Sean Lock is successful British comedian and TV personality. His TV appearances include QI, 8 Out of 10 Cats, TV Heaven, Telly Hell, Live at the Apollo, 15 Stories High. He also won the Perrier Comedy Award.

Speed Bump Himalayas has a forward by the English comedian Sean Lock. I had to check him out on You Tube, and he IS hilarious. It seems he shared this adventure with the author Mark Giblin, and I am glad he survived to write about it!

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My #BookReview of #NonFiction Writing Vivid Characters by @RayneHall #WritingTips

Writing Vivid Characters: Professional Techniques for Fiction Authors (Writer's Craft Book 18)Writing Vivid Characters: Professional Techniques for Fiction Authors by Rayne Hall
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Writing Vivid Characters is a non-fiction guide to help writers create compelling characters about whom the reader really cares. Rayne Hall gives you some deep, soul searching methods to make your characters feel real, fascinating and memorable, long after the book has ended.

If you are at a loss as to how to develop characters, but yearn for them to become your reader’s next best friend, then this book offers you many tools. There is advice on: the number of characters a book could have, their name choices, roles and methods to decide if the character enriches the story enough for you to keep or cut them.

Rayne suggests some serious role play may be the answer if ever you’ve had feedback with phrases like these: a too-large cast of characters, I didn’t connect with the protagonist, I didn’t care about what happened, I found myself skipping the boring bits.

A useful book for aspiring writers and ideal to read alongside another of Rayne’s Writer’s Craft books, Writing Deep Point Of View.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Book Description

Do you want to create compelling characters about whom the readers care deeply?

This book reveals professional techniques to invent individuals who are so real that your readers will love or hate, fear or root for them, and so fascinating that your readers will remember them forever.

About the author

Rayne Hall

Rayne Hall writes fantasy and horror fiction, some of it quirky, most of it dark. She is the author of over sixty books in different genres and under different pen names, published by twelve publishers in six countries, translated into several languages. Her short stories have been published in magazines, e-zines and anthologies.

After living in Germany, China, Mongolia and Nepal, she has settled in a small Victorian seaside town in southern England. Rayne holds a college degree in publishing management and a masters degree in creative writing. Over three decades, she has worked in the publishing industry as a trainee, investigative journalist, feature writer, magazine editor, production editor, page designer, concept editor for non-fiction book series, anthology editor, editorial consultant and more. Outside publishing, she worked as a museum guide, apple
picker, tarot reader, adult education teacher, trade fair hostess, translator and belly dancer.

Currently, Rayne Hall writes fantasy and horror fiction and tries to regain the rights to her out-of-print books so she can republish them as e-books.

Her books on the writing craft (Writing Fight Scenes, Writing Scary Scenes, The Word-Loss Diet, Writing Dark Stories, Writing About Villains, Writing Short Stories to Promote Your Novel, Writing About Magic, Twitter for Writers) are bestsellers.

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Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT @OlgaNM7 reviews #HistFic Blood Rose Angel by @LizaPerrat

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

#RBRT Review Team

Olga has been reading Blood Rose Angel by Liza Perrat

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My review:

I write this review as a member of Rosie’s Book Review Team and thank her and the author for this opportunity.

This is the third novel I have read in the series The Bone Angel and the fourth novel by Liza Perrat. (You can check my reviews of Spirit of Lost Angel here, Wolfsangel here and The Silent Kookaburra here.) You might have guessed by now that I enjoy her books. Having read The Silent Kookaburra first, for quite a while I thought that was my favourite of the author’s novels (and don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the others) but now, I’m not so sure.

We are in Lucie-sur-Vionne, France, 1348. The whole series is set in the same location and follows the characters of the female line of a family who are linked by their midwifery skills (or wish to care for others) and by the passing of a talisman, the bone angel of the title. All the women of the series feel a strange connection to this angel (whose story/legend we hear, first- hand, in this book) and to each other, although this novel is, so far, the one set further back in the past, and at a very momentous time (like all the others). The Black Death decimated a large part of the world population and this novel offers us the perspective of the people who lived through it and survived to tell the tale.

