Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT THE BEAUTY OF THE FALL by Rich Marcello @marcellor #WeekendBlogShare

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

#RBRT Review Team

Olga has been reading The Beauty of the Fall by Rich Marcello

My review:

I received an ARC copy of this book that I voluntarily review as a member of Rosie’s Book Review Team.

This beautifully written novel touches on many subjects that are important at different levels: some, like loss (be it the death of a child, a divorce, the loss of not only a job but also a life-project) can be felt (and there are heart-wrenching moments in the novel) understood and managed at a very personal level, others, like the role of communications technology (who must control it? Should it remain neutral or become involved in the big issues? Should it ally itself with governments or be creatively independent?) or domestic and gender-related violence, although no doubt having a personal component, also seem to require global solutions. This ambitious novel tries to give answers to many of these questions and it does so through a first person narrative interspersed with poetry.

The novel is narrated by Dan Underlight, whom we meet at a particularly difficult time in his life. His son died a couple of years earlier and he feels guilty about it (we learn the details quite late in the novel), he is divorced, and now, the technology company he helped to create, and by extension his business partner and the woman he’d been closer to than almost anybody else for many years, fires him. His job, the only thing that had kept him going, is taken away from him. He has no financial worries. He has a good severance pay, a huge house, two cars, but his life is empty. Through the novel, Dan, who still sees his son, has conversations with him and wants to start a project in his memory, meets many people. Most of them are enablers. He has known Willow, a woman who works helping women victims of domestic violence, and herself a survivor (although she doesn’t talk much about it, at least with Dan) for some time and eventually, their friendship turns into a romantic relationship for a while. He has also been attending therapy with Nessa, a very special therapist (as a psychiatrist I was very curious about her techniques, but working in the NHS in the UK I must admit I’d never even heard of a Buddha board) since his son’s death, and during his peculiar pilgrimage, he gets ideas, encouragement, and a few brushes with reality too.

Much of the rest of the novel is taken up by Dan’s creation of a new company, based on his idea that if people could converse about important subjects and all these conversations could be combined, they would reach agreements and solve important problems. As conversations and true communication in real life amount to more than just verbal exchanges, there are technical problems to be solved, funding, etc. I found this part of the novel engaging at a different level and not having much knowledge on the subject didn’t detract from my interest, although I found it highly idealistic and utopian (not so much the technical part of it, but the faith in the capacity of people to reach consensual agreements and for those to be later enforced), and I also enjoyed the underhand dealings of the woman who had been his friend but seemed somehow to have become his enemy. (I wasn’t sure that her character came across as consistent, but due to the subjective nature of the narration, this might have more to do with Dan’s point of view than with Olivia herself).

Dan makes mistakes and does things that morally don’t fit in with the code he creates for his company, or with the ideals he tries to live by (he is human, after all) and things unravel somewhat as life has a few more surprises for him, but, without wanting to offer any spoilers, let’s say that there are many lessons he has learned along the way.

As I said before, the language is beautiful, and the poems, most of which are supposedly written by Willow, provide also breathing space and moments to stop, think and savour both the action and the writing style.

First of all, let me confess I was very taken by this novel and I couldn’t stop reading it and even debating the points with myself (I live alone, so, that was the best I could do). I was also touched by both the emotions expressed and the language used. As a sensorial reading experience, it’s wonderful.

Now, if I had to put on my analysing cap, and after reading some of the reviews on Goodreads, I thought I should try and summarise the issues some readers have with the novel.

The themes touched are important and most people will feel able to relate to some if not all of them. Regarding the characters and their lifestyle, those might be very far from the usual experience of a lot of readers. Although we have a handful of characters who are not big cheeses in technology companies, those only play a minor part in the book. The rapid expansion of the technology and how it is used in the book is a best case scenario and might give readers some pause. Personally, I could imagine how big companies could save money using such technology, but charitable organisations, schools or libraries, unless very well-funded, in the current financial times when official funding has become very meagre, would have problems being able to afford it all, and that only in theoretically rich countries. (The issue of world expansion is referred to early on in the project but they decide to limit their ambitions for the time being).

Also, the fact that issues to be discussed and championed were decided by a few enlightened individuals (although there is some debate about the matter) could raise issues of paternalism and hint at a view of the world extremely western-centred (something again hinted at in the novel). Evidently, this is a novel and not a socio-political treatise and its emphasis on changing the US laws to enforce legislation protecting equality, women’s rights and defending women against violence brings those matters the attention and focus that’s well-deserved.

