Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT Artefacts #Mystery Rituals Of The Dead by @JSAauthor

Today’s team review is from Chris, she blogs here

#RBRT Review Team

Chris has been reading Rituals Of The Dead by Jennifer S Alderson


Interesting mystery crafted well within the plot, with culture and themes running throughout the narrative (and just on the right side of preachy).

Zelda decides to relocate, but she becomes embroiled with a mystery surrounding some artefacts seems to spill into the present, with a team member being murdered. The questions mount and so does the tension…

The pace was good, the writing tight. The dual timeline, too, was handled well. The art, history, and suspense all blended well within the story, with no single element overcrowding the plot at the heart of the novel. The tension built well, and the ending … well, I’ll take a leaf out of the author’s book and build up the suspense… and let you find out for yourself. Recommended

*Thank you to the author for my free review copy via #RBRT.

Book description

Art history student Zelda Richardson is working at the Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam on an exhibition of bis poles from the Asmat region of Papua – the same area where a famous American anthropologist disappeared in 1962. When his journal is found inside one of the bis poles, Zelda is tasked with finding out more about the man’s last days and his connection to these ritual objects.

Zelda is pulled into a world of shady anthropologists, headhunters, missionaries, art collectors, and smugglers – where the only certainty is that sins of the past are never fully erased.

Join Zelda as she grapples with the anthropologist’s mysterious disappearance fifty years earlier, and a present-day murderer who will do anything to prevent her from discovering the truth.

About the author

Hi! I worked as a journalist and website developer in Seattle, Washington before trading my financial security for a backpack. After traveling extensively around Asia, Oceania, Europe and Central America, I moved to the Netherlands and earned degrees in art history and museum studies.

When not writing, I can be found in a museum, biking around Amsterdam, or enjoying a coffee along the canal while planning my next research trip.

Jennifer S. Alderson

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #childrensfiction The Yellow Bills by @MichelleMcKenna

Today’s team review is from Chris, she blogs here

#RBRT Review Team

Chris has been reading The Yellow Bills by Michelle McKenna

Mis-matched friendship – check. Strong female lead – check. Adventure – check. General fun – check, check, check.

Mya wants to be a pilot when she grows up. So when she comes across a school of talking ducklings that are learning to fly, she decides to join in. Only it is not as simple as she had thought it might be, what with an instructor that doesn’t want her there and the small problem of her not being a duck…

Sweet, fun, pacy, and inspiring, this is a lovely story about following your dreams, however difficult achieving them may seem. Recommended.

*Thank you to the author for my free review copy via #RBRT.

Book description

Mya loves planes and wants to be a pilot when she grows up. As luck would have it she comes across a flying school run by lieutenant Drake who awards his pupils splendid pilot hats when they graduate. Mya wants to join the class but there’s just one problem. She’s not a duck! Could Goose the little duckling with big flying ambitions be the key to Mya getting her pilot’s hat? Or will Mr Sour the teacher who never quite made the grade have other ideas…Inspired by authors such as Lewis Carroll, Roald Dahl and Angela Sommer-Bodenburg, Michelle weaves a story with the humour and invention of Nick Ward’s ‘Charlie Small’ series meets Dick King Smith’s wonder of the animal world.

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Rosie’s Review Team #RBRT Irish #Romance That Summer At The Seahorse Hotel by @adrienneauthor

Today’ team review is from Chris, she blogs here

#RBRT Review Team

Chris has been reading That Summer AT The Seahorse Hotel by Adrienne Vaughan

Intrigue, mystery, tension, and some romance all woven together in this tale of love, betrayal, and, errr more betrayal…

Mia is the daughter of a famous actress but has never known who her father is. So when her mother’s old friend Archie decides to leave Mia his estate, the mystery might finally be solved. But Mia has no idea what is coming her way emotionally, both bad and good, in her journey to discover the identity of her father and to heal wounds…

The plot was more twisty (in a good way) than anticipated, the writing tight, and the characters believable, although some of the secondary ones weren’t as well-rounded as could have been. But the pace fluctuated in a way that kept my attention, and the suspense and intrigue was peppered throughout the novel. Recommended.

