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

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*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: 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

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT FLESH by @dylanjmorgan #Horror #amreading

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

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Alison has been reading Flesh by Dylan J Morgan

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I love a good horror story. I grew up devouring Stephen King books and I’ve never found another author that does small town spooky oppressive atmosphere, flawed but sympathetic characters and downright ‘bump in the night’ scares so well. So Dylan J. Morgan had a lot to live up to.

He has the small town atmosphere down perfectly. Vacant and its flawed inhabitants are compellingly drawn and easy to picture. I was torn between sympathy and frustration at Sheriff Keller and despised the deputies and the town mayor. Keller in particular was a complex character – beautifully done, he is the epitome of a man struggling to come to terms with his past, a man who knows his life has been a waste, who knows that he is weak, and yet still has that shred of humanity that has you rooting for him and wanting things to be alright.

The threat that the town faces is well -portrayed and satisfyingly scary, and the opening of the book is a real hook, paving the way for the gruesome secret at the heart of Vacant. The writing itself is technically flawless. The pacing is perfect, the dialogue authentic and the amount of gore pitched perfectly.

The only sticking point for me is the motivation of the ordinary townspeople. I didn’t quite buy that they would agree so whole-heartedly with how the police, preacher and major choose to deal with the threat to their town. These are nice, normal people. I’m not saying they can’t agree to it, only that I wanted to know more clearly why they had – why they were so convinced that this was the only option. There is scope perhaps for the religious element to be played up a bit more here. What Stephen King always does so well is make you believe that ordinary people can do dreadful things. And while this book was a compelling, competent and really enjoyable read, I didn’t completely believe it.

4 out of 5 stars

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

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT Cathy reviews FLESH by @dylanjmorgan #Horror #amreading

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

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Cathy has been reading Flesh by Dylan J Morgan

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A graphically gruesome opening chapter sets the scene for the horror which surrounds the town of Vacant. The townsfolk are living in fear of the unknown entity after a couple were killed in their own home. In order to appease whatever lurked in the woods, visitors or people passing through were to be chosen as sacrifices, at the instigation of the fanatical Pastor Nielsen and corrupt Mayor Wyatt. Deputies Manning and Brady select the victims and Sheriff Andrew Keller and Deputy Matthew Nielsen dispose of the remains.

The main characters, although very well interpreted, are all flawed and damaged in one way or another, drug addiction, alcoholism, corruption, and initially none of them were in the least appealing. Even Deputy Nielson who, although he seems unconcerned about the grisly tasks he performs in the woods, wants to help Sheriff Keller and stop the killings, yet in his own way he also has a desperate addiction.

Then about halfway though I began to root for Sheriff Keller. The past he’s been running from and trying to drown in whisky and beer, unexpectedly appears in Vacant, turning him into more of a sympathetic character. He has no choice but to face his demons and he tries very hard to fight as the suspense escalates. I liked the inclusion of Joe, the Chippewa Native American, who brings everything to a head when he shares his knowledge and beliefs.

The vivid imagery and detailed description of the setting creates a powerful representation, as do the inner thoughts and feelings of the characters. The sense of fear, panic and disbelief as events unfold. Dylan Morgan puts his own unique spin on a Native American legend in a lurid tale of sex, murder and horror contained in a well thought out and suspenseful plot. The narrative is paced well, incorporating some surprising twists and treachery.

4.5* out of 5*

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

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT FLESH by @dylanjmorgan #Horror #WeekendBlogShare

Today’s Team Review is from Shelley she blogs at http://shelleywilsonauthor.com/

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Shelley has been reading Flesh by Dylan J Morgan

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Author: Dylan J Morgan

Category: Horror

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

 

Review:

 

Dylan Morgan is fast becoming one of my favourite authors. Once again I was instantly captivated by the descriptive writing and fully developed characters. The opening scene of a wife murdering her husband, chopping him up and serving him up for dinner certainly hooked me in.

 

The brutal and graphic murders that haunt the small town of Vacant are sinister and menacing, but so too are the townsfolk and half of the police force.

 

I was split into two camps when reading Flesh. Half of me felt compassion towards the drunk Sheriff Andrew Keller and his deputy Matthew, and then the other half of me wanted to scream and swear at them for letting deputies Manning and Brady get away with their drug induced behaviour. I was rooting for the Sheriff the whole time and wanted him to stand up for himself more against the corrupt Mayor and the freaky pastor.

 

As with any good horror story you expect a bit of blood and gore and Flesh delivers this in Dylan’s uniquely descriptive way. What I love about the author’s style is how he delivers the gore in short, sharp bursts as he concentrates primarily on the characters and their story.

 

The book is told from the various characters point of view which gives you a better insight into the inner workings of their mind – not always pleasant in some cases.

 

The ‘big bad’ remains elusive until the end portion of the book leaving a trail of terror as you speed towards the finale, which was fabulous – I didn’t see that one coming!

