Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #Christmas #ShortStories Silent Night by @WendyClarke99

Today’s team review is from Jenny, she blog here http://jennyworstall.wordpress.com

#RBRT Review Team

Jenny has been reading Silent Night by Wendy Clarke

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My review:

I have long been an admirer of Wendy Clarke’s short stories; she writes with great delicacy about the deep emotional truths found at the heart of seemingly everyday lives.

Christmas is a time of heightened emotion and this collection explores themes of loneliness, loss and love, all with the constant thread of the real meaning of Christmas running through.

In ‘Finding Santa’ we sympathise with a family stranded at Gatwick Airport as the festive season starts and in ‘All I Want for Christmas’ we feel for the new step-father desperately searching the shops for the elusive must-have-toy late on Christmas Eve.

The most original story of the collection in my opinion is ‘Silent Night’, but my favourite is ‘Christmas Strike’, for its humour and for the tenderness of its resolution.

So, enjoy this wonderful collection, with a mince pie and a cup of tea at your elbow!

WARNING: keep a tissue at the ready too, as Wendy Clarke really knows how to pull at the heart-strings.

Book description

‘Silent Night’ is a collection of thirteen Christmas stories by Wendy Clarke, a regular writer of fiction for national magazines.

All of these stories have previously been published in either ‘The People’s Friend’ or ‘Take a Break Fiction Feast’. If you like stories with emotional depth and a satisfying ending, then this collection is for you.

About the author

Wendy Clarke is a full time writer of women’s fiction. She started writing when the primary school she taught in closed down and after completing two creative writing courses, began writing short fiction for magazines. Since then, she has sold over a hundred short stories and her work regularly appears in national women’s magazines such as The People’s Friend, Take a Break Fiction Feast and Woman’s Weekly. She has also written serials and a number of non-fiction magazine articles.

Wendy lives with her husband, cat and step-dog in Sussex and when not writing is usually dancing, singing or watching any programme that involves food!

Wendy Clarke

Goodreads | AmazonUk | AmazonUS | Twitter

Rosie’s Good Read Collections; Comedy/Humour

Welcome to “Rosie’s Good read Collections”, I’ve put together the books I’ve read into subject headings that I think the books belong to, for you to browse.

15993045With a thunderstorm replacing the forecasted warm sunshine, Travis’s day started badly. He hoped a trip to Blackpool, with his friend Dave, would lift his spirits. He would be wrong. After encountering “Uncle Fester”, a naked gardener wielding a rake, and an incontinent dog, he should have turned the car around and gone home. Instead, Dave suggests a visit to the pub, where teetotaller Travis discovers a taste for alcohol. If the opposite of serendipity existed, this would be it. An hour later, someone calls Dave an ambulance. Things go downhill from there. Subsequently arrested for breaking and entering whilst wearing gorilla suits (and who knew that would be illegal), they have to convince the police they have been witness to the murder of a beautiful woman. Or have they? Or could it be, like the police suggest, a bad case of Beer Goggles. Beer Goggles is an epic(hangover) tale of (half)wit(s) and (Dutch)courage, where, thanks to the delights of alcohol, nothing is quite what it appears and where the wrong decision could cost Travis and Dave their lives. If you like a good romp as much as you love a good yarn, Beer Goggles should be your tipple of choice. Enjoy responsibly! Goodreads, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com, My Review: http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-2en

The RadioA comedy so black that you’d have to eat a lot of carrots to know whether George’s adventures are actually visible. The Radio centres around the decline of the lovable, yet hapless George Poppleton, a middle-aged, henpecked father and husband who stumbles across an old transistor radio in his loft. His obsession with listening to the radio drives him on an unexpected journey, fuelled by the painful memories of the suicide of his only son many years before.
Whilst his only daughter, Sam, and wife, Sheila, plan perhaps the most ill-fated wedding ever conceived, the radio transports George further and further away from reality. When a garlic baguette is used as a lethal weapon and the hogs finally take a stand and turn on the farmer who is about to roast them, nothing is likely to go as smoothly as the family may have hoped. The accidental return of Sam’s ex-fiancé, David, coupled with the endlessly drunk Auntie Lesley ensures that an almighty farce is just around the corner. The Radio ends with an unimaginable twist, when the family realise that things are not at all how they seemed. It is a story of what it means to be a family, the perception of loving and being loved, and what it means to be sane. Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com, My review: http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-2lq

