WAKE UP by Claire Colley @clnauthor #BookReview Dealing with Relationship abuse

Wake Up by Claire Colley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Wake-up is a book which deals with the hardships of relationship abuse, a good opening prologue drip feeds the reader with details of Ruth and why she is currently in a coma. The main body of the book splits the chapters between those of Ruth the adult, Ruth the child and Ruth’s partner Max. We read of the life-story of Ruth as she looks back whilst in a non-verbal communicative state of her coma. Her brain still functions and she uses the time to re-evaluate her life and to look at the lessons life has given her.

As a child, Ruth was witness to a violent, drunk abusive father, who beat her mother to unconsciousness on more than one occasion. As an adult Ruth has a coping mechanism which she applies to relationships with men, she is a serial “other woman” and is the one to leave her men as she searches for “the one”. All she ever wanted was to be loved and for people to stop leaving her.

Ready to leave Max and move in with Fletcher, Ruth is shocked to find she was just another affair and she is not welcome. She returns to Max’s flat just before he arrives home from a trip and gets to stay a while longer. However Ruth can no longer be at ease with Max, he has Jekyll & Hyde characteristics. He switches from Mr lovely to Mr jealous and possessive in an instant and he uses his fists when he’s angry. In fact it is more than that, he is totally selfish and self-centred surrounding Ruth with his friends, his music, and his gifts as forgiveness when he has beaten her up.

With Ruth in denial of the situation, complications spiral when she finds herself pregnant and Max goes into selfish possessive over-drive. Even with Ruth lying in hospital in a coma Max still thinks only of himself, but Ruth has used the time to find her inner strength and the drive she needs to break from the mould of abuse.

There is some very good writing in this book, the author builds the layers which make a compelling read and the storyline, although sad, touches on real life subjects which are all very believable. For me the book needs one more run through editing to erase the last few hiccups and then this book would be a 5* read.

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.

Guest Author Randy Mixter

Today our guest is Randy Mixter, he has written several books and I came across Randy when I read and reviewed  “Summer’s Passing” click here for a reminder of the review. http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-2SQ

Image of Randy Mixter

Let’s find out more about Randy;

1) Where is your home town?
I grew up in Baltimore, Maryland. I now live outside of Annapolis, Maryland with my wife, Veronica, and our five cats.
2) How long have you been writing?
I began writing as a teenager, poetry and short stories mostly. I went on to write movie reviews and articles for a local newspaper. My first published novel was The Boys Of Northwood, an autobiography in short stories about life as a teenager in Baltimore. Since then I’ve written and published seven additional books, with more on the way.
3) You went to Vietnam as a member of the military police, tell us about your book “Letters from Long Binh”
While I was in Vietnam, I wrote letters to my girlfriend (now my wife) on an almost daily basis. When I returned home, I discovered she had kept every one of them. A couple of years ago I had the idea of incorporating some of those letters home into a book that reflected my daily experiences as a military policeman in a faraway and dangerous land. Letters From Long Binh was the result. I believe the novel accurately represents my year in Vietnam with selected incidents remembered, and forever preserved, in words.
4) You have at least 11 books available for purchase on Amazon in a variety of styles; short stories, memories, novels, which do you enjoy writing most?
I enjoy writing fiction novels and short stories. Each one is an adventure that I undertake with the characters of my stories. Quite honestly, most of my books begin with a simple plot idea and expand from there. I like to create unique characters and send them off to strange places where mystery and intrigue hide behind each shadow. In other words, I let my characters do my work for me. I’ll put them in certain situations and let them work their way out.
5) Tell us about the detective series featuring FBI agent Jack Stanton.
I introduced Jake Stanton to the world in my novel Swan Loch. In that book he was a secondary character, but I liked him so much I decided to give him more to do. I wrote Sorcerer based on his exploits with an eccentric magician and a device that allowed time travel. I also put him on the trail of a serial killer in the short story, Red Moon. Next up for Jake, A Gunman’s Destiny, about a master criminal and his personal vendetta against the FBI agent.
6) “Summer’s Passing” has a mix of two stories, one from the past which twists with the present, have you considered a sequel to tell us more of the character’s stories?
I recently published a sequel of sorts to the story in the novel involving Rachel Cain and the adventurer, Morgan Reid. The novel, Scarlet And Gold, concerns their adventures at land and sea during a time of the pirate wars long ago. The book is the first of a planned trilogy. The second chapter, Coronado’s Treasure, will be released in early 2014.
7) Several of your books relate to the 1960’s, tell us briefly what going up in that time period in America meant to you.
The years of my youth were spent in the community of Northwood which had everything a young man could want; a woods nearby, ball-fields, shopping centers, and alleys to play in. The 1960s were  magical  years of innocence and mystery, where adventure was as close as the summer morning outside the door of your home. I have always believed I could not have grown up in a better time and place.
8) Would you say that you have passed your memories down to the next generations in some of your work? Which of your books in particular relate to this?
I would like to think that the books I write now will be my legacy for many years to come, passed down by family member who many years from now might say, my great great grandfather was a writer and this is one of his books. I think The Boys Of Northwood  will be remembered because the book relates to a specific time and lifestyle that no longer exists. I’d like to think that Letters From Long Binh would also have meaning in the years ahead when, hopefully, war is but a distant memory.
9) Do you self publish your work? What are your experiences with getting your work to an audience? Is it changing rapidly?
Although I have had some of my earlier works published, I felt that self-publishing was the best way to present my books to my readers. I now have complete control over the book’s content, cover art, etc. I enjoy promoting and advertising my stories. I make certain that all my works the best they can be, and are properly proofread and edited before they are published. I owe my readers that much.
10) What are you working on at the moment? Do you have an expected publication date?
At the present time I am working on a novella entitled A Girl Of The Paper Sky. It is about a young girl and her ability to visit a dreamworld where there is much beauty, and possibly a dangerous malevolent evil. I hope to have the story published later this year. Then its on to the sequels of Scarlet And Gold and Sorcerer, with others to follow. No rest for the weary, but I love every second of it.
Summer's Passing
Summer’s Passing; Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com
Thank you Randy, it’s been a pleasure meeting you.

Mouse and the Cossacks by Paul Wilson

Product DetailsMouse and the Cossacks by Paul Wilson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book weaves a tale between the lives of two people who have experienced trauma. Mouse has lost her ability to speak and prefers to stay in her silent world. William spent most of his life living with a guilt from the end of the war. In a series of letters which Mouse finds, William’s story unfolds, while Mouse tries to keep hold of her own fragile world, their lives intertwine. I must mention the book cover, lovely flaps made good bookmarks and the embossed cover was very tactile, I found myself opening the pages with care not wanting to crease the cover.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mouse-Cossacks-Paul-Wilson/dp/1906994447/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1371200249&sr=1-1&keywords=mouse+and+the+cossacks

Guest Author Sarah Cradit

My guest author today is Sarah Cradit, Sarah talks about recently re-reading one of the Harry Potter books. This household loves Harry Potter, we’ve all read the series, I think I’ve read the series 4 times now! We have all of the films and I think the kids know the words off by heart! On New Years Eve we visited the Studio tour here in London see my post http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-6C We can’t persuade any of our friends to help us finish eating our packet of Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans!

Here are Sarah’s replies;

1) Tell me your name: Sarah M. Cradit

2) Where do you live?: Portland, OR

3)When did you start writing?: I started writing when I was 7; I wrote a bunch of short stories that were actually somewhat inappropriate for school and my parents got called down to the office. This was the start of the marriage between my imagination and a pen.

4)What type of books do you like writing the most?: I generally write mainstream fiction, with a special focus on the human condition. Why do we do what we do? It’s not black and white, and its important to me to have character-driven stories that reflect that.

5)Pass on 3 tips about writing or publishing.
1. When I am having trouble finding inspiration, I will force myself to rigid word count goals. It sounds counter-intuitive to the creative process, but it actually, for me, does just the opposite; forcing me to write helps me get back into that process.
2. Free-writing is another way I’ve gotten over the writer’s block hump. Setting a timer and writing, without stopping at all, until the timer stops often brings out subconscious thoughts that help me advance my story. This is how I found the end to my first novel.
3. Most of us have trouble turning off our inner editor when writing; to appease mine, I often highlight the pieces I am having troubles with, or make minor notes (like: “this needs to die a slow death”), so that when I come back for edits I know which spots needed my attention most.

6)What was the last book that you read? How would you rate it?
I most recently re-read Harry Petter and the Half Blood Prince. I would give i an 8/10. There are not many Children’s authors that can write simply enough for children, but engaging enough for adults. Rowling is a master storyteller…her writing is just “so so”but I can’t decide if that’s because of the audience or skill. I’d like to read her adult stories for comparison.

The story itself is filled with suspense…it’s the final transition for Harry into adulthood and there’s no longer any doubt that evil has a real chance of winning the battle. I like that Rowling does not shy away from dark topics, like death and loss, because these experiences are what shape Harry and allow him to do what he needs to do in the next book. I’m always surprised at some of the criticism her stories get.

7)Now choose just one of your books and add a link to it.
St. Charles at Dusk: http://www.amazon.com/Charles-House-Crimson-Clover-ebook/dp/B005RT0ZKE

Thanks!
Sarah