Book description

Mia Flanagan has never been told who her father is and aged ten, stopped asking.

Haunted by this, she remains a dutiful daughter who would never do anything to bring scandal or shame on her beautiful and famously single mother.

So when Archie Fitzgerald, one of Hollywood’s favourite actors, decides to leave Mia his Irish estate, she asks herself – is he her father after all?

That Summer at the Seahorse Hotel is a tale of passion, jealousy and betrayal – and the ghost of a secret love that binds this colourful cast yet still threatens, after all these years, to tear each of them apart.

About the author

Adrienne Vaughan has been making up stories since she could speak; primarily to entertain her sister Reta, who from a very early age never allowed a plot or character to be repeated – tough audience. As soon as she could pick up a pen, she started writing them down. It was no surprise she wanted to be a journalist; ideally the editor of a glossy music and fashion magazine, so she could meet and marry a pop star – some of that came true – and in common with so many, still holds the burning ambition to be a ‘Bond Girl’! She now runs a busy PR practice and writes poems, short stories and ideas for books, in her spare time. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and a founder member of the indie publishing group The New Romantics4. Adrienne lives in Leicestershire with her husband, two cocker spaniels and a retired dressage horse called Marco.

Adrienne Vaughan

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Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT #ChildrensFiction Jimmy The House Spider by Raymond T Davies

Today’s team review is from Chris, she blogs here

#RBRT Review Team

Chris has been reading Jimmy The House Spider by Raymond T Davies


A cute children’s story about the adventures of Jimmy the house spider, spending his days with grandpa.

When Jimmy the house spider and Grandpa first meet, there is instant chemistry between the two and they soon become firm friends, with Jimmy spending post of his days in Grandpa’s pocket. But there are still dangers to navigate, including a cat and a pond full of hungry creatures…

The story was very sweet, and there were a lot of facts included in this fictional tale, but woven well into the story so that they did not feel overbearing in any way. The illustrations were also good. The book could have done with more paragraphs, as a page full of text with no white space is a little tough for the young audience this book is aimed at to tackle but, apart from that, a great little read. Recommended.

Book description

‘I have spent a good deal of time teaching my children and grandchildren to respect the other creatures we share our world with. Many children and even many grown-ups, suffer from arachnophobia with unfortunate results for themselves and the spiders; particularly those who inhabit our homes. My hope is this house spider adventure will dispel some of those fears and influence children and their parents to look kindly on these useful and harmless little creatures and indeed, all life forms which make up our world. They all have their part to play in ensuring our unique planet and the life it supports, will continue.’

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #Childrensfiction Muffy & Valor by @KarlBeckstrand

Today’s team review is from Chris, she blogs here

#RBRT Review Team

Chris has been reading Muffy & Valor: A True Story by Karl Beckstrand


Dog-friendly children’s fiction, about the importance of friendship and empathy, this short children’s book, in theory, ticks all the boxes.

The injured Muffy has become scared of interactions, but when another dog is hit by a car, Muffy finds the courage and empathy to help them through the tough times.

This was a very interesting concept of a book with cute photo-type illustrations, and a dyslexic-friendly font. There was a sweet story line with some lovely life lessons. And yet the story felt a little preachy, and I think the “true story” element derailed the writing into something less strong than it could have been.

Book description

(Nonfiction, dogs) After a painful injury, a little dog named Muffy learns empathy for a German shepherd that has been hit by a car. Illustrated dog book teaches compassion, friendship, courage, and trust (kids ages 4 – 7). 700 words in dyslexic-friendly font.

About the author

Karl Beckstrand is the award-winning and bestselling author of 18 multicultural titles and more than 50 e-books (reviews by Kirkus, The Horn Book blog, School Library Journal, ForeWord Reviews). Beckstrand earned a B.A. in journalism from BYU, an M.A. in international relations from APU, and a certificate from Film A. Academy. Once a technical recruiter in Silicon Valley, Beckstrand’s early work was produced by two publishers (the first died the day they were to print his book!). Since 2004 he has guided Premio Publishing & Gozo Books. An engaging speaker and workshop facilitator, Beckstrand has experience in high tech, public policy, film, and broadcasting. He teaches media at a state college—including TV/radio scripts and Web content—and contrasts traditional publishing with digital book publishing.