16090232If Maureen were real, I would advise you to avoid her like the plague.  She somehow attracts disaster and farce in equal measure wherever she goes.
As she is fictional though, it should be safe enough for you to encounter her from behind your Kindle.  Maureen had a disastrous trip to a modern art exhibition in ‘ECLECTIC: Ten Very Different Tales’.  Well, now she’s back in her own feature-length adventure! The book will give you plenty of laughs and a taste of Italy, so join hapless Maureen on her Venetian break and just be glad you’re not there with her! Goodreads, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com, My Review: http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-aD

13580960Village Books is a local institution…which is good, because most of the staff probably belong in one. There’s the manager, Dante Andolini, who’s hiding more than just his hypochondria from his overbearing mother…Sebastian Donleavy, whose hedonistic lifestyle is two rails short of being on the rails…Aldous Swinghammer, whose philosophical eccentricities have not been the biggest hit with the ladies…Ebeneezer Chipping, whose crotchety exterior hides a burning passion for the Spanish émigré next door…Mina Bovary, whose crazy husband may have just gone AWOL with an arsenal of fragmentary explosive devices…and the store’s long-suffering assistant manager, who is spinning his wheels in retail while he waits for something better to come along. That something better may be new assistant manager Leah Dashwood, an aspiring actress with an ambitious plan to transform the store and its staff in a way that will turn their carefully disordered world on its head. Will the store survive? Will it be bought over by its evil corporate competition? All questions will be answered (but not necessarily in that order) in this hilarious debut novel. Goodreads, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com, My Review: http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-cd

16170937Make a Joyful Noise is the sparkling tale of a choir preparing for a very special Christmas performance of “Belshazzar’s Feast”. We meet a host of characters who are mercilessly sent up by the author: Lucy the staggeringly trusting young music teacher, Tristan the lecherous and vain anti-hero, Miss Greymitt the ageing and slightly confused choir pianist, Claire the shameless and scheming temptress, and singers with nothing but resonance between their ears. Just as all does not run smoothly for King Belshazzar in Walton’s music, so the characters in the novel suffer from hopeless yearnings, romantic misunderstandings and the unfortunate consequences of their own misguided actions. All is sharply and wittily observed in a delightful mix of romance, music and humour. Goodreads, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com, My review: http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-5F

24 Sleeps ‘Till Xmas Tour – Make a Joyful Noise by Jenny Worstall (Day16)

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Make A Joyful Noise by Jenny Worstall

Description from Goodreads

Make a Joyful Noise is the sparkling tale of a choir preparing for a very special Christmas performance of “Belshazzar’s Feast”. We meet a host of characters who are mercilessly sent up by the author: Lucy the staggeringly trusting young music teacher, Tristan the lecherous and vain anti-hero, Miss Greymitt the ageing and slightly confused choir pianist, Claire the shameless and scheming temptress, and singers with nothing but resonance between their ears. Just as all does not run smoothly for King Belshazzar in Walton’s music, so the characters in the novel suffer from hopeless yearnings, romantic misunderstandings and the unfortunate consequences of their own misguided actions. All is sharply and wittily observed in a delightful mix of romance, music and humour.

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

As part of my Good Deed challenge I’m encouraging readers to take up my daily Good Deed suggestions. Today I want you to buy and continue to use a recycled or re-usable shopping bag, such as one made of Hessian or a Fair Trade cotton one.

Rosie’s Good Read Collections: Modern Contemporary Themes

Welcome to “Rosie’s Good read Collections”, I’ve put together the books I’ve read into subject headings that I think the books belong to, for you to browse.

16090310When the police have been seen at school on the second day of term, fighting breaks out amongst parents and gossip about individuals threatens to spiral out of control, can Mrs Hardy, the Headmistress at Moortulk Primary keep control for another school year? Sophie Grey lands a self-made job where she is in a prime position to hunt out the inside story. Is this an idyllic English school? Goodreads, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com, My Book!

18460826Karen Kavanagh has spent her life feeling like the runt of the family. Her two elder sisters, domestic goddess Ava and salon owner Saskia, are mini versions of their mother, a gorgeous Danish beauty. Karen has inherited her father’s droopy, dull brown hair and long nose – pitted against two Scandinavian sauna babes, she feels like Cinderella in reverse. Danny Alvarez doesn’t see her like that. He thinks she’s wonderful. Lots of women want Danny, but Danny just wants Karen.
He pursues her with the devotion of a stalker – but she pushes him away. Then she realises what she’s done…
Set in Norfolk, Terry Tyler’s sixth novel, “What It Takes”, is a story of insecurity, jealousy, sibling rivalry, love and loss, and the games people play in the search for love – because if you love someone with all your heart you’ll do what it takes to make them yours. Goodreads, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com, My Review: http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-2Jl

