Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT #Memoir MY LIFE IN HORSES by @JanRuthAuthor

Today’s team review is from Georgia, she blogs here https://www.georgiarosebooks.com

#RBRT Review Team

Georgia has been reading My Life In Horses by Jan Ruth

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My Life in Horses is a memoir and as such was hugely nostalgic for me. So many memories of my own life with horses resurfaced with its reading. Although I have to say that Jan Ruth was, for the most part, riding in considerably more beautiful parts of the country than I.

Jan Ruth’s riding was done at numerous riding stables, a sad fact being that over the years more and more of these have changed to become livery yards and it makes you wonder where people without access to horses in the future will be able to learn.

This relatively short book is full of stories that will bring a smile to your face and Jan Ruth’s telling of them keeps you reading as she builds in settings and atmosphere. If you love horses or have had any sort of background with horses, you will love this read. If you don’t then read it anyway, you might discover what you’ve been missing out on!

Book description

This is the memoir of an ordinary horse-girl. Fifty years of riding schools, borrowed horses and long lost dreamscapes. Fifty years of a passion which has seen considerable changes from the gradual demise of the public riding school, to the loss of access to safe bridleways. But My Life in Horses is not filled with sad nostalgia, it’s also a kaleidoscope of hope and inspiration. From the dappled sunlit lanes of Cheshire to the rugged mountains of North Wales, and beyond.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

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Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT #Paranormal Novella DARK MAGIC by @TomCW99

Today’s team review is from Georgia, she blogs here https://www.georgiarosebooks.com

#RBRT Review Team

Georgia has been reading Dark Magic by Tom Williams

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Dark Magic is a short book at around 96 pages and has a terrific hook right from the first line.

The Maestros of Magic are rightly envious to see that a rival group of magicians have sold out at a theatre in the West End, for three solid months, and are no longer on the road as a touring group like the Maestros still were. They are also deeply suspicious about their freakily good magic… it’s almost like real magic…

 I thoroughly enjoyed this read. I liked all the information about the different forms of tricks and loved how slightly sniffy each magician was for other forms of the art.

For me this is a book about consequences. About contracts and deals and what happens when you don’t fulfil them. And there are deep consequences when the Maestros interfere too.

I thought there was an unanswered question that stemmed right from the opening hook but as I rescanned a couple of pages searching for a detail to write this review the answer was right there. Good job.

Well written, this is a terrific story for anyone but if you are interested in magic too then that’s even better.

Book description

Baby’s blood… Virgin’s tears… Chainsaws… It’s remarkable what some magicians keep back-stage.

Two magic shows: the Maestros of Magic touring the country, playing provincial theatres; the Carnival of Conjurors successful in the West End. When the Maestros learn that the Conjurors are using real magic – Black Magic – to do their tricks they decide that they must use their own, distinctly unmagical, stage skills to stop them. Soon people are dying on stage – but can the Maestros really beat a team that has the devil on their side?

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT Historical #Mystery A SICKNESS IN THE SOUL by @penandpension

Today’s team review is from Georgia, she blogs here https://www.georgiarosebooks.com

#RBRT Review Team

Georgia has been redaing A Sickness In The Soul by William Savage

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A Sickness in the Soul is part of The Ashmole Foxe Georgian Mysteries, a series of British historical mysteries set between 1760 and around 1800.

This is the first in this series that I have read and I enjoyed getting straight into the story as well as settling into the setting and circle of friends and acquaintances that make up Ashmole Foxe’s world.

Ashmole Foxe is feeling a little bored with life at the start of the story but within a matter of days he has three possible murders brought to him and I thoroughly enjoyed his investigations in his pursuit of the truth in each case as they, together with the characters themselves, are authentically and wonderfully written.

Running alongside the mystery storyline is Ashmole’s private life and he is a pretty lively fellow with the ladies and, I thought, a touch fortuitous with the way things panned out in a certain aspect of his love life at the end, until that final twist. Ah, now that can only make life considerably more complicated for Mr Foxe in the next book methinks.

Highly recommended for anyone who likes historical fiction but also for all those who just enjoy a good, well written story with terrific characters.

Book description

“Many people wear masks. Some to hide their feelings; some to conceal their identity; and some to hide that most hideous plague of mankind: a sickness in the soul.”

