Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT E.L. Reviews The Night Porter by Mark Barry

Today we have a review from team member E.L Lindley she blogs at


E.L chose to read and review The Night Porter by Mark Barry


My only concern with Mark Barry’s wickedly clever book, The Night Porter, is that I may not be able to fully do it justice in my review. It really is a joy to read and a novel that operates on many different levels.

Superficially it can be enjoyed as an observational take on life in a high-end hotel, as narrated to us by the night porter. It focuses in particular on a short period of time leading up to the Arkwright literary awards, in which the hotel will play a pivotal role, not least because it will become temporary home to four of the writers. The novel develops into something of a mystery as one of the writers is attacked in his room and left for dead.

Barry’s tour de force is about so much more than this though. Throughout the novel, Barry skilfully affords us a playful metaphorical nod to the art of writing and never lets us forget that he is in fact constructing a story. He deftly raises the question of what it means to be a writer and whether one form of writing is any more valid than another. Barry uses the character of Julian Green, an acclaimed indie writer who despises the more commercial writers, to represent the ‘literary’ school of writing. There is the constant reference to the “paradox” within writing, whereby what is popular and successful is not necessarily ‘good literature’.

Barry’s exploration of writing as a craft is made even more effective by his own brave experimentation with the novel form. Julian makes the comment that, to be successful, “footnotes and fancy titles” should be avoided and yet, ironically, Barry makes excellent use of both these devices. They lend the novel both a dry sense of humour and, in the case of the footnotes, a deeper glimpse into the mind of the night porter.

The heart of the novel is of course the eponymous night porter. He is a complex and at times devious character, who captivates the reader with his gloriously prissy and yet sincere account of his life in the hotel. The night porter is a man defined by his job, hence his anonymous status, and in the beginning it would seem he is nothing without it. He subsumes his own identity to the needs of the job and we get the idea of him being like an iceberg, with only ten percent of who he is on show to the public. He seems to have no close friends outside of the hotel and reveals that he has been celibate for six years.

The night porter prides himself on his isolationist stance as a “lone wolf” but, as he becomes more and more infatuated with the writers, we begin to question the impartiality of his view point. He is smitten by the romance writer Amy Cook and hates the “sociable nazi” Martin Sixsmith, who is the bar manager and his nemesis. The night porter may be the “all-seeing eye” of the novel but Barry never lets us forget that he is a human being with all of the flaws and prejudices that are part and parcel of that.

The novel ends in a froth of fun when, like a magician Barry pulls aside the curtain, affording the reader a tiny peek at the mechanisms behind crafting a story. The Night Porter is, without a doubt, indie writing at its best. It is an intelligent, funny and most of all engaging novel and I recommend it wholeheartedly.

Find a copy here from or

24 Sleeps ‘Til Xmas Tour Bah, Humbug! by Heather Horrocks (Day 23)


Bah, Humbug! By Heather Horrocks

Description from Goodreads.

Lexi Anderson is an up-and-coming, Martha Stewart-type TV hostess whose two kids love the Jared Strong adventure novels, which happen to be written by their new neighbour, Kyle Miller.

For the first time in his writing career, Kyle has writer’s block – until he sees the snowman on his lawn and realizes this is the perfect place for his villain to hide the weapon. He digs into the snowman to discover two things: the weapon fits in the body just under the head, and the snowman was supposed to be the back drop for Lexi’s next show.

From this improbable beginning comes friendship. Can there be more for a woman who is afraid to get close again and a man who has shadows from his childhood?

Families join together and hearts are healed as this couple goes walking in a winter wonderland.

Find a copy here from or (free on Kindle at time of going to post)

As part of my Year long challenge to do a Good Deed a day, I’m, giving my readers daily suggestions to do their own Good Deeds during this season of Goodwill. Today; Arrange to meet a friend for coffee.

Saving Jackie K

My third post today features a competition to win a $50 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash equivalent. This is being run by World Wind Virtual Book Tours as they promote Saving Jackie J by L.D.C Fitzgerald. The competition is running from April 10th – 17th only. I will be reading this book and writing my own review for the blog at a later date. Thanks for stopping by.

book boost



The First Lady in Danger?
Jump into the past to save her!

Enter an upside-down world where Soviet henchmen botched their mission to eliminate John F. Kennedy fifty years ago, slaying his wife Jackie instead. The unthinkable crime incites Americans and triggers an unending war with Russia.

In present day, as the two superpowers teeter on the brink of mutual destruction, a team of outlaws discovers a way to jump through time. The wisecracking felons decide to take matters into their own hands by traveling back to 1963 to save Jackie K. To fix the future, they must right the wrongs of the past.

