LOST IN STATIC by Christina Philippou @CPhilippou123 #TuesdayBookBlog Gritty student drama

Lost in StaticLost in Static by Christina Philippou
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Lost In Static is a gritty contemporary drama set in an English university. The main characters are four first year students and we follow their lives from beginning to end of that first year.

Ruby is a tom boy, and a huge football fan, she plays in the uni football team, she’s quiet and insecure at times, but popular.

Juliette is running away from home-life and its restrictions. A chain smoker from a strong religious upbringing, uni gives her an opportunity to push new boundaries.

Callum is the good looking one, but has his own secrets.

Yasmine; cold and callous, ready to use anyone for her greater good and will stop at nothing to get her own way.

As the students meet each other in their shared halls of residence, opinions are formed, friendships made, enemies engaged all with a heavy dose of drinking. Callum likes Ruby, Ruby is friends with Juliette, Yasmine hates Juliette, wants Callum and is jeolous of Ruby.

The book opens with one of these students being taken away in an ambulance after a serious accident. Divisions within the group have been split wide, but why? The story then turns back to the first day of term so that we, the reader, can learn of events which lead to the accident. It is built up in delicious layers where we are drip fed snippets and clues, so we too can build our own opinions.

Each student’s side of the story is cleverly told; Ruby’s narrative includes lots of internal dialogue, emphasising her lack of confidence. Callum tells us his version via e-mails to a secret contact. Juliette uses the fourth wall method of speaking to the reader, while Yasemine’s side is told through well known narrative.

The different POV’s are refreshing and move the story at just the right pace, I enjoyed seeing the slight differences in how events happened with each telling, just like any real-life perception of an event.

An excellent debut novel, showing a great strength of writing and could easily be enjoyed by a wide range of readers, although I wouldn’t recommend reading this just before letting go of your precious offspring for their first year at uni, leave it a couple of weeks at least!

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com due for release Thursday September 15th.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

SCORING WILDER by R.S Grey #NA College Sports #Romance #TuesdayBookBlog @AuthorRSGrey

Scoring WilderScoring Wilder by R.S. Grey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Scoring Wilder is a #NA romance set in Los Angeles with a college sports theme. Kinsley Bryant is soon to be nineteen, born and raised in the LA soccer world she has a place on the University of LA Women’s Soccer team, with hopes of making the Olympic try-outs.

Rookie training begins in June, she pals up with Emily and Becca and puts her energy into training after she dumps Josh when she finds him in bed with a blond Bimbo. Sworn off untrustworthy men the girls head off to a party, It’s also Kinsley’s nineteenth, so she’s had a few drinks before they go out. In walks Liam Wilder twenty five year old God of the soccer world and star of the LA Stars, parts of Kinsley’s body did a flip-flop and she is rather forward with her conversation.

At training the team find that Liam has volunteered to help them train and now he’s to be known as Coach Wilder and he’s definitely off limits. They have an on/off friendship punctuated with jealousy from Tara, the team captain, aggressive media reports and heavy training schedules.

This was a quick easy read, the book is fun and full of witty comments, with sexy moments to ramp up the heat and a HEA ending. Suitable for readers who like the superstar world of LA college sport mixed with beautiful sexy characters.

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

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT OY YEW by @anasalote #KidsLit #TuesdayBookBlog

Today’s team review is from Noelle, she blogs at http://saylingaway.wordpress.com

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Noelle has been reading Oy Yew by Ana Salote

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Book Review: Oy Yew by Ana Salote

Oy Yew is book I of the Waifs of Duldred Trilogy and was longlisted for the Times/Chicken House prize for children’s fiction. I would have awarded it first place. Occasionally I pick up a YA book to read and the title of this one intrigued me. I discovered it is a terrific read, one I could not put down, and I think anyone from 12 to 100 would love it.

The author has created a totally believable and engrossing dystopian world, one in which goodness blossoms and evil exists but is not spelled out. It begins with a small boy, so small and pale that no one notices him. He lives outside a bakery, living on the wonderful smells of bread and sweets and scraps from garbage. When he is mistakenly nabbed as a Porian – a child discarded from that land and sent by raft to drift to Affland or die on the way – he is brought to a factory to work. When asked his name, his captors say he responds to “Oy, You!” and he is named Oy Yew.

