📚#Poetry. @GeorgiaRoseBook Reviews A Mother’s Lament by @NikkiRodwell for Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT #BookTwitter

Today’s team review is from Georgia.

Georgia blogs here https://www.georgiarosebooks.com

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Rosie’s Book Review Team

Georgia has been reading A Mother’s Lament by Nikki Rodwell

Being a mother isn’t easy and in this collection of poetry Rodwell hopes mothers who have grieved in any way or who are struggling with their relationships with their children will be touched by her words.

The emotions and feelings around motherhood are complex for many and often all-consuming. It can be difficult as a mother to negotiate a way to successful adult relationships with their children and I firmly believe in the fact that a mother can only ever be as happy as her unhappiest child. It’s just the way it is.

In this book Rodwell bares her soul in her feelings around motherhood and it is clear how much she loves to be a mother but how heart-breaking she finds it too. The fractured bonds with her child/children are plain to see and you only hope that one day they will be restored. I can’t imagine how painful it must be to be separated from your child.

This is a short book of poetry with most of the poems short too. I enjoyed the read if one can say that about such an intense subject that mostly covers the bleaker side of motherhood. But I hope that others who read it will get something from Rodwell’s words that helps them in their situation too.

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Book description

Making sense of pain is a complex and personal journey. In this collection of poems, Nikki bears her soul and reveals that the deeper the grief, the deeper the love. Although it’s easy to feel disempowered and lost within pain, she demonstrates how, by stepping into it, we can give ourselves permission to heal.

Brokenness can travel through generations. Her biggest wish in life, is for dysfunctional cycles to be broken. For her own children to be happy and find peace. For generational trauma to break free.

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📚Festive #ShortStories. @GeorgiaRoseBook Reviews A Christmas Wish by @rogersonsm, for Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Today’s team review is from Georgia.

Georgia blogs here https://www.georgiarosebooks.com

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Rosie’s Book Review Team

Georgia has been reading A Christmas Wish by Suzanne Rogerson.

For probably the first time ever I actually managed to read Christmas stories at Christmas and these turned out to be a great choice. They are billed on Amazon as being a collection of heart-warming and festive short stories and this is a perfect description.

I enjoyed all the stories but my favourites were Santa Paws DeliveryChance Encounters (although it did concern me for a good part of it) and One Good Deed. If you are looking for some well-written, feel-good fiction then I recommend this short read.

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Book description

A heart-warming collection of feel-good stories showing snippets of family life and friendship during the festive period.

Santa Paws Delivery
Blaze delivers Christmas cheer to a care home.

Christmas Wish – Part One
During the office Christmas party Cassie is forced to re-evaluate her life priorities.

For the Holidays
A stepdaughter’s not just for Christmas.

Chance Encounters
Two brothers must unite to do the right thing when faced with a life-threatening choice.

Christmas Wish – Part Two
As Lynn contemplates another lonely Christmas, can Harry provide a welcome distraction?

The Icing on the Cake
Preparing for a big family Christmas, will the day go as Jess plans?

Not Just For Christmas (extended version)
The Shelton family welcome a new addition to the family, but could it spell disaster for Christmas?

One Good Deed
Struggling with life after University, Sam is stuck in a rut until he meets a homeless man with an unexpected gift.

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📚With ‘a dual timeline between 1939/1940 and 1964’. Georgia reviews novella Stolen Summers by @Annecdotist for Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Today’s team review is from Georgia.

Georgia blogs here https://www.georgiarosebooks.com

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Rosie’s Book Review Team

Georgia has been reading Stolen Summers by Anne Goodwin

Book cover for Stolen Summers by Anne Goodwin
Stolen Summers by Anne Goodwin

This novella is a prequel to Matilda Windsor is Coming Home, which I have not read, yet. It is told as a dual timeline between 1939/1940 and 1964.

Matilda is a victim of a particularly shameful period of history when unwed mothers had their babies taken away and could be locked away in a mental hospital, such as the one in this book, Ghyllside, accused of being morally defective.