But, their mission may go awry . . .

Amazon Kindle:

(Formerly titled Destination Dealey.)

About the Author

L.D.C. Fitzgerald is the author of blockbuster novel, SAVING JACKIE K, a thrilling adventure to save the First Lady. In writing a story with an unexpected twist on the Kennedy Conspiracy, Fitzgerald relentlessly researched the facts regarding the JFK assassination, and wove them into a fictional world. The author even consulted with renowned conspiracy experts, and scouted the hallowed grounds in Dallas.

Where does the fact end and the fiction begin?
“Everything in my novel is true, except the stuff I made up.” – L.D.C. Fitzgerald

Rafflecopter: Win a $50 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash equivalent. Click on the Rafflecopter link for your chance to win.

 Anyone can enter the giveaway. There will be an easy entry,  and then there will be extra options, such as following twitter accounts, etc. For the age, 18+.  The winner will be announced on 4/17 on the book tour site here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


After the Fall by Charity Norman

After the FallAfter the Fall by Charity Norman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a book about a family who decide to emigrate to New Zealand to leave behind a failed business and give themselves a new start in life. Each member of the family expects a different outcome from the move and the family left in England have their own opinions about the emigration. Martha and her family are tested severely by their choices and for some it’s too much. Is New Zealand the paradise they wished for or the hell they all fear? I related to this book as I have been to New Zealand and I have a friend who emigrated there, leaving behind her own failed business and finding a few demons of her own!

View all my reviews

Guest Author Monica La Porta

Please join me in welcoming my third guest author to the blog this week;
Hi, Rosie,
1) What’s your name? My name is Monica La Porta.
2) Where do you live? I’m an Italian who moved to the States thirteen years ago and I currently live in Redmond, a misty and drizzly city north of Seattle.
3) When did you start writing? Although I’ve been scribbling all my adult life, I started seriously writing four years ago. I like to read what-if dystopian stories and for the most part I tend to write in the same genre.
4) Give us 3 tips about writing or publishing:  My three tips about writing would be: 1) Write every day. 2) Have  one or two trusted beta readers. 3) Hire an editor and a proof-reader.
5) What was the last book that you read and how would you rate it?
The last book I read was Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion and I rated it four stars on the Goodreads scale.
6) Now tell us about one of your books:
I recently wrote and illustrated a children’s book, The Prince’s Day Out
Thanks for being my guest Monica
Dear readers,
Please don’t forget to drop by from Monday when I start the great A to Z Challenge 2013, where over 1200 challengers are blogging their way through the alphabet during April. Look out on twitter for #AtoZChallenge

Guest Author Helle Gade

My second guest author this week is Helle Gade from Denmark, please join me in welcoming Helle to the blog.

1) Tell me your name

Helle Gade

2) Where do you live?


3)When did you begin writing?

I slowly started writing in 2011 and I started writing poetry in October 2012.

4)What type of books do you like writing the most?

I love writing poetry and paranormal romance/ urban fantasy

5)Pass on 3 tips about writing or publishing.

Always use an editor. There is nothing worse than reading a book full of spelling errors and bad grammar.

Talk to other indi authors on Twitter and Facebook, and learn form their experiences with writing and publishing.

Write every day. It doesn’t matter if it’s 10 minutes or 10 hours. It keeps the story fresh in mind.

6)What was the last book that you read? How would you rate it?

The last book I read was Gnomes of Coyûl by Ben Ditmars. It’s a fantasy book about gnomes and I give it 5 stars.

7)Now choose just one of your books and add a link to it.

Silent Dreams – A mixed poetry collection

Thanks for offering to do this 🙂

Guest Author Brianna McKenzie

This week I’m going to bring you 4 guest authors before I start my AtoZ Challenge 2013 during the month of April.
Today, please join me in welcoming Brianna McKenzie to the blog.
Thanks for this opportunity to share my work with your readers.
1) Tell me your name: Brianna Lee McKenzie
2) Where do you live? Near Baltimore, Maryland
3)When did you start writing? I started writing short stories and poetry in grade school and I never stopped.
4)What type of books do you like writing the most? Romance in any time period, any location.
5)Pass on 3 tips about writing or publishing.
1. Write every day. I keep a small notepad near me so that when a thought comes to mind, I can jot it down before life erases it.
2. There is no such thing as writer’s block. Restart your muses by walking away from your project. Go shopping, take a walk, or take a long drive.  But take your notepad with you!
3. Never give up! Ever!
6)What was the last book that you read? How would you rate it? I enjoyed “Sydney’s Song” by Ia Uaro. I gave it 5 stars on my Amazon review. Ia blends heartwarming triumphs with gut-wrenching tragedies into a story that is so believable that the reader is transformed into Sydney’s life. I definitely recommend this book!
7)Now choose just one of your books and add a link to it. “L’Inked”is a sensual thriller set in New Orleans during Mardi Gras. I am currently adapting the book into a screenplay.
Buy my books here >>>