For me, the novel, where everything that happens and every character that appears is there to either assist, hinder, or inspire Dan (it is a subjective narrative and one where the main character is desperately searching for meaning) works as a fable or perhaps better a parable, where the feelings and the teachings are more important than the minute details or how we get there. It is not meant to be taken as an instructions manual but it will be inspirational to many who read it.

In summary, although some readers might find it overly didactic (at times it seems to over-elaborate the point and a word to the wise…) and might miss more variety and diversity in the characters, it is a beautifully written book that will make people think and induce debate. This is not a book I’d recommend to readers that like a lot of action and complex plots, but to those who enjoy a personal journey that will ring true with many. It is a touching and engaging read to be savoured by those who enjoy books that challenge our opinions and ideas.

Book Description

A TECHNOLOGY EXECUTIVE CHARTS A HIGH-RISK, UNCONVENTIONAL PATH WHILE GRIEVING THE LOSS OF HIS SON Dan Underlight, a divorced, workaholic technology executive, suffers lingering grief over the death of his ten-year-old son, Zack. When Dan’s longtime friend and boss fires Dan from RadioRadio, the company that he helped create, he crashes and isolates himself. Willow, a poet and domestic violence survivor, helps Dan regain his footing. With her support, Dan ventures on a pilgrimage of sorts, visiting Fortune 500 companies to flesh out a software start-up idea. He then recruits three former RadioRadio colleagues and starts Conversationworks, a company he believes will be at the vanguard of social change. Guided by Dan’s leadership, Conversationworks enjoys some early successes, but its existence is soon threatened on multiple fronts. Will Dan survive the ensuing corporate battles and realize the potential of his company? Or will he be defeated by his enemies and consumed by his grief?

About the author

Rich Marcello

Rich is a poet, a songwriter and musician, a creative writing teacher, and the author of three novels, The Color of Home, The Big Wide Calm, and The Beauty of the Fall.

As anyone who has read Rich’s work can tell you, his books deal with life’s big questions: love, loss, creativity, community, aging, self-discovery. His novels are rich with characters and ideas, crafted by a natural storyteller, with the eye and the ear of a poet.

For Rich, writing and art making is about connection, or as he says, about making a difference to a least one other person in the world, something he has clearly achieved many times over, both as an artist and a teacher.

Goodreads | AmazonUK | AmazonUS | Twitter

 

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT THE BEAUTY OF THE FALL by @marcellor #Contemporary #Fiction

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

#RBRT Review Team

Barb has been reading After The Fall by Rich Marcello

The Beauty of the Fall: A Novel by [Marcello, Rich]

My Review: 5 stars out of 5

Confession. I read The Beauty of the Fall on my Kindle. As I usually do for reviews, there were many pauses to highlight or bookmark or make notes, especially of some particularly beautiful phrase, metaphor, or line of poetry. At least, until my Kindle crashed, and the entire book disappeared into the unforgiving ether. After I downloaded the book again, and finished reading, I realized that my notes didn’t matter.

The reasons I love this book are broader even than the beautiful writing. And they are as precisely narrow as the definition of “fall”—a thing you can name, and a thing you can do:

“fall” defined by Google:

  • move from a higher to a lower level, typically rapidly and without control. Dan’s fall really starts when his workaholic lifestyle leads to the collapse of his marriage, followed by the death of his ten-year-old son Zack.
  • (of a person) lose one’s balance and collapse. He self-medicates his guilt and loss with scotch and obsession with his work at the software company he built with his best friend and boss Olivia.
  • decrease in number, amount, intensity, or quality. But when Olivia fires him, Dan has nothing left to center himself. antonyms:rise With the help of gifted therapist Nessa, with a core group of friends, and especially with his new love Willow, Dan literally climbs a sycamore tree to stop his freefall. He begins to build his relationships into a new company and a new life.
  • be captured or defeated, die in battle. Even as his new company is poised for epic success, Dan sabotages his personal life and puts everything he’s built at risk.
  • pass into a specified state, situation, or position. Dan’s self-destructive desperation is tempered by his talks with his dead son Zach, and by the love of his friends, and even by The Code—an evolving core set of beliefs for his business and his life.
  • be classified in the way specified. Dan’s journey begins as a pilgrimage to Fortune 500 companies, especially the technology giants. Inspired by a collection of small rocks he finds on his son’s grave, Dan begins leaving small pyramids of rocks to mark the stages of his journey. But when he’s robbed by a hitchhiker he’s befriended, Dan decides to abandon the pilgrimage and go back to what he does best—visionary leader. Taking the pyramid as symbol for his new company, Dan shares his dream of a company that could literally empower users to change the world. But even as the new company succeeds beyond his wildest dreams, Dan remains trapped between business success and a personal life spiraling out of control: “…ascension and fall were inextricably linked in my mind.”
  • Autumn. Dan’s fall starts and ends with the view through the CEO’s office window, a beautiful view of a fall landscape. But what once seemed to signal the end of growth and onset of winter is actually renewal. “The fall leaves are dotted with rich reds, bright yellows, and burnt oranges, though today I’m drawn to the greens. They’re living fully in the morning sun, aware and unaware of the endless rebirth cycle that lies ahead.”

