The Art of Healing was a story that grew on me. It felt a little sticky and slow at the beginning and I’ll admit I wasn’t sure about it but I then found myself drawn into the relationship that eventually developed between Julianne and Jokob. And that’s what I enjoyed because both of these characters had been through a rough time, Jokob particularly (I actually thought Julianne had a lucky escape!) But it was the fact that the romance grew steadily, and dare I say it, normally. The first date, for example, just as it should be, a getting to know you exercise.
I thought the ongoing struggle for Jokob, and the inclusion of Keara to the tale was particularly well handled and the ending was terrific. I thought it was going to go one way with the possibility of Julianne losing herself again (although I don’t think Jokob would let that happen) but it didn’t and it was all the better for it. Good job!
I chose to read The
Bledbrooke Works from the submissions made to Rosie Amber’s Book Review
Team. I received a copy from the author but this has not altered my review at
Donald Hobdike’s title is Manager of Works in the small,
somewhat creepy, town of Bledbrooke, and has been for forty years. Over that
time his role has become considerably less glamorous than it sounds and now
extends to little more than managing the sewage system.
He is also, on occasion, sent community service young
offenders to accompany him on his day’s work. Which is why when a blockage is
reported in a posh part of town Hobdike has the surly Mikey in tow as they
disappear into the depths of the sewers.
But they are not alone.
This story is written from the differing points of view of
Hobdike and Mikey and these were my favourite parts. The characterisation of
each is excellent, their thoughts about the other right on the nail. But there
is a third character. An unknown quantity. Gone to earth.
Like I said, they are not alone, and as if the revolting setting
of the claustrophobic sewage system was not enough suspense builds because you
know, you just know, something is waiting for them.
I loved the twist, the horror of the finale, and having appreciated Leonard’s writing for a while now I thoroughly enjoyed this short story and highly recommend it to all those seeking something different and interesting to read.
Alice May Parker moves with her family to the sleepy town of Pacific Grove after her Mom dies, but little does she know the strange and terrifying events to come. When she falls into the bay during a kayaking trip, she is rescued from drowning by the mysterious Henry Raphael. Handsome, old fashioned and cordial, he is unlike any other boy she has known before. Intelligent and romantic, he sees straight into her soul. Soon Alice and Henry are swept up in a passionate and decidedly unorthodox romance until she finds out that Henry is not all what he seems. . .
Now this sounds interesting, doesn’t it, and it’s coming soon on my to-be-read list. It’s a little outside my usual type of reading but I enjoy trying different genres so looking forward to seeing what it’s all about.
The Alchemy of Noise is a novel in which boy meets girl and essentially it has a love story at its heart. But it is so much more than that.
Sidonie manages a successful and popular music and events bar. Chris has his own business but steps in to help out the club when the usual sound guy lets them down. Both characters are likeable, honest, reliable and drawn to each other. But they come from very different worlds, because Sidonie is white and Chris is black. It shouldn’t matter, in fact it doesn’t to them, but in the world in which they live thinking that it isn’t going to matter is not that simple.
‘… we can’t know what we don’t experience.’
This, for me, was the crux of the tale. However open minded and empathetic you might think you are, however much you think you understand the world lived from another’s perspective, simply falling in love with someone who is good and kind is not enough. Because when something goes wrong for Chris, and it goes very wrong indeed, Sidonie is brutally awakened to the reality of their life together.
Families either close ranks, or crack, fissures starting to appear in previously strong relationships, as Sidonie finds, to her surprise, and shock, it’s not a given that everyone around her shares the same values she has about race, or the police.
The exploration of all the relationships in this novel is excellent. The characters rich and rounded, the way they react and interact absorbing.
It is very well written. It’s intelligent, educational and eye-opening, though still easy to read, the prose flowing and drawing you in. The Alchemy of Noise is an excellent novel I thoroughly enjoyed and don’t hesitate for a moment to recommend.
I chose to read this book as a member of Rosie Amber’s Book Review Team. I received a copy from the author but that does not alter my review in any way.
I do so love it when you open a book and within the first
few lines you know you are in for a treat. The
Silent Beauty is just such a read.
Colleeda has been bestowed with not only beauty but also a
wonderful voice yet she is a horribly, horribly vain and selfish woman with not
one redeeming feature. She treats everyone around her appallingly, her thoughts
and manners ugly and breath-takingly arrogant. However, her favourite pursuit of
luring men to her, then leave them heartbroken, proves her undoing when she
seeks to distract a good man, dismissive of the fact his fiancé is rumoured to
be a witch.
The Silent Beauty is book three in a series of fairy tales and contains all the magic of such tales with good and evil, heroes and heroines, and characters brought low by their own weaknesses. Does this one offer the possibility of redemption and send out a moral message? Well, you will have to read it yourself to find out and I highly recommend that you do. At only 80 pages long this is a gem. The writing is excellent, the descriptions rich and the storytelling wonderful.
Cookie and the spangles are back at the beach for the fifth book in this series
of childrens books.
Cookie sees a splash in the water her newfoundland instinct to rescue takes
over and she immediately heads out to help. When she returns the dogs get a
huge surprise as they hear a desperate plea.
follows is an adventure that could turn out to be their biggest and most
difficult so far.
is a gentle introduction for children about the issues of plastic pollution in
our oceans and even features Sir David Attenborough.
