THE WINNERS! #TuesdayBookBlog #RBRT Bookreview team presents: The Gold & Silver 2016 Book Awards

The Winners!#RBRT Rosie’s Book Review Team presents: The Gold & Silver Rose Awards 2016

2016-book-awards

 

*Cough* … On behalf of my team, I’m delighted to announce the winners and runners-up in the #RBRT 2016 book awards!

Books were selected from the several hundred submitted to our team for review over the past year, with the 24 finalists voted for by the reviewing team. These finalists were then offered up to the public for voting. Congratulations to the 8 winners and runners up!

A click of the book’s title will take you to Goodreads, where you can see reviews, and also leads to the Amazon, etc, buy links.

 

Fantasy / SciFi/ Horror

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Winner: The Prince’s Man by Deborah Jay

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Runner-up: Passing Notes by D G Driver

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Historical Fiction

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Winner: The Elizabeth Papers by Jenetta James

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runner-up-histfic

Runner-Up: Back Home by Tom Williams

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Mystery Thriller

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Winner: On Lucky Shores by Kerry J Donovan

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Runner-Up: Rack & Ruin (previously titled Murder & Mayhem) by Carol Hedges

Contemporary

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Winner: The Disobedient Wife by Annika M Stanley

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Runner-Up: Scotch On The Rocks by Lizzie Lamb

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Congratulations to all the following finalists:

The Black Orchid by Celine Jean-Jean

Blood Of The Sixth by K R Rowe

Flesh by Dylan J Morgan

The Final Virus by Carol Hedges

La Petite Boulain by G Lawrence

When Doves Fly by Lauren Gregory

Jasper by Tony Riches

The Code For Killing by William Savage

Trust Me I Lie by Louise Marley

Wings Of Mayhem by Sue Coletta

Murder at the Lighthouse by Frances Evesham

Trust Me by Earl Javorsky

What Jennifer Knows by Wendy Janes

The Bad Girl by L Donsky-Levine

Silent Water by Jan Ruth

The Brazilian Husband by Rebecca Powell

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Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT PASSING NOTES by @DGDriverAuthor #TuesdayBookBlog

Today’s team review is from Teri, she blogs at http://teripolen.com/

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Teri chose to read Passing Notes by D.G Driver

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Mark has finally gotten the attention of the girl of his dreams. Only, his lame attempts at romance through texts and emails seem to be turning her off. When he gets put in the back of the room in an over-full class at school, he begins to discover old notes giving advice about how to write a great love letter. At first he thinks he’s stumbled on some long-forgotten notes passed in class ages ago, but every time he reads them they seem directed specifically to him. They also appear at the perfect moment each time he needs more advice. It’s like someone is haunting him.

How do the notes keep appearing? Who’s writing them? Why?

And if Mark follows the ghostly writer’s advice, will he win Bethany’s love? – Goodreads.com

As the mother of teenage boys who can be completely clueless about teenage girls, I especially enjoyed this heartwarming novella.  Having just a hint of Cyrano de Bergerac combined with light supernatural elements, this story grabbed me immediately and can easily be finished in one sitting.

With today’s technology changing the way we communicate, the handwritten letter is truly a lost art form.  Passing Notes is a reminder that pouring your heart into an actual love letter can mean so much more and is something tangible a person can keep forever.  I think most of us still feel a certain twinge of excitement when receiving a letter in the mail.

The author brings to light something I’ve noticed with our school systems – cursive writing seems to be almost nonexistent and is rarely taught anymore.  Who decided this was a good idea?  Although they’ve improved, my sons struggled early on to read anything written in cursive and to this day, both still print when writing.

Passing Notes is classified as YA, but don’t let that stop you – this is easily a crossover novella and you’ll be glad you gave it a chance.

Five stars!

I received a digital copy of this story in exchange for an honest review through Rosie’s Book Review Team.

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

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT PASSING NOTES by @DGDriverAuthor #SundayBlogShare

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

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Cathy has been reading Passing Notes by D.G Driver

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This novella highlights today’s changing world and how the ways of communication differ from not that many years ago. The art of letter writing is becoming obsolete along with the need for cursive writing, as computers figure largely in education and people use texting and emails to keep in touch. When Mark Dowd finds himself having to use a very old, odd-looking piece of furniture as a desk in his English class he notices a half hidden carving in the wood. A heart with the name Eileen stylishly carved inside. Mark tries to copy the carving, eventually with a marker pen on the back of his hand as he runs out of space on the paper.

