Beach Reads Blog Tour 2015 Day 14 #BeachBooks @TerryTyler4 #SundayBlogShare


Beach Read Postcard

It’s our final day of our holiday beach reads tour, time for a last ice-cream before packing our bags.


Today my guest is Terry Tyler.

Beach Reads

I’ve got the last day of the holiday fortnight, the one in which you’re desperately trying to make the most of every last minute!

Where would I be? I hate being overheated and dislike crowds of people, so no holiday hotspots for me. My ideal destination would be a Scottish or Scandinavian island, somewhere really barren and beautiful, where I could walk for miles on deserted beaches/over hills/through woods, then go back to a wonderfully cosy cottage or log cabin. I think late spring or September would be fine. Now that I’m fast becoming a grumpy old hermit, I’d like it to be within a couple of miles of a small town/village so I could go to stock up, but mostly I’d prefer it just to be me and my husband, with perhaps a visit from a couple of friends for a day or so. I want to go there NOW….!

A Fun Read 


For my ‘fun read’ I’ve chosen Knife Skills by Carrie Ann Lahain – I’ve bought this for my Kindle recently and plan to read it soon. I always loved working in restaurants and reading books about that life. I’m not much of a one for ‘fun reads’ generally, but I do like the look of this! Here’s the blurb:

It’s all burners on high for Chef Molly Price, about to start her first restaurant job on her aunt and uncle’s Long Island vineyard. They took Molly in as a child, and she’s determined not to let them down. But it’s hard to focus on the perfect bread pudding with a no-good ex who won’t leave her alone and a best guy friend who’s as cranky as he is kissable. Molly soon learns that, though her sauces never break, the same can’t be said for her heart.

Find a copy here from or

A book you’ve been meaning to read for ages 


I am so looking forward to having the time to listen to Queen’s Gambit by Elizabeth Fremantle. It’s a historical novel about Katherine Parr, the last wife of Henry VIII. I have an unquenchable thirst for anything about the Tudors, and when I was researching my novel Kings and Queens I discovered that Katherine interested me almost as much as Anne Boleyn; more so, in some ways, because I knew less about her. I’ve got it on audio book, and I would love to listen to it while striding along the aforementioned deserted beaches, early in the morning!

Find a copy here from or

A book from your favourite genre 


I’m mad on post apocalyptic drama, zombie or otherwise, so I think that, to go with my deserted holiday location, I would choose to re-read (on my Kindle) Future Perfect by Katrina Mountfort. I recently read this for Rosie’s blog (review coming soon) and LOVED it. It’s set in year 2185, when the world has gone to pot and selected citizens of the UK now live in controlled ‘Citidomes’. But what of those who still exist in the outside world? I thought it was like a modern version of ‘1984’, and it’s all scarily feasible… it’s actually a YA book, but it would definitely appeal to all ages.

Find a copy here from or


A book you could truly escape with 


I had a long think about this, and eventually decided on three books that I first read in one hardback – The Suffolk Trilogy, or The House at Old Vine, by Norah Lofts. The first two are The Town House and The House At Sunset. It’s an incredible saga about a house, first built by one Martin Reed in the 14th century, and takes the reader through to the 1950s. Of course it’s not about the house so much as the people who lived in it, but in each one you are given glimpses of the past, and an insight into sociological changes. Fascinating, wonderful stuff; I’m currently re-reading the first part, holiday or not!

Find a copy here from or

Own book 


Rosie says that we can suggest one of our own books, so here’s Round and Round! It’s novella length, only 36K words long, and is probably the ‘lightest’ of my books. The plot in brief: Sophie Heron is approaching her fortieth birthday, and becoming obsessed with a time, sixteen years before, when she had the choice of four different men. Unhappy in her current relationship, she can’t help wondering what might have been … and, as luck would have it, she just happens to have a guardian angel who helps answer her questions. Yes, and I’d probably read it on holiday, too – I read one of my own books every few months and still enjoy them. I’m not sure if that’s weird or not!

Find a copy here from or

Time to go home, then, back to the dead plants, the pile of junk mail on the mat, and four loads of washing! Thank you, Rosie, for inviting me to take part in Beach Reads 2015.

Should you be interested, this is my blog, on which I write about reading, television, clothes, relationships, shopping, social networking, and miscellaneous moans 🙂

and my book review blog:

Bon Voyage! If you are off on your own summer holiday’s soon – perhaps you’ll be taking some of the books from our Beach Reads book Tour with you – what ever your choices – HAPPY READING.

Beach reads 0303

Beach Reads Blog Tour 2015 Day 13 #Beachbooks @GreenWizard62

Beach Read Postcard

As thoughts turn to the end of our Beach Read holiday when suitcases need re-packing, we’re not ready to leave yet. My guest today is Mark Barry.

Mark Barry

Rosie Amber Beach Reads 

My bucket list is currently full of cities at the moment, and I think San Diego would be up there. I would visit Santa Anita racecourse (and travel down the coast to Del Mar) and spend the evenings on a beach front bar talking books. What better place to talk horses and books than over a tall Mojito in the glorious sunshine!


I’m not a Kindle fan, so I would take several paperback books. I DO read Kindle books (many of my favourite authors and friends are e-book only), but it’s just not the same. It doesn’t have the same impact at all. I always leave books behind whenever I travel – sometimes my own.



I would leave Hollywood Shakedown of my own library. I wrote it in 2010 and it is intended to be an airport novel for intelligent people. Quite a few people think it’s my best book. It’s pretty unsung and I tend to scratch my head about how to market it as it is unlike my other books. It is also long enough for a week’s beach holiday!

