Celebrating 6 Years Of Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT With Team Member @LizanneLloyd

Recently we celebrated our review team’s six year anniversary by revealing fourteen of the team’s favourite books.

You can find out which books they were in part one and part two.

I invited some of my team members to tell us more about being part of the book reviewing team.

Welcome to Liz Lloyd, who also writes book reviews at Lost In A Good Book 

2014 was a special year for me. I had started my social history blog and I was a busy volunteer setting up an exhibition in our local Workhouse about its time as a World War One Hospital. We had bought a holiday home in Portugal and travelled there, several times a year.  I was also an avid reader and liked to follow authors and book bloggers on Twitter for new books to read.  And that was how I found Rosie Amber.

When she challenged some of her followers to review one of the books submitted to her, I couldn’t resist. I believe the book I chose was Death In A Red Canvas Chair, an intriguing American crime thriller by N A Granger. When Rosie then invited some of us to join her team and review many other books of our choice from novels submitted to her, I was thrilled to be included.  Soon I was writing more book reviews than history posts, so I decided it was time to set up my own book blog Lost in a Good Book

Rosie Amber’s Book Review Team receives a wide range of submitted genres, including young adult, fantasy, historical, romance, steam punk, mystery etc.  Not all of the books appeal to me but often I will challenge myself to try a new type of book and frequently discover an exciting new novelist to follow.  Of the 14 extra-special books Rosie featured (see links above) I have read and enjoyed 8 of them.  In addition, I have to mention other favourites: –

Rose Edmunds Crazy Amy series of corporate espionage

Christine Campbell’s Reluctant Detective series set in Scotland

Mimi Matthews spirited historical romances

The Cunning Woman’s Cup an amazing story by Sue Hewitt

Passionate Travellers by Trish Nicholson, incredible journeys throughout history

Thank you Liz, it is a pleasure to have you as part of our team.

Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT @OlgaNM7 reviews #Horror Freaky Franky by @wblackwell333

Today’s team review is from Olga, she blogs here http://www.authortranslatorolga.com

#RBRT Review Team

Olga has been reading Freaky Franky by William Balckwell

37807218

I have been reading a book called Paperbacks from Hell  and when I saw this book, it reminded me so much of many of the covers and topics I had been reading about that I could not resist, although I was not sure about the title (was it horror, humour, or something else entirely?).

The novel begins with quite a bang. A strong scene where we are introduced to la Santa Muerte (Saint Death) a religion/cult (depending on whose point of view you take) that has flourished in Mexico and is spreading to many other places. Although we all have heard about the Mexican Día de los Muertos, this might cover new ground for many of us, but the author is well informed and provides good background into the history and the various opinions on Saint Death, that is an interesting topic in its own right.

But don’t get me wrong. This book is not all tell and not show. We have a number of characters who are linked (unknowingly at first) by their devotion to Saint Death. What in the beginning seem to be separate episodes, which show us the best and the worst consequences of praying to Saint Death, later come together in an accomplished narrative arc. Whilst praying for health and good things can result in miracles, praying for revenge and death carries serious and deadly consequences.

The story, written in the third person, alternates the points of views most of the characters, from the main characters to some of the bit actors, good and bad (although that is pretty relative in this novel) and it moves at good pace. It is dynamic and full of action, and this is a novel where the plot dominates. The characters are not drawn in a lot of detail and I did not find them as cohesive and compelling as the story, in part, perhaps, because they are, at times, under the control of Saint Death (but this is not a standard story of satanic possession). Although none of the characters are morally irreproachable,  Anisa and Dr. Ricardo are more sympathetic and easier to root for. Yes, Anisa might resent her missed opportunities and the fact that she is stuck in Prince Edward Island looking after her son, but she goes out of her way to help her friend Helen and her brother Franklin and warns them not to pray for revenge. Dr. Ricardo threads a fine line between helping others and protecting himself, but he does the best he can. Franklin, the Freaky Franky of the title, is a much more negative character and pretty creepy, especially early in the novel. Although we learn about his past and the tragedies in his life, he is Anisa’s brother, and she’s also gone through the same losses, without behaving like he does. He uses Saint Death’s power mostly for evil, although he seems to change his mind and attitude after Anisa’s intervention (I was not totally convinced by this turn of events). I found Natalie, the American tourist visiting the Dominican Republic with her fiancé, Terry, difficult to fathom as well. Perhaps some of it could be explained by the love/lust spell she is under, but she clearly suspects what Franklin has done to her, and her changed feelings towards a man she has known for five minutes makes no sense, at least to me (sorry, I am trying to avoid spoilers). Much of the action and events require a great deal of suspension of disbelief, but not more than is usual in the genre.