3407741Another warm, wise and witty offering from Sunday Times bestseller Trisha Ashley. James is everything Tish has ever wanted in a husband – she’s married a man who even her mother approves of. He’s handsome, dependable, and will make an excellent father – unlike Tish’s first love, the disreputable Fergal. Her teenage sweetheart abandoned her for a music career and now lives a typical celebrity lifestyle. Fergal broke her heart – James helped mend it.
Now, they’ve bought a cottage in the country. The next step – kids and a lifetime of domestic bliss. Well, that’s the plan. And even if James has a slight tendency to view the village pub as a second home, their relationship is still in pretty good shape after seven years of marriage. So why is marriage to Mr Right making her long for Mr Wrong? Goodreads, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com, This book would also fit into the romance genre. My Review: http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-2yB

18008061Anyone who’s dabbled with internet dating has a story to tell, but few can tell them with as much wit and honesty as Julie McDowall. Her online dating blog became an instant sensation on HeraldScotland.com when she charted her bizarre and hilarious experiences in search of the perfect man. Or at least a man who wasn’t a total freak. Or, failing that, a freak who was freaky in the right ways…
Now for the first time CASTING THE NET – VOLUME 1 presents the unexpurgated true story of her on-going quest for love, including all the material deemed unfit for a family newspaper. Join the eloquent and intrepid McDowall as she tackles The Janny, The Accountant, The Comedian, Foxy Doctor, the inimitable Shug — and her ultimate nemesis, The Clown. Goodreads, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com, My Review: http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-2gG

17792066You know the Dugans.  They’re that scrappy family that lives down the street.  Their yard is overgrown, they don’t pick up after their dog, their five children run free – leaving chaos in their wake – and the father hasn’t earned a cent in years.  The wife holds them together on her income alone.  You wouldn’t want them for neighbors – but from a distance, their quite entertaining. Of course, alcohol is an issue.  You can tell from the empty bottles lying under the bush out front.  You can hardly blame the wife for leaving one day.  Without her at the helm, the rest carry on the best they can.  Their strong sense of family keeps them going.  They help each other, and in some cases, rescue each other.  They struggle for a better life.  While they never follow the rules, or completely conquer adversity, they stare it down, meet their challenges, and earn some much needed respect.   They might even make you proud. Set in the Finger Lakes region of upstate  New York, the twelve linked stories in Our Love Could Light The World depict a dysfunctional family that’s messy and rude, cruel and kind, and loyal to the end. Goodreads, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com, My Review: http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-2ff

18071472‘The first thing you have to know about me is that I have no voice.’ This is the story of a curious girl, and the threads of a life she’s determined to unravel. Mouse de Bruin is under siege. Without a voice since the age of six, she is trying to work things out about the world. She and her mother have moved into a
rented Pennine farmhouse in which reminders of the man who lived there previously, William Crosby, lie all around her. Fighting to hold the outside world at bay, Mouse becomes increasingly drawn to William, a man who seems to have been haunted by secrets. As Mouse’s investigations lead her towards some of the people who knew him, she unearths a collection of letters about William’s experience as a young officer in the chaotic final weeks of the war. But why, as Mouse begins to uncover the mysteries of William’s past life, is she so keen to eliminate all traces of her own? Goodreads, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com, My Review: http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-24v

17240425When Sam, Jackie and Anna successfully campaign to save their children’s school lollipop lady, they are asked by a TV reporter if they fancy standing in the general election. It is, of course, a crazy idea: Sam’s youngest son has an incurable disease, Jackie is desperate for another child and her mum is struggling with Alzheimers, Anna’s teenagers – and marriage – are in danger of going off the rails. But sometimes the craziest ideas turn out to be the best. And just think what they could do if they got to run the country…Goodreads, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com, My Review: http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-1Qx

16170937Make a Joyful Noise is the sparkling tale of a choir preparing for a very special Christmas performance of “Belshazzar’s Feast”. We meet a host of characters who are mercilessly sent up by the author: Lucy the staggeringly trusting young music teacher, Tristan the lecherous and vain anti-hero, Miss Greymitt the ageing and slightly confused choir pianist, Claire the shameless and scheming temptress, and singers with nothing but resonance between their ears. Just as all does not run smoothly for King Belshazzar in Walton’s music, so the characters in the novel suffer from hopeless yearnings, romantic misunderstandings and the unfortunate consequences of their own misguided actions. All is sharply and wittily observed in a delightful mix of romance, music and humour. Goodreads, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com This book could also fit in the romance genre. My Review: http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-5F

