BITCH WITCH by @SRKarfelt Fun #Contemporary read #TueadayBookBlog @JustAddBlue

Bitch WitchBitch Witch by S.R. Karfelt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Bitch Witch is a fun contemporary read. Set in Massachusetts Sarah Archer comes from a long line of bad witches. But Sarah wants to change her fate and leave the dark side behind. She leads a boring life, has a regular job as a clerk and she tries to keep the dark energy at bay, but never “P*** off a witch”.

Caught out with raging monthly hormones Sarah is abused by an aggressive truck driver. One step too far and she sends out a destructive spell which has a heavy aftershock. Blasting Sarah off her feet she is rescued by a delicious cowboy. Paul Revere Longfellow has age old family connections in Massachusetts and tattoos to match a famous poem.

It appears a love spell binding the two gets cast that night. One more thing for Sarah to deal with. Try as she might to ignore the dark stuff it tempts her. The battle between light and dark crescendos with an almighty spell which leaves Sarah in a coma with decisions to make.

There’s plenty to keep this book fun and light-hearted as well as it being about a personal battle which many can concur with, I’m glad Paul was there for Sarah and I loved the bit part played by Father McCloud, I could just see a movie part for Morgan Freeman there.

This review is based on a copy of the book sent to me by Blue Harvest Creative

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

View all my reviews on Goodreads

HAIL MARY by @cmalbrecht FUN, short #Contemporary read, a tale of hell raising Grandmas

Albrecht_HailMary1jpgHail Mary is a fun contemporary quick read. It revolves around Cray Drummond. The tale really begins a little way into the book when Cray is fired from his job as an accountant, he returns home to more sad new, the death of his father “Bulldog Drummond” a retired police officer.
Doing the right thing, Cray and his wife offer Cray’s mother, sixty eight year old Mary, a room in their home for a few days, so she can be with close family at this sad time. Mary invites her old friends Gracie  and Maude to the funeral, but neither can make it on time. Instead Gracie arrives a day late and it’s from this point that the book really takes off. Mary and Gracie head off for a night out at the local Bingo rooms, they sneak in liquor and get invited to an illegal casino out back, where they end up in a police raid.
Next day they “borrow” Cray’s car and swing by to pick up Maude, their long-time friend and Marijuana seller. Living out the adage “you’re only as old as you feel” they set off running a real riot, the three leave debris and destruction in their wake as they take on leather clad bikers, an aeroplane and a dangerous storm.
I won’t tell you more, as it will spoil your read, but the characters were great fun, even the family dog called Rowlf whose bit part consisted mainly of him sleeping.
I’ve read several books by this author and this is his best work yet. My only complaint, was the slow start, it was very well written, just too slow for me.
4*.
Soon to be released

Paper ISBN 978-1-61386-369-5
e-book ISBN 978-1-61386-370-1

 

BEST SELLER by @TerryTyler4 #Contemporary Novella about three writers #TuesdayBookBlog

Best SellerBest Seller by Terry Tyler
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Best Seller is a contemporary tale about the publishing dreams of three women writers. They are all linked by their location, they live in and around Norfolk, UK and belong to the North Norfolk Novelists writers group, however their lives are totally different.

Eden Taylor is just 23 and has already landed a three book publishing deal with Austen House a subsidiary of one of the Big 5. Bringing with it glitz and glamour of a busy publicity lifestyle.

Becky Hunter is a self-published author of light romances and sales from her work trickle in enough to help out with household bills and little extras.

Jan Chilver writes to escape a hard life, self-published as well, she lacks confidence and funds to create a kick-ass marketing platform needed to sell her work.

As the story unfolds it becomes clear that everything is not as it would seem, all three have troubles as the reader is taken on a quick tour of the darker possible side of publishing. I enjoyed this book, but wanted it to go on much longer which is the sign of a really good read.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Broken Threads by Maggie Christensen #Contemporary #Bookreview #wwwblogs @MaggieChriste33

Broken ThreadsBroken Threads by Maggie Christensen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Broken threads is a light easy contemporary read set in Australia. It opens with the accidental death of a young man. His death splits the grieving family of Jan, Graham and Andy forcing Jan to leave home.

Guilt blame and denial run deep for more than one family. Jan find herself offering a home to Simon’s girlfriend as her family turn her away at a time of need. Finding strength from her situation Jan gets a job, signs up as a volunteer at the zoo and even enjoys a new social life.