Ashmole Foxe, Norwich bookseller, man-about-town and solver of mysteries will encounter all of these in this tangled drama of hatred, obsession and redemption.

This is a story set in the England of the 1760s, a time of rigid class distinctions, where the rich idle their days away in magnificent mansions, while hungry children beg, steal and prostitute themselves on the streets. An era on the cusp of revolution in America and France; a land where outward wealth and display hide simmering political and social tensions; a country which had faced intermittent war for the past fifty years and would need to survive a series of world-wide conflicts in the fifty years ahead.

Faced with no less than three murders, occurring from the aristocracy to the seeming senseless professional assassination of a homeless vagrant, Ashmole Foxe must call on all his skill and intelligence to uncover the sickness which is appears to be infecting his city’s very soul.

Can Foxe uncover the truth which lies behind a series of baffling deaths, from an aristocrat attending a ball to a vagrant murdered where he slept in a filthy back-alley?

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Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT #Shortstory My New Superjob by @AntonEine

Today’s team review is from Georgia, she blogs here https://www.georgiarosebooks.com

#RBRT Review Team

Georgia has been reading My New Superjob by Anton Eine

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This short story is basically an interview, but one with a difference. Taking place in an unusual setting, which is very well described, Samantha meets Mark who tells her he’s something of an expert in human resources.

What follows is unusual in terms of an interview and revealing in the questions asked and answers given.

I liked it a lot. There was great insight into the characters and the story ended very well so that it was finished off nicely but the reader is left wanting to know what happens next.

Fortunately there is a next as this is the beginning of a series, a promising one at that.

Book description

Did you ever want to be a superhero? The city’s defender against crime, violence, and all forms of sicko nastiness?
When one day she stumbled upon a strange help wanted ad claiming that the city was looking for a superhero, Samantha Washington, a former Ranger commander, was sure it was a joke. And she sent in her resume.
Will the ad turn out to be somebody’s dumb idea of a joke, a practical stunt, a cunning maniac’s clever trap, or… a real opportunity leading to a difficult and dangerous future occupation?
Now that she has let herself be drawn inextricably into the chain of events, Samantha will have to figure it all out on her own. And she’ll have to do it face to face with her own deepest fears.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #Horror #Novella CONGEAL by @john_f_leonard

Today’s team review is from Georgia, she blogs here https://www.georgiarosebooks.com

#RBRT Review Team

Georgia has been reading Congeal by John F. Leonard

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Congeal by John F Leonard is a post-apocalyptic horror story which I chose to read as a member of Rosie Amber’s Book Review Team. I received a copy from the author but this does not affect my review at all.

I think this is the longest story I have read from this author but the pace is unrelenting throughout. Congeal is the stuff of nightmares. You know, those ones in which you are being chased by something that doesn’t tire when you do, and which may subside during daylight but by night returns bigger than before.

At the beginning of this story we meet Amelia, who is running, along with Pete, who definitely annoys her, but then her choice of company is limited so beggars can’t be choosers. There were more in their group but that number dwindled in ways that you need to read the book in order to discover.

As always with Leonard, the writing is a joy to read, each turn of phrase or descriptive passage a delight and I highly recommend this to all who like their reading to be on the dark side.

Book description

It starts with reports on the news of an inland lake turning semi-solid.
Surely, a media joke, some lame April Fool’s prank?
The before and after pictures are vaguely ludicrous and oddly disturbing, the contrast stark and strange.
First, darkly rippling water that hints at hidden depths. Slightly spooky and perfectly normal. Next, a putrid blotch of clotted sludge which bears little resemblance to anything aquatic.

It isn’t a joke.
And pretty soon, that greasy, sickening substance isn’t confined to an inland lake.
It’s spreading. Flowing over fields and filling streets.
Each morning brings a new revelation. Countryside denuded of life and towns empty and echoing.
The night is when it changes, becomes something that consumes. Something infinitely worse than a congealed impossibility.