As some of you may know I am due to become a grandmother this year and I have been asked, more than once, if I’m busy knitting. No, no, no, I reply. Knitting is not part of my skill set, however, building a library for my grandchild is. Let’s hope he/she is a reader 😀
As is the way nowadays I made this comment online and in
mere hours had been approached to take part in the blog tour for Monty and the Ocean Rescue: A Plastic
Disaster. I was absolutely delighted to receive a paperback copy of this
beautiful book and thoroughly enjoyed reading it.
As someone who has not looked at children’s books for many,
many years my first thought was that if this is an indication of what is out
there then I, I mean my grandchild, is in for plenty of treats. I thought the
illustrations were excellent and I’m sure children will love all the different
sea creatures as well as the main characters in this book.
I liked the overall story and the fact it rhymed but the
thing I liked most was that I thought the whole theme was timely and just what
is needed to help new generations be constantly educated about the dangers
plastics pose to our planet and in particular to our seas.
The book has been dedicated to Sir David Attenborough which
is a nice touch and there are details at the back of where to go online to find
out more about how to reduce plastic waste as well as help protect our sea
An accidental career began after he took early retirement
and began writing stories on social media about his five dogs. Life according
to Monty Dogge soon attracted a huge following and led to invites to blog live
from Crufts and other high-profile events.
In 2017 and 2018 Vuelio placed it in the top ten UK pet
blogs and the still growing readership encouraged MT to write a book. I’m not a
Pandacow was the debut children’s book released in 2017 and this has been
quickly followed by four more to date.
MT and Monty spend the major part of their time touring
schools across the country bringing the tales to life as children get to meet
the star of the books.
The latest book is a real passion project for the author who
is a huge supporter of conservation projects and a champion for animal welfare.
It goes without saying that MT was delighted to receive a handwritten message
of good luck from no other than Sir David Attenborough who features in the
I chose to read Let’s Be Legends as a member of Rosie’s Book Review Team. I received a copy from the author but this does not alter my review in any way.
I enjoyed reading this short story. Right from the beginning we know Kara Olecki is on trial over the death of her boyfriend. The storyline hops between the proceedings in the court and from two years previously when we get to see the build up of the relationship between Kara and Matt and what actually happened to land Kara in the court room.
We all have a side we show to the world and one we prefer to keep hidden but Kara takes this to another level having her Internal Kara and External Kara, and I’m not sure that helped her mental state because when things went bad Internal Kara took over, and was out of control.
I think what I liked most about the story was Kara’s voice. I don’t read a lot of young adult novels but I could completely ‘see’ Kara, and I enjoyed her life as a teenager venturing into her first romance and this was very well done.
Nicely Theatre seek female voices to contribute to the
research of their first play. A new historical epic exploring the roles of
females in Britain during The English Civil War.
looking for short monologues that provide perspective on living as a female in
or negative. Drama or comedy. Have there been moments in your life when being
female has put you at a disadvantage? What are your positive experiences of
being female in Britain today? Selected monologues will be dramatized as short
love to hear your stories.
This opportunity is open to any female
identifying writer aged 16+.
Monologues must be two hundred words or less.
Submissions close Friday 7th June at 5pm.
send your submission along with your name, age and contact details including
address, phone number and email to email@example.com
development project is supported by The Keeper’s Daughter, Vivacity Key
Theatre, The Cromwell Museum, The Seagull Theatre and Arts Council England.
I have been taking part in a fair number of promotions recently and thought I’d share them here because they are a terrific opportunity for you to download eBooks for free. Please click on as many of those links as you like to go and see what’s on offer. You never know, you might just find your next favourite author. 😀
Audio books are the biggest growing sector in the book world I keep hearing but having produced my own I’ve found the market to be somewhat sluggish, at least so far. However, copies do keep being listened to so I assume traction has to grow like everywhere else.
I distributed my audio book via Findaway Voices so it is wide on all the platforms. It was while I was checking where I could find it that I thought it would be a great idea to try a free months subscription and listen to any I could find that are already on my to-be-read list. Enter Baby Dear…
Everything about having, or not having, babies can be so complicated and often emotionally all-consuming and this is reflected in this story. Caro and Jeff are devastated when they are told Jeff is infertile. While Sharon, a career woman, is equally devastated to be pregnant but has a husband, Craig, who shows zero interest in becoming a father.
There is a lot of introspection in this book, as expected really given the subject matter as well as plenty of self-absorption with several characters obsessing about their own needs rather than supporting their partners, which so easily happens in real life too. Misunderstandings and confusion being caused along the way.
I found Caro difficult to like, until much later on in the book when a moment of self-realisation makes her into a better person, although it was a shame she didn’t share her thoughts with Jeff. Sharon had, I thought, a character arc that probably many women would recognise, of being in a place she didn’t want to be but finding herself eventually welcoming the drastic changes in her life.
The person I liked the most though was Julie. She was at a different stage in her life, single and struggling in ways the other two weren’t. However she remained upbeat and supportive to all those around her and I loved the fact she found someone to call ‘family’ as well as a possible future with someone else – no spoilers here!
I listened to Baby Dear for free via Scribd here. I’m sure you can find it on many other audio platforms but I’ll put the links to Amazon below as it can be found on Audible via those.
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