Oy Yew slaves away in the factory along with other waifs, who are fed little and worked hard. He makes his first friend and is enjoying his life for the first time, but one day he is chosen to serve at Duldred Hall. ‘Lay low and grow,’ is the motto of the waifs of Duldred Hall, because if they reach the magical height of 5 thighs 10 oggits, they get to leave their life of drudgery. But their Master, Jeopardine, is determined to feed them little and keep them small.

The manor is populated by all sorts of great characters with names that look familiar but aren’t, and the waifs themselves are given names according to their assigned work. Oy becomes Drains, because he is small and can get into drains and sewers to clean them. There’s Stairs and Ceilings and Peelings, too. The waifs get around to clean, polish, change linens and sheets, etc by a system of small waif tunnels that run between floors and rooms, so they are not seen. When the head cook falls ill, and Molly, her assistant, is unable to make the complicated dishes demanded by Jeopardine for himself and his guests, Oy steps in. It seems he has a real knack for cooking, although where he learned it, no one, not even he, knows.

Even the diseases which strike Master and waif alike are fascinating. Oy is afflicted for a short while by seeing small, incredibly hued fish swimming around in his eyes.

Jeopardine is a collector of bones and will do anything to become the next President of the Grand Society of Ossiquarians. Even though Oy becomes invaluable as a cook, the reader gradually becomes aware that Jeopardine values the bones of Oy even more, and his methods of working the waifs and particularly Oy, become sinister.

There are many mysteries in addition to the fate of the waifs. Who and what is Oy? He is not a Porian but doesn’t know where he came from or who he is, just that he is different. Can the waifs escape? Who can they trust? What will happen as Jeopardine descends into madness?

Oy Yew is a children’s classic for adults, too. It tickles the brain as a lighthearted fairy tale with a murder mystery and an adventure story. This is a book I will definitely read again, and if I could give it ten stars, I would. I can’t wait for the second book in this series.
Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

#Travel #Books #MemoirMadness Big Sale Feature #TuesdayBookBlog

Today I’m featuring the work of 11 travel authors who are taking part in a #MemoirMadness book sale April 4th – 10th

As winter turns to Spring many of us think about future holiday plans, perhaps these books can inspire you.

AUTHORS HOSTING:

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http://smarturl.it/memoirmadness

George Mahood author of “Free Country: A Pennyless Adventure the Length of Britain”

Victoria Twead author of “Chickens, Mules and Two Old Fools”

Tony James Slater author of “That Bear Ate My Pants! Adventures of a Real Idiot Abroad”

Sarah Jane Butfield author of “Glass Half Full: Our Australian Adventure” 

Frank Kusy author of “Too Young To Be Old: From Clapham to Kathmandu”

Susan Joyce author of “Lullaby Illusions: A Journey of Awakening”

Joe Cawley author of “More Ketchup Than Salsa”

Beth Haslam author of “Fat Dogs and French Estates” 

Shawn Inmon author of “Feels Like The First Time: A True Love Story” 

Alan Parks author of “Seriously Mum, What’s an Alpaca?”

Savannah Grace author of “I Grew My Boobs in China”

There will be live Twitter and FB interviews led by Sezoni Whitfield on April 5th from 2:30-3:30pm EDT. She will open a FB event for this and ask all of us questions and invite others to ask any of us Qs.

Snake in Kathmandu

Snake in Kathmandu

Savannah also co-founded one of the most popular travel chats on Twitter, “The Road Less Travelled” AKA #TRLT which is held every single Tuesday at 1pm ET.

The Road Less Travelled (#TRLT) is a lively and inspiring Twitter chat that commenced on Tuesday 5 November 2013.  The first session exceeded our expectations and we were trending during the chat.  The following chats also trended and attracted even more activity.

#TRLT regularly ranks as one of the top 5 busiest Twitter travel chats in the world, and we have the highest response rate per question of any Twitter travel chat.