On one level, The Beauty of the Fall is about one man’s straightforward journey to building a successful company. On another level, it’s almost a metaphor for what love looks like—as a lover, a father, a colleague, a friend.

Dan—who has failed at all those things—is still surrounded by people (mostly women) who love him in different ways. There is the almost maternal care from his therapist Nessa. Wilow’s spiritually romantic love energizes Dan and gives him permission to succeed with his idea for a new company. The frankly sexual physical act from prostitute Katie literally crucifies him even as it provides relief. Dan is left with the realization that his single most successful relationship, at least in terms of time spent together on a daily basis, is with Olivia his oldest friend/enemy. But in a bittersweet act of hope at the end, Dan not only realizes that he’s achieved all his goals, but that success even provides a surrogate daughter figure who seems to combine the best of himself and Willow.

There are a few things that didn’t ring true for me here. Time periods to develop world-changing software, let alone propel new companies into the stratosphere were astonishingly brief. I would have liked to see more actual content in the building of the company, but maybe that’s just my been-there-done-that experience. There were a few times when important information is slipped in as flashbacks or later recollections, taking me out of the story as I tried to figure out what happened and when. For example, I found it annoying to have to wait to find specifics of Zach’s death, or to realize what happened to Willow. And don’t even get me started on passing Equal Rights Amendment—languishing before Congress since the 1920s—in one year with the help of speedy-developed tech.

But all that pales beyond the achievement of this rich and layered novel. Anyone who has ever worked for a tech company will recognize the trappings—the fancy espresso machines, the sense of mission that makes a business into a cult of leader personality, the feeling that sacrifice of time, sleep, and occasionally hygiene will lead to the holiest of grails, the IPO.

And there is the other, darker side of business success in the toll it takes on personal relationships. Dan’s self-awareness is brutally honest: “With each of my lovers I didn’t have the same joy I got from work, or later the joy of being a dad I had with Zack. The truth: my best romantic relationship, if one judges such things by length, was unromantic. I saw Olivia almost every day for sixteen years, and I loved her. Together we were better than we were alone. We had a vision and a purpose; we built something that lasted.” 

Author Rich Marcello draws on his own corner office experience to nail so many aspects of this story. I particularly liked his depiction of savage power struggles. Pitted against longtime friend and adversary Olivia, Dan realizes: “This is as much about power as it is about content, and any emotional break in my voice will confirm in front of the whole board that Olivia is the pack leader.” And then…wait for it: “Olivia smiles as if the blood is already on her teeth.”

That kind of spectacular writing, interspersed with actual poetry, business vignettes drawn from life, and development of a deeply flawed, complex, and charismatic main character made this one of the best books I’ve read this year. For anyone with a technology background, The Beauty of the Fall is a must read. For everyone else, it’s a present right now, even as fall’s beauty heads to winter.

Book Description

 TECHNOLOGY EXECUTIVE CHARTS A HIGH-RISK, UNCONVENTIONAL PATH WHILE GRIEVING THE LOSS OF HIS SON

Dan Underlight, a divorced, workaholic technology executive, suffers lingering grief over the death of his ten-year-old son, Zack. When Dan’s longtime friend and boss fires Dan from RadioRadio, the company that he helped create, he crashes and isolates himself.