Find a copy here form or


A Fun Read 

After The Sucker Punch by Lorraine Devon Wilke



A sweeping, seventies, old school family saga that’s also long enough to engage you for a good week on the beach. In fact, it’s made for the beach and the airport. Beautifully written, light, accessible, I have yet to come across a book as good as this in Indie. In fact, you genuinely would not know this is an Indie book. It is sublime and – like many books we write – underappreciated, especially over here.

Find a copy here from or


A book from your favourite genre 

Warlock – The Complete Series



Put a bullet to my head and I would say that I prefer comics and graphic novels to books. I would have loved to have been a comic book writer. This graphic novel, written and drawn in the mid-seventies, by Jim Starlin is the finest epic saga. It’s scope is astonishing. The next Avengers film features Thanos, the scheming villain and servant of Death that Starlin invented, and he has never been better than he is here in this seminal appearance. I read this every year without fail.

Find a copy here from or


A book you would only read on holiday in a sun, sea and sand location 

Jackie Collins – Lucky



Every genre writer has a sneaky, guilty pleasure, and I like the work of Jackie Collins, who has the trashy, worthless, star-spangled celebrity bonk buster down pat. My favourite – and most people seem to agree with me – and best is Lucky. Surprisingly well written and incredibly easy to read, this is an ideal book to leave behind in some Tanzania beach hut. It will be read.

Find a copy here from or


A book you could truly escape with 

Music of Chance by Paul Auster



In any Desert Island quartet, you have to go for quality somewhere down the line and this is one of my favourite books from one of the world’s finest contemporary fiction writers. It’s not his best – you have to aim at something like Book of Illusions or Brooklyn Follies for that honour – but it packs the biggest punch. One of those books that you live rather than read. Hence the escape.

Find a copy here from or

Beach Reads Drift Wood





Beach Reads Blog Tour 2015 Day 12 #BeachBooks @lizzie_lamb

Day 12 of our lovely beach holiday where all we are doing is sitting back with a book or two.

Lizzie Lamb

My guest today is Lizzie Lamb.

Beach Read Postcard

A few lines about my ideal holiday destination where I can sit back and relax with a book

My ideal holiday destination where I can kick back, relax and read a book would be an air conditioned villa whose garden leads on to a tropical beach. That being unlikely in the grand scheme of things, I’ll settle for our caravan on the edge of a Scottish loch in high summer when it is possible to read out of doors without a light until well after 10pm.


The ideal format my choice of book would be available in (for me as a reader) –why?

I spend a lot of time in front of a screen – writing, texting, blogging etc. I have an array of glasses (and contact lenses) for distance, reading and using computer glasses. When I read, it’s the one time when I don’t need glasses and I prefer to get away from the screen and read a paperback, thus giving my eyes a rest. I don’t fare very well with audio books as they lull me to sleep! If I travelled abroad, I’d take my iPad and listen to audio books, read kindle downloads that way.

Link (s)

blog website:

Amazon page:


Rosie Amber’s blog – BEACH READS

All the books I’ve mentioned are available in both paperback and kindle form.

An Easy ReadTristan and Iseult – Rosemary Sutcliffe



This is my comfort read, the one (along with The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer) I return to from time to time. I have read this story to the children I have taught (10+) and it holds the attention of boys and girls alike. Not the easiest of tasks. The children have often recommended it to their parents who have later commented to me how much THEY loved the story, too. I read it to remind myself what a great story teller Rosemary Sutcliffe was; her language is spare yet descriptive and it is hard not to be caught up in the romance of the times and the love between Tristan and Iseult. The end always has me in tears. Although once, when I closed the book and looked around the children sitting at my feet for a reaction, one boy put his hand up and asked: ‘is it playtime yet?’ Which just goes to prove, you can’t win ‘em all.

 A book from my favourite genre (rom com)Notting Hell – Rachel Johnson



I’ve long been a fan of Rachel Johnson’s writing. I loved this book because I read it as I was writing Tall, Dark and Kilted – which opens in Notting Hill, and then moves on to Wester Ross, in the highlands of Scotland. Inspired by the novel, I took advantage of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to look round the private gardens enclosed by Elgin Crescent, Rosemead Road and Ladbroke Grove – and sat on the bench featured in the film Notting Hill. I used the novel as a way of getting into the mind-set of the uber rich who inhabit the grand houses surrounding the communal gardens. And, in a moment of pure synchronicity, there was an article in the Times about the daughters of a certain nobleman who were causing mayhem while their parents were away. Just like the Urquhart sisters in my novel. A great summer read and one I return to many times.


A book I’ve been meaning to read for agesRiver of Destiny – Barbara Erskine



I’ve been a fan of Barbara Erskine since The Lady of Hay (1986); over three million copies sold to date, so I’m not alone. I enjoyed this author’s books because they are (generally) time slip novels, meticulously researched, involve a high degree of the paranormal and the ‘heroine in jeopardy, trope. In particular, I want to read River of Destiny because I have visited the Sutton Hoo ship burial site, which is bordered by the River Debden, many times and thought what a great setting it was for a novel. I am also considering writing a paranormal/time slip and I can do no better than to immerse myself in Erskine’s great writing. Pleasure and research at the same time – a no brainer.

A book that interests meThe Goldfinch – Donna Tartt



I have added this to the list because I really do have to give Ms Tartt’s writing another go. I started (and later abandoned) her earlier books because they didn’t strike a chord with me. However, I am assured by friends that I will enjoy this one. Checking the reviews for Goldfinch (2346 – wow) I see that she has been awarded four stars overall, so it’s worth a punt. Tartt has also been awarded the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, not just for this book but for her body of work. It’s a bit of a massive tome so I think I’ll take it on holiday with me to read when there are fewer distractions. I hope I do enjoy it and it doesn’t remind me too much of books I had to read when I was studying for my degree, many moons ago.


