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,,, 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,,, My Review:

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,,, This book would also fit into the romance genre. My Review:

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 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,,, My Review:

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,,, My Review:

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,,, My Review:

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,,, My Review:

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,, This book could also fit in the romance genre. My Review:

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,,, This book could also be in historical, but I’m more comfortable putting it here. My Review:

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,,, My Review:

Guest Author Jason Wellnitz

Please give a big welcome to Author Jason Wellnitz who has kindly agreed to come along today. I first read Jason’s book “A River Way Home” several months ago, I was so impressed that it made it in to Fleet Life as one of “Rosie’s Good Reads”. Here is a reminder of my review;

River Way Home

River Way Home by Jason Wellnitz

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a deep story that pulls at your heart-strings. The story of an orphan and how he meets two wonderful parents. Then they are tragically taken from him. He battles with what he has been taught about God and makes his own life. He tells us the full tale of his life as it flows down the river.

Let’s learn more about Jason;

1) Where is your home town?
I grew up in Waterloo, Iowa, USA. Waterloo is the place where most of the green John Deere tractors in the world are made. It’s next to the Cedar River which flows into the Mississippi.
2) What inspired you to write “River Way Home”?
In 2011 I travelled to Mozambique with my father-in-law and some others on a short-term mission trip to work with Food For the Hungry. On that trip I met a few people who had amazing life stories. For a while I tried to write a non-fiction account of their stories. I wasn’t able to pull that off (yet) so eventually I started a short novel that was set in Mozambique. I also wanted to put some of my hometown into the story so it’s partly set in Iowa and partly in Africa.
3) The story travels to Mozambique, have you ever been there? Can you tell us 5 great things about the country?
There are so many great things about Mozambique! Here are a few
– There are children everywhere. Fifty per cent of the population is under 15!
– The singing and dancing there is joyous and straight from the heart. 
– Cynicism is rare. 
– The coast along the Indian Ocean is beautiful at sunset.
– The large animal population (elephants, lions, etc.) is growing again.
– The Zambezi River is stunning.
4) How does the title of the book link to the orphan Halkeno?
I’ve often thought that our lives are like rivers. Sometimes we’re in the centre current where we should be and sometimes 
we’re too near the shore. I used the metaphor of the river as the centreline of the book. Halkeno’s river (life) takes many twists and turns but in the end he finds his way to his true home. (Note: there is a real man named Halkeno and his story is more amazing than the story I tell in the novel. I hope he lets me write it someday.)
5) One reviewer of your book says it’s written in the style of an African Folk Legend, that’s a great honour! Has your love of a good tale inspired your Kickstarter project?
Thank you! I appreciate my reviewers very much (including, and especially, you Rosie Amber). Its an honour to have someone take the time to thoughtfully write about your creative works. 
I had an idea where I wanted to have the main character in a series of short novels travel to each state in the U.S. The Kickstarter project came out of my desire to find a way to get people to “vote” for which state I should start with. I thought that people could “vote” by donating $5 or donate more and essentially pre-order the book. It was a way to involve more people in the creative process.
6) Tell us a bit more about what you hope to achieve in this new project and how you want people to get involved.
I will be the first to admit that a Kickstarter project for an unwritten novel is a bit odd. What I’m *attempting* to do is:
– Get some feedback on the idea so I can be relatively sure the idea isn’t dead on arrival
– Get people excited about choosing the state in which the first novel is set (I know, I know, this isn’t a very “global” project. Very U.S. focused. My next series should be Thirteen Shires Of Peace)
– Build some buzz for the launch of the series later this year
– I would use the funds that were raised primarily to hire a professional copyeditor and promote the book upon its launch
I’ve already had some great feedback about the idea and the intro I’ve written. I know need to change the working title and rework the cover a bit.
7) Do you have a time scale that you’d like to work to for the first drafts?
In the Kickstarter project I say I’ll have the first novel done by the end of December. That would mean the first drafts need to be complete in the next 6-8 weeks.
8) What can readers do to help you promote the project?
If your readers think this project could be a good series the best way they could help would be to donate to the Kickstarter project here:
If they thought the idea was good but needed some tweaks they could contact me via my website: with suggestions.
Jason Wellnitz In Mozambique
Thank you Jason, anyone interested in more information about the Kickstarter project should contact Jason directly, Good Luck with the new writing!

Rosie’s reads in the May Issue of Fleet Life

This year is flying by, here are the books which I featured in the May Issue of Fleet Life; ( Click on the on line directory and go to page 32. The magazine currently issues 5000 copies in the area and is available on line too.

River Way Home by Jason Wellnitz

Village Books by Craig McLay

This Country Business by Max Hardcastle

Tick Tock Run by H.C. Elliston

Lillian’s Story by Sally Patricia Gardner

May Fleet Life.

River Way Home by Jason Wellnitz

River Way HomeRiver Way Home by Jason Wellnitz

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a deep story that pulls at your heart-strings. The story of an orphan and how he meets two wonderful parents. Then they are tragically taken from him. He battles with what he has been taught about God and makes his own life. He tells us the full tale of his life as it flows down the river.

View all my reviews