Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #NonFiction Writing Success by @KearleySusie

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

Rosie's #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Georgia has been reading Writing Success by Susie Kearley

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Writing Success is, as it says on the front cover, a book filled with inspiring stories of success, with hints and tips for making money writing. Now, I have to admit that I am a little narrow focused when it comes to my writing, as I’m always working towards my next novel. However, reading this book has opened my eyes to other markets as well as how to go about approaching them and, very interestingly, how much to charge, as well as details of rates of pay.

I really enjoyed reading all about writing as a journalist, the benefits and challenges of being a freelancer and where to find your inspiration. Plus, there are several stories of success, including lessons from independent authors, and I was delighted to turn a page and see a familiar face!

Writing Success is very well written, clear and concise, and I’m sure all writers would find it a useful read, particularly if they are looking for a creative reboot, like a couple of the writers in one of the stories it features. Highly recommended.

4 stars

Desc 1

This book contains inspiring stories of writing success, with hints and tips for making money writing. It explores opportunities in writing for magazines, how much to charge, and covers inspirational stories of people who’ve quit the day job and become full-time writers. Whether you’re interested in writing for magazines or writing books, fiction or non-fiction, there are inspiring stories here for you.

The chapter breakdown is as follows:
1: Introduction – Beyond Covid
2: Writing for Magazines
3: Targeting Foreign Markets
4: Community Journalism – Launching a Newspaper
5: How Much Should I Charge?
6: Journalist’s Pay
7: Taking the Plunge!
8: Peter Jones: Happiness Guru
9: Creating Works of Fiction: Inspired by the Classics
10: Karl Drinkwater: Writing in Different Genres
11: Injecting Humour into your Writing
12: Crime Writer, Dave Sivers Q&A
13: Lessons from Successful Independent Authors
14: 30 Years to Publication
15: From Book Deal to Independent
16: Marketing Yourself and Your Work

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #Shortstories Backstories by Simon Van der Velde

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

Rosie's #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Georgia has been reading Backstories by Simon Van der Velde

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Backstories is a great idea. Take famous people from history, ancient or more recent, and write a short backstory about them allowing the reader to uncover who they are as the story progresses. I enjoyed reading the stories in this book.

There were 14 in all. I knew 12 of them and by swapping notes with another review team member I found out who the others were. It might have been helpful to have had a list of the answers at the back. I found that some of them were very clearly signposted, others, not so much. For me, however, the best bit was that I enjoyed the writing throughout all of the stories very much and don’t hesitate in recommending this book to all who like well-written short stories with a small mystery to solve.

4 stars

Desc 1

Dreamers, singers, heroes and killers, they can dazzle with their beauty or their talent or their unmitigated evil, yet inside themselves they are as frail and desperate as the rest of us. But can you see them? Can you unravel the truth? These are people you know, but not as you know them.Peel back the mask and see.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

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Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT #ShortStories Penny Pinching For The Morally Bankrupt by @LibraryMarshall

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

#RBRT Review Team

Georgia has been reading Penny Pinching For The Morally Bankrupt by Libby Marshall.

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Goodness… where to start with my review of Penny Pinching Tips for the Morally Bankrupt. This is probably the most diverse book of short stories I’ve come across, and with such a range of eclectic stories, among the 43 in this volume, there’s bound to be something in there for everyone. There are some longer pieces while others are very short, only a page or two.

I loved Libby Marshalls writing style, it’s lean, punchy and very good, and her sense of humour, which is quick and darkly mischievous. Her ideas are highly original and Marshall writes what many of us may think but hesitate to express.

Did I love every story? No. But I loved, or liked, the majority, and certainly enough that when I finished I went to Marshall’s website to see what else I could find to read on there.

Despite what the title, and cover, may have you believe this is most definitely a work of fiction. If you’re looking to save money, look elsewhere, this is not for you, unless, of course, you happen to be morally bankrupt, in which case…

Addictive page turning has meant I got through this book of unique gems quickly and I don’t hesitate to recommend it to all those who don’t mind the occasional sexual reference and F word and who long to read something that little bit different.

Book description

Penny Pinching Tips for the Morally Bankrupt is a fantastically funny, wonderfully weird, and surprisingly sincere collection of short stories, humor pieces, and miscellaneous bits.