Willow, a poet and domestic violence survivor, helps Dan regain his footing. With her support, Dan ventures on a pilgrimage of sorts, visiting Fortune 500 companies to flesh out a software start-up idea. He then recruits three former RadioRadio colleagues and starts Conversationworks, a company he believes will be at the vanguard of social change.

Guided by Dan’s leadership, Conversationworks enjoys some early successes, but its existence is soon threatened on multiple fronts. Will Dan survive the ensuing corporate battles and realize the potential of his company? Or will he be defeated by his enemies and consumed by his grief?

About the author

Rich is a poet, an accomplished songwriter and musician, a creative writing teacher at Seven Bridges’ Writer Collaborative, and the author of three novels, The Color of Home, The Big Wide Calm, and the forthcoming, The Beauty of the Fall, due out in 2016. Previously, he enjoyed a successful career as a technology executive, managing several multi-billion dollar businesses for Fortune 500 companies. The Color of Home was published in 2013 by Langdon Street Press, and melds together honest generative dialogue, poetic sensory detail, and “unforgettable characters who seem to know the complete song catalog of Lennon or Cohen.” The Big Wide Calm was published in 2014, also by Langdon Street Press. The US Review of Books stated, “Marcello’s novel has a lot going for it. Well-written, thought-provoking, and filled with flawed characters, it meets all of the basic requirements of best-of-show in the literary fiction category.” The Beauty of the Fall will be published in 2016. Faulkner Award Winner Mark Spencer commented, “Few novels are as intelligent and relevant as The Beauty of the Fall. Almost none is as eloquent, compelling, heartbreaking, and ultimately, uplifting.” As anyone who has read Rich’s work can tell you, his books deal with life’s big questions: love, loss, creativity, community, aging, self-discovery. His novels are rich with characters and ideas, crafted by a natural storyteller, with the eye and the ear of a poet. For Rich, writing and art making is about connection, or as he says, about making a difference to a least one other person in the world, something he has clearly achieved many times over, both as an artist, a mentor, and a teacher. Rich lives in Massachusetts on a lake with his family and two Newfoundlands, Ani and Shaman. He is currently working on his fourth novel, The Latecomers.

Rich is a poet, an accomplished songwriter and musician, a creative writing teacher at Seven Bridges’ Writer Collaborative, and the author of three novels, The Color of Home, The Big Wide Calm, and the forthcoming, The Beauty of the Fall, due out in 2016. Previously, he enjoyed a successful career as a technology executive, managing several multi-billion dollar businesses for Fortune 500 companies.
The Color of Home was published in 2013 by Langdon Street Press, and melds together honest generative dialogue, poetic sensory detail, and “unforgettable characters who seem to know the complete song catalog of Lennon or Cohen.” The Big Wide Calm was published in 2014, also by Langdon Street Press. The US Review of Books stated, “Marcello’s novel has a lot going for it. Well-written, thought-provoking, and filled with flawed characters, it meets all of the basic requirements of best-of-show in the literary fiction category.” The Beauty of the Fall will be published in 2016. Faulkner Award Winner Mark Spencer commented, “Few novels are as intelligent and relevant as The Beauty of the Fall. Almost none is as eloquent, compelling, heartbreaking, and ultimately, uplifting.”
As anyone who has read Rich’s work can tell you, his books deal with life’s big questions: love, loss, creativity, community, aging, self-discovery. His novels are rich with characters and ideas, crafted by a natural storyteller, with the eye and the ear of a poet.
For Rich, writing and art making is about connection, or as he says, about making a difference to a least one other person in the world, something he has clearly achieved many times over, both as an artist, a mentor, and a teacher.
Rich lives in Massachusetts on a lake with his family and two Newfoundlands, Ani and Shaman. He is currently working on his fourth novel, The Latecomers.

Amazon (US) | Amazon (UK) |  Twitter

AFTER THE FALL By Carissa Lusk @ckelley_lusk #NA #Romance #TuesdayBookBlog @UFBooks

After the FallAfter the Fall by Carissa Lusk
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

After The Fall is a New Adult (NA) Paranormal romance set in West Virginia. The book opens with a prologue involving dreams of falling in love by the sea. Amity Day is studying English at college, as the new term starts she is feeling a little lost after her long term boyfriend transferred to a different University.

Marcus Riley seems to have eyes only for Amity in the classes he shares with her and she can’t help feeling intrigued and attracted to him, yet she’s in love with Alex and she feels guilty about spending time with Marcus.