CONGEAL is a short tale of apocalyptic horror. How the world ends may not be how you expect. Nuclear Armageddon or a zombie apocalypse could get beaten to the punch.
Our apocalypse may come from below.
An ancient, cosmic entity bubbling up to the surface in search of food.
It’s also the story of one individual and her fight to stay afloat in a sea of despair.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #Ya #GhostStory The Haunting Of Alice May by Tony Lee Moral

Today’s team review is from Georgia, she blogs here https://www.georgiarosebooks.com

#RBRT Review Team

Georgia has been reading The Haunting Of Alice May by Tony Lee Moral

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It’s not giving anything away to say that Alice May gets saved one day while out on a kayak by Henry. They soon become romantically involved which would be fine were it not for the fact that Henry died 100 years ago and is living in some sort of purgatory. And he’s not the only one ‘living’ this way.

I enjoyed the setting with the descriptions of Alice’s life in the town of Pacific Grove where she lives with her dad and sister after her mum died. I also liked her friends Christian and Emily.

The things that jarred with me were that I was confused about whether people could see Henry with Alice, or not, at least at first. Later in the story it was clear he could be seen by everyone and also he seemed as solid as a properly living person.

Strangely at one point Alice is concerned by the fact that Henry is 100 years old and what effect that would have on their relationship, without considering the perplexing issue that he is essentially dead so their future together is not looking that promising anyway.

I am probably not the ideal audience for this book but I’m sure it would appeal to younger readers as they would relate to the age range of the characters better.

Book description

Alice May Parker moves with her family to the sleepy town of Pacific Grove after her Mom dies, but little does she know the strange and terrifying events to come. When she falls into the bay during a kayaking trip, she is rescued from drowning by the mysterious Henry Raphael. Handsome, old fashioned and cordial, he is unlike any other boy she has known before. Intelligent and romantic, he sees straight into her soul. Soon Alice and Henry are swept up in a passionate and decidedly unorthodox romance until she finds out that Henry is not all what he seems. . .

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #Horror #ShortStory The Bledbrooke Works by @john_f_leonard

Today’s team review is from Georgia, she blogs here https://www.georgiarosebooks.com

#RBRT Review Team

Georgia has been reading The Bledbrooke Works by John F. Leonard

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Donald Hobdike’s title is Manager of Works in the small, somewhat creepy, town of Bledbrooke, and has been for forty years. Over that time his role has become considerably less glamorous than it sounds and now extends to little more than managing the sewage system.

He is also, on occasion, sent community service young offenders to accompany him on his day’s work. Which is why when a blockage is reported in a posh part of town Hobdike has the surly Mikey in tow as they disappear into the depths of the sewers.

But they are not alone.

This story is written from the differing points of view of Hobdike and Mikey and these were my favourite parts. The characterisation of each is excellent, their thoughts about the other right on the nail. But there is a third character. An unknown quantity. Gone to earth.

Like I said, they are not alone, and as if the revolting setting of the claustrophobic sewage system was not enough suspense builds because you know, you just know, something is waiting for them.

I loved the twist, the horror of the finale, and having appreciated Leonard’s writing for a while now I thoroughly enjoyed this short story and highly recommend it to all those seeking something different and interesting to read.

Book description

THE BLEDBROOKE WORKS is a tale of everyday unpleasantness and cosmic horror. A short novella of subterranean terror seen through the eyes of an ageing engineer and a young hoodlum. One a pillar of the local community, the other an outsider who wouldn’t know communal spirit if it ran up and bit him on the bottom.

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #FairyTale Retelling The Silent Beauty by @DGDriverAuthor

Today’s team review is from Georgia, she blogs here https://www.georgiarosebooks.com

#RBRT Review Team

Georgia has been reading The Silent Beauty by D.G. Driver

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I do so love it when you open a book and within the first few lines you know you are in for a treat. The Silent Beauty is just such a read.

Colleeda has been bestowed with not only beauty but also a wonderful voice yet she is a horribly, horribly vain and selfish woman with not one redeeming feature. She treats everyone around her appallingly, her thoughts and manners ugly and breath-takingly arrogant. However, her favourite pursuit of luring men to her, then leave them heartbroken, proves her undoing when she seeks to distract a good man, dismissive of the fact his fiancé is rumoured to be a witch.

The Silent Beauty is book three in a series of fairy tales and contains all the magic of such tales with good and evil, heroes and heroines, and characters brought low by their own weaknesses. Does this one offer the possibility of redemption and send out a moral message? Well, you will have to read it yourself to find out and I highly recommend that you do. At only 80 pages long this is a gem. The writing is excellent, the descriptions rich and the storytelling wonderful.