Debra, an unhappy billionaire’s wife, decides to resurrect the 18th-century trend of hiring a man to live on their property as an ornamental garden hermit. An elderly serial killer, bored by her dull nursing home existence, finds a deadly new purpose when her high school nemesis ends up living down the hall. In 1953 a young couple drives to Makeout Point where instead of an evening of heavy petting, they find mountain lions, a man with no gaps in his teeth, and the opportunity to kill Henry Kissinger. Within these pages, a man tries to date after losing his wife to The Salem Witch Trials, a Wi-Fi router gains sentience, a series of cardboard boxes oozing with smoky-sweet baked beans mysteriously appear at a woman’s front door, and a Chuck E. Cheese is haunted by the spirit of Princess Diana.

Boldly strange, deliciously satirical, and laugh-out-loud hilarious, Penny Pinching Tips for the Morally Bankrupt swings from the grim and ghastly to the exquisite and lovely. This one-of-a-kind book takes the reader on a surreal journey through the compulsory despair of daily life and concludes that the only sensible reaction to that much pain is laughter. 

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT Musical #Romance Novella SONGWRITER NIGHT by @DGDriverAuthor

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

#RBRT Review Team

Georgia has been reading Songwriter Night by D.G. Driver

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I should say at the beginning that I read the kindle version of this book but it features eleven original songs and one adaptation of a public domain folk song. To hear them played and sung you can get the full cast audiobook of Songwriter Night: a musical romance from Audible or wherever you like to get your audiobooks and podcasts.

This story is set in Nashville, Tennessee, the country music capital of the world. Two songwriters, hoping to make it big one day meet in a coffee house. Lyle is struggling to stay focused on his writing because of Trish who he’s struggling to keep his eyes off of from across the room. He buys her a drink and they get talking. She’s new in town and has few contacts so eventually Lyle invites her to come along to one of his songwriter nights that he hosts a couple of times a month.

The majority of this book is taken up with the events at the songwriter night, and it’s really entertaining. Only a few people attend but it’s clear they know each other well and get along. However, someone from the past turns up on this particularly evening and rocks the boat with their forthright opinions. Trish appears drawn to this character though and Lyle fears it’s not him she’s interested in after all.

The lyrics for the songs are throughout the book and I think it would have been really entertaining to have listened to the audio version of this. It’s a really great idea for a book and I thoroughly enjoyed it, even without the music.

Highly recommended for all those who love music and romance.

Book description

In this sweet romantic novella, Lyle and Trish are two aspiring Country music songwriters that meet at a Nashville coffee house. With Trish being new in town, Lyle invites her to his monthly gathering of songwriters to get to know her better. The evening of quirky characters and light-hearted singing is interrupted by the arrival Aiden Bronson. He’s got a hit song on the radio, and he’s back to show off, stirring up some rivalry while he’s at it. How will Lyle compete against Aiden’s charisma and talent in order to win Trish’s heart?

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

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Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT #FamilyDrama BIRDS DON’T CRY by @sandeetweets

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

#RBRT Review Team

Georgia has been reading Birds Don’t Cry by Sandy Day

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I have read one of Sandy Day’s novels before and jumped at the chance to do so again. They are quite leisurely paced but the settings are so atmospheric I get absorbed in them and find the story telling compelling.

Kaffy Sullivan is an older woman who lived with her grandmother and ran her inn with her until she died, and continued to do so afterwards. She has a rather creepy brother, Red, who is married to Sylvia, and it is Sylvia that Kaffy relies on so heavily for the day to day running of the inn.

When Sylvia goes missing it is Kaffy who reports it, not Red. Something Kaffy finds suspicious and, because of a spur of the moment decision she makes, disturbing memories from her childhood resurface. Hovering in the background there is another sister, Maxine, who only turns up when there is something in it for her, and in this story that is the upcoming reading of the grandmother’s will.

This is a well written family drama that explores the relationships between siblings and has, as its main character, someone who I feel it would be difficult to get close to but is easy to empathise with, and ultimately, is the one you root for.

Highly recommended for all those who enjoy well-written story telling.

Book description

Sometimes sisters and brothers don’t get along – even when they’re middle aged.

