If You Like #Contemporary Reads, then I can recommend these….#amreading #FridayReads

If you like contemporary reads, then I can recommend these…….

21446981When Alice McCleish’s gardener Brian unearths an object of great archaeological significance deep under the compost heap it is not only Alice and her burgeoning friendship with Margaret Allerton, retired Professor of Anthropology, that are affected: the family, friends and neighbours of Alice, who people the narrative, are also touched by subsequent events. Alice and Margaret find themselves questioning long-held beliefs about the material and spiritual world that surrounds them; and both women find their lives transformed unalterably by their newfound companionship. Serendipity puts Alice’s nearest neighbour, the troubled Violet Turnbull, in touch with the enigmatic Avian Tyler, whose mystical ‘gift’ offers Violet a promise of liberation. All the while an echoing voice from long, long ago hints at the history of the locality dominated by the standing stone circle that bestrides the skyline above the small community of Duddo, while charting the harrowing story that reveals the provenance of the artefacts found beneath the compost heap. Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

25246158When widowed novelist Louise Gregory’s life is turned upside down, can she regain her peaceful home, and regain her trust in a man she thought she new?

Louise Gregory is happy enough living alone with her pets at rambling Lavender House in the New Forest, but her life is suddenly disrupted by an unexpected financial crisis and the appearance on her doorstep of her daughter Penny, with her two young children in tow. Thereafter Louise’s life turns upside down: a passer-by, Jack, knocks her off her bike but then comes to her rescue by offering to pay over the odds if she lets him stay; her sister Jane is suffering a mid-life crisis; Penny’s strong-minded mother-in-law, Maggie, arrives; and her home, once a haven of peace and quiet, descends into an hilarious, clamorous B&B. Despite herself, Louise is attracted to Jack, but, just as quickly as he had arrived, he disappears. Confused and irritated by her dysfunctional family and the feelings Jack has aroused, Lavender House stands as the only constant in Louise’s life, but then her peace is shattered once again. How can she trust a man she thought she knew? With characters who leap off the page and grab your heart, this story will leave you smiling.   Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

17762716Alicia, a young American expat, marries Colombian Jorge Carvallo and they settle on his family’s remote coffee finca (farm) in the Andes. Educated as a biologist, she revels in the surrounding cloud-forest. However, following an idyllic year, calamities strike one after another and their marriage begins to unravel. Jorge leaves as a volcanic eruption nearly destroys the coffee crop and the threat of guerrillas and drug-lords looms; but headstrong Alicia refuses to budge and stays to salvage the coffee. A woman without a country in a man’s world, the initially naive Alicia survives by her wit and determination. A passionate affair ensues with Peter, a rugged geologist. She also forms a tight friendship with Carmen, the barefoot woman who has worked for the Carvallo family most of her life. Despite being separated by class and nationality, these two single mothers forge a strong bond. The intricate web of events climaxes when Alicia finds herself in a life-threatening situation, ultimately forcing her to come to terms with herself and the unconventional life she has adopted.” Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

22540142When beautiful Julietta meets aloof, handsome photographer Bastian, she immediately feels butterflies in her stomach.

But Bastian has a secret: Since birth, he has suffered from a very rare skin disorder that makes him exceptionally prone to injury. His life is riddled with pain and rejection; his thoughts are dominated by self-doubt and mistrust.

Julie wants to help him shake loose his inhibitions and open up to her, but can she reach deep enough to truly understand his suffering? Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com



22654675Sometimes you can go home again. Dave Burke cannot forget his past. Nor can he forgive himself for the tragedy that cost him everything he ever loved, a tragedy he may have prevented. Now, two years later, strange things are happening, things that suggest there may be hope for him after all. The power of love. Is it strong enough to conquer time itself? Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com





15811526A magical debut about an enchanted house that offers refuge to women in their time of need

Distraught that her academic career has stalled, Alba is walking through her hometown of Cambridge, England, when she finds herself in front of a house she’s never seen before, 11 Hope Street. A beautiful older woman named Peggy greets her and invites her to stay, on the house’s usual conditions: she has ninety-nine nights to turn her life around. With nothing left to lose, Alba takes a chance and moves in.

She soon discovers that this is no ordinary house. Past residents have included George Eliot and Beatrix Potter, who, after receiving the assistance they needed, hung around to help newcomers—literally, in talking portraits on the wall. As she escapes into this new world, Alba begins a journey that will heal her wounds—and maybe even save her life. Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

THE HOUSE AT THE END OF HOPE STREET by @meenavanpraag #WomensFiction

The House at the End of Hope Street by Menna van Praag
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I rushed to buy this book after reading about it on Liz Lloyd’s #FridayFiveChallenge post and am so pleased I did. The House At The End Of Hope Street is women’s fiction, the book is set in Cambridge, UK. Oh I so didn’t want this book to end, it was truly delicious! My feelings about the book were a mix; I was a gown-up in Alice-in-Wonderland and I felt like Harry Potter seeing the Weasley house for the first time all rolled into one. The shear delight of Number 11 Hope Street, I want to go there now, I want to spend 99 nights and you will too.

