Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT A MINGER’S TALE: BEGINNINGS by @rbnbookmark #Memoir

Today’s team review is from Georgia, she blogs at

#RBRT Review Team

Georgia has been reading A Minger’s Tale: Beginnings by R.B.N Bookmark



There are many reasons why someone writes a book and for this author it was the death of his father that was the trigger for him to start telling his story which is in the form of a memoir, and this, as the subtitle promises, covers the early days of his life, from the 1960’s to the 1980’s.

I was a little behind on some of things this writer experienced for two reasons. Firstly, I am a few years younger so my terms of reference are a little off, and secondly, we grew up in very different worlds. Ribban, for that is what everyone calls him, was born to strict, hardworking Irish immigrants and was brought up on the harsh council house streets of Manchester, while I was not.

I really enjoyed the reminiscences of his family and of a childhood growing up among the regeneration (or as he calls it disintegration) schemes that gave the local children an unusual playground of empty houses awaiting demolition to play in. Ribban was a naughty child who struggled to settle into school, and later into work, and he was in and out of hospital which set back his education. He talks candidly about the corporal punishment he endured (something seen as perfectly normal at the time) and about being rubbish at maths and with women, although that became more apparent later on. I have to add that I absolutely loved his mother – her defence of him when he started at St Iggy’s was priceless and the time when she went to get a job – I could picture her perfectly.

The things I did not enjoy so much was the author putting himself down all the time by using the term minger. As we are told at the beginning of this book the British slang definition of this term is someone who fell out of the ugly tree at birth and hit every branch on the way down. I suspect some readers will also find some of the one liners a little cheesy. But you know what this is an honest book, telling things like they are so I guess these are pretty true to life.

There is so much to comment on as you read this book, unemployment, riots, the effect the Thatcher era had on the North that it’s well worth a read if only to compare lives and experiences during this time.

Find a copy here from or

Deceived by L.A Starkey

Deceived, (Soul Keeper Series I)Deceived, by L.A. Starkey

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Deceived is a YA fantasy and the first book in a series. Sam and Julie are best friends and live in Manchester, New Hampshire. They are Juniors at High School. The book opens with a very vivid dream scene for Sam, she’s in a dream meeting a boy she has met in many of her life-times, yet she doesn’t remember him. He has to suffer the pain of her leaving him once more. Yet Sam hears another voice calling her too.

Sam and Julie are both adopted, they were at the same orphanage and became firm friends and stayed friends after their separate adoptions. At school Sam is very athletic, not usually one to chase the boys, she can’t help it when her hormones are attracted to Ken, although her head knows he can be a serial player, her heart wants some fun. A history project on the ancient Greeks has Sam borrowing a strange book from the library called “The Soul Keeper”.

Nick and Marcus are brothers, Grandsons of Zeus, to them Sam is their Dream-catcher and they vie for her attention in her dreams. Yet they are all destined to be players in a much larger fight. A prophecy is about to be opened by the Time Guardian, Nick and Marcus have been waiting for their destiny to unfold for hundred of years.

I read this book in one day because it kept me so engaged with the story that I didn’t want to put it down. There’s lots going on in the story, but it all flows really well and I like books with the ancient Gods and mythology of any nation. I would definitely pick up the next book in the series, I am dying to know what happens to them all.

Book description

They say a soul is the immaterial essence, the animating principle, the actuating cause of an individual life.

But what if you had to share yours with the one person you hated the most?

The soul mate principle states that for every one soul there is another that will recognize its match, hence creating the perfect union.

But what if you had two soul mates, which would you choose?

What if your choices had eternal ramification?

Deceived, the debut novel in the Soul Keeper Series, is a modern day love story about the implications of having more than one soul mate, and having to choose between the two of them. The decisions of the gods has left the next generation, their heirs, torn between fate and reality, and the balance of the future hangs in anticipation of what’s to come.

Find a copy here from or

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Degrees of Losing Shan Purcell

Degrees of LosingDegrees of Losing by Shan Purcell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Casey Mitchell lives in Manchester, she is in such a place in her life that she just wants to exist. She uses alcohol and sex as a way of blotting out the constant images that plague her every day.

Casey has Hyperthymesia, perfect recall or a memory which plays back her past life like a movie in her head. Ask her what happened on any day in her life since she was twelve and she can tell you what she wore, what she ate and what was said. You might think this is a brilliant gift, just imagine how it would help you get through exams. But for Casey it’s horrific, she hates the constant movies, reliving the pain and hurt of relationships and her family life.

She’s attending the hospital where she undergoes tests into her condition when she meets Joe. He’s a larger than life character, fun and intriguing, but a man also in need of help. He’s got amnesia and is desperate to find out who he is. Quite the opposite to Casey, one can remember all their past, but wants to forget and the other would love to remember all his past. What can they teach each other?

This story drags you in from the first and appealed to my own instincts to help others. Joe can help Casey which pleased me, but Joe is a strange character, one that is supposed to leave you unsure. There’s lots of emotion in this book and it left me with many more questions about life.

This review is on conjunction with Brook Cottage Books and based on a free copy given to me for the review.

