Today I’m a guest of Wendy Lou Jones chatting about #Books and #BookReviews #MondayBlogs @WendyLouWriter

Today I’m a guest of the lovely Wendy Lou Jones, do check out the interview here
Hello, and welcome back to my blog. Today I have the lovely Rosie Amber with me talking about blogging. Take it away Rosie.
Hi. My name is Rosie Amber, I live in Fleet in the county of Hampshire, England.
A southern belle, much like myself. 🙂

How long have you been blogging and what is the name of your blog?
I’ve been blogging on Rosie Amber for 4 years, I run a book reviewing blog with a team of reviewers. We try to offer an author several different reviews all from one location. Plus I run challenges, writer advice posts, and try to bridge the gap between authors and their reading audience. Come over and have a rummage around the blog at Rosie Amber
I think we should!

How do you fit all this reading into your life? (marriage/kids/job)
I don’t watch TV and I will read anywhere, so that really helps to get through books quickly. I do have to fit my reading around a busy family life and part-time work as a farm secretary.

What keeps you blogging?
I love the buzz from finding a new gem of a book and sharing it with my readers, it’s also great to get a conversation going about books, writing etc with the readers. We’ve recently had some cracking conversations about Book clubs and libraries on my Wednesday Wing posts.
I think I’ve missed that… Better make a note. And she’s @rosieamber1 if you’re interested.

What is your favourite genre?
I do like to mix it up, I’m a fan of YA Paranormal, but I’ll read most genres although Horror’s not a frequent genre on my book list, I need to sleep at night! Recently I have read HistFic, non-fiction, a travel memoir, fantasy, Sci-Fi, romance, women’s fiction and a short story.
An all-rounder!

Are you an e-reader or a paperback girl?
I like both formats, an e-reader is lighter to hold, but often I get “reader’s finger” an ache from all the screen tapping to turn pages. Holding a book is lovely as long as it’s not too heavy and I like to share books with friends, so a paperback is great for that purpose. I’ve recently started creating YouTube videos of my book reviews, so a paperback is also ideal to show in the video but not always necessary.
I’m a Kindle girl nowadays and never have a problem with the finger, LOL but if I return to paperbacks, I get confused when tapping the page doesn’t make it turn!

Who would you cast as the male lead for a romantic movie of your life? (artistic license expected!)
I have no idea, I’m not great at knowing actors, so I’ll take a character from a book. I think I’ll borrow Edward Cullen for a few hours and spend a time being exposed to his vast knowledge of culture and history, plus spend some time exploring the NW forests of America.
I take it we’re not talking about the teen Twilight sensation here…?

Do you have a favourite classic?
I’ve not read any classics for years and years, although I did re-read The Jungle Book a couple of years ago. In the future I would like to see the Harry Potter series given the Classic label, Penguin ran a survey recently asking which books we thought should be future classics and I voted for Harry Potter.
Oh, what an interesting thought. My husband always teases me that students will be studying my books for their high school exams in years to come. LOL I don’t think so. 😉

What are you reading at the moment?
In January I read 22 books, so I don’t like to answer with just one book, my next books will be; The House At The End Of The Street by Meena Van Praag, Dead Beat Dad by J.R Rain (Available from Feb 20th), The Dean Machine by Dylan Peters , One Way Fare by Barb Taub and I’m hoping to get an ARC of Souless by Sarah J Pepper. (Available from Feb 23rd)
I’m sorry… 22 books in a month!?! I feel so inadequate.

Thanks for coming on Rosie. I’m definitely going to take a look at that Wednesday twitter thing and hope that several others join in too. Bye!

Today I’m guesting over with Rachel Poli @RPoli3 chatting about #Bookreviews #TuesdayBookBlog

Guest bloggers visit my website twice a month on Tuesday and Thursday. If you would like to be part of this, feel free to check out Rachel’s Be A Guest Blogger page.

Re-blogged from Rachel Poli


This week’s guest post is brought to you by Rosie Amber, where she discussed book reviewing. Thanks, Rosie!

Rosie Book Reviews

Hi Rachel,

Thank you for inviting me to your blog today for a chat about book reviewing.

I’m Rosie Amber and I run a book reviewing blog at

You can also find me on Twitter @rosieamber1.

Why as a reader I think reviews are important

In today’s world the book market is reaching saturation point. Self-publishing and e-book opportunities have opened the doors to publishing which were once held closed by publishing houses. So how can authors connect to their readers? More and more people are buying books online where they look at the book cover, the book description and they check out other reader’s reviews.