Alba Ashley is 19, intelligent beyond her years she is already at Cambridge University doing a PHD in modern history, she sees spirits, ghosts, auras and more, yet she is alone, lost and currently in deep shock. Her footsteps take her to the doorstep of number 11 Hope Street and Peggy Abbot. Alba is invited in, the walls are filled with photos of old residents; Daphne Du Maurier, Virginia Woolf and Caroline Herschel to name but a few.

Peggy offers Alba a room for 99 nights, no rent, no bills to pay, just take care of the house and the house will take care of you. The house is a refuge for women who lose hope. But it’s much, much more than that, the house is alive, magical, it nurtures, soothes and inspires the residents.

There are two other ladies living in the house at this time, Carmen a Spanish singer with a secret and Greer a broken hearted actress. The storyline evolves around the healing power of the house on all four of the characters as the author slowly peels away the layers of their lives allowing us to be there with all the women. Peggy has her own tower room as caretaker of the house where she has delightful tea cups painted with tarot cards which read the future of whoever drinks from them and crockery with moving characters from fiction.

Alba makes her first friend, a ghost called Stella, who lives in the kitchen and is there for her when she has news that her mother has died. This is a possible set back for Alba in her recovery however where one door closes another opens. The house sends paper messages which often take a little work to understand.

I want to tell you so much more, but it would spoil your own enjoyment of this book, I loved Peggy and her chocolate cake eating habit, I loved Alba for who she discovered she could be and Greer and Carmen and I loved the fact that after the author had finished this book she found out that there really is a Hope Street in Cambridge, but no number 11 – spooky!

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

View all my reviews on Goodreads

VACATION Thoughts #FridayFiveChallenge Would you BUY or PASS? Fodor’s Utah

This fun feature is a mini workshop. We look at book covers just from their thumbnail pictures at online selling book sites and make quick fire buying decisions. We look from a READERS Point of View and this exercise is very EYE OPENING.

Mug 1

From the book cover we will browse the book description, price and some of the reviews BUT we only have 5 MINUTES.


Join in and see where it leads.

Grab a coffee and spend 5 Minutes on this exercise.

AUTHORS – You often only have seconds to get a reader to buy your book, is your book cover and book bio up to it?

My Friday Five Challenge is this….. IN ONLY FIVE MINUTES….

1) Go to any online book supplier,

2) Randomly choose a category,

3) Speed through the book covers, choose one which has instantly appealed to your eye,

4) Read the book Bio/ Description for this book,

5) If there are reviews, check out a couple,

6) Make an instant decision, would you BUY or PASS?

(then write a little analysis about your decision)

Share your post, use #FridayFiveChallenge @rosieamber1 and I’ll help share all relevant posts.

I’ve just finished an article about holidays and my thought returned to Utah and it’s National Arch Monuments, I like what I’ve seen before and would like to return to explore more of the area, so my search term was Utah.

Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Book description

Fodor’s correspondents highlight the best of Utah, including awe-inspiring national parks from Arches to Zion, outstanding ski resorts like Deer Valley, and Salt Lake City’s cultural riches. Our local experts vet every recommendation to ensure you make the most of your time, whether it’s your first trip or your fifth.
MUST-SEE ATTRACTIONS from the Great Salt Lake to Sundance
PERFECT HOTELS for every budget
BEST RESTAURANTS to satisfy a range of tastes
Useful FEATURES on outdoor adventures and drives
VALUABLE TIPS on when to go and ways to save
INSIDER PERSPECTIVE from local experts
MAPS AND COLOR PHOTOS to guide and inspire your trip

Price; £9.69 kindle £13.99 paperback

Reviews; 5 on Amazon US

one 3* review said;

“Wish it would have been more detailed about the different Canyons. Spent almost half the book on Salt Lake City area which I had been too before.”

Would I BUY or PASS? …..PASS unless I definitely know we are going.


I chose the book for the book cover, Utah is the arches to me, but I want to explore more. I would buy a copy in paperback if I were booked to go there, Fodor have a good reputation and this book was published in 2015, so much of it would be up to date. A travel guide needs to be up to date to be of any use. I was concerned with the review which said much of the book was about Salt Lake City, we’re not city people, so I would want to know about the National parks, walks etc I’m not too bothered about the price for a non-fiction book, it will have lots of photos.

Here are links to others bloggers taking up today’s challenge.

Liz searched for Magic and found The House At The End Of Hope Street by Meena Van Praag

Shelley looked at upcoming releases and found Sleepless in Manhattan by SarahMorgan

Cathy is feeling the cold and found a thriller; Ice by Kevin Tino

Barb searched for LONDON and found a delicious book with wizards, Rivers Of London by Ben Aaronovitch

Paula searched for Andalucia and found a book by Lisa Marie Basile