This story is told from Matilda’s point of view and at the beginning she appears perfectly well balanced, despite having gone through the trauma of having her baby taken from her. She is optimistic and expects to be home and back with her adored brother within a week. Yet she is betrayed by those who should have looked after her. It is tragic to see her years later, as Matty, having become completely institutionalised but still with dreams of escape.

The thought of losing a quarter of a century to such a brutal regime seems utterly unbelievable and yet it happened and not that long ago in our history. This book is beautifully written and can be read as a standalone although I can see many readers wanting to read on to see what happens next for Matilda.

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Book description

All she has left is her sanity. Will the asylum take that from her too?

In 1939, Matilda is admitted to Ghyllside hospital, cut off from family and friends. Not quite twenty, and forced to give up her baby for adoption, she feels battered by the cruel regime. Yet she finds a surprising ally in rough-edged Doris, who risks harsh punishments to help her reach out to the brother she left behind.

Twenty-five years later, the rules have relaxed, and the women are free to leave. How will they cope in a world transformed in their absence? Do greater dangers await them outside?

The poignant prequel to Matilda Windsor Is Coming Home is a tragic yet tender story of a woman robbed of her future who summons the strength to survive.

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📚#HistoricalRomance. Georgia reviews Sisters At The Edge Of The World by @AilishSinclair for Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Today’s team review is from Georgia.

Georgia blogs here https://www.georgiarosebooks.com

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Rosie’s Book Review Team

Georgia has been reading Sisters At The Edge Of The World by Ailish Sinclair

Sisters At The Edge Of The World by Ailish Sinclair

I chose to read this book as a member of Rosie’s Book Review Team and because it was recommended by another member of that team. The author sent me a copy but that does not affect my review in any way.

Morragh and Onnagh are not birth sisters but Morragh was saved by Onnagh as a child and they have been together ever since. Morragh is mute until a particular incident causes her to speak. Blessed with second sight she foresees the coming battle between her Caledonian tribe and the Roman Sons of Mars, the bloodshed that will entail and the fates of those around her.

This book was very well written and the story compelling which kept the pages turning and while it is not my usual choice of book, I’m glad it was recommended as I enjoyed the storyline and the links to the history of northern Scotland.

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Book description

When Morragh speaks to another person for the very first time, she has no idea that he is an invader in her land.

What she does next constitutes a huge betrayal of her people, threatening her closest relationships and even her way of life itself.

As the conflict between the Caledonian tribes and the Roman Sons of Mars intensifies, can she use her high status in the community to lessen the coming death toll or even prevent outright war?

Set in 1st century Northern Scotland, SISTERS AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD is a story of chosen sisters, fierce warriors, divided loyalties and, ultimately, love.

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📚’Well-Told Short Stories’. @GeorgiaRoseBook Reviews Love, Loss and Life in Between by @rogersonsm for Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Today’s team review is from Georgia.

Georgia blogs here https://www.georgiarosebooks.com

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Rosie’s Book Review Team

Georgia has been reading Love, Loss and Life in Between Suzanne Rogerson

Book cover for short stories, Love, Loss And In Between by Suzanne Rogerson. Set against a free photo of a book from Pixabay.
Love, Loss And In Between by Suzanne Rogerson

Love, Loss and Life in Between is a short book made up of around ten short stories. I read it over one day.

Spirit Song is thoughtful with a lovely ending. Goodbye Forever a suspenseful telling of a woman and her son trying to escape an abusive partner. Garden Therapy tells the story of a woman trying to work her way through her guilt and has a nice twist in it. Starting Over shows us a woman revisiting the past and an opportunity missed. A Cat-Shaped Hole is a super story of a lonely woman finding a new friend. The Phone Call was a bit creepy. First a reluctant meeting with a medium, then they phone calls… Knocked Off Her Feet shows how fate can change everything. And Catalyst has such an intriguing opening and a terrifically brutal outcome. Not Just for Christmas a heart-warming tale for all dog lovers out there. A Mermaid’s Tail is a sad read and offers a glimpse into past events that have shaped characters’ lives in The Mermaid Hotel Romance Series. The last piece is an excerpt of a fantasy short story – The Guardian – and is continued in a fantasy short story collection.