I love reading and want to share the books I love with others, so what better way than by writing a review and posting it on various online platforms and book buying sites.

As a reviewer, I post reviews about nearly all the books I read as long as I can rate them 3* or above.

How can reviews help other readers?

I write short reviews. I’ll explain the book genre up front, then if it’s not one a reader likes, they can move on. I’ll usually talk quickly about the main characters and where or when the book is set. I’ll then go on to give a bit of information about the storyline, so that readers can decide themselves if the book sounds enticing. I’ll finish with a summary of what I liked about the book and if necessary what didn’t work for me. If the book needed another run through editing I will mention that and it will reflect in my rating. It’s so important in this competitive market for writers to put out their VERY best piece of work and not rush to publish.

Helping authors by sharing what I love about books

Almost two years ago I filled my blog with all my own reviews, but my request list was getting long and I was being asked to review genres which I didn’t enjoy. So I created a book review team. Members join on a voluntary basis and review books around their own lives. There is no minimum or maximum number of books to read as long as they read and review a book in a month. We post reviews on,, Goodreads, reviewer’s blogs and I get a copy of each review which goes out on my own blog.

It is set up so that authors provide several copies of their work and we give them multiple reviews of the book all from one place.

In 2015 we even ran our first ever book awards around the books we had read to help share our news of fabulous books.

We have a strong social media base and if authors interact with us and our readers it really does spread news of their work in the right places. I add new features to the blog to keep it fresh and enjoy searching for new ideas and ways to reach more of the reading public.

Do drop in, say hello, pull up a chair and get comfy with people who LIKE books.

GUEST POST Vikki Patis @VikkiPatis Talks about blogging and book reviewing #TuesdayBookBlog

Today we have a special guest on the blog, please welcome Vikki Patis


1) Where is your home town?
 I was born in North London, but we moved around a bit, and so I grew up in Hertfordshire. I moved to Plymouth for university, and fell in love with the West Country, but now I’ve found myself back up country, in Hertford.
2) Why did you start blogging?
I started writing for various organisations during my final year at university; I got involved with The Knowledge, Plymouth University’s paper, then looked for more writing opportunities online. I became a staff writer intern at ReadWave, wrote freelance articles for Lovereading, and then created The Bandwagon, my own blog. At that point, my writing was dedicated to books and authors, and while I loved it (and still do!), I wanted a place where I could write about anything. And so the blog was created.
I love writing about different topics; it keeps me informed and fresh. I also write fiction, though I’m yet unpublished, and so I have used my blog to share my stories.
3) What can readers find on your blog?
The biggest part of my blog involves book reviews and “Ask The Author”, a series of interviews with authors big and small, including George RR Martin, Charlaine Harris, Karen Maitland and Samantha Shannon. I also run a Cornish Reading Challenge every year, and am featuring one woman every month as part of #InspiringWomen, which aims to put everday, creative women into the spotlight, and encourage others to follow their dreams. You can also find articles on feminism, disability, cats, and other topics I have an interest in.
4) Do you have book reviewing guidelines?
I generally accept any book for review, barring a few genres such as erotica, and I’m not overly keen on reviewing children’s books. But The Bandwagon is currently expanding, with several new reviewers joining the team, so that may change very soon! Check back in a while for updates.
5) Which recent pots have been the most popular on your blog?
On Christmas Day, I posted a picture of myself in a “Christmas Cook” hat on Instagram. A stranger decided to post some nasty comments regarding my weight; I got angry, and wrote a response. “So I Got Fat-Shamed” was read over 900 times, shared multiple times on social media, and the Facebook post alone reached over 1200 people. I also received comments on the blog post, had several discussions on Twitter, and some people even found the original photo on Instagram and wrote some lovely things. As much as the exposure and popularity of the post is a good thing for my blog, I only wish the writing of it hadn’t been necessary.
Before ReadWave closed it’s doors last month, I had over 25,000 readers. “Ask The Author: George RR Martin” was read over 1000 times, and is one of the most popular author interviews I’ve ever conducted. Which is no surprise, really!
6) What plans do you have for the blog in the future?
One of the biggest plans for The Bandwagon is to bring new reviewers on board, so we can take more review requests and help more authors promote their work. I’m extremely passionate about reading, and strive to help authors get the recognition they deserve.
#InspiringWomen is also a huge feature for 2016. Our first post has already gathered a lot of interest, and I’m excited to see where it takes us. There’s still a few spaces left, so if you’re a successful woman and want to write about your experiences, get in touch!
7) Where can readers find you on social media?
Twitter: @VikkiPatis
Instagram: Vikki Patis

Guest Post – Rosie Amber on #wwwblogs @dino0726

Getting to know: ROSIE AMBER (blogger for

Hi there!  Today I just wanted to host a guest post for another book review blogger.  Rosie Amber became my one and only blogger friend when I first started my blog.  She placed her digital arm around my digital shoulder and said ‘There, there, it will be OK.’  She’s helped me in many ways since then.  But, if you take the time to get to know Rosie, you’ll discover that is not so unusual.  She truly cares for others.  Since April 2013, after being inspired by A Year of Good Deeds written by Judith O’Reilly, she has committed herself to performing some good work each day.