16371619A boy, Halkeno, waits in a small orphanage in Beira, Mozambique for someone to find him. A successful Iowa businessman realizes there’s a space in his life and goes off searching to fill it. Amazingly, the boy and the man meet and life is very happy for a time. But they never see the tragedy moving toward them and suddenly Halkeno is on his own again. This story of fathers and sons spans four generations and three continents. It answers the question, “when we lose our fathers, do we ever find them again?” and shows that true love lives forever. Goodreads, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com, This book could also be in historical, but I’m more comfortable putting it here. My Review: http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-ck

17125479What do you do when your family’s dream becomes a nightmare? Combining the skill of Jodi Picoult with the warmth of Anita Shreve, Charity Norman explores – with heart-thumping tension – a fresh start which goes very badly wrong. In the quiet of a New Zealand winter’s night, a rescue helicopter is sent to airlift a five-year-old boy with severe internal injuries. He’s fallen from the upstairs veranda of an isolated farmhouse, and his condition is critical. At first, Finn’s fall looks like a horrible accident; after all, he’s prone to sleepwalking. Only his frantic mother, Martha McNamara, knows how it happened. And she isn’t telling. Not yet. Maybe not ever.
Tragedy isn’t what the McNamara family expected when they moved to New Zealand. For Martha, it was an escape. For her artist husband Kit, it was a dream. For their small twin boys, it was an adventure. For sixteen-year-old Sacha, it was the start of a nightmare. They end up on the isolated east coast of the North Island, seemingly in the middle of a New Zealand tourism campaign. But their peaceful idyll is soon shattered as the choices Sacha makes lead the family down a path which threatens to destroy them all. Martha finds herself facing a series of impossible decisions, each with devastating consequences for her family. Goodreads, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com, My Review: http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-pa

Jubilee Violin By Jenny Worstall

Jubilee ViolinJubilee Violin by Jenny Worstall

My rating: 4 of 5 stars This book featured in the April AtoZ Challenge and I have finally got around to reading it. http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-iK

A wonderful book containing three short stories. Well written and thought provoking. I know that the first story is written about the authors daughter. The book left me wanting more! I would happily have read longer versions of all of the stories.

View all my reviews

“L” On the AtoZ Challenge

Letter “L” is for Lemon and Lace by Jenny Worstall. I first discovered Jenny’s writing when I read her book “Make a Joyful Noise” you can catch up with my review of this book here on my blog http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-5F Jenny’s book (Make a Joyful Noise) was also featured on my review page in the April edition of Fleet Life. We met another book by Jenny on Thursday with the letter “J” for Jubilee Violin.

EACH DAY we are asking visitors to the blogs to leave COMMENTS as part of the AtoZ Challenge, thanks.

‘L’ for Lemon and Lace.
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/284244
Lemon and Lace is a bittersweet collection of short stories about love and choice. It is permanently free on smashwords.

Product Details

This is a review from one of her readers;

This trio of short stories perfectly illustrate slices of life: The introductory story assures us that yes, love is passed down through the generations. The second story poignantly follows a widow as she comes to terms with her loss, while the third and title story is an all too familiar one of newly weds and new parents learning to compromise; this time with ironic results!These stories are beautifully written, and the author’s keen eye for human foibles and descriptive writing combine to give a delightful read. I’ve read all of Ms. Worstall’s ebooks now, and always finish reading feeling uplifted and relaxed. I’m hoping that there’s another full length novel to join “Make a Joyful Noise” soon.

Here are 5 random links to other AtoZ Challengers;

http://lydialowe-haiku365.blogspot.co.uk/

http://fashionandfigureskating.blogspot.co.uk/

http://www.kjaggers.com/

http://lafotografiaefectistaabstracta.blogspot.com.es/

http://www.kerricuevas.blogspot.co.uk/

“J” AtoZ Challenge

For the letter “J” on the A to Z Challenge, the book is Jubilee Violin by Jenny Worstall. Jenny has been a guest author on my blog http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-dp and has also joined me on The Very British Blog Tour; http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-dQ I have previously read and reviewed another of Jenny’s books called “Make a Joyful Noise” which was beaten to the post in the race for the letter “M” in the challenge, but you can read my review of it here; http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-5F. The book also appears as one of my reviews in the April edition of Fleet Life.

EACH DAY on the challenge we bloggers are asking visitors to our sites to write a COMMENT as well as “like” our  posts, please add your comment below, thanks.