Marcus is a talented artist and he is very attentive and determined. He writes poetry for Amity and she finds herself in a love triangle. Behind it all are dreams which feel more like memories, jumbles of messages which Amity tries to grasp.

At Christmas it looks like Alex is about to propose to Amity and fear of losing Marcus forces her to decide between the two but has she made the right decision? Her family knew all about Alex, but she keeps Marcus a secret and lies to her family. When Marcus reveals that they’ve shared past lives together Amity begins to understand some of her dreams, but still something isn’t right, why are there questions which Marcus refuses to answer?

The love triangle theme is very popular in the YA / NA romance market, it works well and adds intensity and drama. Who wouldn’t want men fighting over them? It’s good for the female ego. The intrigue and mystery surrounding Marcus and Alex makes you want to find out their connection and thus keep turning the pages.

My review is based on a free copy of the book given to me as part of this Ultimate Fantasy Book Tour.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

ufb-tour-banner-for-yola

Book Description

Amity cries out into the darkness that surrounds her, hoping for a solitary voice to provide direction; she hears two.

Amity knows she loves Alexander, yet the loneliness brought on by the miles that separate them can only be curbed by the cryptic affection of Marcus Riley. She can’t understand the strange familiarity she finds in the wild blue of Marcus’s eyes, but she will soon learn his secret.

Plagued with dreams and memories of lives beyond her own, a tragic fate will emerge from the ashes of a love scorned. Eventually, she will discover the dark truth that will leave her running for her life, and she will learn who sacrificed everything to save it.

Buy Links

Bookbaby | ITunes | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | AmazonUS | AmazonUK

About the author

carissa-lusk

Carissa Lusk grew up in a small town in West Virginia and never moved far from home. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from Concord College. She credits her love of reading and writing to Kate Chopin, Emily Bronte, and her mom. After the Fall is Carissa’s debut novel.

Visit her at:

Facebook | Twitter | Amazon Author Page

 

Rosie’s Good Read Collections: Modern Contemporary Themes

Welcome to “Rosie’s Good read Collections”, I’ve put together the books I’ve read into subject headings that I think the books belong to, for you to browse.

16090310When the police have been seen at school on the second day of term, fighting breaks out amongst parents and gossip about individuals threatens to spiral out of control, can Mrs Hardy, the Headmistress at Moortulk Primary keep control for another school year? Sophie Grey lands a self-made job where she is in a prime position to hunt out the inside story. Is this an idyllic English school? Goodreads, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com, My Book!

18460826Karen Kavanagh has spent her life feeling like the runt of the family. Her two elder sisters, domestic goddess Ava and salon owner Saskia, are mini versions of their mother, a gorgeous Danish beauty. Karen has inherited her father’s droopy, dull brown hair and long nose – pitted against two Scandinavian sauna babes, she feels like Cinderella in reverse. Danny Alvarez doesn’t see her like that. He thinks she’s wonderful. Lots of women want Danny, but Danny just wants Karen.
He pursues her with the devotion of a stalker – but she pushes him away. Then she realises what she’s done…
Set in Norfolk, Terry Tyler’s sixth novel, “What It Takes”, is a story of insecurity, jealousy, sibling rivalry, love and loss, and the games people play in the search for love – because if you love someone with all your heart you’ll do what it takes to make them yours. Goodreads, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com, My Review: http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-2Jl

3407741Another warm, wise and witty offering from Sunday Times bestseller Trisha Ashley. James is everything Tish has ever wanted in a husband – she’s married a man who even her mother approves of. He’s handsome, dependable, and will make an excellent father – unlike Tish’s first love, the disreputable Fergal. Her teenage sweetheart abandoned her for a music career and now lives a typical celebrity lifestyle. Fergal broke her heart – James helped mend it.
Now, they’ve bought a cottage in the country. The next step – kids and a lifetime of domestic bliss. Well, that’s the plan. And even if James has a slight tendency to view the village pub as a second home, their relationship is still in pretty good shape after seven years of marriage. So why is marriage to Mr Right making her long for Mr Wrong? Goodreads, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com, This book would also fit into the romance genre. My Review: http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-2yB