Karl Beckstrand

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Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT #RomanticSuspense Chasing Symmetry by @TempesteBlake

Today’s team review is from Chris, she blogs here

#RBRT Review Team

Chris has been reading Chasing Symmetry by Tempeste Blake


Romantic crime fiction with an edge, this gently-built novel ticks a number of boxes.

Bianca is shocked enough to find a dead woman in her office, but throw in a chief of police with a grudge, a self-imploding ex-boyfriend, and Finn, said ex’s brother, and your have a perfect storm of mayhem and romance to add to your murder…

The plot was decent, the characters interesting, and the structure flowed well. Slow, simmering, and tense, this was a little over-dramatic for my realist tastes but, if you don’t mind some slow-build mystery in your romantic suspense, this could be the one for you.

Book description

Someone had been trying for the perfect shade of red . . .
When art professor Bianca James tries to save a dying woman, the grudge-holding chief of police is all too quick to catapult her to the top of the suspect list. As if that isn’t enough, her ex-boyfriend’s younger brother, Finn Tierny, is assigned to the case, and she’s faced with a trilogy of dilemmas: go head to head with the chief, stop a cold-blooded killer on her own, or trust another Tierny.
Finn’s return to Riley’s Peak is bittersweet. He’s flooded with memories, both good and bad, as he battles doubts about being a cop, a cantankerous father, a jealous brother, and a drug dealer with a rap-sheet longer than the list of addicts he’s been supplying.
Threats escalate, the suspect list grows, and it becomes clear—the murderer’s resolve to kill Bianca is almost as strong as Finn’s desire to keep her alive.

About the author

When Nancy Smith and Cat Trizzino met in an online writers’ group, their individual styles blended to a shared vision. Though they live in different states, Nancy in Michigan, Cat in Maryland, their passion for well-crafted stories makes the physical distance irrelevant. Tempeste Blake is the result of their combined voices, an author who writes grab-the-tissue-box, heart-in-your-throat romantic suspense and loves to throw her characters into the deep end to see if they sink or swim.

Chasing Symmetry is Tempeste’s first novel.

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Rosie’s Team #RBRT #KidsLit Ronaldo: The Flying Reindeer Academy by Maxine Sylvester @flyingronaldo

Today’s team review is from Chris, she blogs here

#RBRT Review Team

Chris has been reading Ronaldo: The Flying Reindeer Academy by Maxine Sylvester


Thoughtful, witty, cute, and action-packed, this is a wonderful children’s story.

Ronaldo is not the best cadet at the Reindeer Flying Academy, but hopes to grow up to become one of Santa’s reindeer, like his hero, Vixen. When the day of the Endurance Challenge arrives, Ronaldo and his best friend Rudi gear up to take part and hopefully beat the rather nasty Dasher in the challenge. And so the adventure begins…

With peppy dialogue, wit, and a good dose of action, this is a fun read. The book also does a good job of showcasing the topic of finding one’s inner strength despite the odds. And who can resist a lovely reindeer protagonist? Recommended.

Book description

Ronaldo is the top flying cadet at the prestigious Reindeer Flying Academy. He dreams of getting his flying license, just like his hero, Vixen.
In this first exciting chapter in the ‘Ronaldo’ series, our hero is faced with his toughest flying test ever – The Endurance Challenge!
Can Ronaldo triumph over mean bully, Dasher, and win the ‘Golden Wings’ medal? Spurred on by Rudi, his quirky, loyal best friend and with a belly full of his favourite carrot pancakes, Ronaldo takes on the challenge of his life!

About the author

I was born in Hounslow, Middlesex in the south of England. As a child, I loved drawing and took private art classes with a wonderful teacher called, Pearl Lee. She had an abundance of Disney magazines, and I would paint the characters on wood, card, canvas or anything else I was allowed to use, including walls.

When I was nine, my mum took me on holiday to Majorca. I clearly remember being fascinated by how other people lived outside of England. Travelling became my new obsession.