My own bookScotch on the RocksLizzie Lamb


Coming soon to Amazon


When I was teaching full time I was always on the lookout for feel-good romantic comedies which would raise my spirits at the end of a long, hard day. Now, as a writer, I want to create novels with the same ‘ahh’ factor, where my reader becomes so immersed in the story that she forgets her cares and woes for a time. As one of my reviewers said of Boot Camp Bride –“It’s impossible not to love the main characters and to dream you could live their story!” So, if you like love stories with a light, comedic touch, sexy Americans researching their Scottish roots and a hardworking, believable heroine you can root for – give Scotch on the Rocks a try.


And, if you’re still looking for some really great holiday reads, let me add the three books from the New Romantics Press, all of which are available on Kindle and in paperback.


An Englishwoman’s Guide to the Cowboy – June Kearns

Secrets of the Heart – Adrienne Vaughan

Twins of a Gazelle – Mags Cullingford.

Beach Read Blog Tour 2015 Day 9 #Beachbooks @jontybabe @BrookCottageBks

Welcome to day 9 of the beach reads blog tour, everyone should be feeling lovely and relaxed now on our virtual holiday.

Beach Read Postcard

My guest today is Debbie Johnston from Brook Cottage Books

photo (1)


Thank you to Rosie for inviting me to be a part of her Beach Reads feature. When it comes to thinking about my perfect holiday destination I am going to be greedy and list two! The first one would obviously be lying on a hammock between two palm trees on a desert island somewhere with cocktails close to hand. The sound of the sea would eventually soothe me to sleep! The second destination is a cabin or cottage beside a lake with a mountain back drop! Perfect! To date, my most perfect holiday destination has been Malta. Beautiful scenery and equally beautiful people!


My 5 holiday reads would be:

A Self Help / Inspirational book (which would get your mojo back for when you return home) 


On Writing by Stephen King. This book is an amazing insight into the great man himself, with stories about his childhood and his early writing career. The book offers really sound advice for those venturing into the world of writing. The format would have to be audiobook as its read by Stephen King himself and I guarantee you will instantly fall in love with his voice and the way he reads!




A book that interests you although it’s from a genre you’ve never read.


Biocentrism by Lanza and Berman. This is from the Science / cosmology /physics / non-fiction genre. Definitely something I would never usually read! However the subject matter interests me greatly and I have actually bought this book already! The premise of the book is basically that consciousness is the key to reality. The universe exist through our minds! Talk about get your geek on!




A book from your favourite genre 


One of my favourite genres is the horror genre. I have chosen Misery by Stephen King as it was the first Stephen King book I ever read and from then on in I was totally hooked on the man! It’s so well written and super creepy. In the words of Annie Wilkes, the scary woman in the book, I am his ‘number one fan!’




A book you’ve been meaning to read for ages 


I have been meaning to read Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger after really enjoying her book The Time Traveller’s Wife. I have the book on my bookshelf staring at me and it really needs to go to the top of my TBR list! It sounds like quite a spooky read with a bit of a mystery behind it too. Just the sort of thing I love!




A Fun Read 


For fun overload I always recommend books by Carol E Wyer. Carol has such an hilarious way of looking at the world and her books always produce a bit of a giggle, especially her ‘grumpy’ series of books. Her latest book Grumpies On Board is on my TBR list at the moment and I am really looking forward to getting stuck in! It’s a light hearted look at the latest adventures for those of a certain age! Carol definitely believes in getting older rather disgracefully and with a bang!




Thank you Rosie for letting me take part in this feature. It was great fun! Not sure if you need all this but here it is anyway.



In the bookish world I am known by the name JB Johnston and this is the name I sometimes write under. I also work under the name Debbie Johnston!  I would love to be a writer but in the meantime, and until I actually get an ounce of talent, I review and promote books for various sites, publishers and individual authors.
I was an intern with Safkhet Publishing where I was a Marketing Assistant and Editorial Assistant and was the editor for Little White Lies and Butterflies by Suzie Tullett. I am also a book tour co-ordinator and organise and run virtual book tours for authors. If you have a book to promote then I can help you do that. I organise and co-ordinate online promotion parties for authors and publishers. All you have to do is sit back and enjoy! I am a beta reader for some authors which I really enjoy.

BCB-Host Button-200


I review books from my own personal bookshelf also and support a variety of Indie authors. I am a monthly contributor on Siren FM radio for the show ‘Books Rock’ which is hosted by author Nicky Wells. I’m a Lifestyle reviewer for the award winning Loveahappyending Lifestyle magazine, which won the 2013 Romance Industry “Innovation in Romantic Fiction” award. I was shortlisted for Romance Blogger of the Year 2013 in the Romance Industry Awards.  I am involved with the Plum Tree  Books Group and regularly read and review books for  where I am on the review panel.


Brook Cottage Books






Beach Reads Drift Wood

Beach Reads Blog Tour 2015 Day 7 #Beachbooks @LindleyE

So we are just ending our first week of our holiday beach reads, everyone should be enjoying some sun and kicking back for a good rest.

Beach Read Postcard

Today my guest is E.L. Lindley

E. L. Lindley Author

Beach Reads Blog Tour


I’m not much of a beach person so my ideal holiday destination is always a city break. I’m not overly keen on flying these days either so I can’t think of anything better than taking the train to Paris and spending my holiday embracing the lovely cafe culture there. I would spend my days watching the world go by with a glass of wine and a good book. Wherever I go, I always have a paperback and my kindle in my bag so I’d have lots to choose from. My iPod is another permanent companion but curiously I have never listened to an audio book so this would be the perfect opportunity for me to give one a try.



