WINNER and Runner-Up of the Contemporary 2015 Book Award

Winner Contemporary

The 2015 Golden Rose Book Award for Contemporary

Went to Mark Barry and his book The Night Porter

Mark Barry Night Porter

Meet Mark

Mark Barry, author of Hollywood Shakedown, the highly acclaimed Carla and the top selling Ultra-Violence, is a writer and publisher based in Nottingham and Southwell. He writes extensively on a variety of topics including, horseracing, football, personality disorders and human relationships, but most recently, he writes about life in Nottingham and monitors closely its ever changing face.

Mark has been interviewed on several Radio chat shows where he has given readings of his work. His writing has been featured in the national press, and he has also been interviewed on television.

Mark resides in Southwell, Nottinghamshire and has one son, Matthew.

Catch up with Mark on Twitter @GreenWizard62

Book Description

Set in a hotel, in November, in the fictional town of Wheatley Fields, (based on Southwell, near Nottinghamshire, deep in Sherwood Forest).

Four writers, all nominated for an upcoming awards ceremony, come to stay.

One mega successful romance author, a top US thriller writer who sells in seven figures, a beautiful young YA tyro on the brink of world wide stardom…

…and a degenerate, nasty, bitter, jealous, trollish, drunken (but brilliant), self-published contemporary fiction author.

The Night Porter is instructed by a secretive and powerful awards committee to look after their EVERY need, to ensure they make it through the two weeks to attend the ceremony. At the same time as keeping an eye on their wishes, antics, fights, relationships and never-ending ego explosions. And trying desperately to avoid getting involved himself.

It’s a comedy drama about writers (and Night Porters!) with twists and turns, nooks and crannies, shadows and mirrors.

I don’t think you will see an Indie published book like this anywhere in Cyberspace.
Probably not a tradpubbed one either.

It casts a sometimes shadowy light on modern publishing, the writing business – and the people in it. Writers who like to read about writers and writing will enjoy the book as will readers who enjoy innovative, clever and multi-layered fiction.

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The Silver Award went to

Terry Tyler and her book Last Child

Terry and Last Child

Meet Terry

Terry Tyler is fascinated by the psychology behind personal relationships, which is why she writes character-driven contemporary dramas. From the rock star aspirations of the lighthearted ‘Dream On’ and ‘Full Circle’, to the dark and complex psychological web of her latest publication, ‘The House of York’, it’s all about the characters, though she loves manufacturing unguessable plot twists, too. Watch out for ‘Bestseller’, a novella about three writers, due out around March.

She has a blog on which she writes about anything from observations about social networking trends, to self-publishing hazards, to anything else that comes into her head, and is currently running a feature about writers and astrology. The link: . This year she started a new book review blog; on this you can find her own reading choices and those she reads as part of Rosie Amber’s Book Review Team. She loves Twitter (TerryTyler4) and can also be found on Goodreads and Facebook.

Terry lives in the north east of England with her husband; when she is not writing she escapes into Netflix and history books/documentaries, or floats around the house spraying Guerlain perfume, listening to old jazz and blues and pretending she’s in ‘Boardwalk Empire’.

Catch up with Terry on Twitter @TerryTyler4

Book Description

LAST CHILD is the sequel to Kings and Queens, Terry Tyler’s modern take on the story of Henry VIII and his six wives.

Harry Lanchester is gone, his legacy passed on to his children:

Thirteen year old JASPER, who views the directors of Lanchester Estates as Harry Potter characters, and finds out that teenage love affairs are no fairytale.

ISABELLA, the eldest daughter; lonely and looking for love, she returns from a holiday in Spain with more than just a suntan.

Impulsive, independent ERIN, the girl of Transport manager Rob Dudley’s dreams, whose priority is not a husband and family, but the continuation of her father’s work.

You will also meet the ambitious Jim Dudley, ex-nanny Hannah Cleveley, Rob’s long suffering wife Amy, and Raine Grey, whose nine days as PR manager for Lanchester Estates have a devastating effect on her life.

LAST CHILD takes the drama, passion and intrigue of Kings and Queens into the present day, with echoes from the past ~ and a glimpse or two into the future…

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Final congratulations to all the Contemporary nominees.



Tonia Parronchi with THE SONG OF THE CYPRESS

Dena Haggerty with JACK GETS HIS MAN



Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT Public Battles, Private Wars by Laura Wilkinson @ScorpioScribble

Today’s team book review comes from Judith, she blogs at

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Judith chose to read and review Public Battles, Private Wars by Laura Wilkinson


Public Battles, Private Wars  is a novel is right up my street.  I mainly chose to read it because of its setting in Yorkshire.  I remember the miners’ strike in 1983 so well and I knew someone on both sides of the conflict; My uncle was a policeman who was sent to one of the mining villages, and the father of one of my friend’s was a minor on strike.