Rogerson writes very well and these tales are concise yet descriptive. I liked the fact they were a mix of genre so interesting and each one very different.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and highly recommend to everyone who enjoys well-told short stories.

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Book description

This collection of short stories gives a glimpse into life, love, loss, and the inexplicable in between.

Including themes of grief, finding hope and second chances, facing the consequences of your actions and getting help from the unlikeliest of places.

• As Cecilia helps the dying, she questions what happens to their spirits. But is she ready to find out?
• Can a mother’s race through the New Forest save her son?
• Will visiting a medium bring Christina the closure she needs to move on?
• Can an intruder help an old lady with her loneliness?
• Will the start of another wet and miserable Monday morning end with Maeve’s happy ever after?

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🪑Ideal For Armchair Travel. Georgia Reviews Tales From The Hamlet by Cassandra Campbell-Kemp for Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Today’s team review is from Georgia.

Georgia blogs here https://www.georgiarosebooks.com

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Rosie’s Book Review Team

Georgia has been reading Tales From The Hamlet by Cassandra Campbell-Kemp

Book cover for Tales from The Hamlet by Cassandra Campbell-Kemp
Tales From The Hamlet by Cassandra Campbell-Kemp

After taking up a job which required this author to pack up and move to Italy, she was then made redundant 15 months later. Naturally this was terribly unsettling and left her unable to return home due to a lack of funds and the fact her own home was rented out. However, Campbell-Kemp is a gregarious character and although her dream of a new life appeared to be over and her belongings and aged Siamese cat had nowhere to go, a friend kindly offered them a home in his tiny converted barn in his family’s ‘Borgo’. This is a cluster of rustic properties around a late-Medieval manor house and this one is situated in the beautiful Apennines in northern Italy.

This book tells in detail the tale of the move to this new home, and the many explorations, both by car and culinary, undertaken by the author during her stay. She makes more friends and becomes well-known in the area being something of an oddity; a British woman with no husband, who drives too fast, apparently, in a right-hand car and who can speak Italian, as well as several other languages.

Campbell-Kemp writes well and honestly recounts the worries and issues she faced with her health, her lack of funds and the Italian bureaucracy. However, being a resourceful, intelligent woman, she once again finds her fortunes turning as another opportunity presents itself. Although even as this door opens the realisation that her living arrangements cannot continue as they are hits and things are about to change once more.

This memoir is richly descriptive and gives the reader a lot of information about the area, its history, culture, people and of course, mouth-wateringly delicious food. Recommended for all who like to experience different parts of the world from their armchair.

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Book description

At the age of 61, Cassandra, a single and peripatetic Brit, was asked to pack up her house and move to Italy to take up the offer of a much-needed job. 15 months later she was made redundant, leaving her unnerved, broke and unable to return home. Her dream of a new life was rapidly turning into a nightmare and, saddled with all her belongings, her antique furniture, over 800 books and her aged Siamese cat she had nowhere to go.

A kind friend offered them sanctuary in a tiny converted former barn in his family’s ‘Borgo’, a cluster of rustic properties grouped around a late-Medieval manor House in the mountains; the beautiful and mysterious Emilian Appenines of northern Italy. There she was befriended and watched over by the owner; an eccentric octogenarian, his household ghosts and 14 semi feral cats.

The experience proved to be challenging yet deeply transformative as she struggled to recover her equilibrium and rebuild her life.

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📚#Mystery The Forever House by @LindaAcaster Reviewed by @GeorgiaRoseBook for Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Today’s team review is from Georgia.

