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:

Meet the Plimpton – Smythes

Come and meet Pru and Patrick Plimpton-Smythe, who are parents at Moortulk Primary School.

Here comes Pru Plimpton-Smythe; face like thunder, and it’s only day one! With her severe hair cut and sharp business suit, Pru has the most up to date Smart-phone clamped permanently to her ear. She makes it known to everyone in the near vicinity that she has more important things to do and places to be than picking up from school. She clock watches and tongue clicks if her kids are late out and frog marches them off to a tight schedule of after school clubs and classes. Of course Pru makes large sacrifices for her kids (whom she never listens to) and constantly reminds them of this matter as she sweeps them out of the playground. Pru is secretary for the PTA

Pru’s husband Patrick (very intelligent, but lacks common sense) is a school Governor and is a complete nightmare! Each year he tries to push through the “No Homework” rule, so that he can get more time on the golf course, as Pru insists he has “Quality Time” with the kids whilst they do their homework at the weekends.

Pru and Patrick represent parents who volunteer their time and support for the school, some sadly cause more hindrance than help, find out what the parents at Moortulk bring to the playground with them.

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Meet “Hunky” Gunkey

Today I shall introduce to another character from my book “Talk of the Playground”, come and meet Mr Gunkey a teacher at Moortulk Primary School;

All of a sudden there is a turning of heads in almost unison as a tall, blond, young and incredibly good looking man appears with the Year 2 class. There is a collective simpering of females around the playground.

A male teacher at Moortulk? It was unheard of; Sophie dreaded to think how the poor man coped in the female dominated staff room. And how on earth did they persuade someone that good looking to come to this school? Sophie made a note to call him “Hunky Gunkey”; Oh! This should make for a very interesting school year! No one seemed in a rush to leave the playground now, they were all too busy ogling the poor man!

Mr Gunkey was such an attraction to the school that he was to get lots of attention from the mothers in the playground. He did manage to start up a school cricket club during his first year at Moortulk and he survived several first time experiences which encouraged him to stay on for a second year at the school which you will soon be able to read about in my second book “Talk of the Village School”.

Get the first book here;

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Meet Glenda Glossop

Whilst wading my way through a minefield of editing from which I am loosing the will to live, it occurred to me that I should be doing a lot more towards fulfilling my marketing plans.

So today I shall introduce you to one of my colourful characters from my first book “Talk of the Playground;

Glenda Glossop; short, dumpy, mousey hair, serious faced, cardigan loving, crock wearing, head of the playground gossip stood ready to pounce on anyone brave enough to look her in the eye! A martyr to motherhood, Glenda has 5 children which are at, or have left, Moortulk Primary, so she proclaims herself the rightful encyclopaedia of all things to do with the school. She has seen off three Head teachers and countless staff and helpers, no one dares question her claim that she is on first name terms with all the present teachers and staff and she regularly
offers the Headmistress her “Best advice”.

Glenda pops up through-out the book, she takes pride in the timing of her gossip, but at other times her ability to act kindly shines through. Glenda always gets the best seat at school events and she is like the secret police of the playground.

Come and meet Glenda and the rest of the staff, parents and children at Moortulk Primary School.

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“T” Talk of the Playground by Rosie Amber

Letter “T” is ALL MINE! I can’t let the opportunity go by without a small plug for my own book now can I?

Even though I’m telling you about my own writing I’ll still really appreciate your help promoting this post via your social networks because I’m on my own with this one today! Also a comment or 5! below would be really terrific,  thanking you in advance…..

When 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?
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Here is  a lovely 5* review for my book;

Rosie Ambers first novel is a dry, humorous look into the world of the english school yard – the workings of a school, the children’s antics and also the parents which are considerably funnier – a real life glimpse of the minefield that parents need to cross whilst steering their offspring through their school years punctuated by the english festivals, fetes and fundraisers that make up a school year. Sometimes true life is stranger than fiction! A must read for any mums who navigate the daily trials of junior school life.
If you have enjoyed reading and taking part in my AtoZ Challenge through-out April, My book as a new purchase in your collection would be greatly appreciated! Thank You for your kindness. If you already own a copy then please consider buying a copy of the soon to be released sequel “Talk of the Village school”.
Here are 5 randomly selected links to more AtoZ Bloggers;

A very British Blog Tour- 2013


Welcome to A VERY BRITISH BLOG TOUR 2013 – a collection of blogs, books and authors who are surprisingly very British.

Author Paul Anthony began the tour with the help of Clive Eaton and they have invited me, and a hand-picked group of British authors, to take part in ‘A Very British Blog’ by visiting and supporting the websites of authors involved in the tour, and who are dedicated to turning out some of the finest books available in Britain today. Each author, has been asked the same questions, but their answers will obviously all be different.

jpeg GB doorA Very British Blog Tour 2013.

It began as follows; We British have certain conventions, traditions and procedures that are expected. There is a dress code in the reading of this British blog and you are expected to comply with it. For example… Gentlemen will wear suits, white shirts and dark ties (military ties are expected where possible). Ladies will wear dresses (one inch above the knee, no higher, no lower) and floral summer hats. A break for tea and cucumber sandwiches is expected at some stage, and is permissible. The list at the bottom of the page is not a queue! We British hate queues, and will accept them no longer. It is an invitation, and you are expected to accept that invitation and support the home-grown product. Now then, let us proceed in an orderly fashion. As you know, we are all very boring and staid in Britain, aren’t we?jpeg typhoo teapot Well, there’s a myth about the British and your starter for ten is stuffy, class conscious, boring, staid! But is this still relevant in today’s world? Let’s find out from our wonderful writers what they feel about it.

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I’d like to thank Rachel Amphlett who is my host for the tour, please check out her answers to the tour

The Very British Blog Tour Questions;

Q. Where were you born and where do you live now?

I was born in Hampshire and still live in Hampshire, it’s a lovely county.

Q. Have you always lived and worked in Britain or are you based elsewhere at the moment?

Yes I’ve always lived and worked in Britain. I’m a true Brit!

Q. Which is your favourite part of Britain?

I love the county of Dorset with it beaches, rural villages and Jurassic coastline.

Q. Have you “highlighted”, or “showcased”, any particular part of Britain in your books? For example, a town or city, a county, a monument or some well-known place or event?

My first book is based around a fictional English Village and pulls in traditional events like harvest festival, Shrove Tuesday and Maypole dancing, plus the children go on a school trip to Derbyshire. The sequel which will be published soon continues with some English traditions and the children set off to Dorset. I’m also in the process of writing a farming related book which is set in Devon.

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Q. There is an illusion – or myth if you wish- about British people that I would like to discuss. Many see the “Brits” as having a “Stiff upper lip” is this correct?

Oh there are all sorts of characters out there and I’m sure I know several who show signs of that, doesn’t it add to the humour of life?

Q. Do any of the characters in your books carry the “Stiff Upper Lip” or are they all “British Bulldog” and unique in their own way?

I love making making my characters have names which hint at their character. For instance I have Pru and Patrick Plimpton-Smythe (Stiff Upper lip) and Glenda Glossop (British bulldog).

Q. Tell us about one of your recent books.

I self published my first book in July 2012 it called “Talk of the Playground” and is a humourous book about life in an English village school. There is gossip and mayhem in the playground which threatens to spiral out of control.

Q. What are you currently working on?

I’m writing a book which revolves around this question; Are you a farmer’s wife or the wife of a farmer? There is a difference for the British farmer and my book is a year in the life of that wife.

Q. How do you spend your leisure time?

I love reading! Last year I joined the Goodreads site and smashed my reading goal. This year I have set a goal to read 100 books. I think I might have to up that number as I’m 22 books ahead of my schedule at the moment!

Q. Do you write for a local audience or a global audience?

Originally I wrote for the British school Mum market, but I can see the appeal of the British scene to a wider market.

Q. Can you provide links to your work?

Here we are;

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Authors joining the tour are;

Jenny Worstall

Diem Burden

With a little help….

I’ve had a crazy weekend updating my WordPress pages (an enjoyable steep learning curve), keeping up with all those Amazon reviews for all the books I’ve read (I try to do my part, I know reviews are precious), following lots of new people on Twitter (My follow Friday was more like a follow Saturday, but Hey, who’s counting?) and more.

Thanks to all my new blog and twitter followers you are real Gems!

Finally a huge Thank-you to everyone who has taken advantage of my book sale and got themselves a copy of Talk of the Playground. The sequel is coming soon and my third book is a work in progress.

So Happy Monday!


5* Amazon Review

Amazon’s recent shake up of customer reviews have meant that many of us have lost important reviews which affect potential sales. So before any more disappear I’ve made a copy of this great review about my book “Talk of the Playground”
Rosie Ambers first novel is a dry, humorous look into the world of the english school yard – the workings of a school, the children’s antics and also the parents which are considerably funnier – a real life glimpse of the minefield that parents need to cross whilst steering their offspring through their school years punctuated by the english festivals, fetes and fundraisers that make up a school year. Sometimes true life is stranger than fiction! A must read for any mums who navigate the daily trials of junior school life.

Let me tell you a story…

English village schools are a part of our history, many have been in existence for 100 years or more and with the cost of housing making it harder for families to afford houses in rural villages, the village school is often under threat of closure. Also gone are the days when a local bus swept through the lanes picking up handfuls of children to deliver to the village schools. Today most children have to rely on their parents driving them to school. Rural roads have few pathways for safe walking, nor the width to build paths. On top of this there is usually not enough parking spaces near to the school. So you find a colourful mix of parents and carers twice a day gathering in the school playground to drop off or collect the children. This wonderful canvas began the seedling idea for my book “Talk of the Playground” and it grew into an ever branching tale of potential disaster, heartbreak and humorous endings which I hope you will enjoy reading very much.