It was a hard time and Laura Wilkinson expertly captures the politics and tension within this community, the roles expected of women both in the home and in society and, equally, the personal battles between friends and families.

Told from the  protagonist’s point of view, Mandy Walker, the narrative moves steadily and is threaded through with many themes: of loyalty, love, relationships, political divisions, disillusionment. Even knowing the final outcome of this fiction built on fact book, the reader is pulled along: from the buoyant belief that the minors will be able to fight the decisions made by Margaret Thatcher’s Government, through the physical pain of grinding poverty and to the villagers’ gradual realisation that the life they have always known is gone for good. Until finally, there is a reluctant acceptance for what cannot be changed.

The characters are rounded and each, in their own way, grows within the story. Mandy is initially revealed as a fraught, insecure wife and mother, a woman at the end of her tether. But one who, through the adversity, is forced to confront the truth of her life and find the inner strength to go in a new and unexpected direction. And the sub plot, the life-long friendship between Mandy and Ruth Braithwaite (held up by the protagonist as someone to aspire to emulate) reinforces the main plot and is used to strengthen that change in Mandy. She sees the weakness in Ruth and the balance of their friendship is inevitably tipped.  It is through Mandy we see the hope of the future.

The sparing dialogue, although not in dialect (thank goodness!) brilliantly places the novel in Yorkshire and underlines the portrayal of the characters: the tough Braithwaite family, Mandy’s sulky, hard-drinking husband, Rob and even minor characters such as their next-door neighbour, Doug..

The author writes brilliantly evocative descriptions of each setting that the characters move through; the village, the moors surrounding, individual houses and the community hall. All bring such a sense of place that I was able to picture each setting, imagine the atmosphere, feel the stress. Yet there is always the humour, both in the dialogue and in the narrative.

What a treat this book was for me. I have no hesitation in recommending Public Wars, Private Battles. Well worth five stars.

Find Laura’s novel here;

Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT Public Battles, Private Wars by Laura Wilkinson @ScorpioScribble

Today we have a review from team member Amanda, she blogs at


Amanda chose to read and review Public Battles, Private Wars by Laura Wilkinson




I learned so much from this book it help me understand the hard times and the struggles the miners and their families had during the early 1980’s i enjoy hearing about the mining community it found it a very fascinating and emotional story it had just the right about on humour in there too.

The story will keep guessing about where the story line going and all the characters i like the mystery side of the story too some parts were very sad it a story of survive and one women personal journey it got love , friendship , jealousy and this wonderful community spirit that do not get much now days

Mandy and Rob married at a very young age they soon had kids Rob followed his family to work down the pits this was what most young man did.

Mandy had a dream she wants to learn to type could she take on her dream ?

Soon the men would be out of work as Mrs Thatcher wanted to shut down the pits  so the men when on strike.

How will the family cope Mandy and Rob had 4 kids .

Soon Mandy joins her old school friend Ruth in a action group Mandy loves to cook so she was all making food for the group soon a journalist hear of them a interviews her for the local paper soon she the voice for the miners this proves her a lifeline soon there lives  changed beyond recognition this story shows you the impact it had on the family and the community

Mandy now so heavily involved in the protest again the government but soon her private life seems to be suffering to can they cope with all this ?

Mandy story just shines over the background story of the miner strikes

All the characters are strong and so realistic It a lovely funny emotional book it so beautifully written i found the story so interesting to read

I will say i did find the start a bit slow but please don’t let this put you off it a great book to read i recommend you all read.

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Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT Public Battles, Private Wars by Laura Wilkinson @ScorpioScribble

Today we have a review from Helen


Helen chose to read and review Public Battles, Private Wars by Laura Wilkinson


This was a really enjoyable read, and it almost got another star from me – what held it back was it not being quite clear what sort of book it was meant to be.
The social setting, a Yorkshire village in the time of the miners’ strikes, was powerfully drawn, convincing, and, for me, enlightening – I’d never spent time thinking about the personal consequences of this particular issue, and it gave me a really vivid impression of what it might have been like.
And the central character was fantastic, in her determination and her finding of unlikely strength. I believed in her progress through the novel, and in the way she responded to events – she wasn’t just drawn and then kept solid through the action, but underwent real and complex changes in response to her situation.
So, two skilled and subtle parts to the book, but then the romance was a real turnoff for me. I just didn’t think it needed it – perhaps (at a push) we needed the part relating to the central character’s husband, but not the rest of it. I can see why you might think it was necessary – to give more “human depth” to the story, and to extend it – but actually I think it limited it, by pushing it into a genre that it could have escaped from. I don’t think there’s an issue with romance novels, but this was so much more ambitious in its premise that it seemed a shame to push it back into the box.
(Oh, and was quiche lorraine really so exotic, for someone who’d been reading all about cooking and new what pasta alfredo was?)

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