Rosie’s Post:

Here on my blog I focus on book reviews and helping authors spread the word about their books. I began writing reviews of books I’d read and then I offered to review books, slowly the blog built up and I invited authors to be guests on the blog.  I post my reviews on Goodreads and and I’m lucky enough to also have two local magazines that I write monthly book reviews for, they both have on-line editions which is great for my featured authors who are spread across the world.

For the last three years I’ve taken part in the April A to Z Challenge and I blogged my way through the alphabet using books each time. It’s a great way to meet loads of new people from across the world and I have stayed friends with many of them.

During April 2013 I read Judith O’Reilly’s book A Year of Good Deeds and I decided to set my own challenge of doing a Good Deed a Day for a year. Often my deeds are as small as picking up litter, or writing a book review, but I was so thrilled when I managed a whole year that I have continued my challenge. I post weekly updates on a Sunday and I have encouraged others to follow in my footsteps which is really great.

In September 2013 I joined with Stephanie Hurt from USA and we ran a joint Romance Book Tour. Thirty authors got the chance of two posts about their book on their allotted day, stretched across the world to a wider audience. The concept worked really well and we ran a second tour in 2014. Places on the tour were snapped up in a week, we had a waiting list and people are already asking us about a 2015 tour which is fantastic.

I ran a Mystery Book tour all through last November, 30 books, 30 authors and 30 days. There were all sorts of sub-genre books taking part in the tour.

I’ve just run a Beach Read fortnight with guests telling us about the five books they’d take on vacation as well as their favourite destinations.

I really believe in the value of book reviews helping to sell books as we move more and more into buying books online. In June 2014 I ran a book review challenge for a week with posts giving advice on book reviews, guest book reviewers, authors and a publisher all talking about the need for more written book reviews. I had authors offer free copies of their book and challengers were invited to read the book and try writing a review. It went down so well that on the back of this I set up a book review team. This is a no pressure team who review books they choose around their busy lives. They commit to reading and reviewing a book within a reasonable time and we posts reviews to a minimum of two sites plus I get a copy of all reviews to go on my own blog. That way authors get access to several reviewers at once and can get some good feedback on their book. We publish all reviews, many bloggers feel pressured to only post 5* reviews, my policy can lead to disgruntled authors, but hey we’re here to show we are readers with our own opinions.

I love blogging and offer a busy blog for people who love books in all sorts of genres. I’m passionate about reading and I’m always recommending books to others or passing on copies of books I’ve read. Plus I’m happy to get other people who love reading involved with my book review team.


Rosie – I thank you for allowing FictionZeal to host you and your blog today.  You have a wonderful blog and always keep it new with unique and fresh ideas.  

My questions to Rosie:

First, would you provide a link to a few of your most favourite books as featured on your blog?  Tell us why you loved them so much.

Swamp Ghosts – Marcia Meara (Romantic Suspense)

Florida beauty and dangerous animals mixed with a serial killer with time for a bit of romance.


Back Behind Enemy Lines – Chris Bridge (Historical WW2 fiction)

A WW2 secret agent now faces a war against her family in the book split into two time eras.


Walking On The Edge – Zee Monodee (Romantic Suspense)

A woman with amnesia starts to recall her past, but first she must escape those who are keeping her captive.


I Listened To my Heart – Rosemary Gallagher (Spiritual Romance)

Angels and spirit guides feature in this search for a soul mate.


The Parrot Told Me – Rachel Rawlings (Murder Mystery)

Great mystery, where it’s the talking parrot who can tell who the murderer really was. Had me hooked from the start.


A Place In The World – Cinda MacKinnon (Contemporary S. American setting)

A coffee finca in the cloud forests of Colombia are the setting for this tale about discovery and survival.


Craving – Sophia Grey (NA psychic romance)

A sexy leather jacket wearing young psychic gets involved with chasing away the evil.


Backpacks and Bra Straps  – Savannah Grace (Travel)

Second travel book about a Canadian family who sold up and went backpacking around the world, very good.