Book description

If you’re a fan of fairy tales or retellings, D.G. Driver’s delightful, and occasionally dark series checks those boxes quite well, and can be easily read in one sitting.

Colleeda is a beautiful but wickedly vain young woman. Of all her assets, the one she prizes most is the sound of her voice. Her favorite game is to attract young men and then leave them heartbroken. It’s all fun until she chooses to lure one man away from his fiancée—and that woman is rumored to be a witch bent on revenge. Colleeda is cursed to never speak or sing again, except for a couple minutes in the wee hours of the morning when no one can possibly hear her.

For years, Colleeda mourns the loss of her voice, believing she is no longer beautiful or desirable. She lives in solitude as her house falls into disrepair around her.

Is there any way to break the curse? Does she deserve to have it broken?

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #YA #ShortStory Let’s Be Legends by Sean Fesko

Today’s team review is from Georgia, she blogs here https://www.georgiarosebooks.com

#RBRT Review Team

Georgia has been reading Let’s Be Legends by Sean Fesko

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I enjoyed reading this short story. Right from the beginning we know Kara Olecki is on trial over the death of her boyfriend. The storyline hops between the proceedings in the court and from two years previously when we get to see the build up of the relationship between Kara and Matt and what actually happened to land Kara in the court room.

We all have a side we show to the world and one we prefer to keep hidden but Kara takes this to another level having her Internal Kara and External Kara, and I’m not sure that helped her mental state because when things went bad Internal Kara took over, and was out of control.

I think what I liked most about the story was Kara’s voice. I don’t read a lot of young adult novels but I could completely ‘see’ Kara, and I enjoyed her life as a teenager venturing into her first romance and this was very well done.

Book description

Kara Olecki didn’t mean to kill her boyfriend Matt. But she did—and she’s paying the price. As she waits for the jury’s decision, she has nothing but time to recap all the important moments, both good and bad, that led up to her sentencing. Told in dual timelines, experience Kara’s thoughts in the courtroom and musings from the previous two years: From the first time she laid eyes on Matt and their ski trip to Colorado, to their squabbles and individual tribulations. It was the kind of first relationship that Kara had imagined. Right up until the end.

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #horror novella A Plague Of Pages by @john_f_leonard #TuesdayBookBlog

Today’s team review is from Georgia, she blogs here https://www.georgiarosebooks.com

#RBRT Review Team

Georgia has been reading A Plague Of Pages by John F Leonard

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If anyone follows my reviews they will have noticed I am something of a fan of Leonard’s work by now. This can prove problematic when you then read something not quite on a par with the previous work by that author, which could have been the case here as A Plague of Pages is considerably longer than the previous short stories. However fortunately A Plague of Pages does not disappoint. In fact, quite the opposite, given the longer format Leonard has greater opportunity to hook the reader in with his excellent writing and to develop the storyline into something that keeps those pages turning.

The story starts with the police attending a rather bizarre death in a library and I enjoyed the relationship, or rather the lack thereof, between Detective Sergeant Adi Shadwell and the decidedly charmless constable, Ricky Douglas.

We then go back a little in time to meet Anthony Eames who has been brought low, from being married and having a successful estate agency, by those who should have been there to support him. He has turned his back on all that and in a bid to start over has decided to write instead. He chooses to do this with a pen left to him by his father. It is only when the consequences of doing so start to be revealed that the true horror of what he has unleashed comes home to him. Or does it? Maybe he is just having a breakdown? There is only one way to find out. Write something where he can check the outcome.

I won’t say anything further for fear of spoiling this excellent read for someone else, suffice to say there is plenty to frighten you and Anthony has to revisit his family history to uncover the provenance of the pen while protecting it from those who view it with green-eyed envy.

Not for the squeamish perhaps but otherwise it’s an excellent story I’d recommend to all.

Book description

Ah, the perils of writing …it can bring out the worst in you.
Anthony’s world has fallen apart. The good times have gone, the things he treasures have been torn away. Life in tatters, he needs to press the reset button and begin again. And that’s exactly what’s going to happen.
He’s going to pursue his dream of becoming a writer.
Trouble is, some dreams turn into nightmares.

AmazonUS | AmazonUS

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