The story is narrated, mostly in the first person, by midwife Héloïse, whose birth was problematic (her mother, Ava, a midwife herself, died before she was born and her aunt, Isa, extracted her from the womb) and due to the superstitions of the time, she was shunned and taunted as a child (she was not only a bastard, as her father was unknown, but she was also ‘unborn’). She always felt guilty for her mother’s death and resisted becoming a midwife due to that. But, eventually, she heeded her calling, learned from her aunt, and has become loved and appreciated by most people (apart from a few villagers who blame her for unlucky events). Unfortunately, as human nature dictates, when the epidemic reaches the village (at the same time as her husband, a stonemason who had been working in Florence) and people start dying, everybody looks for someone to blame, be it cats, the Jews, the lepers, or… There are a few chapters told from other characters’ point of view, only to complete the picture when Heloise is otherwise engaged (I’m trying not to give any spoilers here).

Héloïse is a strong-willed woman, who struggles between trying to fulfill her vocation (what she sees as her mission no matter how little recompense he gets for it) and being a dutiful wife who puts her husband and family above everything else. She is a compelling character and one that rings true and whose situation is ever relevant, especially to women who always have to try and find a balance between career and family life. She is a worthy heroine, who cares for people, who tries to do the right thing, even if it might cost her, who perseveres and remains faithful to her ideas, who doubts and questions acknowledged ‘truths’, and who is a natural leader. The rest of the characters, both, villagers and nobles, good and nasty, are all well-defined and recognisable, although perhaps the female characters are drawn in more detail than the males (although midwifery and birthing was women’s business at the time, so it is understandable), and I must say I felt like a member of her extended family by the end of the book.

The novel’s plot is fascinating and as good as any historical fiction I have read. History and fiction blend seamlessly to create a story that is gripping, emotionally satisfying, and informative. Even when we might guess some of the twists and turns, they are well-resolved, and the ending is satisfying. (I have read some reviews that mention it is a bit rushed. It is true that it all comes together at a faster pace than the rest of the novel, but my suspicion is that readers didn’t want the story to end. I know that was my case).  The life of the villagers is well observed, as is the relationship between the different classes, the politics of the era, the role of religion, the power held by nobles and the church, the hypocrisy, superstition, and prejudice, and the social mores and roles of the different genders. The descriptions of the houses, clothing, medical and midwifery procedures, and the everyday life are detailed enough to make us feel immersed in the era without slowing down the plot, that is a page turner in its own right. I particularly enjoyed the sense of community (strongly dominated by women) and the optimism that permeates the novel, showing the strength of the human spirit even in the hardest of circumstances. The author includes a glossary at the end that explains the words no longer in use that appear in the novel and also provides background information on the Black Death and the historical figures that grace its pages. Although it is evident that the book involved a great deal of research, this is flawlessly weaved into the story and add to the feeling of authenticity.

This novel, like the rest of the series, can be read as a stand-alone, although I doubt that anybody reading it will not want to read the rest.

Another great novel by Liza Perrat and one of my favourites. I will not forget it in a hurry and I hope to keep reading more novels by the author. I recommend it to readers of historical fiction, especially those interested in the era, the Black Death, and medical techniques of the time, readers of women’s fiction, and anybody looking for great characters and a writer to follow.

Book Description

1348. A bone-sculpted angel and the woman who wears it––heretic, Devil’s servant, saint.
Midwife Héloïse has always known that her bastard status threatens her standing in the French village of Lucie-sur-Vionne. Yet her midwifery and healing skills have gained the people’s respect, and she has won the heart of the handsome Raoul Stonemason. The future looks hopeful. Until the Black Death sweeps into France.
Fearful that Héloïse will bring the pestilence into their cottage, Raoul forbids her to treat its victims. Amidst the grief and hysteria, the villagers searching for a scapegoat, Héloïse must choose: preserve her marriage, or honour the oath she swore on her dead mother’s soul? And even as she places her faith in the protective powers of her angel talisman, she must prove she’s no Devil’s servant, her talisman no evil charm.

About the author

Liza Perrat

Liza grew up in Wollongong, Australia, where she worked as a general nurse and midwife for fifteen years.
When she met her French husband on a Bangkok bus, she moved to France, where she has been living with her family for twenty years. She works part-time as a French-English medical translator, and as a novelist.
Since completing a creative writing course ten years ago, several of her short stories have won awards, notably the Writers Bureau annual competition of 2004 and her stories have been published widely in anthologies and small press magazines. Her articles on French culture and tradition have been published in international magazines such as France Magazine, France Today and The Good Life France.