#TRLT discusses destinations overlooked on Twitter travel chats, such as Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia and Central America.  These are places that deserve to be considered as holiday options by more travellers and #TRLT is one way to generate discussion and interest in these destinations.

Founded by Shane, Ariana and Savannah, we all possess personal experience in places infrequently travelled by others, with Afghanistan being a particular favourite for each of us.

If you are a novice or seasoned traveller on such rarely trodden paths, or even if you are seeking to place your first foot on #TRLT then join us on the following times each Tuesday:

US PT: 1000 US ET: 1300 (1 pm)

UTC:  1800 (6 pm)

West Europe: 1900 (7 pm)

United Arab Emirates: 2100 (9pm)

What is a Twitter Chat? A brief explanation on how our twitter chat works. Five questions are asked on a chosen theme at approximately 10-12 minute intervals, and these are prefaced with Q1, Q2 and so on.  You answer each question with the relevant answer (A1, A2 etc.) and interact with others.  It is important to include #TRLT hashtag so your tweets can be followed by the hosts and other participants.#TRLT is a busy chat, and the best way to follow is to open a separate window for #TRLT and one for Interactions so you can follow the chat and who is chatting directly with you.

BEST SELLER by @TerryTyler4 #Contemporary Novella about three writers #TuesdayBookBlog

Best SellerBest Seller by Terry Tyler
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Best Seller is a contemporary tale about the publishing dreams of three women writers. They are all linked by their location, they live in and around Norfolk, UK and belong to the North Norfolk Novelists writers group, however their lives are totally different.

Eden Taylor is just 23 and has already landed a three book publishing deal with Austen House a subsidiary of one of the Big 5. Bringing with it glitz and glamour of a busy publicity lifestyle.

Becky Hunter is a self-published author of light romances and sales from her work trickle in enough to help out with household bills and little extras.

Jan Chilver writes to escape a hard life, self-published as well, she lacks confidence and funds to create a kick-ass marketing platform needed to sell her work.

As the story unfolds it becomes clear that everything is not as it would seem, all three have troubles as the reader is taken on a quick tour of the darker possible side of publishing. I enjoyed this book, but wanted it to go on much longer which is the sign of a really good read.

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

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT SCOTCH ON THE ROCKS by @lizzie_lamb #TuesdayBookBlog

Today’s team review is form Luccia, she blogs at http://lucciagray.wordpress.com

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Luccia has been reading Scotch On The Rocks by Lizzie Lamb

Scotch movie maker

My Review

Scotch On The Rocks is the first book I’ve read by Lizzie Lamb, and it won’t be the last! I already have her two other books on my kindle, Tall, Dark and Kilted, and Boot Camp Bride.

 

Scotch on the Rocks is a contemporary romantic comedy set in a small, picturesque village in Scotland.

 

The author brings to life an unconventional cast of characters in the small local community, including a histrionic and egotistical opera singer, her best friend, fanciful Lindy, who calls herself Lola, a cheating ex-fiancé, as well as a foul-mouthed and cheeky parrot!

 

The plot thrusts the heroine, Issy, straight into the action. She’s upset because she’s just broken up with her fiancé, whom she was about to marry, and drives back home across a flooding causeway, to her eccentric aunt Esme’s home, transporting her father’s ashes. On her arrival at her aunt’s Bed and Breakfast, she meets the attractive and secretive, American, Brodie.

 

As the plot unfolds, Issy will gradually find out why Brodie is there and who her family really are. No-one is who they seem, and the secrets of the past, going back to the WWII, will be disclosed. Their lives will never be the same again.

 

I loved the sharp dialogue, which makes the characters come alive, the vivid descriptions, which made me feel part of the scenery, and the passion, which made me fall in love with all the lovers (young and older), and the island.

 

The setting was a real plus. The last time I visited Scotland was many years ago, and I can’t wait to go back and visit places like Cormorant Island and picturesque coastal locations. I enjoyed the local customs, dialect, food and drink. I’m so glad I read it over the Christmas holidays, because although it takes place in summer, it has a Christmassy feel to it. It’s definitely a novel to curl up with on a comfortable armchair by the fireplace!