A Fun Read – I think it would be a lot of fun to charge up my kindle and re-read one of my own books. The Georgie Connelly stories are light-hearted crime thrillers which would hopefully get me into a holiday frame of mind. I’d choose Business As Usual because it’s the first one in the series and introduces us to Georgie Connelly. It’s also the first book I ever wrote so it would be nice to re-visit it. I’d then like to spend the rest of the holiday channelling my inner Georgie as she’s such a lively, mad-cap character who’s up for anything.

Find a copy here from or

 To be released soon

An Easy Read For Me – A book I’m really looking forward to reading is Thicker than Water by Georgia Rose, which I’ll be downloading onto my kindle the second it’s released. It’s the third book in The Grayson Trilogy and I know this will be an easy read for me purely because I enjoyed the first two books so much. The stories are exquisitely written and introduce us to Emma Grayson and Trent who, despite neither of them having had easy lives, manage to connect and nurture their feelings for each other. As Thicker than Water is the final part of the trilogy, I’m really hoping that things will work out for Emma and Trent. For me the strength of the stories lie in the fact that they’re not just love at first sight, happy ending style romance but deal with real issues such as bereavement and loneliness.



A Book I’ve Been Meaning To Read For Ages – I’ve had a paperback copy of Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn on my bedside table for months. I loved Dark Places and Gone Girl and, everyone I know who has read them, keeps telling me that Sharp Objects is Flynn’s best novel. It’s the story of a journalist who returns to her home town after many years in order to cover the story of a missing girl. Flynn does seem to divide opinion, possibly because Gone Girl was such a phenomenal success, but readers seem to love or hate her. I’m definitely in the ‘love her’ camp and really enjoy her dark, spiky style.

Find a copy here from or


 A Book From My Favourite Genre – My favourite genre is crime and so I’d get my kindle out to read Hollywood Shakedown by Mark Barry, which I really love. It’s a gritty, old school crime novel and has a wonderful cast of dysfunctionally loveable characters. Frustrated writer, Buddy Chinn is at the centre of the story and he’s the kind of character that readers will adore and want to kill in equal measure. He’s very much a laid back Los Angeleno and so would provide the perfect antidote to all that stylish Parisian glamour. The plot has lots of twists and turns and takes the reader from LA to Chicago and London with lots of hilarious cross cultural shenanigans. It’s the perfect accompaniment to a nice glass of chardonnay.

Find a copy here from or


A Book I Could Truly Escape With – I recently saw Far From The Madding Crowd at the cinema and it really made me want to read the book. It’s the story of Bathsheba Everdene, who’s trying to be an independent woman when it wasn’t really the done thing. She makes some terrible choices though and ends up in a bit of a pickle. I’m not a massive Thomas Hardy fan but I love The Mayor of Casterbridge because, when I was at school the teacher read it aloud to us and it was such a memorable experience. I think I would try and recreate that pleasure by listening to Far From The Madding Crowd on audio book. It’s really long so it would be perfect for the train journey from Sheffield to London and then onto Paris.

Find a copy here from or

Beach Reads Drift Wood









Beach Reads Blog Tour 2015 Day 6 #BeachBooks @dino0726

It’s Day 6 of our Beach Reads Book Tour and today my guest is book reviewer Diane Coto from

Beach Read Postcard

FictionZeal’s ‘Summer Beach Reads’ Suggestions:

Some people like to travel to the mountains for a holiday, and I can understand why. In the heat, the trees often provide some much appreciated shade. However, I’m a beach goer. The ocean water totally relaxes me and if I have a book along … well, it really adds a whole other dimension to relaxing and enjoying the beach. I love sitting on the balcony with a book, feeling the ocean breeze; hearing the gulls and the ocean waves and families chattering below … it’s about as close to heaven as I can imagine while here on earth.

button 2

My preferred beach is Myrtle Beach, SC. It only takes about 2.5 hours to get there from our home. The beach is beautiful and kept-up very well. I’ve listed five books that I have thoroughly enjoyed and would recommend no matter where you choose to spend your summer vacation.

Mercy’s Rain by Cindy K. Sproles –


I read this only a few weeks ago. Set in the mountains of Tennessee in 1897, it is the story of Mercy Roller who had been abused by her father who was also the pastor of Wadalow Mountain. It’s her story of taking part in the killing of her father and being sent away by her mother. After traveling for a few days, she finds another pastor she calls ‘Preacher’. Why should she think he would be any better than her father? Once she gives herself a chance to get to know him, she finds out he is quite different. Link to full review on FictionZeal.

Find a copy here from or

The Reluctant Midwife (A Hope River Novel) by Patricia Harman –


This is also a historical fiction novel set in 1934 in the midst of the Great Depression. As the book begins, Nurse Becky Myers is driving from Percyville, VA to WV; Dr. Isaac Blum is her passenger. They are relocating as there is no work to be found. She is taking care of Dr. Blum who is catatonic, not having said anything since his wife’s death a year before. They begin to rebuild in Hope River, both taking help as well as giving it. It was a dire time in America and people had little choice but to pull together and assist each other in order to just have enough food to eat. Link to full review on FictionZeal.

Find a copy here from or

Blackberry Winter by Sarah Jio –


Another historical fiction but with a twist. One story is about Vera Ray in 1933. An alternate story is about Claire Aldridge in current day. The setting is Seattle in early May in which there is an unusual snowstorm pattern nicknamed Blackberry Winter. Claire Aldridge is a newspaper reporter who is assigned with a story for the storm. Unhappy with the assignment, she finally stumbles across a small article about Vera Ray whose three year old son Daniel had gone missing. I loved watching both of these women as the novel alternated between the two. Link to full review on FictionZeal.