Spirit of Lost Angels is the first in the French historical “The Bone Angel” series set against a backdrop of rural France during the French Revolution. The second in the series, Wolfsangel, set during the WWII Nazi Occupation of France, was published in October, 2013. The third, Blood Rose Angel, set during the 14th century Black Plague years was published in November, 2015.
Friends, Family and Other Strangers is a collection of humorous, horrific and entertaining short stories set in Australia.
Liza is a founding member of the Author Collective, Triskele Books and regularly reviews books for Bookmuse.

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My #Bookreview of #SciFi #Fantasy Aaru by David C Meredith @DMeredith2013

Aaru (The Aaru Cycle Book 1)Aaru by David Meredith
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Aaru is a mild scifi fantasy. Confusingly, Amazon genre categories for this book differ, adding urban fantasy (Amazon UK) and New Adult (Amazon.com). As the two main characters are teenagers, the book may attract the YA reading audience; however, I believe some parts of the book are not suitable for this age group. Perhaps the book began life as one for a younger audience, but during the writing it developed in other directions.

Sixteen year old Rose is suffering from an incurable form of leukaemia. Her parents accept a large financial payment to allow her to be part of a new scientific experiment. I wanted to know a lot more about the decision made by Rose’s parents. For me, it was touched on only mildly and felt uncaring to the point of being unfeasible, because they were portrayed as knowing very little about the project. In the author’s mind, they may have done their research and spent many hours being persuaded by Elysian Industries, but this didn’t come across . To sum the project up: Elysian’s scientists have developed a computer programme, where a person’s soul can exist in a perfect virtual world.

Rose has a brain scan taken by Adam, from the project. I did feel the descriptions of the scanning equipment needed work, to make them portray the technology. Then Rose dies. At this point, I hadn’t built any link or empathy with Rose through the writing, so there was no reason for me to feel any loss. A few weeks later, Rose’s family are contacted by representatives of Elysian inviting them to a meeting. They reveal Rose is ‘alive and perfectly well’, in her new virtual world of Aaru. Elysian then want Rose’s thirteen year old sister, Koren, to head up their promotional campaign in support of Aaru.

Aaru is supposed to be a perfect place; Rose is one of the first residents and her job is to help create the world, by filling the blank canvas. In the real world, Koren is catapulted to celebrity status by a top PR team. During the promotion, she is spotted by a computer hacker/stalker who plots her demise and the downfall of the Aaru project.

This is a dialogue-led book with a large cast of characters, none of whom really came alive for me, I’m afraid. It’s a great plot, but I felt it needed the hand of a good content editor. Scifi and fantasy are, by definition, expected to push past our boundaries of reason, but developments still need to be believable within that fantasy, and for me, there were too many plot holes and under-developed areas alongside choices in dialogue technique that, I felt, needed extra attention.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Book Description

Rose is dying. Her body is wasted and skeletal. She is too sick and weak to move. Every day is an agony and her only hope is that death will find her swiftly before the pain grows too great to bear.
She is sixteen years old.
Rose has made peace with her fate, but her younger sister, Koren, certainly has not. Though all hope appears lost Koren convinces Rose to make one final attempt at saving her life after a mysterious man in a white lab coat approaches their family about an unorthodox and experimental procedure. A copy of Rose’s radiant mind is uploaded to a massive super computer called Aaru – a virtual paradise where the great and the righteous might live forever in an arcadian world free from pain, illness, and death. Elysian Industries is set to begin offering the service to those who can afford it and hires Koren to be their spokes-model.
Within a matter of weeks, the sisters’ faces are nationally ubiquitous, but they soon discover that neither celebrity nor immortality is as utopian as they think. Not everyone is pleased with the idea of life everlasting for sale.
What unfolds is a whirlwind of controversy, sabotage, obsession, and danger. Rose and Koren must struggle to find meaning in their chaotic new lives and at the same time hold true to each other as Aaru challenges all they ever knew about life, love, and death and everything they thought they really believed.

About the author

David Meredith

David Meredith is a writer and educator originally from Knoxville, Tennessee. He received both a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts from East Tennessee State University, in Johnson City, Tennessee. He received his Doctorate in Educational Leadership (Ed.D.) from Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, Tennessee. On and off, he spent nearly a decade, from 1999-2010 teaching English in Northern Japan, but currently lives with his wife and three children in the Nashville Area where he continues to write and teach English.

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Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT @SassyKebkerr reviews #Thriller Blessed Mayhem by @SueColetta1

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

#RBRT Review Team

Karen has been reading Blessed Mayhem by Sue Coletta

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Wow! The first thought that comes to my mind at the end of this book. I loved this book. Sue does a great job with her characters and the plot. I loved the detailed information about crows in this book as well. I found this book to be a gripping story and I wanted to read it in one sitting, but unfortunately, life and work got in the way. I hated to put it down and go to bed at night. Sue’s characters are so well written that I can find someone that I know who might be just like them and it makes them that much more real. I love the friendship between Nadine and Shawnee, the fact that they are different personalities makes their friendship so much more entertaining. I love that Sue added some Boston dialect in the book too.

Great story, and characters. I love Sue’s books and I have only just started reading her work, but will be filling my library with her books as soon as I can. This is a 5-star book in my opinion. Thank you for sharing your wonderful story telling talent Sue!

Book Description

A chance encounter …a deadly predicament …a lethal decision.
The infamous Mr. Mayhem is not your average serial killer. Reminiscent of the beloved Hannibal Lecter, minus his thirst for flesh—because eating humans is just plain rude—Mr. Mayhem storms on the scene with style, grace, elegance, and a zest for life unlike any other. Impeccable manners also help. He may commit murder, but there’s no reason to be impolite about it.
Accompanied by his loyal crow companions, Poe, Allan, and Edgar, his crimes strike fear in the hearts and minds of folks across Massachusetts’ North Shore. When Shawnee Daniels—cat burglar extraordinaire and forensic hacker for the police—meets Mayhem in the dark, she piques his curiosity. Sadly for her, she leaves behind an item best left undiscovered. Or is it serendipity by design?
Color him curious, but he yearns to examine the psychology behind her life choices, tough girl routine, witty banter, and unique double-life. In a different time and place they may even become friends. But unfortunately, their predicament defines the risk.
The stakes are too high to stop now.
For reasons authorities cannot fathom, these seemingly unrelated murders will go down in history as the most impressive killing regime of all time. His coup de grace, if you will. Even if it means permanently erasing Ms. Daniels from the equation. All the pieces are there if the authorities look hard enough. The question is, will they? The only new wrinkle is Shawnee Daniels, and she may be his toughest opponent yet …if she’s clever enough to play the game.

About the author

Sue Coletta

Member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers, Sue Coletta is an award-winning, multi-published author in numerous anthologies, and her forensics articles have appeared in InSinC Quarterly.
In addition to her popular crime resource blog, Sue’s a radio host—check out “Partners In Crime” on Writestream Radio Network, Blog Talk Radio—the communications manager for the Serial Killer Project and Forensic Science and founder of #ACrimeChat on Twitter.
Sue lives with her husband in New Hampshire, surrounded by the sultry sounds of nature.

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My #Bookreview of #RomCom Little White Lies and Butterflies by @SuzieTullett @bombshellpub

My review:

Little White Lies And Butterflies is a #RomCom set on the Greek island of Kalymnos. Fresh, fun and upbeat. I LIKED IT!

Lydia Livingston is on the brink of her 30th birthday. With a long list of requirements for the perfect husband, she despairs at ever finding ‘The One’. Leaving behind a trail of dating disasters, she announces to her family that she’s off to spend her wedding fund and make some serious decisions about her life.

Kalymnos provides sun, sea, sand and escape from life as an eternally single café waitress. But the universe hasn’t stopped messing with Lydia. She finds her accommodation is above a Taverna. To rub salt into her wounds, they have a family wedding planned. On top of this, the place attracts the climbing fraternity who, according to Lydia, insist on wearing ridiculously unsuitable clothing. She’s determined to stay away from men, but a little white lie told to Sam one evening snowballs into a whole heap of trouble.

The writing style had me easily hooked. I even pictured Miranda Hart starring in the leading role if this ever got to the big screen. Miranda (sorry, Lydia!), tried so hard to stick to her self-imposed rules, you just knew it was all going to go wrong. I enjoyed her crazy family too, with their plans for a surprise birthday party. Even the chapter headings made me chuckle – translated quotes that worked very well with the tone of the book.

Altogether a well-written and VERY enjoyable read. Yes it’s women’s fiction, yes it’s romance with a traditional ending, but who doesn’t appreciate snarky dialogue, a sassy heroine and moments which make you laugh out loud? I know I do. This review is for the re-launched September 2017 version of the book.

Book Description

Lydia knows first-hand that ‘having it all’ isn’t everything it’s cracked up to be. As far as she’s concerned, when it comes to job versus family, it’s a case of one or the other. And whilst most women her age have spent years climbing the corporate ladder, she’s made a career out of bagging her perfect man. Now nearly thirty and still single, Lydia wonders if she’d made the right choice.

Realising the time has come to take stock, she goes against her family’s wishes and goes travelling in the hope of finding a new direction. At least that’s the plan.

So when Sam comes along, she decides to tell a little white lie, re-inventing herself as a professional chef – not exactly the best new identity for a woman who can’t cook. But the truth can’t stay hidden for long and when her family show up unexpectedly things go from bad to worse…

Can Lydia find love? Will she ever learn to cook?

Little White Lies and Butterflies is a heart-warming comedy about finding your place in the world.

About the author

Suzie Tullett is an author of contemporary humorous fiction and romantic comedy. She has a Masters Degree in Television & Radio Scriptwriting and worked as a scriptwriter before becoming a full-time novelist. Her motto is to ‘live, laugh, love’ and when she’s not busy creating her own literary masterpieces, she usually has her head in someone else’s.

Suzie lives in a tiny hamlet in the middle of the French countryside, along with her husband and two Greek rescue dogs.

My website Suzie Tullett

Instagram suzie_tullett

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Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT @Jennykreeve reviews #Thriller Shadows by @ThorneMoore

Today’s team review is from Jenny R.

#RBRT Review Team

Jenny has been reading Shadows by Thorne Moore

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Shadows, by Thorne Moore

Thriller

4 stars – review by Jenny Reeve

The ‘shadows’ haunt Kate; constantly they are nagging at her and taunting her. Kate feels death and the pain and suffering which those who die feel when their life is taken from them.  This is something that Kate needs so desperately to escape from.  Can the move to Llys y Garn resolve her tormented mind? Would renovating this old place with Sylvia and Michael help to take her mind away from the disturbing shadows?

The plot unravels very slowly and Thorne Moore has a skilful way of writing, which engulfs the reader. You are taken through every character piece by piece. I felt as though I were dissecting each and every inch of them, the way their minds work, the way they feel, think and the way that they grow, moulding themselves to your thoughts.

There are a couple of twists in the tale too. Unexpected and brilliantly constructed which make this story what it is; a good thriller.

The only criticism I have is that Thorne Moore could have enhanced the use of the ‘shadows’ more. This would have given rise to additional dark goings on in the house whilst the renovations were taking place.

I found the book a very good read and would recommend it to all that like a good thriller.

Book Description

A compelling blend of mystery and family drama with a gothic twist, by the Top Ten bestselling author of A Time for Silence

Kate Lawrence can sense the shadow of violent death, past and present.

In her struggle to cope with her unwelcome gift, she has frozen people out of her life.

Her marriage is on the rocks, her career is in chaos and she urgently needs to get a grip.

So she decides to start again, by joining her effervescent cousin Sylvia and partner Michael in their mission to restore and revitalise Llys y Garn, an old mansion in the wilds of North Pembrokeshire.

It is certainly a new start, as she takes on Sylvia’s grandiose schemes, but it brings Kate to a place that is thick with the shadows of past deaths.

The house and grounds are full of mysteries that only she can sense, but she is determined to face them down – so determined that she fails to notice that ancient energies are not the only shadows threatening the seemingly idyllic world of Llys y Garn.

The happy equilibrium is disrupted by the arrival of Sylvia’s sadistic and manipulative son, Christian – but just how dangerous is he?

Then, once more, Kate senses that a violent death has occurred…

Set in the majestic and magical Welsh countryside, Shadows is a haunting exploration of the dark side of people and landscape.

About the author

Thorne Moore

Thorne was born in Luton and graduated from Aberystwyth University (history) and from the Open University (Law). She set up a restaurant with her sister but now spends her time writing and making miniature furniture for collectors. She lives in Pembrokeshire, which forms a background for much of her writing, as does Luton. She writes psychological mysteries, or “domestic noir,” and her first novel, A Time For Silence, was published by Honno in 2012. Motherlove and The Unravelling followed, also published by Honno. She has also brought out a book of short stories, Moments of Consequence. Her last novel, Shadows, was published by Endeavour in 2017. She’s a member of the Crime Writers Association.

 

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