 

Scotch on the Rocks is humorous yet tragic. It’s also surprising, exciting, heartwarming and romantic, too.

 

Finally, there’s a satisfactory ending and hopeful message: It’s never too late to follow your dreams, and by never, I mean that some characters are well over the age of retirement when they made their dreams come true!

I’d like to thank Lizzie for gifting me a copy of her book in exchange for an honest review, and Rosie for organizing the team and making it possible for readers, writers and reviewers to connect.

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

Scotch On The Rocks has been shortlisted for the Exeter Novel prize.

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT THE VIRGIN OF THE WIND ROSE by @glencraney #TuesdayBookBlog

Today’s second team review is from Liz, she blogs at https://lizannelloyd.wordpress.com/

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Liz has been reading The Virgin of The Wind Rose by Glen Craney

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The Virgin of the Wind Rose by Glen Craney

 

The Virgin of the Wind Rose grips you in its teeth and whirls you through history and around the world. As soon as State Department employee, Jaq Quartermane, is told of the tragic death of her fiancé in Ethiopia she is dragged into a terrifying investigation rooted in the tales of the Knight Templars and the voyages of the explorers sponsored by Prince Henry the Navigator.

 

Finding herself in peril inside an ancient rock hewn Ethiopian church, does she trust to her deep Christian faith or to Elymas, an agnostic rascal? And it is trust and conspiracy which underline this thrilling adventure, taking Jaq from Rome to France, Portugal and Israel.

 

While Jaq and Elymas try to solve the SATOR square, an ancient palindrome, their travels are paralleled by the story of three young 15th century Portuguese boys. Meeting in alarming circumstances, Pero, Zarco and Dias form a bond which carries them through their difficult training at the Tomar observatory and sustains them in their navigational test at Prince Henry’s fort in Sagres. Split apart by the different missions they are given, their friendship is maintained and their actions will have repercussions throughout history.

 

I was fascinated by the details of early exploration, which has always interested me, and the further involvement of Christopher Columbus add to the intrigue. At the same time, I was anxious to continue following the mysteries and dangerous situations explored by the present day couple. Glen Craney has made their relationship suitably prickly and intense, given their very different backgrounds, but he has allowed their humanity and understanding to shine through.

 

I loved Craney’s acerbic wit in comments such as, “The priest was obviously one pew short of a full congregation.” Naturally this novel will be compared to the books of Dan Brown but the quality of writing in The Virgin of the Wind Rose has the edge for me. Almost the best part is the last chapter with so much promise and fascinating clues.

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

THE WARLORDS by Richard Denham & M J Trow #Bookreview @britanniaseries #TuesdayBookBlog

The Warlords (Britannia, #3)The Warlords by Richard Denham
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Warlords is book #3 in the Britannia series of historical fiction set in Roman Britain. I do suggest reading these books in order to understand the full storyline and to get a grip on all the characters.

In this book Magnus Maximus the usurper who declared himself Caesar, then Augustus and who then marched against the Roman Emperor Theodosius, is dead. Killed in battle. The Isle of Britannia is a thorn in the Roman side, troublesome and supporting threats to the throne. Theodosius intends to make a lasting impression on the people of Britannia and stamp out the uprisings.

He sends the severed head of Maximus to Britannia with the intention of having it paraded around the province. However inhabitants of the thorn in his side, send him back the head of his own man in retaliation. So instead Theodosius sends a non nonsense soldier Stilicho to teach these barbarians a lesson or two in obedience.

In Londinium few can be trusted, the underworld of the city is run by Scipio of the Black Knives, whose mother sleeps with the Vicarius who oversees Rome’s business. Everyone is out for themselves and through it all shines greed.

With Rome’s hold beginning to crumble the wolves are braying at the coastlines, the Saxons, Hiberni, Scotti, and more all want a piece of the land. Justinus Coelius, Dux Britannorum patrols the edges of Rome. He must deal with idiots like the Count of the Saxon Shore and hardened warriors like Niall Mugmedon, High King of Tara.