However she is drawn back to the family when youngest son Andy suffers at school and Jan must be the one to pull the family back together again.

This review is based on a free copy of the book given to me by the author.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

View all my reviews on Goodreads

WINNER and Runner-Up of the Contemporary 2015 Book Award

Winner Contemporary

The 2015 Golden Rose Book Award for Contemporary

Went to Mark Barry and his book The Night Porter

Mark Barry Night Porter

Meet Mark

Mark Barry, author of Hollywood Shakedown, the highly acclaimed Carla and the top selling Ultra-Violence, is a writer and publisher based in Nottingham and Southwell. He writes extensively on a variety of topics including, horseracing, football, personality disorders and human relationships, but most recently, he writes about life in Nottingham and monitors closely its ever changing face.

Mark has been interviewed on several Radio chat shows where he has given readings of his work. His writing has been featured in the national press, and he has also been interviewed on television.

Mark resides in Southwell, Nottinghamshire and has one son, Matthew.

Catch up with Mark on Twitter @GreenWizard62

Book Description

Set in a hotel, in November, in the fictional town of Wheatley Fields, (based on Southwell, near Nottinghamshire, deep in Sherwood Forest).

Four writers, all nominated for an upcoming awards ceremony, come to stay.

One mega successful romance author, a top US thriller writer who sells in seven figures, a beautiful young YA tyro on the brink of world wide stardom…

…and a degenerate, nasty, bitter, jealous, trollish, drunken (but brilliant), self-published contemporary fiction author.

The Night Porter is instructed by a secretive and powerful awards committee to look after their EVERY need, to ensure they make it through the two weeks to attend the ceremony. At the same time as keeping an eye on their wishes, antics, fights, relationships and never-ending ego explosions. And trying desperately to avoid getting involved himself.

It’s a comedy drama about writers (and Night Porters!) with twists and turns, nooks and crannies, shadows and mirrors.

I don’t think you will see an Indie published book like this anywhere in Cyberspace.
Probably not a tradpubbed one either.

It casts a sometimes shadowy light on modern publishing, the writing business – and the people in it. Writers who like to read about writers and writing will enjoy the book as will readers who enjoy innovative, clever and multi-layered fiction.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

The Silver Award went to

Terry Tyler and her book Last Child

Terry and Last Child

Meet Terry

Terry Tyler is fascinated by the psychology behind personal relationships, which is why she writes character-driven contemporary dramas. From the rock star aspirations of the lighthearted ‘Dream On’ and ‘Full Circle’, to the dark and complex psychological web of her latest publication, ‘The House of York’, it’s all about the characters, though she loves manufacturing unguessable plot twists, too. Watch out for ‘Bestseller’, a novella about three writers, due out around March.

She has a blog on which she writes about anything from observations about social networking trends, to self-publishing hazards, to anything else that comes into her head, and is currently running a feature about writers and astrology. The link: http://www.terrytyler59.blogspot.co.uk/ . This year she started a new book review blog; on this you can find her own reading choices and those she reads as part of Rosie Amber’s Book Review Team. She loves Twitter (TerryTyler4) and can also be found on Goodreads and Facebook.

Terry lives in the north east of England with her husband; when she is not writing she escapes into Netflix and history books/documentaries, or floats around the house spraying Guerlain perfume, listening to old jazz and blues and pretending she’s in ‘Boardwalk Empire’.

Catch up with Terry on Twitter @TerryTyler4

Book Description

LAST CHILD is the sequel to Kings and Queens, Terry Tyler’s modern take on the story of Henry VIII and his six wives.

Harry Lanchester is gone, his legacy passed on to his children:

Thirteen year old JASPER, who views the directors of Lanchester Estates as Harry Potter characters, and finds out that teenage love affairs are no fairytale.

ISABELLA, the eldest daughter; lonely and looking for love, she returns from a holiday in Spain with more than just a suntan.

Impulsive, independent ERIN, the girl of Transport manager Rob Dudley’s dreams, whose priority is not a husband and family, but the continuation of her father’s work.

You will also meet the ambitious Jim Dudley, ex-nanny Hannah Cleveley, Rob’s long suffering wife Amy, and Raine Grey, whose nine days as PR manager for Lanchester Estates have a devastating effect on her life.

LAST CHILD takes the drama, passion and intrigue of Kings and Queens into the present day, with echoes from the past ~ and a glimpse or two into the future…

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Final congratulations to all the Contemporary nominees.