Georgia blogs here https://www.georgiarosebooks.com

Orange rose and Rosie's Book Review Team
Rosie’s Book Review Team

Georgia has been reading The Forever House by Linda Acaster

Book cover for women's fiction The Forever House by Linda Acaster
The Forever House by Linda Acaster

Carrie and her husband, Jason, renovate houses that other people make into homes. But this property Carrie wanted to make into their forever home rather than sell it on. Sadly, Jason died early on in the renovations but rather than sell up Carrie carries on doing all the work herself.

The opening of this book is rather taken up with the task of removing wallpaper which is made more interesting by what is revealed underneath. It is this that becomes an obsession for Carrie. One she is determined to see right through to the bitter end.

I enjoyed the characters in this book, particularly Louise, Carrie’s sister-in-law, who has her own issues, and I thought the relationships were well done. I found Carrie’s leaps to certain conclusions sometimes rather quick but otherwise thought the plot came together well and I did like the outcome. The story was also very well-written and flowed throughout. Recommended for those who like a well-told tale.

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Book description

A chilling discovery. A sense of foreboding. They say I’m obsessing. I’m not.

Resisting family pressure to sell the too-big house Carrie and her late husband began to renovate, she is determined to carry through their shared project to prove she can manage alone.

And she can, until a discovery beneath old wallpaper chills her to the bone.

As her need to know more becomes all-consuming, Carrie’s family fears she’s tipping into irretrievable obsession. Can she be dissuaded, or must she take that final step?

How far is too far to right a wrong?

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🐱Cauliflowers Through The Catflap: A Covid #Memoir by Cassandra Campbell-Kemp. Reviewed by @GeorgiaRoseBook, for Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT

Today’s team review is from Georgia.

She blogs here https://www.georgiarosebooks.com

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Rosie’s Book Review Team

Georgia has been reading Cauliflowers Through the Catflap: and Other Tales From a Solitary Lockdown
by Cassandra Campbell-Kemp

Book cover for memoir Cauliflowers Through The Catflap by Cassandra Campbell-Kemp
Cauliflowers Through The Catflap by Cassandra Campbell-Kemp

I took Cauliflowers Through the Catflap on holiday with me and read it in one day. Cassandra Campbell-Kemp is a 65-year-old single woman who has mobility issues and was definitely in the high-risk category health wise when C-19 struck. Campbell-Kemp is also fiercely independent, unconventional, delightfully eccentric and clairvoyant. Being so meant she had two prescient nightmares at the end of 2019 and when their content stuck with her, she realised she had ‘foreseen’ something of what was coming.

And so, she began to prepare.

I found all the detail about her research and subsequent purchases fascinating as she became, to me anyway, the ultimate prepper. The amount of stuff she bought was amazing.

I liked Cassandra, a lot. She is clearly popular as she connects with others online and has huge support from her wonderful friend, Andy. I think we’d get on as she reminds me of my step-grandmother who is similar in nature, although just turned 90.

I found myself slightly envious of the opportunity Cassandra was afforded by lockdown when I was frantically preparing what I could while still working and dealing with the grim task of writing resilience and contingency plans for all my clients in the event of my death. At the time I envied those furloughed and with nothing else to do but work out to Joe Wickes, make banana bread and watch endless box sets.

Cassandra did have one companion throughout, her super cat, Felix. And what a wonderful friend he was, and is, to her. She is also a woman to be much admired. And not just for her ability to speak several languages. Her can-do attitude, adventurous nature and problem-solving abilities have meant that she has done a terrific job of protecting herself and staying alive, mostly because she couldn’t bear for Felix to be frightened and alone if she died. A woman after my own heart indeed.

Cassandra also happens to be eloquent in her writing. This book is an engaging read about one woman’s life through the lockdowns and her discoveries about herself and those around her. Highly recommended.