Guest Author Sarah Cradit

My guest author today is Sarah Cradit, Sarah talks about recently re-reading one of the Harry Potter books. This household loves Harry Potter, we’ve all read the series, I think I’ve read the series 4 times now! We have all of the films and I think the kids know the words off by heart! On New Years Eve we visited the Studio tour here in London see my post We can’t persuade any of our friends to help us finish eating our packet of Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans!

Here are Sarah’s replies;

1) Tell me your name: Sarah M. Cradit

2) Where do you live?: Portland, OR

3)When did you start writing?: I started writing when I was 7; I wrote a bunch of short stories that were actually somewhat inappropriate for school and my parents got called down to the office. This was the start of the marriage between my imagination and a pen.

4)What type of books do you like writing the most?: I generally write mainstream fiction, with a special focus on the human condition. Why do we do what we do? It’s not black and white, and its important to me to have character-driven stories that reflect that.

5)Pass on 3 tips about writing or publishing.
1. When I am having trouble finding inspiration, I will force myself to rigid word count goals. It sounds counter-intuitive to the creative process, but it actually, for me, does just the opposite; forcing me to write helps me get back into that process.
2. Free-writing is another way I’ve gotten over the writer’s block hump. Setting a timer and writing, without stopping at all, until the timer stops often brings out subconscious thoughts that help me advance my story. This is how I found the end to my first novel.
3. Most of us have trouble turning off our inner editor when writing; to appease mine, I often highlight the pieces I am having troubles with, or make minor notes (like: “this needs to die a slow death”), so that when I come back for edits I know which spots needed my attention most.

6)What was the last book that you read? How would you rate it?
I most recently re-read Harry Petter and the Half Blood Prince. I would give i an 8/10. There are not many Children’s authors that can write simply enough for children, but engaging enough for adults. Rowling is a master storyteller…her writing is just “so so”but I can’t decide if that’s because of the audience or skill. I’d like to read her adult stories for comparison.

The story itself is filled with suspense…it’s the final transition for Harry into adulthood and there’s no longer any doubt that evil has a real chance of winning the battle. I like that Rowling does not shy away from dark topics, like death and loss, because these experiences are what shape Harry and allow him to do what he needs to do in the next book. I’m always surprised at some of the criticism her stories get.

7)Now choose just one of your books and add a link to it.
St. Charles at Dusk:


Progress, progress

Getting down to writing a book has a great sense of achievement for me. Firstly I am loving what I am doing, I get a great buzz from it.
So how are things are going? Well I’m no techno expert which is all part of the challenge. I can’t upload a picture to this blog yet, but I’m determined to get over that hurdle! Last minute details for my characters need adding and a few other touch ups.
Meanwhile I am still a full-time mother, so domestic life must continue. Having decided to stop moaning about the housework because I am the only one who gets upset by either the moaning or the state of the house, I’m breezing through the backlog. Homework and revision still need to be done by the children. Nearly messed up big time when I only remembered on Friday that it was Fathers Day today, but managed to buy a prezzie and card on behalf of the kids. Got home to scan the calender for the next week to make sure I was up to date with everything and realised we had a friend with a birthday on Saturday! No worries! I had a few spare blank cards and a (very expensive) first class stamp, so that disaster was avoided. Checking the number of events written and crossed out for today and realised that it was also our wedding anniversary! Bother, I knew the 17th rang a bell! Oh well, fingers crossed that I can cheekily say the Fathers Day prezzie covered both, and hope hubbie hadn’t got me much.
Playground parent: This is where I’ll do my piece about school, education etc. So this week there is the issue of government proposals to re-form pre-school education. Reports are out from academics in Regensburg University, Germany and their fellows from Otago University, New Zealand, about childrens performance in school. They have compared hundreds of children who began school at different ages and compared their abilities. Children who started school at age 7 performed just as well as those who started school at 5, and some out-shone their peers!
This is timely when our own government wants to put more emphasis on the 3R’s at an earlier age, and wishes to set targets for children to achieve before their 5th birthday.
What do you think? is there too much pressure on our children?
Lastly; Bringing it all back to reality in the playground: M&S had 20% off all school uniform when I was there on Friday. Look out for more bargains as other stores want your business too.