The novel keeps wrong-footing the readers. At first, we might think that everything that is going on can be explained by self-suggestion and that all the evil (and the good) is in the mind of the believer. These are desperate characters holding on to anything that offers them a glint of hope. And later, when bad things start to happen, it seems logical to believe that the characters we are following have acted upon their negative thoughts and impulses (and even they have doubts as to what they might have done). But nothing is quite as straightforward as it seems.

Although there is plenty of explicit violence and some sexual references (those not as explicit), I did not find it frightening or horrific as such. However, it is a disquieting, dark, and eerie book, because of the way it invites readers to look into the limits of morality and right and wrong. Is revenge ever justified? Is it a matter of degrees? Who decides? It seems la Santa Muerte has very specific thoughts about this, so be very careful what you wish (or pray) for.

An eye-opener with regards to the Saint Death cult and a book that will be enjoyed by readers who don’t mind supernatural novels with plenty of violence, and prefer their plots dynamic and action-driven.

Book description

When an enigmatic town doctor saves the life of Anisa Worthington’s dying son, she abandons Christianity in favor of devotion to the cult of Santa Muerte or Saint Death. Some believe the mysterious skeleton saint will protect their loved ones, help in matters of the heart, and provide abundant happiness, health, wealth, and justice. But others, including the Catholic Church, call the cult blasphemous, evil, and satanic.

Anisa introduces Saint Death to her friend Helen Randon, and soon one of Helen’s enemies is brutally murdered. Residents of Montague, a peaceful little town in Prince Edward Island, begin plotting to rid the Bible belt of apostates.

Anisa suspects Helen is perverting the good tenets of Saint Death. Before she can act, a terrible nightmare propels her to the Dominican Republic in search of Franklin, her long-lost and unstable brother, who mysteriously disappeared without a trace twenty years ago.

To her horror, Anisa learns Franklin is worshipping Saint Death with evil intentions. As a fanatical and hell-bent lynch mob tightens the noose, mysterious murders begin occurring all around Anisa. Unsure who’s an enemy and who’s an ally, she’s thrust into a violent battle to save her life, as well as the lives of her friends and brother.

About the author

William Blackwell studied journalism at Calgary’s Mount Royal University and English literature at Vancouver’s University of British Columbia.

He worked as a print journalist for many years before becoming an author.

Currently living on an acreage in Prince Edward Island, Blackwell loves to travel and write fiction.

He’s written many titles including: Brainstorm, Nightmare’s Edge, Phantom Rage , Orgon Conclusion, Assaulted Souls, Poison Rage, Infected Rage, Rule 14, Resurrection Point, Black Dawn, The End Is Nigh, Freaky Franky, Assaulted Souls II, Assaulted Souls III, The Strap, Blood Curse, A Head for an Eye, Black Dawn, The End Is Nigh and Freaky Franky.

Goodreads | AmazonUK | AmazonUS | Twitter

Rosie’s Book Review Challenge – Alison reviewed The Scrolls of Sion by TJ Therien

Rosie’s book review challenge today brings us a review from Alison, she blogs at http://alisonwilliamswriting.wordpress.com/

Rosie's Book Review Challengers 1

Alison chose to read and review The Scrolls of Sion by TJ Therien

Scrolls of Scion - TJ Therien

Scrolls of Scion – TJ Therien

Here is Alison’s review.

I really struggled to write a review for this book as I have conflicting feelings about it.

Set in the world of Brynmor, the novel tells the story of the revenge inflicted by Queen Rianon on those who banished the Drows (a race of dark elves) to the Iron Hills.

Along with the Orcs, Savage Elves and wolves, Rianon leads the Drow against the Humans, Dwarves and other Elves in order to find her way back to Sion.

I found it really difficult to keep track of who was who and what their motivations and alliances were. On occasion there was too much description and unnecessary detail. There was also a lot of repetition with actions and words showing and telling the same thing. On the other hand, there were moments when the writing showed flashes of absolute brilliance and a natural skill. I think that the book would benefit from a thorough edit in order to bring out the clever and imaginative storyline and to showcase the talent that is there.

I do wish T.J. Therien the very best of luck with his writing – I hope he will go from strength to strength.

3 out of 5 stars.

Available as a free download from Smashwords https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/434284 Or Free from Barnes and Noble (Nook)

Book Review Challenge Series – The Importance of Book Reviews by Lizzie Lamb

Last Day

Our last guest post on the Book review Challenge before we hand over to you the reader is author Lizzie Lamb. Plus authors might like to step around the fence to the book reviewers side and take a look.

Lizzie Lamb New

1)     How important are book reviews for an author?

Very important. Not only do they let writers know what their readers (the genuine ones, that is) think, they give readers feedback to see if the book is something they might enjoy and download. Reviews also help to keep a writer’s profile ‘up there’ with Amazon. They ‘ping’ with the SEO machine and make sure that writer doesn’t get forgotten by Amazon’s big publicity machine.

 

2)     What are the top sites for book reviews?

I must admit that I don’t search these types of sites very often so I really can’t say. Sites like Novelicious and Love Reading, for example, don’t review self-published books and to me that seems rather unfair as it doesn’t bring new books to readers’ attention. I’ll ask reviewers to review my book – a free book for an honest, thoughtful opinion. Besides, some review sites won’t review indie authors so I tend to stick with the people I know or who ASK if they can review me. I would say that the best sites are those which attract genuine readers who are looking for new authors. Amazon actively promotes my kindle books on their website.

 

3)     Many authors have their books and an author platform on Goodreads. Why do you think it’s a good place?

I have been told that Goodreads is not a channel for authors to promote their work but for readers to find books they might enjoy. I have to confess that I don’t interact with GR as much as I might because it is too long winded and not very user friendly. I have a friend who is a Goodreads librarian and she’s always encouraging me to do more. But, as a writer, time is limited, so I stick to what I know works for me. I get many ‘friend’ requests from Goodreads and I always look carefully into the background of the person sending the request. If they have a private profile, or don’t post an avatar I immediately discount them.

 

4)     What else does Goodreads provide for readers that you are part of? (i.e. Groups, Reading challenge, giveaways)

This is an area I have yet to explore. When my third novel is ready I hope to use Goodreads to promote it. Or, to have someone do it for me.

TDK 3D cover trans

 

5)     With the KDP self-publishing platform on Amazon, plus it’s world-wide buying power, this makes it a top site for books. Do people still need to post book reviews on Amazon or will discounted prices keep books selling?

I encourage readers to post reviews because I think it helps to validate me as a writer. I’ve noticed that if books are cheap or free then readers load them onto their kindle but don’t necessarily read them – and rarely review them. Another downside of ‘free books’ is that you risk attracting trolls who leave you negative 1 star reviews because in their eyes you have ‘given’ your book away and they are especially harsh on indie publishers..

6)     What would you like to see in a review of any book?

Did the book make the reader forget their cares while they were reading it? Did the reader enjoy the plot, my voice and the journey I took my heroine on? Did they, like me, fall in love with my hero? (I always do!!). I know that you can’t please everyone, but I hope that a reviewer will respect the time, effort and cost involved in uploading a decent book onto amazon and the love which I put into writing my books.

7)     Have you ever paid for book reviews? Are they considered “Professional” and important?

I have never paid for reviews but have given away review copies to most blogger who offer to review my book, and made many friends/contacts in the process. I’m only interested in bloggers who connect with readers as preaching to the converted (i.e. writers) isn’t what I’m really about. As an indie author, many doors closed to me which conventionally published authors have access to: Women’s Magazines, the bigger blogs and so on. A genuine review from a reader saying how much they loved my characters means more than a hastily dashed off review in a trade paper etc.

8)     What’s the best way to deal with a review from someone who didn’t like your book?

Ignore it. Never respond or get into a debate with the reviewer. I think most genuine readers know the worth of those negative 1 stars and the people who write them. Toughen up and get on and write your next book.

9)     Do you think anyone can write a review? Do they have to be a minimum number of words?

Anyone can write a review and I hope that most readers will ‘have a go’. Writers don’t expect everyone to love their book or to ‘get them’ as a writer. All we ask for is a balanced review which says what a reviewer liked and if they’d like to read more of the same by me. Amazon demands a minimum of 20 words and I think they could do more to eliminate ‘negative’ reviews which are often not written by a genuine reader. I’m not sure about GoodReads as I rarely go on to that forum.

BCB 3D cover trans

10)     Where can readers find out more about you and your books? 

Here is the link for my amazon page and my blog pages:

https://www.amazon.com/author/lizzielamb

www.facebook.com/LizzieLambwriter

lizzielambwriter@gmail.com

website and blog: www.lizzielamb.co.uk

blog: www.newromantics4.com

Goodreads http://tinyurl.com/cbla48d

Lifes a beach poster FINAL

 

 

Thanks Lizzie they were some truly difficult questions.

My final piece in the series goes out to all you authors.

As an author it’s good for you to walk around the other side of the fence and get involved with book reviewers. Joining us on this challenge is just part of that.

Here’s some points I’ve discovered from my own book reviewing.

  1. Book reviewers should be your next best friend.
  2. When someone posts a review of your book you should leap on it asap. Get it out on all your social media sites. Like it on Goodreads and Amazon. Tweet it and share it on your Facebook page. Get into the habit of checking weekly or more on Amazon and Goodreads. (I know you’re busy writing but it’s no good if no-one knows about you.)
  3. If a book reviewer has a blog, get signed up as a follower, interact with posts, tweet their posts etc. Get a feel for their blog and the type of books they like.
  4. Then approach them for a book review and wait patiently.
  5. If they are going to, or have reviewed your book, politely ask them to let you know when to expect to see it on their site. (I personally tell the author the date and send the author a link to the post as soon as I’ve posted it on the day.)
  6. Mark this date in Huge red pen on your calendar and in your diary, make it really stand out. Get all your own family and friends prepared to spread the word on all their social networks too. (DON’T then book your holiday! Or if you do ask the book reviewer to change the date if possible) And Don’t dismiss the blog post as not important, so there’s not need for you to show up. Yes folks I’ve seen it all!
  7. Then on the allotted day make sure you go to the book reviewers site, see your book review and tweet / facebook etc the post as much and as many times as you can during the day. If possible interact with readers on the blog who might leave a comment about your book. Lizzie Lamb, June Kearns and Adrienne Vaughan are all part of The New Romantics 4, they have support groups set up who all get behind any posts and social media about each others books. They are very pro-active and will work hard with a blogger to share posts and create awareness. Terry Tyler is a Queen of Twitter and tweets all day and more about a post, her followers get behind her and RT.
  8. This can be a two way win, win situation, both the book reviewer and the author get masses of exposure.
  9. After the heady high of your book review day, don’t disappear never to see your book reviewer ever again. Stay and build a working relationship with them and you never know they might review your next book too. Plus if they do other things on their blog (Like me) you might get a second chance to expose your work with just a little effort. In the last year I’ve co-run a romance book tour, a Christmas themed book tour, used books in the April A-Z Challenge and am now running this book review challenge. Some of the authors taking part this week have been with me on several tours and it great for all of us.
  10. Lastly, don’t forget, book reviewers do all this for FREE. Make book reviewers your new best friends today and have a little fun.

Think you might enjoy doing more book reviewing? I’m planning to put together a group of book reviewers so that I can offer authors more opportunities for book reviews. Reviewers could take their pick as long as they write and post the reviews on their blogs and platforms like Goodreads and Amazon. I need to work out more details and see if anyone would be interested, there would be no minimum number of books to read.

All books have now been sent and the book requests are now closed.

17447896  Do you fancy an adventure in the forests of Windemere with young warrior Luke Callindor sent to protect the heir of Duke Soloman? REQUEST A COPY OF BEGINNING OF A HERO BY CHARLES E. YALLOWITZ (Fantasy) (1 copy left)

22011018  How about a modern twist on Tudor history? Relive the life of Henry VIII through the eyes of Harry Lanchester and his merry wives. REQUEST A COPY OF KINGS AND QUEENS BY TERRY TYLER (Contemporary) (All copies have now been requested)

16141980  Are you in a romantic mood? How about a romantic Highland fling? REQUEST A COPY OF TALL, DARK AND KILTED BY LIZZIE LAMB (Romance) (2 copies left)

18779783  Or how about a romantic romp with journalists in Norfolk with wedding bells in the air? REQUEST A COPY OF BOOT CAMP BRIDE BY LIZZIE LAMB(Romance) (All copies have now been requested)