“I pressed my pencil tip into the carving and traced the heart and cursive letters. Some dust came up when I pulled my pencil out. Whoever had done this had carved it pretty deep, probably with a knife not a pencil. I wondered how long ago that could have been because kids got expelled these days for having plastic butter knives in their lunch boxes. We’re supposed to spread mayonnaise with our fingers, I guess. Anyway, I decided the kid with the pocketknife had to have carved this valentine at least a decade ago, if not two.”

Mark thinks he’s making progress with Bethany, the girl he’s had a crush on for years, but his texts and emails don’t seem to be having the desired effect. Ever since Mark drew the heart on his hand he’s been receiving hand written notes from an unknown source, with advice on how to win Bethany back by writing traditional love letters.

This is a lovely, well written narrative with strong messages; love lives on and if a heart is set on someone special, the relationship is more than worth the thought and effort that goes into it. The underlying story of Mark’s grandmother is an emotional one, the last chapter is very moving and powerful, bringing everything to a wonderful conclusion. I enjoyed the slightly different slant on the supernatural aspect very much. And who wouldn’t love a hand written love letter as opposed to a quick text or email. The story has thought provoking content and it would be an awful shame if this creative skill and expressive method of communication is lost completely.

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

Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT CRY OF THE SEA by @DGDriverAuthor

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

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Cathy has been reading Cry Of The Sea by D G Driver

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I haven’t read many Mermaid novels but this is completely different, in a good way, to the ones I have read. Juniper Sawfeather, the daughter of well known environmental activists, is a high school senior contemplating her future career. She doesn’t want to follow in her parents’ footsteps, even though she supports them and helps out when she can. Her ultimate goal is to enter the field of marine biology and escape from the embarrassing stigma of her ‘weird’ parents, which has made her less than popular at school.

Being called out at all hours of the day and night is an integral part of life for the Sawfeather family and when June’s father gets an emergency call in the early hours one morning, he and June head to the beach where there has been a massive oil spill. As they do what they can to save the marine life coated in oil, they discover incredible, human-like creatures washed up on the beach which will impact hugely on everyone concerned. When two of the creatures, who June and her father believe are mermaids, die, they are desperate to save the third, and take her to a rescue centre where Carter, the young intern, joins their fight.

June and Carter are attracted to each other but their budding romance doesn’t run smoothly and is really a small part of the story. The teenage self-consciousness and uncertainty is portrayed perfectly as June struggles with the conflicting emotions between adolescence and adulthood. I like how her character develops throughout and how she comes to realise what is actually important and worth bothering about in life.

This story has strong messages, not least from the environmental point of view, and although there’s no lecturing, it certainly brings these issues to the forefront. I love the interesting references to Native American folklore concerning mermaids and orcas, from stories told through the generations. The mermaids in the story are interpreted and described realistically, without glamorizing or humanizing them, which makes the concept more believable and engaging

The oil spill situation and repercussions are portrayed genuinely and are obviously well researched, showing how the negligence of a large company can have a devastating impact on the environment. A very good, well written story full of intrigue and conspiracies as June, her best friend and her parents, Carter and others try to outwit the oil company in an effort to help save the mythical sea creatures.

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

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT PASSING NOTES by @DGDriver #ShortStory #YA #Fantasy #wwwblogs

Today’s second team review comes from Chris, she blogs at http://cphilippou123.wordpress.com

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Chris has been reading Passing Notes by D.G Driver

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A charming novella about the power of words in love.

Mark is not a good student, and his inability with words leads to his new girlfriend cooling off his advances. Drastic action comes in the form of notes that seem to directly apply to him… and guide him towards reigniting Bethany’s love.

Although short, this story packed quite a punch in the form of charm, drama, and life messages. Part magical tale, part coming-of-age, this is beautifully written short fiction.

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

OUR #Bookreviews in February FLEET LIFE Magazine #TuesdayBookBlog

Once again we have a book review page in this month’s Fleet Life Magazine

Fleet Life Feb

To find the online edition go to http://www.fleetlife.org.uk

Load the online directory and fins us on page 34

This month we are giving a shout-out to the following books;

Nagasaki; Life After Nuclear War by Susan Southard

Cry Of The Sea by D.G Driver

From Yellow Star To Pop Star by Dorit Oliver-Wolff

What Jenifer Knows by Wendy Janes

and The Prince’s Man by Deborah Jay

Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT CRY OF THE SEA by @DGDriverAuthor @MelangeBooks #YA

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

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Jessie has been reading Cry Of The Sea by D.G Driver

High School Popularity Drama.

Big Oil.

Mermaids.

Three incongruous topics seamlessly melded together in one novel.

I know it sounds implausible, but I assure you not only is it true, but the book even includes a good dose of environmental lobbying, coming of age, and journalism in today’s online world.