Kaffy Sullivan lives and works in the business her grandparents began in the 20th century. Reclusive and offbeat, Kaffy hopes to inherit the inn and, with the help of her sister-in-law, operate it for the rest of her life.

When an important publication makes a reservation, Kaffy is under pressure to get Sullivan House spruced up in time for the review. But Sylvia, who Kaffy depends on, has disappeared. She hasn’t shown up for work, and Kaffy’s bad-tempered brother doesn’t seem to care that his wife is missing.

Cracking under the pressure to get the inn ready, and more urgently, find Sylvia, Kaffy struggles through a harrowing nest of repressed memories and traumatic family rivalries.

For readers of women’s fiction and domestic thrillers, Birds Don’t Cry is a page turner that drops you directly into one family’s conflict and search for survivors.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

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Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT #Mystery ONE FOR THE MONEY by D. B. Borton

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

#RBRT Review Team

Georgia has been reading One For The Money by D. B. Borton

One for the Money (Cat Caliban Series Book 1) by [D. B. Borton]

Cat Caliban is looking for a change after her husband dies. She is a mother to three and a granny, and that’s one of the things I liked about this book. An older main character. How refreshing. Anyway, after her 38 years of marriage to Fred comes to an end Cat wants a new career and she decides on becoming a private investigator. She sells up her home in Wyoming and buys an apartment complex in Northside, Cincinnati, a rougher neighbourhood than her grown up kids would like her to be in. This story is also set in the 1980s, that glorious time before mobile phones became a thing and you could walk out of your front door and no one would know where you were.

Cat, who also has cats, already has one tenant in her apartments, Kevin, as he came with the property. Another couple soon come to move in, Melanie and Alice, but when Cat shows them the apartment they find the body of a woman lying in it. The woman turns out to be a bag lady, well known on the streets as Betty Bags. Soon after this death there is another, that of Betty’s best friend. And so the investigating begins.

I thoroughly enjoyed this murder mystery, watching Cat get to know her neighbourhood and the people in it, as well as learning her craft. I also liked seeing her clashes with the police and the way her tenants soon joined in to help out as if forming a posse in her crime fighting.

This is a strong start to a series. One thing to note is that the language is often colourful. It doesn’t bother me but if you don’t want profanity in your reading don’t get this book. Other than that I think those that enjoy murder mystery’s will like this, and no doubt the rest of the series.

Book description

“Suspicion is second nature to any woman who’s raised three kids.”

Meet Cincinnati’s newest, oldest, funniest detective-in-training. After decades of marriage, motherhood, and grandmotherhood, Cat Caliban is looking for a new career. Detective work seems a logical choice. So, she sells her suburban house, buys an apartment building in a “transitional” neighborhood, and begins her training, only to discover a dead body in an upstairs apartment. What’s the connection between a murdered homeless woman and the Golden Age of Hollywood silent movies? Cat must discover it before the killer can strike again.

In this first book of the popular Cat Caliban series, Cat assembles her colorful cast of helpers and neighborhood hangers-on. This senior sleuth challenges stereotypical portrayals of older women generally and older women detectives in particular. This book is rated PG-13 for language.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

One for the Money (Cat Caliban Series Book 1) by [D. B. Borton]

Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #Fiction The Inconvenient Need to Belong by Paula Smedley

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

#RBRT Review Team

Georgia has been reading The Inconvenient Need to Belong by Paula Smedley

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Alfie Cooper is in his mid-eighties and lives unhappily in the Pinewood care home, but with no family to look after him he has no other option. The Inconvenient Need to Belong is the story of Alfie’s life told in a series of flashbacks either during his Saturday morning escapes to the park to feed the ducks where he chats to a young man, Fred, or via the computer at the library where he starts up a penpal conversation with a young, single mother in America, Anne.

Alfie leaves his home in London, keen to be away from his domineering father, and ends up in Exeter where he quickly finds work, somewhere to stay and friends. Other than him missing his family, well, his mother and younger sister Betty, his new life goes smoothly. He even finds a girl he likes, if only he could pluck up the courage to ask her out. Sadly, things sour when Alfie drinks more than he should, then sees the girl out with another man.

This is a well written story and steadily paced throughout. There isn’t a lot of action but the story unravels gently and as you get to know the younger Alfie and he faces the challenges of life you end up willing him on, hoping against hope that what you suspect might be up ahead for him isn’t really going to happen.

I really enjoyed the dedications Alfie made up for Rosalind each week and they showed a fun side of him that as a grumpy octogenarian was hard to see at times as he mulled over his life and reflected on the regrets he had about it. Recommended for all those who enjoy a gentler tale that draws you in.

Book description

In the summer of 1953, twenty-year-old Alfie steals away from his troubled childhood home in London to start a new life in Exeter. His own life. And at first it’s everything he ever dreamed it would be. For the first time in his life Alfie feels like he belongs.

Today, in a care home in the Midlands, eighty-six-year-old Alfie is struggling to come to terms with his dark past.

Alfie’s story is one of regret, the mistakes we make, and the secrets even the most unassuming of us can hold. But it is also a story about family, friendship, the things we should treasure and protect, and how the choices we make can shape our lives and the lives of others.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #ShortStories Of Reality And Dream by Loredano Cafaro

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

#RBRT Review Team

Georgia has been reading Of Reality And Dream: Tales Of Underground by Loredano Cafaro

Of Reality and Dream: Tales for Underground by [Loredano Cafaro]

This book is made up of short stories and flash fiction written by the author somewhere between high school and his mid-twenties. This is a tricky review to write because there were parts of this book I liked and some that I didn’t really get. The book was also originally written in Italian and has been translated and I found some of it difficult to read, I assume, because of that.

I’ll pick out the bits that I enjoyed, and that made it an okay read for me. The Book, the opening story, was really interesting and I enjoyed the premise of it. When Angels Die, I wasn’t sure I was going to get but the ending made it come together.

The Rain, seemed a little odd but then again the ending made it clear what was going on. On the Loch Ness – short but sweet. Untitled – a very interesting take on being given a second chance. Quasi-human demigods would not have been my usual choice of read but it was short and had an unexpected ending that I liked. The Mortal and the Eternal and The Lament were both good and again the endings made them.

Okay, so when I came to write this review and flipped through the book again I found I liked far more than I struggled with so that’s great. It’s also clear this author does endings well because in a world where we’re so often used to our stories ending the right way, for our characters to step up and be heroes this is a series of stories that go against the grain. I found it a challenging read but that is helped by the fact the stories are short and I’d encourage anyone who fancies something different to give it a try.

Book description

“If life were a movie, the soundtrack would be enough to inform us what is about to happen and, who knows, maybe we could even lull the conviction that we choose the music ourselves. Did I ever tell you about the illusion of free will?”

“Of Reality and Dream” is a collection of flash fiction and short stories suspended between the real and the imaginary, in which different atmospheres and genres share the absence of answers, heroes or winners; an introspective narration that unfolds in a dreamlike dimension, at times ironic, with predominantly dark tones. It was first introduced to the public in 1997 through an independent label that promoted the works of debutant authors on a stall in the historic Via Garibaldi in Turin, obtaining an appreciable acclaim. Part of the collection is re-edited in 2018, when some of the stories are included in the web app “Tales for Underground”, a project by Osmotica. Supplemented by “The illusion of Free Will”, an unpublished novella in seventeen cinematic-style scenes, in December 2018 this selection was published on Amazon in Kindle format, keeping the title of the original collection from 1997. In May 2019 it was translated into English.

AmazonUk | AmazonUS

Of Reality and Dream: Tales for Underground by [Loredano Cafaro]

Celebrating 6 Years Of Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT With Team Member @GeorgiaRoseBook

Recently we celebrated our review team’s six year anniversary by revealing fourteen of the team’s favourite books.

You can find out which books they were in part one and part two.

I invited some of my team members to tell us more about being part of the book reviewing team.

Welcome to Georgia Rose, who also writes book reviews at Georgia Rose Books

Regular readers of my blog will already know about #RBRT but I have been a proud member of Rosie’s Book Review Team since… well, I can’t actually remember when I joined, or how, but I suspect it had something to do with Terry Tyler. I think I’d started posting reviews for books I read and it seemed like a natural fit to join the team. And I’ve never regretted it.

I don’t accept review requests on my site, choosing instead to review any book that’s my choice to read, and that I finish. If I can’t finish it I don’t review it as I don’t think that’s fair. I also don’t give below three stars. If I was minded to give below that, I wouldn’t have finished the book, and I think you can see where I am going with that.

I like reviewing to be a positive experience. As we know, no book can please everyone and just because I didn’t like it I don’t want to slam it in case it is someone else’s favourite book ever…

Anyway, what I like with Rosie’s team is that there is no pressure. Authors regularly send their books to Rosie for review. Thankfully Rosie does all the admin (thank you, Rosie!) and they get put on a list. We are all busy, isn’t everyone, so we do what we can. I aim to choose at least one book per month from that list. I also belong to a reading group in my village so with the monthly book there and then one of my own choosing, three is about my limit for a month.

Also by joining this group I have read books in all sorts of genres I would never normally have chosen and thoroughly enjoyed myself doing so, discovering some real gems along the way, so it has broadened my reading experience considerably.

I have become stuck a couple of times, finishing books I perhaps should have stopped reading and then feeling obliged to review when I’m not so sure I can be as positive about them as I’d like. That’s where the support of being a team comes in as Rosie and Terry have always helped me out so that I have been able to give an honest review, as tactfully as possible.

You also don’t have to write anything elaborate by way of a review. Mine are not particularly sophisticated or in depth. Not like some that I am in awe of. I simply say how a book made me feel and what I liked about it. It’s easy. Imagine reading a book, enjoying it and wanting to tell your friends about it. I write that.

Plus, we get to use the photo below on our posts to distinguish the team reviews, and we have a cool hashtag to use for sharing, #RBRT.

Nowadays I don’t get to hang out on social media or in the blogging world perhaps as much as I once was able to but my closest online blogging friends are all part of this group and I’m delighted to be able to support them whenever I can in sharing their posts. They are a great group of people, some of whom I’ve met in real life now too, so if you fancy giving book reviewing a go you will find Rosie’s Book Review Team a friendly place to be, and authors will love you for it. Plus, there are, of course, free books! What’s not to like?

Thank you Georgia, it is a pleasure to have you as part of our team.

Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #Memoir Plumas de Muerte: Tequila Journals and Dreams by @philmotel

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

#RBRT Review Team

Georgia has been reading Plumas de Muerte: Tequila Journals and Dreams by Phil Motel

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The reader is warned at the beginning of this book that it is unrevised for authenticity and, for what follows, that is exactly as it should be. These are typed and handwritten journals set mostly between Phil’s motel room and his place of work. The dreams segment fills probably the last 20% of the book and I wasn’t so interested in that part. But the journals absolutely drew me in.

The book journals the life of this author while he was writing his novel, Rum Hijack (which I highly recommend), and it shows an increasingly unhappy life both at home, which the motel isn’t, really, and work. The writer is under considerable pressure in his work life but I enjoyed the tales he told of day to day life with his colleagues and the politics involved.

Throughout this writer is struggling. He drinks enough to affect him at work and to a lesser extent takes drugs. However, his life completely spirals out of control when a former girlfriend gets in touch, brings happiness back into his life, then does something to break his battered heart completely. His grief is visceral and pushes him over the edge. That this book has been published shows he was saved from the abyss and I am thankful for that.

This writer is tremendously talented. He makes the most mundane conversation or scene interesting and there is plenty here for those who appreciate excellent writing to enjoy.

Book description

Life in a long-stay motel, overseen by the on-site muscle: ‘if this was a movie, he’d be played by Steve Buscemi’. Twelve-hour shifts at a mundane job alongside a host of strange characters with their own struggle to make it to the end of the day. Anecdotes from journals of adventures past: wannabe musicians, ill-fated relationships and the bottom of a bottle.

Musings on life, death, dreams, and the frustrations of the writing process: the journal entries were written while during the creation of the author’s debut novel, Rum Hijack.

Dream Diary
The second part of Plumas de Muerte is as it says: a small collection of dreams: what goes on while we are asleep?

A raw ride that makes no attempt to gloss over the darker side of the author’s life at the time, while acting as a cautionary tale about the nightmare of substance abuse – and the final road of alcoholism/addiction.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

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