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Book description

In November 2019 Cassandra had a terrifying nightmare about a small Chinese demon spewing a deadly poison. In early January 2020 she had a subsequent and similarly disturbing dream in which she found herself in an empty and deserted Italian castle, furnished solely with a single ventilator tent. Forewarned by these dreams and feeling that something really bad was going to happen, she threw herself into a frenzy of logistical planning, laboriously turning her spare bedroom into a store cupboard stuffed to the rafters with many (rigorously disinfected) containers full of sensible, nutritious, long-life and probably disgusting dehydrated foods, ready to face whatever The Fates had in store.
On the 3rd March 2020, notwithstanding the dithering of the British Government, Cassandra unequivocally shut herself away, refusing to open the door to anyone and using a newly-acquired pink megaphone with which to communicate with the outside world. Almost a year later she is still locked away! This is the story of a solitary Lockdown – a story of bloody-minded self-preservation replete with moments of anxiety, resignation and sadness but also with joy, hilarity and above all dogged determination. Cassandra – a single and somewhat immobile woman in her mid 60’s – struggles with myriad new challenges as she watches the world change from within her self-imposed fortress.

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🚗Warning! Keep Driving🚗 @GeorgiaRoseBook reviews #Horror Black Rock by David Odle @DLeroy1970

Today’s team review is from Georgia.

Georgia blogs here https://www.georgiarosebooks.com

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Rosie’s Book Review Team

Georgia has been reading Black Rock by David Odle.

Book cover for horror, Black Rock by David Odle, set against a picture of an tarmac road from a free photo from Pixabay.
Black Rock by David Odle

Black Rock launches you into the action right from the start with a family on a road trip needing to find a rest area and unfortunately choosing the small town of Black Rock. One Officer Jack Snider is introduced at this point. Fifteen years later he is Sheriff Jack Snider and as the story starts to unfold, he slowly realises the events of fifteen years before are starting to repeat themselves.

Pastor Thomas Loggins meets with Benjamin Clark believing him to be someone in need of spiritual help but is left not knowing what Benjamin is, or how he knows the things he does. Thomas is also given a terrible decision to make. A decision that someone in the town has had to make before.

Black Rock is atmospheric, gripping and very well written. It also has terrifically well-drawn characters. I thoroughly enjoyed the read and highly recommend it to all who like the darker stuff and don’t mind a bit of gore.

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Book description

We all possess secrets. We lock them away. We bury them into the deep recesses of our mind. We go about our day and pretend they aren’t there.

That’s exactly what Thomas Loggins was doing. Going about his days. The head pastor of a small church in a small town. A family man, with a loving wife and a wonderful daughter.

Until one day, that all changed. It began as a typical meeting with a new member of the congregation. But Thomas soon realized this was anything but typical. This man knew things. Things that nobody should know. And he was making impossible demands.

Thomas’s simple life in the quaint town of Black Rock crashes into life or death when the stranger utters, “I know your secrets, pastor, and it’s time to pay the price…”

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💕’Her love for all things Greek shines out from every page’. @GeorgiaRoseBook reviews My Corfu Love Story by Effrosyni Moschoudi @FrostieMoss, for Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT💕

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

Rosie's #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Georgia has been reading My Corfu Love Story by Effrosyni Moschoudi

It has been a while since I felt the Mediterranean sun on my skin and I have to say that was partly behind my decision to choose this book. I hoped it would be filled with wonderful descriptions that would give me a taste of Corfu, and I was not disappointed.

The love shines out from this short book. Spyri’s love for her grandmother (what a wonderful relationship they had), love for Corfu and the village of Moraitika, love for the food and of course love for the love interest, Markos.

There is also a super note from the author at the end with links to take you to discover more about Moraitika and Messonghi, as well as a family recipe.

Effrosyni Moschoudi is Greek and her love for all things Greek shines out from every page of this most enjoyable short read which I recommend to anyone who wants a break in the sunshine.

Desc 1

Spyri forever lives in the past, haunted by old memories. This summer, she meets a man she once loved, and he is about to change everything…

Spyri, a half-Greek restauranteur in her early thirties, is back on the island of Corfu, staying in her grandmother’s village home for a few days to decompress from her busy life in London. Her nostalgia for the good old summer days hit her upon her return. When she hears that Markos, the one she never forgot, is staying at the village, she becomes excited.

Sparks begin to fly when they meet, but Markos has his own hurts of the past to deal with…

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