The Soul and the Seed – Arie Farnham (YA fantasy thriller)

Scary storyline about testing teenagers and experimenting on them to extreme lengths.


A Woman’s Choice – Annie Thomas (Historical Fiction)

The turn of the 20th century and one young lady steps foot on America to make a better life for her and her mother. I liked all the historical details.

As a reviewer, what does the rating scale mean to you?  Do you ever review books on your blog that are 2 stars or under?  Do you finish everything you start or have you DNF (did not finish) any?

I keep to the 1-5* rating. I don’t do any 4.5 or 3.2 stars, and I post the same star rating on Goodreads and Amazon. So within a 4* rating I’ll have books which just made it past a 3* and books which weren’t quite perfect for me. I’ll try to make the rest of my written review show how much I liked a book or what I felt didn’t quite work.

If I have a review which will go below 2* from an author who has asked me to review their work, I’ll go back to them with an appraisal of their book, it may have massive editing errors, or be very unrealistic with characters doing impossible things, even fantasy has to be believable. Some of my appraisals are for books I could not finish but I’ll try to read at least 20% before I give up. I think this type of approach is more helpful to an author than silently posting a 2* with barely a review, it doesn’t give them a chance to see where they need to improve.

If one of your favourite authors added you as a character to one of their books, how would you like to be portrayed? 

Whenever I see a character called Rosie in a book I get a shiver and love seeing how these Rosie’s develop in their storylines. If I was a book character I would like to be in a book about self-discovery as fun, carefree and a good friend. I’d have my eyes wide open to the opportunities life experiences offer without the restrictions of the modern world. I’d enjoy being in a storyline about finding  or digging into my past lives, I’m a believer that we’ve all been on this earth before and that each time we return it’s to learn something new or sort out some bad Karma. I’d want my characters to travel to places which connect to those past lives, I have a yearning for Ireland, Africa and more of North America/ Canada (The wilder parts). My journey would begin with some past life regression work, deep meditation training (I’m enjoying reading about meditation at the moment and trying to put it to practise) and move on to just what I can do to make this a better place to live.

If you could have an author from the past write one more book, who would it be?  What would be the genre of the book?

I’d like Maeve Binchy to write another of her Irish family dramas, I grew up reading much of her work, there were lessons within her writing which were good to be guided by.  Contemporary drama.

I know blogging can be both rewarding and challenging.  What are the greatest rewards for you, and what are your biggest challenges?

Rewarding: Meeting lots of lovely people, giving something back in life – if I can help spread the word about books, writing and useful tips to others then that’s a great payback for all the books I get to read.
Challenging: At first it was finding interesting topics to fill my blog, and developing useful feedback in a book review, my first review post was only a couple of lines and barely said anything useful to other readers. Now I make notes as I read so I can write a better review at the end of a book. My main challenges now are firstly dealing with authors who disagree with my review, some forget we all read a book differently and see and like different things. Some authors get so close to their work that they struggle to accept any idea that the book could be improved, they let their ego get in the way of developing their craft.
Secondly my challenge is with fitting in all the admin needed to run a review blog, a review team and finding the time to visit and share other bloggers posts/ tweets etc plus juggle this with a part time job and full time mother/ friend and housewife in my everyday life.


If you are not familiar with Rosie Amber’s blog, I encourage you to spend a bit of time there.  It’s awesome!

Re-blogged from Diane Coto at

Blogger Spotlight: Rosie Amber @RosieAmber1

This was lovely to wake up to today – Thanks Nicky

Nicky Wells: Love & Thrills


Welcome to the one and only
Rosie Amber!

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Blog | Twitter | Facebook

Who are you and what brought you to the blogosphere?

My name is Rosie Amber, I’m a book reviewer and blogger. I live in the county of Hampshire in the UK. Blogging opened up a whole new world to me and I have met some lovely people. I use my love of reading and my blog to help promote other people books.

rosie gardening 02 facebook wp

I love reading. In the Goodreads 2013 challenge I read 154 books, in 2014 I read more than 181 books. Nearly every book I read gets a review on Goodreads, Amazon and my blog, with links to my Facebook author page, Google+ and Twitter. I also do Guest Author Interviews and take part in book related tours.

Tell us more! I believe your blog reviews also got you into reviewing for actual paper-and-ink magazines?