After Sixth Form College, I intended to go to art school, but my travel bug got the better of me and chose to work as a holiday representative in Greece instead. This was followed by seven years working on cruise ships, two years in Israel and Palestine, and six years in Russia and Armenia. Although I lapped up the different cultures, I found my work over the years very unfulfilling. I decided to dig out my Caran d’Arche pencils, and do something about it!

I enrolled in The College of Cartoon Art and was mentored by the renowned caricaturist, Steve Chadburn. I created a character called Ronaldo and decided to write a short story about him. Before I knew it, my head was spinning with ideas and the first book, The Reindeer Flying Academy, went from a small picture book into a fully blown chapter book … but more importantly, I loved every minute of the writing and illustrating process.

Nowadays, I live in Bali, Indonesia, with my amazing partner, Mark, (Bristol born and bred) and am currently illustrating the third book for the Ronaldo series, Rudi’s Birthday Extravaganza.

I am still a self-confessed Disney geek and get excited as a five-year-old whenever a new Disney animated film comes out. I love the Disney theme parks and have visited Orlando, Paris, Hong Kong and Tokyo – California and Shanghai are next on my bucket list.

I have an unhealthy fondness for pizza and chocolate but a healthy love of Pilates – I like to think they balance each other out.

And finally, I am a lifelong Arsenal supporter … although sometimes I wish I wasn’t!

Photo of award winning kids books author Maxine Sylvester with friend Ronaldo

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Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT Techno Tantrums: 10 Strategies For Coping by @davidboyle1958

Today’s team review is from Chris, she blogs here

#RBRT Review Team

Chris has been reading Techno Tantrums: 10 Strategies For Coping With Your Child’s Tome Online by David Boyle


An interesting concept – too much time being spent online by children and how to manage that – is tackled in this attempt at a practical how-to.

There were some very useful and practical points about managing children’s time online. There were also some interesting references to various stories that have been in the press. And the bottom line – that children may be spending too much time online in the modern era – is not one that I necessarily disagree with.

However, my concerns are that this book holds itself up as a non-fiction book, yet it suffers from a one-sided look at the problem. This, ironically, is one of the things that people that spend a lot of time online appear to develop an understanding of – that huge swathes of information available online need to be filtered for, amongst other things, bias. This book uses a few sources repeatedly with no consideration of alternative viewpoints and no critical thinking. It made me want to spend more time online researching the points made in this book because the more I read, the less I bought into the authors’ polemic.

Overall, this was one of those books where the idea is interesting, and the author(s) well-meaning, but where the lack of thorough research combined with a lack of discussion of the limitations of their points brought the value of the book down. A shame.

*Thank you to the authors for my free review copy via RBRT.

Book Description

This book argues that parents have been abandoned to deal with the lure of the online world alone, the games and social media, with advice about safety but no other support. This is a guide to help navigate the research and pitfalls, written by parents for parents.

They face the sheer power of the internet companies all by themselves, fighting for influence over their children’s minds. When schools and governments alike encourage children to spend their lives online, yet many of the internet founders themselves – including Steve Jobs himself – rigorously restricted their own children’s online access time.

This isn’t a guide to online safety, which is well-covered elsewhere. It is a guide to online obsession. It helps navigate research, some of it alarming, some of it reassuring, with clarity and sanity, to help parents find a way through – so that children can avoid addiction, enjoy the world around them, but also enjoy themselves online.

About the author

David Boyle

David Boyle is the author of Blondel’s Song: The capture, imprisonment and ransom of Richard the Lionheart, and a series of books about history, social change and the future. His book Authenticity: Brands, Fakes, Spin and the Lust for Real Life helped put the search for authenticity on the agenda as a social phenomenon. The Tyranny of Numbers and The Sum of Our Discontent predicted the backlash against the government’s target culture. Funny Money launched the time banks movement in the UK.

David is an associate of the new economics foundation, the pioneering think-tank in London, and has been at the heart of the effort to introduce time banks to Britain as a critical element of public service reform – since when the movement has grown to more than 100 projects in the UK.

He is also the founder of the London Time Bank network and co-founder of Time Banks UK. He writes about the future of volunteering, cities and business.