When the Emperor dies, Stilicho is recalled and Britannia is left open to the marauding hoards, can a Hero of the Wall still be a Hero against such odds? And who will be left to tell the children the tales of Britannia?

This is a grand finale to the series, there are a lot of characters and many have several names and titles which increase the cast vastly and can make for a confusing read at times. I read a paperback version and there is a glossary of Roman terms at the back and a brief map of Britannia which I would have loved to have more details on. The last quarter of the book was superb with a tense set of events to draw the series to an end.

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

View all my reviews on Goodreads

WHILE I WAS WAITING by Georgia Hill @georgiawrites #TuesdayBookBlog @BrookCottageBks

While I Was WaitingWhile I Was Waiting by Georgia Hill
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

While I Was Waiting is a Harper Impulse read, which mixes light romance with historical fiction. It is written using the “time-slip” style. The book opens with a prologue set in 1963. seventy year old Hetty is writing a memoir, she lives in Clematis Cottage, Stoke St. Mary, Herefordshire.

April 2000 and Rachel Makepeace, an illustrator is making a move away from London to the countryside. She has just bought Clematis cottage, a little run-down it hasn’t been lived in for a while. Gabe Llewellyn, a local builder arrives to give a repair quote and see she’s settled. In the attic he discovers an old tin full of papers, photos and a book, they belong to Mrs H Lewis.

As the book progresses Rachel dips into the tin to discover the life-story of Hetty, from 1903 when her natural scientific father left her with Aunts Hester and Leonora while he travelled the world. Hetty lived with two distant cousins, also staying with the Aunts. Richard and Edward were destined to be a part of Hetty’s future. Hetty’s memoir reached the years of The Great War of 1914, a marriage for Hetty and her volunteering at the local school. But there are intriguing gaps in the memoir which Rachel becomes obsessed with finding answers to.

In her own life, Rachel gets the house sorted, has Gabe and his father doing repairs and makes a friend of Stan who comes and helps out in the garden. Stan is full of local knowledge which fill in some gaps to Hetty’s life. Rachel feels the ghost of Hetty at the cottage as she finds out more about her.

There is a fun romance between Gabe and Rachel and when it falls apart help in the form of a bundle of puppy called Piglet helps Rachel become a more tolerant less controlling person, but is it too late for Gabe?

This is a light read and touches on much from Hetty’s era as well as Rachel’s time in Herefordshire without going into too much depth or exploration.

View all my reviews on Goodreads.

While I Was Waiting Tour Banner

Genre: Historical/time-slip romance

Release Date: 2/7/15 (e-pub) 10/9/15 (print)

Publisher: Harper Impulse

Tired of her life in London, freelance illustrator Rachel buys the beautiful but dilapidated Clematis Cottage and sets about creating the home of her dreams. But tucked away behind the water tank in the attic and left to gather dust for decades, is an old biscuit tin containing letters, postcards and a diary. So much more than old scraps of paper, these are precious memories that tell the story of Henrietta Trenchard-Lewis, a love lost in the Great War and the girl who was left behind.

 

BUY LINKS

AMAZON UK

AMAZON US

ABOUT GEORGIA HILL

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I used to live in London, where I worked in the theatre. Then I got the bizarre job of teaching road safety to the U.S. navy – in Marble Arch!

A few years ago, I did an ‘Escape to the Country’. I now live in a tiny Herefordshire village, where I scandalise the neighbours by not keeping ‘country hours’ and being unable to make a decent pot of plum jam. Home is a converted Oast house (Old agricultural building used for drying hops), which I share with my two beloved spaniels, husband (also beloved) and a ghost called Zoe.

I’ve been lucky enough to travel widely, though prefer to set my novels closer to home. Perhaps more research is needed? I’ve always wanted to base a book in the Caribbean!

I am addicted to Belgian chocolate, Jane Austen and, most of all, Strictly Come Dancing.

AUTHOR LINKS

https://www.facebook.com/georgiahillauthor/

https://twitter.com/georgiawrites

http://www.georgiahill.co.uk/

https://www.pinterest.com/georgiawrites/

 

GIVEAWAY

A print copy of the book (Open Internationally)

 
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