View original post 525 more words

…Reviewess Extraordinaire, Blogger, and Author, Rosie Amber nails it for us here… #TBSU…

Today I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to guest over with Seumas Gallacher

Seumas Gallacher

…I feel incredibly humbled by the extent of the recent activities of my Guest Blogger today, the redoubtable, Rosie Amber… read on, and yeez’ll see what I mean… enjoy…

rosie gardening 02 facebook wp


My name is Rosie Amber, I’m an author, book reviewer and blogger. I live in the county of Hampshire in the UK. Blogging opened up a whole new world to me and I have met some lovely people. I try to publish a blog post every single day because my blog is still quite new and I need to keep readers interested. I began my blog primarily to help promote my own book, but it has become a much bigger part of my life. I’m now able to use my love of reading and my blog to help promote other people books too.

 My first published book is called “Talk of the Playground” and is a fun tale of…

View original post 738 more words

Guest Author Ian Probert

Today our guest is Ian Probert author of yesterday’s book “Johnny Nothing”, here is a link to the book if you missed the review.

Ian Probert

Let’s find out more about Ian and his work.

1) Where is your home town?
Burnley in Lancashire. A place where they still point at aeroplanes.
2) How long have you been writing?
When I was a kid I used to bore my English teacher to death by filling up exercise books with stories about vampires. She’s dead now. Professionally I had my first article published in 1987. It was about boxing.
3) Is Johnny Nothing your first humorous children’s book?
It is. Although I’ve written funny stuff before but never thought about publishing it. Well I think it’s funny but humour is so subjective.
4) Have you ever had children read your book like beta readers?
I’m horrible. When my daughter has her friends around for playdates I get them to read Johnny Nothing aloud. It makes them laugh, though, which is amazing to watch. If they refuse to do it I shave all their hair off and tell their parents that they did it.
5) When the family went off around the world on holiday you had fun with some of their feelings about the destinations, can you give the readers some examples of these?
• They went to Amsterdam but found the Dutch tulippy.
• They took a slow boat to China but they were bored to death by the time they got there.
• They went to Coventry but the locals wouldn’t talk to them.
• They flew to Warsaw but found it an eyesore.
• They found Cuba dull (although everyone else seemed to be Havana good time).
• They went to Egypt but the pyramids were like a prism.
• They went to Sao Paulo but thought the Brazilians were nuts.
• They sailed to Costa Rica but it Costa fortune.
• They got hungry in Hungary.
• So they had turkey in Turkey.
• And then chicken in Kiev.
• And crackers in Caracas.
• And visited a Deli in Delhi.
• They got thirsty in Chertsey.
• So they had high tea in Haiti.
• Then drank iced tea in the Black Sea.
• They went for a wander in Rwanda.
• Something went wrong in Hong Kong.
• They weren’t bowled over by Moldova.
• They found Chile too cold.
• They bought perfume in Cologne.
• Mr. MacKenzie had a very painful accident in Bangkok.
6) Can you tell the readers how Johnny stopped his parents from spending any more of his money?
It worries me actually because what Johnny does is hire some bodyguards to kidnap his horrible parents. Then he locks them in their bedroom for months and forces them to do homework. This worries me because it’s the the story I’ve written in which the main character does something really nasty to his parents. Any psychiatrists out there?
7) When Johnny tries to think of ways to raise the money needed to make up £1 million what were the best ideas put forward?
Frankly all the ideas were rubbish but probably the best one was to buy £500,000 worth if lottery tickets. Or course, you have zero chance of winning but this was still the best suggestion that any of the really stupid characters came up with. Personally, I’d kidnap a politician and tickle him until he gave me the code to his debit card.
8) Do you think you try to give readers a message about spending wisely and donating to charity?
I think I probably do. Underneath all the jokes and the vulgarity there is an underlying message, which is: ‘Give Ian Probert all your money!’ Only joking kids. What I’m really trying to say is: ‘Many a mickle makes a muckle…’
9) Tell us about your book called “Internet Spy” and it being made into a film.
I wrote it in 1995 and it became a hit in the US, I think, because it had the word ‘internet’ in the title. Nobody had heard of the internet then and they thought it was a magic creepy thing that would rot your fingers. They were right. A few years ago I was approached by Brad Pitt about making it into a movie. That’s Bradley Pitt, the lesser-known South African plumber. He and his wife Angela Jolly did quite a good job actually. I was paid about 5p, which I thought was a fair price.
10) What are you working on next?
I like dead heroes so my next book is going to be called ‘Dan’s Dead’. I’ve already written the first sentence. It says: ‘Dan was dead.’ It may be the first and last sentence. I’m not sure yet. It’s another book for kids that will hopefully be so funny that they will wee their pants every Thursday.
Johnny Nothing
Find a copy here from or
Oh Ian you do make me laugh!  Good Luck with the next book.