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Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT The Corner Office by @KaterinaBaker #WomensFiction

Today’s team review is from Chris she blogs here,

#RBRT Review Team

Chris has been reading The Corner Office by Katerina Baker


My Review:

Competition, office politics, tough choices, and unexpected romance in one fast-flowing and easy-to-read novel.

Tara Johnson is on the brink of promotion. The only man standing in her way, in her quest to become MD in the Fortune 500 company she joined as a young graduate, is Richard Boyd, her sharp, charming, and incredibly irritating nemesis for fifteen years. When her long-shelved love life is unexpectedly ignited by sexy Aidan, her subordinate at work, Tara’s secrets start affecting her work. And when Aidan starts to spiral out of control and Richard finds out about their relationship, things really start to get interesting…

With touches of suspense, ladles of romance, and layers of important themes, including the sometimes competing ideals of ambition and work-life balance, this is a fun romantic read. The plot is occasionally less predictable (except for the expected, yet lovely, happy ending) than others in the romantic genre – and this is a good thing. Overall, a fun, enjoyable read.

*Thank you to the author for the free review copy via Rosie’s Book Review Team.

Book Description

Tara Johnson’s sacrifices are about to pay off: a senior executive at thirty-five at a Fortune 500 company, she’s one of the two finalists in line for a Managing Director position. Unfortunately, her rival of fifteen years, the charming, infuriating Richard Boyd, is just as qualified, and unlike her, he’s willing to cross pretty much every line to get what he wants.

Of all the things Tara stored in the attic to make it to the top, it’s her personal life she misses the most. That is, until she starts a steamy affair with sex god Aidan, her direct report. Interoffice relationships with a subordinate can mean the end of a career, and when Richard finds out, it’s the perfect opportunity to take his high-heeled nemesis out, especially since he’s still nursing a grudge against Tara for rejecting him years ago.

But Tara’s increasingly domineering lover has his own dark secrets, endangering more than just her career. As her liaison spirals out of control, salvation will come from the man she always thought she hated, and perhaps the only one to truly understand her.

About the author

Katerina Baker

Katerina Baker is a lucky gal who still attempts to have it all: full-time project management job that she enjoys, crazy family of four (with the ongoing threats of getting a pet to upset the family equilibrium) and writing.
Although on some days she is much more successful at managing her life than on the others, she still claims that she doesn’t want it any other way.
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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT Aversion by @KenechiUdogu #YA #Paranormal #Romance

Today’s team review is from Chris, she blogs here

#RBRT Review Team

Chris has been reading Aversion by Kenechi Udogu



With elements of suspense, romance, and coming-of-age, this was a fresh and original read.

Gemma Green is an Averter, tasked with ensuring people’s poor decisions are averted through a method of pushing thoughts into their heads, with the Averter immediately forgotten. When Gemma performs her first Aversion, on highschool tennis star Russ Tanner, she is shocked to find that he keeps seeking her out. Has the Aversion gone terribly wrong? Or is Russ genuinely falling for her?

A wonderful plot with large doses of originality, this was a fun young adult romance. The protagonist was well-rounded and the plot had a number of suspenseful twists, with some adventure thrown in for good measure. And all this worked, and worked well. Unfortunately, this book could have done with a good edit – there was too much unnatural dialogue, large chunks of descriptions, and the feeling of being unpolished. This was a shame, as it let down an immensely enjoyable plot and otherwise good book.

Book Description

For Gemma Green’s first time, things should have been straightforward. Find your subject, hold their gaze and push a thought into their head to save them from future disaster – Aversion complete. A pretty simple process given that the subject was to have no recollection of the experience. But Russ Tanner doesn’t seem to want to forget. In fact the more she tries to avoid him, the more he pushes to get to know her. Gemma knows she has a problem but is she facing the side effects of a failed Aversion or has the school’s tennis champ really fallen for her?
YA Paranormal Romance novella

About the author

Kenechi Udogu

Kenechi lives in London and enjoys writing fantasy/paranormal fiction and short stories (some of which she posts on her blog). She also hates the cold and hopes to one day figure out how to hibernate in winter.

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