‘J’ for Jubilee Violin. An inside word from Jenny;
http://amzn.to/Ln9bzo
Jubilee Violin is a collection of three short stories. The title story is based on the true story of a very generous lady violinist who could no longer play due to ill ness and so lent her violin to a young student. My daughter is the young student and she played the violin to the Queen as part of the Jubilee celebrations last summer (as a member of a well-known children’s orchestra).

Here is a review by one reader;

In this compilation of three short stories comprising about 3,000 words, author Jenny Worstall displays both her talent and her range: the collection is an eclectic one. Though the stories are brief, they ARE stories, as opposed to mere vignettes or “slices of life,” in that each story involves a protagonist with a clearly stated goal and a decision to make. In each, the protagonist’s decision comes with consequences…The title cut involves an aged violinist who must choose between holding on to her memories and “paying it forward.” In “Turning Point,” a wife and mother decides whether her job is worth the concomitant loss of quality time with her family. “Doll’s House” demonstrates the danger inherent in thinking evil-if perhaps justifiable-thoughts.

I have no hesitation in recommending JUBILEE VIOLIN, and I do so enthusiastically.

Product Details

Here are 5 random links to other AtoZ blog Challengers;

http://jesstopper.com/blog/

http://dm-biggirlpanties.blogspot.ca/

http://tizzypotts.blogspot.co.uk/

http://www.thepepperpress.blogspot.co.uk/

http://smurfdok.wordpress.com/

The April Issue of Fleet Life featuring Rosie’s Good Reads

This is my second post today: My first was the letter “B” in todays A to Z Challenge.

The April issue of Fleet Life is now available on-line and in printed format. Over 5000 copies go out to the local community and the on-line version is available world wide. I am extremely fortunate to have a regular page of book reviews here each month. www.fleetlife.org.uk  (Click on the online directory)The books chosen for this months issue were;

Make a Joyful Noise by Jenny Worstall

A Week in Winter by Maeve Binchy

Morgan’s Run by Colleen McCullough

Dead Sea Deception by Leo Tillman & Heather Kennedy

Daughters-in-Law by Joanna Trollope

April Fleet Life 100

First Guest Interview with Jenny Worstall

Here is my first guest interview with a great author that I met online after I had read her book “Make a Joyful Noise”. You can read my review of the book by following this short link. My review of Jenny’s book is due to appear in the March Issue of “Fleet Life”.

http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-5F

Here are Jenny’s replies;

1) Tell me your name: Jenny Worstall.

2) Where do you live? London, more specifically Addiscombe in Surrey.

3)When did you start writing? As soon as I could hold a pencil.

4)What type of books do you like writing the most? I like writing about what I know, using the worlds I am familiar with – family, music and teaching. I like writing in a style that is sincere but has more than a touch of irony and humour too.

5)Pass on 3 tips about writing or publishing.

Use little bits of time as they crop up. If you wait for undisturbed time, you may wait forever, so carry your notebook around and use the time you spend waiting for the kids after school and queuing in the supermarket. I once wrote the first draft of a complete short story while waiting with my daughter in a hospital clinic for her to have a blood test.

Don’t be afraid to self publish, even if you are a bit of a technophobe like me. There will be someone out there who can help! In my case it is my long-suffering husband.

Thirdly, and I know this goes against most people’s advice, don’t show your book to too many people before you publish. You may want your punctuation checked, but don’t allow your authentic voice to be muffled. Keep your book’s individuality intact!

6)What was the last book that you read? How would you rate it? I have just read ‘Me Before You’ by Jojo Moyes and would give it 5 stars. It is heartbreakingly beautiful and I feel sure she must have shares in Kleenex tissues. Thoroughly recommended!

7)Now choose just one of your books and add a link to it. I choose ‘Lemon and Lace’, a collection of short stories that I have recently published for free download on smashwords. https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/284244

Seven-Line Challenge

Today I’m taking up the challenge sent to me by the lovely Jenny Worstall.

This is your mission; Go to line 7 on page 7 or page 77 of your manuscript and do a post with the next 7 lines. Tag 7 more people to keep the challenge going!

This comes from my totally unedited sequel to Talk of the Playground;

Traffic coming from the other direction wasn’t making much better progress either, as a little old lady was driving about 5 mph on one of those motorised scooters. There were several red-faced, angry drivers behind her, but she ignored the chaos, flung out her arm signalling a right turn and pulled across the road in front of Sophie, causing her to make an emergency stop. The little old lady roared up the path to the new village shop and parked outside the door, oblivious to everything which was going on around her!

Good Luck with this challenge;

Stephanie Hurt

Annette Dunlea

Damyanti

Janet Louise

Helen Hart at Silver Wood Books

Derick Hudson

Jack Thompson