I read this novel with what can only be described as awe that the author was not only able to pull off this plot line, but do it in a way that left me thinking, “Well, maybe it could happen…”

Then I got to the end.

I won’t spoil it for you, but it was one of those endings that left you satisfied that the book ended just exactly how it should have.

Would I recommend it? I didn’t much care for all the high school drama when I was in high school. I like it less now. It’s only because of that aspect of the book that I wouldn’t outright recommend it to my adult friends. But, I think back to myself as a teenager, and I would have loved this, drama and all. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to the young adults it was written for!

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

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT CRY OF THE SEA by D.G Driver #wwwblogs

Today’s team review is from Teri, she blogs at http://teripolen.com/

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Teri has been reading Cry Of The Sea by D.G Driver

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I’ve read numerous books in the fantasy genre, but none about mermaids, so I really didn’t know what to expect with this novel in regards to how the mermaids would be portrayed.  Thankfully, they didn’t grow legs on land and date the high school students.

June is an impressive teenager who is focused on her goal and doesn’t get involved in the cliques at her high school or worry about her ‘social status’.  She’s able to see the big picture and knows all that drama doesn’t matter in the overall scheme of things.  That’s not to say June never acts like the average teenage girl – she still gets somewhat tongue-tied and worries about her appearance when a good-looking guy shows up.

The author did an admirable job of portraying the often turbulent relationship between teenager and parents in that June and her parents had conflicting goals for her future, with June wanting to put some distance between herself and her parents after graduation and follow her own path instead of the one they’d chosen for her.

The cast of supporting characters includes those you love – Carter – and those you love to hate, providing a good mix and some humorous dynamics at times.

As someone who is environmentally conscious, I appreciated the environmentalist theme of this book.  It’s not as if the author is pushing her opinions on the reader, but only making him aware of the damage and long term effects from oil spills.

Something I questioned was, after the oil spill, pictures of the affected animals are rushed to the press before anything is done to help them.  The discovery of the mermaids appears to make some of the characters, including those that work at a sea mammal rescue center, forget about the animals still on the beach struggling for survival.  It’s a shocking discovery, but waiting so long before giving aid seems a little unrealistic coming from people who had made this their mission in life.

This story ended somewhat abruptly, so I’m not sure if the author has a sequel planned, but I enjoyed this adventure with June and my first experience with mermaids.

I received a digital copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review through Rosie’s Book Review Team.

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

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT CRY OF THE SEA by @DGDriverAuthor #wwwblogs

Today’s team review is from Shelley, she blogs at http://shelleywilsonauthor.com/

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Shelley chose to read and review Cry Of The Sea by D. G. Driver

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When I started reading Cry of the Sea, I was expecting a high fantasy tale with strong mythical undertones leaving me with an overwhelming desire to grab my scuba gear and head for the nearest beach. What I got was something entirely unexpected.

Juniper Sawfeather is a typical seventeen-year old who is easily embarrassed by her parents. Of course, June’s parents just happen to be well known environmental activists who have a reputation among the ‘popular’ kids as being slightly weird. June wishes to shed this associated persona and head off to a college of her choosing to study marine biology rather than follow in her parent’s footsteps. The college/study storyline continues throughout the book, and it’s lovely to see how Juniper’s feelings towards her parents change along the way.

Being dragged from her warm bed at 2 am, to answer an emergency call, is nothing new to Juniper and her father. They are called out to handle animal rescue and care, following an oil spill. The father and daughter team discover dead fish, coated in oil and porpoises with their blowholes sealed shut, and as they film the aftermath of the oil spill in a bid to entice the national press to their plight, June discovers three mermaids.

Driver’s description of her mermaids is enticing and nothing I’m read before. She has crafted these creatures with care and attention. If you are expecting them to have long blonde hair and a clam bra, then you’ll be in for a shock.

Juniper and her father take the mermaids to a Mammal Rescue Centre where we meet Carter and Dr. Schneider. There is an instant attraction between Juniper and Carter, and I like how their relationship unfolds slowly.

Cry of the Sea is a well-researched and expertly crafted novel with strong environmental vibes. Where I was expecting fantastical mermaid scenes, instead I got a close up view of how sea life is affected by pollutants, interwoven beautifully with a story of friendship, loyalty and ancestry, and the novel was more believable for this.

I would have loved the relationship between June and the mermaid to be explored on a deeper level; the ending was cut a little short for me, perhaps there is scope for a sequel?

I had expected a make-believe world when I dived (no pun intended) into this novel, but I got a sweet, well written page turner, filled with real characters and very real situations. The added teaser of a mermaid adds a mystical tone to a wonderful book.

I received a copy of Cry of the Sea in exchange for an honest review via Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT

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