Find a copy here from or

Virtues of Oxygen by Susan Schoenberger –


This would be classified as ‘women’s fiction.’ Vivian contracted polio at the age of six in 1955 .. about three years before a vaccine became available. She had all but lost the ability to breathe on her own, so she’s placed in an iron lung. The story of Vivian begins when she is 65. She’s managed to become very successful in the stock market. She’s still in an iron lung and the people in the small town she lives in volunteer their time to take care of her .. round the clock care. This could be a very boring and depressing story, but it’s not. The personality of Vivian makes up for her inability to get around. The author was inspired to write this story from the true life of Martha Mason who resided in North Carolina. She lived her life in an iron lung until she passed at the age of seventy-one. Link to full review on FictionZeal.

Find a copy here from or

Shady Cross by James Hankins –


I was hard pressed for the fifth book as there are several more, but finally decided upon Shady Cross. I’m a mystery buff, yet this is the only mystery on my Beach Reads list. Stokes is not a good guy. He lies and steals, but he doesn’t kill anyone … until one day he caused a man to careen off a mountain road. Even then, he takes a bag full of money from the back seat of the ‘now dead’ driver’s car. On a bus heading back to town, a phone rings from inside the bag. As people get more and more annoyed, he has to answer the phone. A little girl says, “Daddy, … Are you there? Can you hear me? They told me you’re coming to get me soon. That if you give them money, they’ll let you take me home.”
Link to full review on FictionZeal.

Find a copy here from or

Beach Reads Drift Wood

Beach Reads Blog Tour 2015 Day 5 #BeachBooks @CathyRy

Day 5 of our beach reads tour and by now we should all be feeling lovely and relaxed on our holidays.

Beach Read Postcard

Today my guest is Cathy Ryan, Cathy is a book reviewer find her blog here

Cathy Ryan

My ideal holiday destination would be a dog friendly, olde worlde cottage with a fire for chilly evenings, a beautiful secluded beach and a view of the sea beyond. It would include a lovely patio area with comfortable squashy chairs, and maybe a hammock, just right for reading and watching the sunset. There’d be a few pleasant walks, cafés and bars/restaurants with pretty terraces nearby.…and maybe some interesting little shops. Possibly a bookshop or two! My iPod and Kindle (so many books taking up such small spaces) travel everywhere with me along with a ‘real’ book or two.
A Book I’ve Been Meaning To Read
I’ve had Night Road by Kristin Hannah for quite a while. After reading and being engrossed by Winter Garden and FireFly Lane I picked up Night Road in paperback but haven’t got round to reading it yet. The blurb really appealed to me….’Vivid, universal, and emotionally complex, NIGHT ROAD raises profound questions about motherhood, identity, love, and forgiveness.’  It also says it’s ‘a luminous, heartbreaking novel that captures both the exquisite pain of loss and the stunning power of hope.’  I like Kristin Hannah’s writing style a lot, it’s very descriptive and vivid and her stories have depth. I’d leave the book at the cottage for someone else to enjoy.
Book links – Amazon US  Amazon UK
My Fun Read
I found Off To Be The Wizard by Scott Meyer hugely entertaining, full of geek and pop culture humour. It’s a sci-fi/fantasy book about Martin Banks, a man who finds proof that the reality we are living is actually a computer program. He gets into deep trouble while manipulating the program for his own gain and chooses to escape back to medieval England instead of facing prosecution. Because of the knowledge and gadgets he has from his own time, he is able to pose as a wizard. And he’s not the only one who has found the file and evaded capture, landing in Medieval England! Definitely the audiobook for this one, Luke Daniels makes me laugh out loud with his brilliant narration and range of character voices.
Book links –  Amazon US Amazon UK
A Book From My Favourite Genre
Hmm…favourite genre is a difficult choice, I enjoy so many. Looking at my tag cloud crime and murder are high on the list. Not sure what that says about me! Anyway, with that in mind I’ll go for Sick by Brett Battles. This pre apocalyptic story is the first in the Project Eden series, beginning with a parent’s worst and devastating nightmare. A secret organisation wants to wipe out most of the world’s population with a deadly virus and restart humanity with the people they consider worth saving. It’s an intense and moving start which sets up the series brilliantly. I chose the audiobook because it’s excellently performed by one of my favourite narrators, MacLeod Andrews.
Book links – Amazon UK Amazon US
A Book That Interests Me
A book that interests me, and might actually straddle another of the categories, is Secrets of Meditation by Davidji. I’ve been listening to, and enjoying, his free weekend guided meditations for a little while now and decided to purchase the book on the strength of those meditations. The whole process of meditation, mindfulness and conscious choice making sometimes seems quite overwhelming but apparently this book helps to dispel the myths. It’s on my kindle, as yet unopened. Just haven’t got round to it. Never having read anything of this sort before I think it might also come under the self help/inspirational heading and be a good read to ease back into ‘real life’ after a relaxing holiday.
Book links – Amazon US Amazon UK
A Book To Escape With
I am, and always have been, an Elvis fan and love the concept of this book, and taking wishful thinking to the absolute limit, can almost believe it could have happened. It’s a complete escapist read for me. What if Elvis was really alive and well, and working as a PI in Los Angeles. Taking all the rumours that have abounded over the years one step further J. R. Rain has created a quirky and light hearted story of Elvis’ life after he faked his own death. Extensive reconstructive facial surgery has changed his appearance, although there’s still that fleeting glimpse of familiarity, and for the last thirty some years he’s been living as the likeable and sarcastically witty Aaron King. It’s a sympathetic portrayal of an ageing man who can’t quite distance himself from the past. A great story and I’d (probably ) leave the book for others to enjoy.
Book links – Amazon UK Amazon US
Beach Reads Drift Wood

Beach Reads Book tour 2015 Day 4 #Beachbooks @barbtaub

Beach Read Postcard

It’s Day 4 of our Beach Reads book Tour and I’m so excited because today we get to imagine being in Spain with my guest Barb Taub

Barb Taub

Rosie Amber’s Beach Reads Blog Hop –Guest Post

My beach read vacation doesn’t exactly involve a beach this time. Instead, I’m looking for a quiet, peaceful, remote place where I can write with no distractions—as long as it has kickass internet and (hopefully) excellent coffee. Ooh…and tapas with good local red wines. And a great outdoor market. Hmmm… maybe there should be world-class sights and restaurants and museums less than an hour away. And, of course, all that outdoor stuff for the hub. Piece of cake, right?