Sue Hewitt with THE CUNNING WOMAN’S CUP

Laura Wilkinson with PUBLIC BATTLES, PRIVATE WARS

Tonia Parronchi with THE SONG OF THE CYPRESS

Dena Haggerty with JACK GETS HIS MAN

 

 

Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT OUTBACK PROMISE by @maggiebolitho #SundayBlogShare

Today’s team review is from Terry, she blogs at http://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.co.uk/

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Terry chose to read Outback Promise by Maggie Bolitho

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Outback Promise by Maggie Bolitho

4.5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed by me as part of Rosie Amber’s Book Review Team

I liked this book a lot. Maggie Bolitho has the sort of innate gift for the written word that makes my editing/critiquing hat fall off unnoticed, allowing me to just read and enjoy, which is, of course, the best way.

Outback Promise is about the marriage of Ros and Grady. Six years after their four year old son, Cadel, was killed in a tragic accident, their marriage has faltered, and they decide to go on a three month trip across the Australian Outback to ‘find each other’ again.   This story was not one that immediately appealed to me as a story about a family losing a child is possibly the last sort of book I’d want to read (I am childfree and like to read for escapism, mostly!), but the Outback aspect appealed a great deal, as it’s something I’d love to do.

I was pleasantly surprised. The first half of the book follows one of my favourite structures: alternating chapters between past and present, to show how the characters got to where they’re at now. I didn’t find the bits about Cadel’s death and Ros and Grady’s subsequent pain to be something I had to wade through at all, as I’d feared; Ms Bolitho’s writing is clear and spare, never wordy or contrived, and it was actually very moving.

The Outback trip starts approximately half way through and at first I feared that I was about to read pages and pages of emotional zig-zagging, but it picked up quickly, with two notable highlights: a ghastly couple called Nestor and Max who they met at one campsite (I loved them, a terrific piece of writing, they were drawn so perfectly I could actually see them!), and an encounter with a couple of poachers.

I very much enjoyed reading about the trip; I would have liked to read more description about the landscape and how they reacted to it, but that’s only personal preference; the book is about the marriage, after all. My favourite characters tended to be the secondary ones, but they all ‘worked’. I didn’t particularly warm to Grady, and only a little more to Ros, who I found a trifle self-absorbed, though this isn’t a criticism of the book; Ros is a woman with much ‘baggage’, and she began to understand herself better as the story came to a close. There was one incident near the end that really spoke to me. Grady had been out on a boat with friends, she’d stayed behind because she suffered from seasickness. Afterwards she was expecting him home and wanted to do the romantic dinner thing, but he stayed in the pub, having a rip-roaring time with his friends. He wanted her to join him, but she said no, because it didn’t fit in with her idealistic image of how their evening would be. I wanted to shout at her, “Go! He wants you to be there, think about what he wants and be spontaneous!” ~ because Grady didn’t want a ‘romantic’ meal, he just wanted her to join him.

I was completely absorbed in the story all the time I was reading this book, and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a well-written, contemporary, relationship-based drama. I’ll certainly read more by this author.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

 

Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT Dream on by @TerryTyler4

Today’s review is from Cathy, she blogs at http://betweenthelinesbookblog.wordpress.com

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Cathy chose to read and review Dream On by Terry Tyler

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I’ve read several of Terry Tyler’s books and enjoyed them all. This was no exception. Filled with believable, true to life, substantial characters and a convincing storyline, Dream On follows the fortunes of Dave Bentley, an aspiring rock star and creator of the band, Thor. The band members, the banter between them and their desire for success is represented extremely convincingly. Dave is talented and basically a nice guy but the pull has always been the band and his music, and although his young son means a lot to him, Dave has to follow his dream….and Ariel.

‘He was back on track now, having meandered from his chosen path for several years; somewhere along the line, life had got in the way of his rock ’n’ roll dreams.

Life, Janice, and Harley.’

When Dave’s ex girlfriend, Ariel Swan comes back to town it spells the beginning of the end for Dave and his girlfriend, Janice. Ariel is also on the fame trail as a singer/songwriter. Her friend, Melodie, who wants to make a career out of being a celebrity, hears of Raw Talent, a TV contest to find the hottest new musical act, and persuades them all to enter. The behind the scenes look at the talent show is a revelation; despite the name talent isn’t always the deciding factor. The outcome is surprising and impacts upon them all, changing their lives in ways they never would have imagined.

The complicated relationships and characterisations are dealt with extremely well and sensitively, as is the moving story of Janice’s grandmother, who is suffering from Alzheimer’s. I enjoyed the way Janice’s story unfolds and Max is a loveable character. Dave and the band, Ariel and Melodie could be people living in any town, struggling to succeed, and living everyday lives while working and hoping for that big break. The obstacles they face and the way they’re dealt with are completely representative and authentic.

Understanding and insight, the ability to really get inside the characters’ heads and their emotions lends total realism as the story develops. Written with warmth, wit and humour and perfectly portraying modern life. From the pros and cons of social media, and how it can get out of hand, to the obsession with ‘celebrity’ and the search for stardom, it’s a story of choices, new loves, friendships, hopes and disappointments; the complications and substance of real life.

A great storyline, dialogue and perfect character development plus an unpredictable ending. Off I go to download the sequel.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

The Family Trap by Joanne Phillips @joannegphillips #Family #Drama

The Family TrapThe Family Trap by Joanne Phillips

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Family Trap is a contemporary read about family relationships. It opens with 16 year old Lipsy giving birth to a baby. Stella her 38 year old Mum has been holding her hand and is now exhausted. Baby Phoenix arrives safely and now it’s time for Stella to think about her own future.

A pregnancy test affirms Stella’s beliefs that her new grandchild will soon have a playmate who is also his Aunt or uncle. But first she must break the news to Paul. They are about to be married and move away to Derbyshire. Stella’s fears and worries about the future cause her to fumble telling Paul about the baby.

Lipsy finds motherhood hard and relies more and more on Stella, to the point where she can’t see moving to Derbyshire is a good idea. A rift occurs between Stella and Paul over the issue of children and it all comes to a head on their wedding day.

Stella has a job at a care-home, it gives her valuable support, the residents help her through the difficult months. Her family all try to help Stella too, they want what’s best for Stella, but the journey is a bump ride.

A good easy read.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Someone Else’s Conflict by Alison Layland

Someone Else's ConflictSomeone Else’s Conflict by Alison Layland

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Someone Else’s Conflict is contemporary read set in the English Dales. Jay Spinney is a street entertainer, a man whose past means he’s unable to settle in one place, he’s constantly on the move.

Marilyn stops in the market place to listen to the entertainer and has her purse stolen by a desperate young man. Vinko is an illegal immigrant who yearns for a place to belong. He knows his Grandparents live in the area, but will they ever accept him if he can pluck up the courage to visit them?

A huge storm blows through and causes a landslide up in the Dales where Marilyn lives alone, the electric and telephones are cut off for several days. Jay has camped in a field near by and offers to help Marilyn clear away the debris. She’s unsure of him, shouldn’t trust him, but she needs the help. They form a shaky friendship. Jay has nightmares, he shouts out in a foreign language and his past haunts him daily.

Horrors of war torn Yugoslavia stay with Jay and even though the war is over the fighting is not yet past.

This book grabbed me from the start and sucked me in, I knew very little about what happened to all the innocent people who were caught up in the war between the Croatians and Serbians. Like so many wars is pulled in people with their ideals, their beliefs, but things change, power takes over, anger and madness become the leaders and soldiers make decisions they later regret.

The reader is cleverly drip fed the storyline as it mixes with the lives of those who live today in the Dales, it worked really well. There are so many layers to Jay that get peeled away right up until the very end. Loved it.

This review is based on a free copy of the book give to me by Honno Press

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

View all my reviews on Goodreads

The Sand Dollar by Maggie Christensen

The Sand Dollar (The Oregon Coast Series Book 1)The Sand Dollar by Maggie Christensen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Sand Dollar is a piece of contemporary fiction. Sixty year old Jenny lives in Queensland Australia. The company she works for is making her redundant which has rather shocked her. Jenny’s son and daughter believe this is good news as she’ll be able to help them both out with baby-sitting, but Jenny wants more from life.

She decides to travel to Oregon to visit her Godmother Maddy. Mike Halliday, a widower, has also decided to move to Seal Rock, Oregon after the death of his wife. He wants a quiet life where he can continue his research into Native Americans.

When Maddy has a fall Jenny and Mike must let down their defences and work together. Jenny discovers some old letters from her Mum to Maddy and is shocked by their content. It opens up a whole new direction of her life and leaves her with lots of questions.

This is a relaxed paced story about people in later life still finding reason to live and love.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

View all my reviews on Goodreads.