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Shan Purcell

Degrees of Losing by Shan Purcell book description

What would life be like if you could recall every detail of your entire life?  Casey has hyperthymesia, a rare condition which means that she has perfect recollection of her past, a burden which imprisons her in her memories. There is no joy in the present, no thought of the future; only the inescapable past playing constantly in her mind.  Then one day she meets Joe, a man without a past. Or is he?  Together they find a present, which has the potential to save them both but also forces them to confront a future that challenges their love of life and each other.  Degrees of Losing is a story about love and loss, memory and time, and what it means to be somebody.

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Guest Author Paula Martin

Today our guest is Paula Martin author of yesterday’s book Irish Inheritance, here is a link to the book if you missed the post.

Paula Martin

Let’s find out more about Paula.

1) Where is your home town?

I’m originally from a town called Preston, in Lancashire in North West England, but at eighteen I moved about 35 miles away to study at Manchester University, and I’ve lived in the Manchester area ever since.


2) How long have you been writing?

Since I was about eight or nine. I was a voracious reader as a child, and made up stories about the children in my favourite books. That led on to writing about my own characters, and later, when I was in me teens, to very cheesy romances! My first novel was published when I was in my twenties, followed by three more. Then, with a young family to bring up and my career as a teacher, I had a break from writing novels, although I still wrote short stories and articles. I came back to romance novels a few years after I had taken early retirement from teaching, and have had six books published since 2011.


3) What genres do you like writing most?

Contemporary romance is my ‘natural’ genre, and I haven’t yet stepped out of my comfort zone. As I used to be a history teacher, people sometimes ask me why I don’t write historical novels, but maybe it’s because I know how much research would be involved to make sure I didn’t get something wrong!


4) Is this your first book set in Ireland?

Yes, although it’s about eight years since I first visited the west coast of Ireland, and fell in love with the beautiful Connemara area of County Galway. I’ve been back to Ireland ten times since then and visited other parts of the island.


5) What is it that makes Ireland a romantic setting for many books?

Its scenery, its history, and its people. I love the mountain areas I’ve visited, like the Wicklow Mountains and Connemara, which have a wild beauty, and the west coast of Ireland is stunning with its cliffs and rocky shores, and some lovely bays. Wherever you go in Ireland, you’re surrounded by history, ranging from prehistoric tombs to medieval monasteries and castles, and then to the more recent history of the Irish potato famine, and the struggle for independence. Last, but not least, I love the friendliness of the Irish people, who greet you with a cheerful, ‘How are ye?’ everywhere you go.


6) Can you give the readers a hint about some of the family research that Jenna and Guy must undertake?

I’ve done a lot of my own family history research, so I knew their initial research would be from census records, and birth, marriage, and death lists. Many of these can now be found online so it’s much easier to find out your family history than it used to be. I did discover, however, that the 19th century Irish census records had been destroyed, so Jenna and Guy only had access to the 1901 and 1911 censuses. These records only contain basic information, and the next step is to buy copies of birth, marriage, and death certificates which can provide more detail. Older people’s memories are also invaluable, as Guy and Jenna discovered when they met people who remembered the family they were researching.


7) Tell us a little about the house in the book called Mist Na Mara.

I know exactly where I wanted Mist Na Mara to be situated, with a view of the bay on one side and the Connemara mountains on the other. There’s actually a ruined castle near where I imagine the house, but I wanted it to be Victorian. So the house is partly a figment of my imagination, and partly an amalgam of various old houses I’ve either visited or seen in photos, movies, or TV dramas. I wish it was real!


8) Tell us a little about some of your other books

‘His Leading Lady’ is set in London’s theatre world when Jess agrees to impersonate her twin sister and take the lead in a new musical show in the West End. She falls for the show’s director, Kyle Drummond, but discovers he had been dating her sister, and starts to wonder if he is using her as a substitute in real life as well as in the show.

‘Fragrance of Violets’, set in England’s beautiful Lake District, is a story of forgiveness between Abbey and Jack who fell out as teenagers but meet again ten years later. However, Jack is hiding a secret that threatens to destroy the fragile resumption of their relationship.

‘Changing the Future’, again set in the North West of England, is another ‘reunion’ story. Lisa meets Paul again after their acrimonious breakup six years earlier. Resentment still lingers on both sides, but so does their mutual attraction. They can’t change the past, but a life-threatening volcanic eruption may help them to change the future.

‘Dream of Paris’ tells the story of school teacher Anna who has a dream of going to live and study in Paris, until Matt Carlton comes into her life. When Anna discovers the reason for Matt’s strangely inconsistent behaviour, she is sure there is no future for them, but maybe Paris can still work its magic for them both.

‘Her Only Option’ was inspired by my visit to Egypt several years ago. Neve, a tour guide on a Nile cruise ship, meets archaeologist Ross McAllister. As a result, she breaks up with her Egyptian boyfriend, but when Ross’s work in the famous Valley of the Kings seems to be under threat, she has to make a heart-breaking decision.


9) Are you working on a new book at the moment?

My current ‘work in progress’ is a spin-off story about Charley, who was Jenna’s best friend in ‘Irish Inheritance’. It takes place about three years later, when Charley, after a personal tragedy, unwillingly returns to Ireland. She meets Luke Sullivan, an Irish veterinary surgeon, and is drawn into a web of intrigue linked to Luke’s ex-wife.


10) Where can fans find out more about you and your work?

Irish Inheritance

Find a copy here from or

My website is and my personal blog is

You can also find all my books on my Amazon author page: