Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT WHAT TIM KNOWS by @Wendyproof #WeekendBlogShare

Today’s second team review is from Georgia, she blogs at http://www.georgiarosebooks.com

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Georgia has been reading What Tim Knows by Wendy Janes

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What Tim Knows features six short stories which all have links with this author’s novel, What Jennifer Knows, but you do not have to have read that (as I haven’t, yet!) to enjoy this, as each of these stories is complete in itself.

The stories cover five decades, all are very well written and each tells a very different tale which I found enjoyable and interesting. The writing style flows and I really liked spotting the links between each of these and What Jennifer Knows.

I don’t like picking favourites because each of them had something to recommend it but if I was pushed I would go for the story of the title, What Tim Knows. This is told from the point of view of a young boy with autism who goes to his first party. It shows terrific knowledge, insight and understanding on the part of the author, is very well written and the feelings of this little boy come across so well it manages to be both entertaining and heart breaking at the same time.

At the moment I am struggling to read anything longer than a short story so these fitted the bill perfectly. I also find a well written short story is a terrific introduction to an author’s work without too much investment of time and after reading these What Jennifer Knows is definitely on my to-be-read list.

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

 

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT AN UGLY WAY TO GO by Iain Pattison @AuthorIain

Today’s team review is from Georgia, she blogs at http://www.georgiarosebooks.com

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Georgia has been reading An Ugly Way to Go by Iain Pattison

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#Bookreview for An Ugly Way To Go by Iain Pattison

I have always enjoyed short stories and this collection is no exception. There is something about being able to read a whole tale in that space of time before sleep claims you that is calming, it gives a sense of completion, if you like.

So, firstly the good – it’s tricky to know where to start because I don’t want to give a rundown of each story but there is a wide spread of different tales here so something to suit all. Although I found in my case that was pretty much everything. The writing was excellent throughout with each story being tight and to the point. There were some great twists as well as some re-imaginings of old favourites such as in Once Upon a Crime and Christopher Robin Went Down – With Malice. While there were many stories here that I really liked if I started listing them out then I would never stop so I shall just give you my absolute favourite which was the piraty yarn, Rum Tale.

I should also mention that there is an excellent guest story included written by Chloe Banks, Missing Signs and Wonders, which is such a great idea and very enjoyably written.

And the bad? Well there’s not much of that actually. I’m not saying a loved every tale, there were a couple that didn’t light my candle as it were but that is purely personal taste and I certainly shan’t mark them out as there will be others who will love them.

I have often sung the praises of the short story for those times when you don’t have the capacity to sink into a longer piece and this is a collection that comes highly recommended.

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

Bedeviled & Bah Humbug by @samcheever #Christmas #Shortstories #wwwblogs

Bedeviled & Bah Humbug (Bedeviled & Beyond #6.5)Bedeviled & Bah Humbug by Sam Cheever
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Bedeviled and Bah Humbug is a collection of 4 short stories from the Bedeviled series featuring Astra Q Phelps – Demon slayer.
Story #1 Astra Takes Out the Grinch – Astra must take out the Grinch who steals the toys Santa delivers.
Story #2 Astra Gets A Lump Of Coal – Astra must find out why green dragons are escaping hell.
Story #3 The Year The Grinch Stole Santa – Astra is needed at the North Pole to find Santa. Fear that the Grinch is living out the Escendo prophecy where Santa and Christmas will no longer exist, drives Astra and the elves to find Santa.
Story #4 A Elvish Catastrophe – Ninja elves threaten to get rid of all the fake Santas, Astra and her sister must save Santa and Christmas.
Fun quirky stories for adults to make you giggle.

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

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT The Experimental Notebook by C.S Boyack @virgilante

Today’s team review is form Karen, she blogs at https://mytrainofthoughtson.wordpress.com/

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Karen chose to read and review The Experimental Notebook by C.S Boyack

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My Opinion

This anthology comprises twelve different stories, taking you on twelve very different trips; some will make you happy, some will make you sad, others will make you wonder. There is one thing that they all have in common: They are unforgettable. I cannot tell you more about this anthology as it would spoil the fun of reading it yourself.

With The Experimental Notebook of C. S. Boyack, C. S. Boyack presents us with twelve little gifts. Each story is skilfully elaborated, has its own great flow. Ernest Hemingway once stated “When writing a novel a writer should create living people; people not characters. A character is a caricature.” C. S. Boyack shows this masterly with every story – he created living people instead of mere characters. I was drawn into the story right away – very close to the protagonists. I could easily envision the characters and locations. I had a great time reading The Experimental Notebook of C. S. Boyack. It is a very enjoyable read. This is for you if you like adventures with a humorous streak, very likeable characters to cheer on their thrilling trip, surprises and food for thought – all packed in micro-fiction and short stories.

This is a book to read again. Highly recommended.

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

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT The Experimental Notebook by C.S Boyack @Virgilante

Today’s team review comes from Barb, she blogs at http://barbtaub.com/

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Barb chose to read and review The Experimental Notebook by C.S Boyack

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My review: 5 out of 5 stars for The Experimental Notebook of C. S. Boyack

Encyclopædia Britannica says:

The short story is usually concerned with a single effect conveyed in only one or a few significant episodes or scenes. The form encourages economy of setting, concise narrative, and the omission of a complex plot; character is disclosed in action and dramatic encounter but is seldom fully developed. Despite its relatively limited scope, though, a short story is often judged by its ability to provide a “complete” or satisfying treatment of its characters and subject.

They could be talking about any story in The Experimental Notebook of C. S. Boyack. These stories are the heirs of O. Henry and Twain and Lovecraft. They are perfect little worlds, each with its own unique twist ending. They don’t match each other or add up to a completely balanced meal. Instead they are the tapas of literature, the small plates you sample and move on.

From the sentimental Mom in Jack O’Lantern, to my personal favorite, Lisa—the “concept robot with artificial intelligence and emotions software”—in Bombshell Squad, to the chillingly humorous entity in Transference, each story is pared to the bone to provide only the barest details that will build its little world, show you what’s to be found there, and then (usually) twist it all at the end.

I’m delighted to give it five stars out of five. Sure, this is a short review. That’s partly because it would be an absolute crime to say anything more and spoil each story’s surprise, but also because my only complaint is that I want more! My recommendation to each of you is that you stop reading right here and download The Experimental Notebook of C. S. Boyack immediately. Each story is the perfect length to read over lunch, on the bus, in the dentist’s waiting room, standing in that grocery line that you always seem to choose the longest one of. Then, as soon as you’re done reading it, please let me know which is your favorite. I guarantee you’ll have trouble choosing.

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

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT The Experimental Notebook by C.S Boyack @Virgilante

Today’s team review comes from Bev, she blogs at http://baspicer.blogspot.fr/

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Bev chose to read and review The Experimental Notebook by C.S Boyack

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Review The Experimental Notebook

 

This is a most intriguing collection. Reminiscent of Poe’s ‘Tales of Mystery and Imagination’ with a hint Asimov. The genres range between science fiction, fantasy and paranormal. They are dark for the most part, which I like, but each story is highly individual. There are robots, ghosts, and a fearless little girl who lives near a forest making cabbage soup when she’s not ridding the village of monsters (The Soup Ladle of Destiny is my personal favourite, and the funniest of the stories). All the stories have a twist. Mostly these are unexpected – although you do catch the mindset of the author after reading a few. This didn’t spoil my enjoyment of the stories, though. It just made me wonder what was coming up. In the middle of the collection, the author includes an ‘intermission’, where he addresses the reader in person. I must admit that this is the first time I’ve come across such an approach. But C. S. Boyack (Craig – if you visit his Amazon Author Page) has an engaging style, and I find the personal touch here adds to my enjoyment of the stories. It made me click on his author page!

There is an excerpt from one of his YA novels (Will O’ the Wisp) at the end of the collection. I read this too. Another charismatic set of characters and a glimpse of an intriguing plot.

I recommend this author. He’s a real spinner of yarns.

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

Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT An Ugly Way To Go by Iain Pattison @AuthorIain #bookreview

Today’s second team review comes from Terry, she blogs at http://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.co.uk/

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Terry chose to read and review An Ugly Way To Go by Iain Pattison

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An Ugly Way to Go by Iain Pattison

4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed by Terry as part of Rosie Amber’s Book Review Team

Iain Pattison’s ‘quintessentially quirky tales’ is a collection of short stories of varying length, all except one of which are in a broad fantasy/humour genre. The exception is ‘Hampered’, about a couple who take a balloon ride, which is rather touching.

The book is very well presented and all the stories are competently written, with some amusing and well put together turns of phrase. As is usually the case with short story collections, they varied in quality. I very much liked ‘A Rum Tale’, a comic book style story about a pirate; cleverly done and atmospheric, with its over the top characters. Other favourites were ‘Open Sesame’, about an unhappily married couple facing a zombie apocalypse, and ‘Interview With The Vampire’ (clue’s in the name); both of these were excellent, with a funny and unexpected turnaround right at the end. The end of ‘Crowning Glory’ was good, too. Others were less well executed; the ideas were great, but I think the key to writing a good short-story-with-a-twist is that the twist MUST be unexpected (otherwise it’s like guessing the punchline to a joke!), and come at the very end, ie, the last thing you read, not two pages before the end; with a couple of them I knew exactly what was going to happen, and the ‘twist’ went on too long. However, all the stories were highly readable; none of them were boring.

A guest story by Chloe Banks, ‘Missing Signs and Wonders’, provides an enjoyable end to the collection. I spent a pleasant couple of hours reading these, and would recommend the book to any lovers of short stories.

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

 

Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT Jessie reviews Two For The Heart by @EktaRGarg

Today’s book review comes from team member Jessie, she blogs at http://behindthewillows.com

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Jessie chose to read and review Two From The Heart by Ekta Garg

Two for the Heart-

Stories in pairs?

I didn’t understand why a book containing two short stories was called “Stories in Pairs” but I thought I’d give it a try.

I read the first one.  It didn’t seem to have extraordinary depth, but neither was it so shallow as to be trite – it was solid. A very sweet, solid little tale.

I went on to read the second one and was startled as my heart was rear-ended by a bus. A bus loaded with anger, grief and love, a deep well of emotion the first tale had not prepared me for.

When I finished, I finally understood the connection and the concept of stories in pairs and spent some time paging back through both of them, re-reading, and thinking. Days later I am still thinking.

Ekta Garg describes “Stories in Pairs” on her website like this:

I designed my series “Stories in Pairs” keeping today’s reader in mind. Each year you’ll get six pairs of stories to enjoy on your digital device of choice. The stories will come out every two months, starting with the major stories.

The major stories will release every February, June, and October, and the stories will share two things: a theme and a link. The theme will appear in the title of each book. The link? You’ll have to read the stories to find it. But I promise I’ll always include one.

That brings us to the other three pairs of stories in the year. Two months after the release of the major stories I’ll give you the More… stories. In these books you’ll find out more about the characters in the previous pair of stories. You’ll get a peek at the characters’ lives outside of the parameters of the original stories: deleted scenes, backstory, and possibly even alternate beginnings or endings to the stories. The pairs of the More… stories will release in April, August, and December.

I will admit, I was skeptical about this “Stories in Pairs” buisness at first. I get stories about people, but then I have to wait two months to find out more? Why aren’t they all in the same book? What kind of scam is this? Why is this so different? I think I should probably hate it on principle!

But, I didn’t hate Two for the Heart. Not in the slightest. And, of course, I was curious what else the author had to say about these characters so I opened up More for the Heart and read that too. After reading More for the Heart I got it.

“Stories in Pairs” is about much more than a couple married for convenience and family wrapped in tragedy. It’s about the connections we make, with the people we see, those that we don’t know, those that we think we know and those that we know as well as ourselves. Solid little stories set up to make you look up at those around you and think.

Would I recommend it? These aren’t for everyone but if they sound even a bit interesting to you, I urge you to give them a try. Despite my original skeptical reaction it’s a good kind of something different going on here.

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

Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT The Jack Lockwood Diaries by @GeoffreyDWest #wwwblogs

Today we have a review from team member Karen, she blogs at https://mytrainofthoughtson.wordpress.com/

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Karen chose to read and review The Jack Lockwood Diaries by Geoffrey West

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My Opinion

This awesome short story collection featuring Jack Lockwood is the 4th book in the Jack Lockwood Mysteries series; volumes 1-3 are full novels.

With The Jack Lockwood Diaries, Geoffrey David West has created an excellent short story collection featuring Jack Lockwood. You get to know Jack Lockwood a little, just by seeing his approach on different occasions and often rather unusual events. The Jack Lockwood Diaries is a fast and gripping read with really short and intriguing stories, realistic characters and some surprising twists. Geoffrey David West provides an insight into the life of Jack Lockwood, takes the readers on his journey. I was drawn into the stories right from the start, feeling like an invisible friend. The stories are categorised as 1. Supernatural (eight stories), 2. Adventures/Mystery (eight stories), 3. Humour/Surprises/Twists (six stories). The Jack Lockwood Diaries is a great read for short story fans appreciating the paranormal and suspense.

I had such a great time reading – I already added Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide (Jack Lockwood Mystery, #1), Doppelganger (Jack Lockwood Mystery, #2) and Sheer Fear (Jack Lockwood Mystery, #3) to my TBR list.

Highly recommended!

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

Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT The Jack Lockwood Diaries by @GeoffreyDWest #SundayBlogShare

Today’s team review comes from Cathy, she blogs at http://betweenthelinesbookblog.wordpress.com

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Cathy chose to read and review The Jack Lockwood Diaries by Geoffrey West

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A collection of short stories featuring Jack Lockwood, a Behavioural Investigative Advisor to the police. I haven’t yet read the full length novels which precede this collection but that didn’t hinder my enjoyment and I was able to get a real sense of Jack’s personality. He’s a good friend to have, trustworthy and reliable, especially in difficult situations and is well able to take care of himself.

The first batch of stories have a paranormal theme, one of my favourite topics. Cutting Your Losses, in which Jack is rescued from a precarious predicament by his friend. ‘Bloody, bloody fool! Why had I risked going so near to the roof’s edge?’ And Crash where a doctor shows Jack how to help some of the other victims. ‘Shortly after we’d got moving there was an incredibly loud bang and a splintering, tearing sound.’

Then we have several adventure/mystery stories which consists of, among others, The Confession about the man who confesses to past crimes when he believes he’s about to die. ‘It’s a bomb, yes. I’m sure it is. A wartime bomb.’ And The Waxed Jacket which shows appearances can be misunderstood and very deceptive. ‘Instinct made me put my hand in and take out the chunky brown envelope, and to slip open the unsealed flap, to see a thick wad of twenty pound notes.’

The Uncashed Cheque and The Ghost of Peter Cushing are two of my favourite stories showing what a very handy and thoughtful friend Jack can be.

The third and final section is Humour/Surprises/Twists which includes The Secret, showing how gossip can get totally out of hand with the potential to ruin someone’s life. ‘Would you believe it of a vicar? Long dark hair she had, short skirt, too much make up, and driving his car into the vicarage drive at two in the morning!’ And The Foursome where Jack’s motto should be ‘be careful what you wish for.’ He gets much more than he bargained for. ‘Susanne had long dark hair, a wonderful figure, sensational smile and an intelligent lively face,’

For such short pieces each of the stories are set up well, descriptively and visually, and each has a twist at the end. They are peopled by believable, sometimes humorous, characters and situations and are easy to get drawn into. I like Jack as a protagonist and have the first two full length novels waiting on my kindle. If I didn’t already have them I would be heading over to Amazon after reading the excerpts at the end of this collection.
4 out of 5 stars

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