Turns out, it was. Friends recommended a small town in Spain that’s about an hour from Salamanca and Avila, accessible to Madrid and Barcelona on high speed trains. Beautiful villas come with pools for astonishingly low prices (Love you, Air B&B!). I could just picture myself, sitting on the patio by the outdoor oven, effortlessly crafting page after page. I’d probably have the next book ready for editors in no time. As a break, I would have Rosie Amber’s list of Beachy Reads that I’ve been meaning to get to, and some terrific recipes I can source from the local outdoor markets.

Avila Walled City


I booked a beautiful place and couldn’t wait to tell everyone I knew. Ring… is that the phone? Relatives who’ll “just happen” to be in the neighborhood? Okay, I might not get as much writing done as I’d hoped, but it would be fun to catch up with family members. Ding…Email from friends who had always been meaning to visit Spain? I started making lists of extra things I needed to bring along, groceries and menus and timetables at local attractions Whoa…letters from acquaintances who heard we’ll be there and wondered if they could drop in for a week or so? I mentally swapped our gourmet recipes for budget crowdpleasers.

Village Post Box


Luckily, I’ve been working on my reading list for Rosie Amber’s Beach Reads Blog Hop. So at least I’m set with a list of books to lend lucky guests. Plus I’ll save a few for my own reading at night, when everyone else is finally asleep. Thank heaven for holidays and Kindles with backlight.


Here are five of the books already loaded on my Kindle:

A Fact Book / Guide Book (About The place I’m taking my holiday in)



Driving Over Lemons by Chris Stewart. I know, I know. Only by the most remote of imagination stretches could this be considered a guide book of any sort. But when we went to Provence, I read Peter Mayle (French Lessons and A Good Year) and learned more appreciation for the France around me than any guidebook could ever convey. Hopefully this book, penned by a former Genesis drummer and sheep shearer who moved with his wife from the outskirts of London to an abandoned farm just over the mountains from Granada, Spain.


Title:                Driving Over Lemons

Author:            Chris Stewart

Pages:              308

Publisher:         Sort Of (August 8, 2011)

Buy links: Amazon US | Amazon UK


Meet Chris Stewart, the eternal optimist.


At age 17 Chris retired as the drummer of Genesis and launched a career as a sheep shearer and travel writer. He has no regrets about this. Had he become a big-time rock star he might never have moved with his wife Ana to a remote mountain farm in Andalucia. Nor forged the friendship of a lifetime with his resourceful peasant neighbour Domingo…not watched his baby daughter Chloe grow and thrive there…nor written this book.


Fate does sometimes seem to know what it’s up to.


Driving Over Lemons is that rare thing: a funny, insightful book that charms you from the first page to the last…and one that makes running a peasant farm in Spain seem like a distinctly gd move. Chris transports us to Las Alpujarras, an oddball region south of Granada, and into a series of misadventures with an engaging mix of peasant farmers and shepherds, New Age travellers and ex-pats. The hero of the piece, however, is the farm that he and Ana bought, El Valero — a patch of mountain studded with olive, almond and lemon groves, sited on the wrong side of a river, with no access road, water supply or electricity.


Could life offer much better than that? Driving Over Lemons has sold over a million copies since publication in 1999. The title has been translated into 9 languages.

A book I could truly escape with


The Jack of Souls, by Stephen Merlino, is a tribute to the Trickster, an exhilarating and funny and larger-than-life paen to the ones who might not be the strongest or bravest, but can out-think, outlast, or outplay their musclebound foes. It’s a lightning-paced rollercoaster world built of humor, bravery, brains, and excellent writing. The villains are unequivocally evil. The heroes are flawed, hexed, unlucky, or just plain old. And sometimes they smell really bad.

Title:                The Jack of Souls (Book 1 of The Unseen Moon series)

Author:            Stephen C. Merlino

Pages:              352

Publisher:         Tortoise Rampant Press, December 20, 2014

Buy links:        Amazon US | Amazon UK


Harric, an outcast rogue, must break a curse put on his fate, or die on his nineteenth birthday. As the day approaches, nightmares from the spirit world stalk and tear at his sanity; sorcery eats at his soul.

To survive, he’ll need more than his usual tricks. He’ll need help—and a lot of it—but on the kingdom’s lawless frontier, his only allies are other outcasts. One of these outcasts is Caris, a mysterious, horse-whispering runaway, intent upon becoming the Queen’s first female knight. The other is Sir Willard—ex-immortal, ex-champion, now addicted to pain-killing herbs and banished from the court. With their help, Harric might keep his curse at bay. But for how long? 

And both companions bring perils and secrets of their own: Caris bears the scars of a troubled past that still hunts her; Willard is at war with the Old Ones, an order of insane immortal knights who once enslaved the kingdom. The Old Ones have returned to murder Willard and seize the throne from his queen. Willard is both on the run from them, and on one final, desperate quest to save her.

Together, Harric and his companions must overcome fanatical armies, murderous sorcerers, and powerful supernatural foes.

Alone, Harric must face the temptation of a forbidden magic that could break his curse, but cost him the only woman he’s ever loved.

A book I’ve been meaning to read for ages



A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby. It might sound like the antithesis of a summer read, but my sister (who has never once been off the mark on a book recommendation) promises, “Sounds heavy (it’s about 5 people contemplating suicide) but is in fact really humorous and endearing.”

Title:                A Long Way Down

Author:            Nick Hornby

Pages:              368

Publisher:         Penguin, May 2005

Buy links:        Amazon US | Amazon UK


Narrated in turns by a dowdy, middle-aged woman, a half-crazed adolescent, a disgraced breakfast TV presenter and an American rock star cum pizza delivery boy, A Long Way Down is the story of the Toppers House Four, aka Maureen, Jess, Martin and JJ. A low-rent crowd with absolutely nothing in common – save where they end up that New Year’s Eve night. And what they do next, of course.

Funny, sad, and wonderfully humane, Nick Hornby’s new novel asks some of the big questions: about life and death, strangers and friendship, love and pain, and whether a slice of pizza can really see you through a long, dark night of the soul.

A book that interests me although it’s from a genre I don’t usually read.


Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel is one of those books that’s on every award list, that everyone is talking about, and that nobody can really describe. Or, actually, everybody thinks it’s about something different. But the one quote that puts it on my must-read list? “Station Eleven is the kind of book that speaks to dozens of the readers in me—the Hollywood devotee, the comic book fan, the cult junkie, the love lover, the disaster tourist. It is a brilliant novel, and Emily St. John Mandel is astonishing.”—Emma Straub, author of The Vacationers. Hey—I have all those readers in me too! Bring it!

Title:                Station Eleven

Author:            Emily St. John Mandel

Pages:              353

Publisher:         Picador, September 10, 2014

Buy links:        Amazon US | Amazon UK


“What was lost in the collapse: almost everything, almost everyone, but there is still such beauty.”

One snowy night in Toronto famous actor Arthur Leander dies on stage whilst performing the role of a lifetime. That same evening a deadly virus touches down in North America.

The world will never be the same again.

Twenty years later Kirsten, an actress in the Travelling Symphony, performs Shakespeare in the settlements that have grown up since the collapse.

But then her newly hopeful world is threatened.

If civilization was lost, what would you preserve? And how far would you go to protect it?

And don’t think you’re getting away without this one…


Don’t Touch by Barb Taub. I have the only car keys. Okay, sure, there’s a bus. Almost every day. But if you think you’re going to visit over the summer and get away without one of my books, well… I hope you enjoy that loooooong walk to the nearest city.

Title:                Don’t Touch

Author:            Barb Taub

Pages:              97

Publisher:         Hartwood, December 13, 2014

Buy links:        Amazon US | Amazon UK


Hope flares each morning in the tiny flash of a second before Lette touches that first thing. And destroys it.

Her online journal spans a decade, beginning with the day a thirteen-year-old inherits an extreme form of the family “gift.” Every day whatever she touches converts into something new: bunnies, bubbles, bombs, and everything in between.

Lette’s search for a cure leads her to Stefan, whose fairy-tale looks hide a monstrous legacy, and to Rag, an arrogant, crabby ex-angel with boundary issues. The three face an army led by a monster who feeds on children’s fear. But it’s their own inner demons they must defeat first.


I would love to hear what you’re reading this summer. If you’re going to be in Spain, let me know. I’ll be the one stirring industrial-sized batches of paella with one hand and holding the Kindle with the other. (Wine will definitely be involved.)

Beach Reads Drift Wood


Beach Reads Blog Tour 2015 Day 3 #BeachBooks @Alison_Williams #wwwblogs


Whoa! It’s Day 3 of our Holiday! With amazing book suggestions for your own vacation.

Beach Read Postcard

Today my guest is Alison Williams

Alison Williams

I’m very lucky in that my ideal holiday destination is actually where I’m going this year (and where I went last year) – a beautiful restored farmhouse in a secluded valley in the Lot-et-Garonne area of Aquitane in France. I love France – the food, the weather, the people, the attitude to life, and our holidays there are always wonderful. Lot-et-Garonne isn’t as well known or as touristy as some other regions in France and yet it is beautiful. I have an incredibly busy life and here I can truly relax, unwind and breathe. And read, of course.

I like to take a mixture of genres and a mixture of formats – some on Kindle because I can read seven or eight books a week when I’m on holiday and there just isn’t room for them all, and some paperbacks, because I appreciate it when other holidaymakers leave books for future guests, and I like to do the same.

A book about the place I’m going to.


As we’re in Aquitane, and because I am fascinated by history and particularly by women in history, I shall be taking Alison Weir’s ‘Eleanor of Aquitaine: By the Wrath of God, Queen of England’. I love this area of France, and so I’d love to know more about its history. I’ve also read about Eleanor before – married to Louis VII and then England’s Henry II, her sons were Richard the Lionheart and King John. She had a huge influence on the politics of the time and lived to the ripe old age of eighty-two. A fascinating woman. Or find this book on

stephen king

A book that interests me

I’ll also be taking Stephen King’s ‘On Writing’. I read King’s novels voraciously as a teenager. I’ve heard excellent things about this book – part memoir, part writing master class – and can’t wait to read it. But realistically, a holiday is probably the only time I have when I’ll be able to read it thoroughly and properly. It’ll definitely have to be the paperback version – and it won’t be getting left behind. Or find this on


A book I’ve mean meaning to read for ages is Hilary Mantel’s ‘A Change of Climate’. Anyone who knows me at all knows I have a bit of an obsession with Hilary. She’s a marvellous writer and I love her novels. A holiday – where there are no pressures and no time constraints – is the ideal time to relax and give this book the attention it deserves. A family saga about ex-missionaries living in Norfolk, this is a book unlike the historical dramas that have made Mantel so popular, but a storyteller is a storyteller, and Mantel writes just as well about the modern day as she does about history. Or find it here on




For me a holiday is all about escaping the day-to-day and a book that I can really escape with is Emily Bronte’s ‘Wuthering Heights’. I have no idea now how many times I’ve read it – with the exception of Hilary Mantel, the Brontes are the only writers I can read again and again – but every time I read it I’m swept away to those wild moors and can truly lose myself. This has to be read in paperback format – I have about five rather raggedy, well-thumbed copies, including the one I filched from my son when he had to study it for his English ‘A’Level (he is somewhat less enamoured!) so will leave one behind. Or find it here on

The Black Hours by Alison Williams

The Black Hours by Alison Williams

And of course, I’ll be leaving a copy or two of my own novelThe Black Hours’ . A very dark historical drama, based on the life of the notorious Witchfinder Matthew Hopkins, ‘The Black Hours’ is probably best read in bright daylight (so you don’t get too scared) with a revitalising glass of wine or two at hand. Or find it here on

Now all I need is a guarantee of hot weather, a few bottles of the local red, and a pile of croissants and chocolate éclairs. Perfect.

Beach Reads Drift Wood

Beach Reads Blog Tour 2015 Day 2 #BeachBooks @adrienneauthor

Day 2 of our beach reads holiday, everyone should have unpacked and had time to check out their surroundings and found a great place to settle down for a read.

Beach Read Postcard

Today my guest is Adrienne Vaughan.


Rosie Amber’s Beach Reads – June 2015

Hi Rosie,

Thanks so much for inviting me along …it’s been great fun and a real treat to indulge my favourite pastime, as in common with most authors, I’m always a reader first!

Because I work full time running a boutique PR company I use my holidays to write. So I write everywhere! I write at the airport – love it if we’re delayed – on the plane – the longer the flight the better – by the pool, at the beach, in a restaurant, on a yacht – you name it, I’ll be there scribbling away. I write my novels longhand and then do my first edit when I type up my notes. I’m an early bird, so by late morning I am usually ready to go off with everyone else and have fun – works for me!

A Fact Book/Guide Book – about the place I am taking my holiday in.


Paris in Love by Eloisa James is my book of choice, and that fabulous city my destination. I was interviewing Eloisa – New York Times bestselling author of Regency Romance – for Romance Matters, the Romantic Novelists’ Association magazine, and decided to read some of her books. I loved Potent Pleasures – which was her debut novel, and then fell head over heels for her delicious memoir of a year spent in Paris. The book is quirky, poetic, poignant and funny – with notes on fashion, shopping and food, in-filled with many lovely family snippets, including how Eloisa’s son and daughter are fitting in with the locals, with varying degrees of success.

I had my own love affair with Paris some time ago, this gorgeous read reignited my passion, beautifully.

Paris in Love by Eloisa James or from

A book from my favourite genre …


This would be my novel Secrets of the Heart, the final book in the Heartfelt Trilogy which set me on the road to finally realising my dream of becoming a published novelist. The genre is romantic suspense, which I love. I know the story, of course, but I still become gripped reading scenes from books I’ve already read, and I adore it when I notice something new, and believe me, that happens with your own books too.

While writing, I was so worried about one set of characters, I clean forgot to work out how my main hero and heroine were going to get together. But the mind is a weird and wonderful thing, I woke up one morning desperate to finish the book that week and the last chapter more or less wrote itself, I just had to do a bit of infill tying up some lose ends in between. It was as if my heroine was saying, at last, come on, get on with it and if you’ve met her, you’ll know precisely what I mean.

Secrets of the Heart by Adrienne Vaughan

Find all of Adrienne’s series here with Universal links


A book I could truly escape with …


This would have to be Poldark by Winston Graham. I remember not watching the original TV series, because our television aerial wasn’t good enough to receive a decent picture. I was brought up in Dublin and in the early days we needed staggeringly tall aerials to pick up the signal coming across from Wales and of course, there were a few mountains in the way too! My folks had to save up for our aerial and when it came it was a sixteen footer, easily the biggest in the area. It arrived just in time to fall in love with Marc Bolan on Top of the Pops, phew!

Aidan Turner, the actor currently playing Poldark is from Clondakin in Dublin, literally up the road from my folks. I love the fact the role will put this very talented, ‘neighbour’s child’ on the road to global fame and feel justice has been served! I wonder if his folks’ aerial wasn’t tall enough to see the first series either?

Poldark by Winston Graham or

A book I would only read on holiday in a sun, sea and sand location.


Dracula by Bram Stoker. I could only bear it somewhere where I could imagine a vampire would not appear, but I would love to read to it. A timeless gothic classic that has fascinated writers, film makers and artists since it was first published in 1897, the original story must be enthralling.

Bram was a Dubliner and a friend of Oscar Wilde’s and although he spent ten years in the civil service, he began an unpaid secondary career with the (Dublin) Evening Mail writing theatrical reviews. I was thrilled to discover this, as I wrote unpaid reviews for the Irish Times as a young trainee journalist in Dublin too – I also have a secret pash for Wilde, his picture hangs in our downstairs loo.

Although well received, Dracula was not an immediate hit – take heart fellow authors – and Bram published 19 novels before the end of his life. He also successfully managed to Lyceum Theatre in London for nearly 30 years – what a super chap!

Dracula by Bram Stoker or

And last but not least from me, something in my favourite genre, something to truly escape with and something to read anywhere, anytime, applies to all three of these super novels by my colleagues at New Romantics Press, all of which are available on Kindle and in paperback.

Adrienne's books


Boot Camp Bride by Lizzie Lamb or

An Englishwoman’s Guide to the Cowboy by June Kearns or

Twins of a Gazelle by Mags Cullingford or


A bar, a bench or a beach ….better with a book, that’s what I say!

Beach Reads Drift Wood