 

A must read for horror fans. I couldn’t put it down, even when my cat jumped onto my lap at a crucial point and I nearly leapt out of my skin!

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

 

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT FLESH by @dylanjmorgan #Horror #TuesdayBookBlog

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

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Teri has been reading Flesh by Dylan J Morgan

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Five Stars

I’m officially a Dylan J. Morgan fan.  From his previous two books I’ve read, I knew I loved his novels.  As of now, I’d read anything he put in front of me.  Grocery list, errands to do – anything!

As a warning, I’d advise some of you not to eat while reading the first several pages of this book – but for me?  I found the opening scene morbidly delightful, and could only imagine the type of research the author conducted.  Vacant is full of some vile, twisted people who perform some reprehensible acts to keep a creature fed and away from their town.  Sheriff Andrew Keller is one of the more flawed MCs I’ve seen, an absolute wreck of a man – and yet I didn’t find it difficult to connect with him.  When his past is revealed, it’s a surprise and at that point, I came to the harrowing realization of where this story was going.  The suspense escalates even more from that point and I was riveted until reaching the end of this book.

Flesh offers vivid imagery of blood-soaked scenes, wicked chills, nail-biting suspense – a veritable buffet for horror fans.  But it’s also about the story of a man struggling to make amends for some regrettable life decisions.  Highly recommended.  I received a digital copy of this book through Rosie’s Book Review Team.

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

Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT FLESH by @dylanjmorgan #Horror #SundayBlogShare

Today’s team review is from Olga, she blogs at http://www.authortranslatorolga.com

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Olga has been reading Flesh by Dylan J Morgan

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Flesh by Dylan J. Morgan Horror, twists and turns and a small-town legend that’s anything but…

I am reviewing Flesh as part of Rosie’s Book Review Team and I’ve received a complimentary copy of the novel in exchange for an unbiased review.

I love horror. Books, movies, series… I’d read very good reviews of Dylan J. Morgan’s books and when I saw one of his books come up for review at Rosie’s team I decided to take the chance and read it.

You probably have read (and/or watched, if you’re interested in the genre) similar stories. Small town, something in the woods is killing people. The something might vary from book to book. Here the small town is not the wholesome small-town of cosy diners and picket fences, but rather the strange world of Blue Velvet (well, perhaps weird in a different way, a corrupt place full of drug-addicts, alcoholics, mad preachers, power-crazy mayors, and people prepared to do anything to keep themselves safe, even if it means others have to suffer). And the story is written in such a way that we don’t really know what we think we know, or rather, we don’t realise what we know until very close to the end. At least for me, the novel was full of surprises.

The novel is told in the third person, from quite a few of the characters’ points of view, the main characters. None of them, with the exception of Miranda, but she hardly appears in the first part of the book, are easy to connect with or sympathetic. The book opens with one of the character’s (although we are not told many things about her) extreme violence and a description of butchery that, being a doctor, I must confess had me wondering if some of the things were anatomically possible… As we see things from the character’s mind’s eye, the reading can be quite uncomfortable. On the other hand, at least for me, it didn’t work at the level of some scenes of extreme violence in Tarantino’s movies, for instance, when you might find yourself joining in and siding with the perpetrator. But perhaps that’s a matter of personal taste. The rest of the main characters are deeply flawed, addicted to alcohol, drugs, and egotistical. Matthew, newly joined deputy sheriff seems too good to be true, other than for his sexual relationship with a woman that also seems to break the rules (sex during work at the police station for instance), but until more than fifty per cent of the book has gone we don’t have much of a hero to root for. And then, things change. And how. (Also some new characters appear that add to the interest, but the biggest surprise is how the ones we knew already change. Or we realise we didn’t know them quite as well as we thought.)

I’m not overtly fond of descriptions and the book is full of them, be how the characters are feeling (hangover, highs of drugs, sex, hot and sweaty…), clothes, food, drinks… Although well-written, I felt due to this the first half of the novel moves at a slow-steady pace, whilst the last half speeds up.

As you’ve probably noticed from what I’ve said, I thoroughly enjoyed the second half of the book, where you feel much more invested and engaged with the characters and things get much more personal, not only for us but for some of the protagonists. It is a good way of rising expectations and interest, although there is always the risk that some readers might not follow the writer, but in this case it’s well-worth the patience. I won’t go into a lot of detail not to spoil the reading experience, but as I mentioned, it took me quite a while to work out the connections and the ins and outs of the plot. It’s very cleverly done.

Overall, would I recommend this book? Yes, if you love horror, and you like descriptive writing, both of horrific scenes and in general (there’s also a fairly explicit sex scene, be warned), and want to be taken by surprise (even shocked). And, a word of warning, whatever you think of the beginning, keep reading, because the second half of the book is fantastic.

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