18489308  Want to escape your superpowers? Null City is they place to be in this New Adult paranormal fantasy. REQUEST A COPY OF ONE WAY FARE BY BARB AND HANNAH TAUB(Paranormal NA Fantasy) (All copies have now been requested)

19229825  More tales from Null City, can be easily read as a stand alone or part of the series.. REQUEST A COPY OF DON’T TOUCH BY BARB TAUB(Paranornal NA Fantasy)

18752098  How about a bit of  witches and history? England 1647, civil war and Matthew Hopkins sweeps through the land as the Witchfinder. REQUEST A COPY OF THE BLACK HOURS BY ALISON WILLIAMS (Historical) (1 copy left)

17904468  Could you see yourself at a tournament of Gamesmen as they play a game of Comet? There’s a mystery man and a potion maker in this fantasy. REQUEST A COPY OF THE BIRR ELIXIR BY JO SPARKES (YA Fantasy) (2 Copies left)

20488718  Love a thriller? Travel with John Cannon as his relaxing leave of absence turns into a nightmare when his boat is attacked by terrorists. REQUEST A COPY OF MY GRL BY JOHN W. HOWELL(Thriller)(All copies have now been requested)

19332056  Can we tempt you with a spiritual quest? Albion, is the oldest name for Britain. Wen and Don take you on a mystical journey through Myths and Legends of these blessed Isles. REQUEST A COPY OF THE HEART OF ALBION BY SUE VINCENT & STUART FRANCE ( A spiritual quest around England) (All copies have now been requested)

13361184  Crime? The first book in the Georgie Connelly crime series. Join feisty documentary film-maker Georgie as she dangerously plans to expose Gentleman’s Clubs. REQUEST A COPY OF BUSINESS AS USUAL BY E.L.LINDLEY(Crime) (All copies have now been requested)

22304215NON-FICTION here’s the chance to get some help promoting your work. REQUEST A COPY OF HOW TO PROMOTE AND MARKET YOUR BOOK BY MADI PREDA (Non-Fiction) (1 Copy Left)

16301205  There’s more romance on it’s way.  Marianne Coltrane’s writes an award winning scoop about the sale of babies. Destiny will take her to an island off the wild west coast of Ireland. Love a mix of Ireland and romance? REQUEST A COPY OF THE HOLLOW HEART BY ADREINNE VAUGHAN(Romance) (2 copies left)

16301209  If you’ve read The Hollow Heart by Adrienne Vaughan, here’s your chance to loose yourself in more Irish themed romance with the second book in the series. REQUEST A COPY OF A CHANGE OF HEART BY ADREINNE VAUGHAN (Romance) (2 copies left)

20166986  How about a murder mystery set in a coastal resort in Maine? REQUEST A COPY OF DEATH IN A RED CANVAS CHAIR BY N.A GRANGER (Murder Mystery) (All copies have now been requested)

20451856 Step back in time to Georgia and the deep south for this book, real people struggling to survive with segregation and inequality. This is a fictionalised real story. REQUEST A COPY OF RED CLAY AND ROSES BY S.K. NICHOLLS (1 copy left)

scrolls fFINAL 3 TJ Therien has his fantasy book for FREE on Smashwords and Barnes and Noble (Nook), so no limit on the number of copies but he’d still like reviews. (Fantasy) In know of at least 1 down load.

Please... Call Me Derek British comedy comes in the form of the Derek series, we have the first book available as a kindle download for UK reader/ challengers only. REQUEST A COPY OF PLEASE CALL ME DEREK BY MAC BLACK (British Adult Humour) (2 copies left)

17202249 1867, the American Wild West. British raised girl Annie meets wild man Colt McCall after a stagecoach crash. Fantastic cowboy romance. (Voucher from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com to download the book.) REQUEST A COPY OF AN ENGLISHWOMAN’S GUIDE TO THE COWBOY BY JUNE KEARNS (Historical romance) (1 copy left)

18878661 1924, the English Shires. Jazzing flappers and a half share in a million acre ranch in Texas. (voucher from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com to download the book.) REQUEST A COPY OF THE 20’S GIRL, THE GHOST AND ALL THAT JAZZ BY JUNE KEARNS (Historical Romance) (2 copies Left)

20448650 16 year old Jade discovers her Grandmother was murdered. She sets out to find the mystery commune killer. REQUEST A COPY OF JADED BY KRISTY FELTENBERGER-GILLESPI.(YA Thriller) (All copies have now been requested)