18008061Anyone who’s dabbled with internet dating has a story to tell, but few can tell them with as much wit and honesty as Julie McDowall. Her online dating blog became an instant sensation on HeraldScotland.com when she charted her bizarre and hilarious experiences in search of the perfect man. Or at least a man who wasn’t a total freak. Or, failing that, a freak who was freaky in the right ways…
Now for the first time CASTING THE NET – VOLUME 1 presents the unexpurgated true story of her on-going quest for love, including all the material deemed unfit for a family newspaper. Join the eloquent and intrepid McDowall as she tackles The Janny, The Accountant, The Comedian, Foxy Doctor, the inimitable Shug — and her ultimate nemesis, The Clown. Goodreads, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com, My Review: http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-2gG

17792066You know the Dugans.  They’re that scrappy family that lives down the street.  Their yard is overgrown, they don’t pick up after their dog, their five children run free – leaving chaos in their wake – and the father hasn’t earned a cent in years.  The wife holds them together on her income alone.  You wouldn’t want them for neighbors – but from a distance, their quite entertaining. Of course, alcohol is an issue.  You can tell from the empty bottles lying under the bush out front.  You can hardly blame the wife for leaving one day.  Without her at the helm, the rest carry on the best they can.  Their strong sense of family keeps them going.  They help each other, and in some cases, rescue each other.  They struggle for a better life.  While they never follow the rules, or completely conquer adversity, they stare it down, meet their challenges, and earn some much needed respect.   They might even make you proud. Set in the Finger Lakes region of upstate  New York, the twelve linked stories in Our Love Could Light The World depict a dysfunctional family that’s messy and rude, cruel and kind, and loyal to the end. Goodreads, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com, My Review: http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-2ff

18071472‘The first thing you have to know about me is that I have no voice.’ This is the story of a curious girl, and the threads of a life she’s determined to unravel. Mouse de Bruin is under siege. Without a voice since the age of six, she is trying to work things out about the world. She and her mother have moved into a
rented Pennine farmhouse in which reminders of the man who lived there previously, William Crosby, lie all around her. Fighting to hold the outside world at bay, Mouse becomes increasingly drawn to William, a man who seems to have been haunted by secrets. As Mouse’s investigations lead her towards some of the people who knew him, she unearths a collection of letters about William’s experience as a young officer in the chaotic final weeks of the war. But why, as Mouse begins to uncover the mysteries of William’s past life, is she so keen to eliminate all traces of her own? Goodreads, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com, My Review: http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-24v

17240425When Sam, Jackie and Anna successfully campaign to save their children’s school lollipop lady, they are asked by a TV reporter if they fancy standing in the general election. It is, of course, a crazy idea: Sam’s youngest son has an incurable disease, Jackie is desperate for another child and her mum is struggling with Alzheimers, Anna’s teenagers – and marriage – are in danger of going off the rails. But sometimes the craziest ideas turn out to be the best. And just think what they could do if they got to run the country…Goodreads, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com, My Review: http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-1Qx

16170937Make a Joyful Noise is the sparkling tale of a choir preparing for a very special Christmas performance of “Belshazzar’s Feast”. We meet a host of characters who are mercilessly sent up by the author: Lucy the staggeringly trusting young music teacher, Tristan the lecherous and vain anti-hero, Miss Greymitt the ageing and slightly confused choir pianist, Claire the shameless and scheming temptress, and singers with nothing but resonance between their ears. Just as all does not run smoothly for King Belshazzar in Walton’s music, so the characters in the novel suffer from hopeless yearnings, romantic misunderstandings and the unfortunate consequences of their own misguided actions. All is sharply and wittily observed in a delightful mix of romance, music and humour. Goodreads, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com This book could also fit in the romance genre. My Review: http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-5F

16371619A boy, Halkeno, waits in a small orphanage in Beira, Mozambique for someone to find him. A successful Iowa businessman realizes there’s a space in his life and goes off searching to fill it. Amazingly, the boy and the man meet and life is very happy for a time. But they never see the tragedy moving toward them and suddenly Halkeno is on his own again. This story of fathers and sons spans four generations and three continents. It answers the question, “when we lose our fathers, do we ever find them again?” and shows that true love lives forever. Goodreads, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com, This book could also be in historical, but I’m more comfortable putting it here. My Review: http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-ck

17125479What do you do when your family’s dream becomes a nightmare? Combining the skill of Jodi Picoult with the warmth of Anita Shreve, Charity Norman explores – with heart-thumping tension – a fresh start which goes very badly wrong. In the quiet of a New Zealand winter’s night, a rescue helicopter is sent to airlift a five-year-old boy with severe internal injuries. He’s fallen from the upstairs veranda of an isolated farmhouse, and his condition is critical. At first, Finn’s fall looks like a horrible accident; after all, he’s prone to sleepwalking. Only his frantic mother, Martha McNamara, knows how it happened. And she isn’t telling. Not yet. Maybe not ever.
Tragedy isn’t what the McNamara family expected when they moved to New Zealand. For Martha, it was an escape. For her artist husband Kit, it was a dream. For their small twin boys, it was an adventure. For sixteen-year-old Sacha, it was the start of a nightmare. They end up on the isolated east coast of the North Island, seemingly in the middle of a New Zealand tourism campaign. But their peaceful idyll is soon shattered as the choices Sacha makes lead the family down a path which threatens to destroy them all. Martha finds herself facing a series of impossible decisions, each with devastating consequences for her family. Goodreads, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com, My Review: http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-pa

August Issue Of Fleet Life

Fleet Life have kindly once again featured “Rosie’s Good Reads”, where I review several books every month.

August Fleet Life

This magazine can be accessed via it’s on-line version at www.fleetlife.org.uk click on the on-line directory and this month you can find my reviews on page 18.

These are the featured books for August;

Saving Jackie K by LDC Fitzgerald,  see the book here

After The Fall by Charity Norman, see the book here

The Unicorn Girl by Melissa LeGette, see the book here

The Soulkeepers by G.P. Ching, see the book here, free on kindle

Sihpromatum – I Grew My Boobs in China by Savannah Grace, see the book here

Good Deeds week 21st July – 27th July

Welcome to my weekly updates on my challenge to do at least one Good Deed a day for a year. This has been inspired by Judith O’Reilly and her book “A Year of Doing Good”

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Year-Doing-Good-Woman-Resolution/dp/0670921130/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1374337494&sr=1-1&keywords=a+year+of+doing+good

If this interests you it was half price when I checked on the 20th July. Catch up on my journey so far from the Home page.

Good deeds

21st July – Today I took my son to the park and we played some tennis, then I picked up litter before we went home.

22nd July – I’ve been so busy that my only Good Deeds have been posting a book review and retweeting interesting tweeps.

23rd July – Yay! School is finally out for my son for the next 6 weeks. Lie-ins what Bliss! (this means I can stay up later at night reading my books!) Bought a book from a Charity shop today. Busy planning a competition that I’m hoping to run on the blog with a book related prize. Got my paper copy of the August Issue of Fleet Life with my latest book reviews. The following authors have their books reviewed this month; LDC Fitzgerald – Saving Jackie K, Charity Norman – After the Fall, Melissa LeGette – The Unicorn Girl, GP Ching – The Soulkeepers and Savannah Grace – Sihpromatum – I Grew my Boobs in China.

24th July – Just been checking out a prize for a competition that I’m going to run for my UK readers soon. Baked cookies to take with me to my friend who invited me to dinner.

25th July – We had a wonderful lazy day and didn’t go anywhere. I took on board another book to review for an author who contacted me and I set up my draft for my competition which is going to start on Monday, here on the blog.

26th July – Sent off a birthday card for a friend whom I’ve not seen for many years but she is not forgotten. Posted a book review from my second teenage book reviewer who is another keen reader.

27th July – Off to the lovely Cotswolds today to visit my husbands Aunt. So I’m taking her flowers and goodies etc. Got a busy start planned for next week with my competition launch on Monday, a guest author Tuesday, 2 book launches for authors on Wednesday and the August online Issue of Fleet Life out on Thursday. Phew!

Have my Good Deeds touched your hearts and you heads yet? Are you aware of the Good deeds that you do for others in your daily life? What good deeds have others done for you? Let me know in the comments below.

After the Fall by Charity Norman

After the FallAfter the Fall by Charity Norman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a book about a family who decide to emigrate to New Zealand to leave behind a failed business and give themselves a new start in life. Each member of the family expects a different outcome from the move and the family left in England have their own opinions about the emigration. Martha and her family are tested severely by their choices and for some it’s too much. Is New Zealand the paradise they wished for or the hell they all fear? I related to this book as I have been to New Zealand and I have a friend who emigrated there, leaving behind her own failed business and finding a few demons of her own!

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