I chose to read A
Sickness in the Soul as a member of Rosie Amber’s Book Review Team and
received a copy from the author but this does not influence my review in any
A Sickness in the Soul
is part of The Ashmole Foxe Georgian Mysteries, a series of British historical
mysteries set between 1760 and around 1800.
This is the first in this series that I have read and I
enjoyed getting straight into the story as well as settling into the setting
and circle of friends and acquaintances that make up Ashmole Foxe’s world.
Ashmole Foxe is feeling a little bored with life at the
start of the story but within a matter of days he has three possible murders
brought to him and I thoroughly enjoyed his investigations in his pursuit of
the truth in each case as they, together with the characters themselves, are authentically
and wonderfully written.
Running alongside the mystery storyline is Ashmole’s private
life and he is a pretty lively fellow with the ladies and, I thought, a touch
fortuitous with the way things panned out in a certain aspect of his love life
at the end, until that final twist. Ah, now that can only make life considerably
more complicated for Mr Foxe in the next book methinks.
Highly recommended for anyone who likes historical fiction but also for all those who just enjoy a good, well written story with terrific characters.
I have been remiss in not sharing
the books that I have been producing for other authors, and I’m doing so now because
I am incredibly proud of them. I have a couple of projects on the go at the
moment but this post is about those already completed.
Thomas Richard Brown is a local author who wrote Mary Knighton – A Drama of Cruelty, Passion and Courage – a couple of years ago (I wrote a post about it here). This book was quite a feat to publish as it was over 800 pages long! Quite possibly the longest book in independent publishing.
Richard, as he is more generally
known, is skilled at writing historical fiction because he writes from his
heart and his readers love all the fascinating detail he drops into his novels
of the social aspects of a life in the countryside now largely forgotten.
The next novel he wrote was
something completely different. Thisbe –
A story of a boy and a magical rabbit – was planned as a book for children, and has a
fantasy element to it, but the way it is written means that it is popular with
adults as well. There were two new challenges for me with this book, firstly it
was going to have illustrations, and secondly, Richard wanted a hardback
Richard’s projects are always
incredibly personal, so much so that he has been part of each story so far, as
the character Peter. In Mary Knighton,
because of when the book was set (it starts in 1898, and Richard is not that
old!) he is only in the Prologue and Epilogue which bookend the story perfectly
but in Thisbe he is the main
A young Peter makes friends with
Len, a disabled rabbit keeper in the village. Much of this story is based on
fact and I enjoyed chatting to Richard and hearing how when Len gave him a
rabbit he used to show it. Now my idea of showing a rabbit would be to spend
many hours travelling around the country doing so. But no, at the time when
Richard did it he would deliver his rabbit in its travelling box to Kimbolton
Railway Station (now a private house) and the rabbit would be sent by train to
a show. It would be collected at the other end, shown, and would then arrive
back at the station a few days later, with any certificates and prize money
tucked in the slot at one end. Isn’t that amazing!
Richard has a wonderful painting
of Len’s cottage in his house and this picture was used for the cover that was
beautifully created by Simon Emery. The usual eBook and paperback were produced
via Amazon/KDP and Ingram Spark but I was also able to do a hardback via Ingram
Spark and although I say so myself it is a thing of beauty.
The black and white illustrations
were created by talented local artist, Ruth Murphy, (www.im.rt.com) and Richard was delighted when she
did a superb job of depicting Len, the railway station and various different
rabbits just as he wanted them.
Richard is not particularly
interested in spending his time online doing any marketing for his books but he
has still sold well because of the setting. His stories are based in and around
his village of Covington and references are made throughout his books to places
in Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire and Cambridgeshire and you know what, people
are really interested in reading stories set where they live or in areas they
Richard’s latest book, released
this summer, was different yet again. A
Knock on the Door – A Tragedy – sees Peter as a late teenager. He and a
group of friends have little to do in the rural backwater of north Bedfordshire
at the time, other than cause mischief. A local benefactor tries to help by
providing a place for the group to meet but as the tagline states this is a
tragedy and when one of them finds themselves in a terrible situation the
eventual outcome is both shocking and sad.
The superb cover illustration was
by artist Brenda McKetty (www.brendamcketty.me.uk)
and portrays a scene in the book perfectly.
I should also add that this
storyline is based, very loosely, on a murder that happened locally many years
ago that Richard became peripherally involved in, and, as with so many of life’s
experiences, it stuck with him eventually sparking to life in the idea for this
Some of my most creative thoughts happen when on a dog walk, as do my best conversations with my dog-walking buddy. So I thought I’d invite some of my author friends along to join me and my Ruby and see if I can find out a little more about them and the book they’ve released.
The relative flatness of Cambridgeshire is somewhat uninspiring, Jeanne, so please do tell me something about where you come from and where you live. It will be exotic by comparison!
Jeanne was born in Texas and grew up a beach bunny, but has
now been landlocked in the Midwest for many years. She’s been writing
professional since 2012 and currently serves as the president of Saturday
Writers, a 100+ member writers guild in her area.
Jeanne writes character-driven stories that mine the emotional depths of humanity, usually, but not always, some form of Women’s Fiction. Her first novel, Bridge to Us, released August 20, 2019, was originally released in 2016 as The Art of Healing (which I reviewed here) It’s a love story that explores the idea that everyone deserves a second chance at love, even if they don’t know they want one.
She’s had over thirty short stories and essays published in a variety of anthologies since 2014.
The Art of Healing, now Bridge to Us, has been available for a few years now so how do you feel it has been received so far and what do you do to promote it?
The reviews are fantastic and most people who read it, love it. Unfortunately, the title and cover screamed non-fiction, self-help. Therefore, after battling with myself for two years, I decided to relaunch with a new cover and title. The new cover more appropriately reflects the genre of Women’s Fiction, and the title, Bridge to Us, now says “love story.”
When life falls apart, Julianne must embark on a journey of the heart and soul…
Julianne Garvoli is content being a devoted wife and pediatric nurse. She is following her every dream, or so she believes. After her idyllic world is shattered, she must reconcile her lost past to rediscover her deepest passion.
World-renowned photographer, Jokob O’Callaghan, lives a life most could only imagine, traveling the country with his wife—until cancer delivers a direct and devastating slam. Numb with grief, he walls himself off and focuses solely on his art.
Sparks ignite when Julianne and Jokob cross paths at his art exhibit. Tragic circumstances and long silent dreams work to sever their bond. Can they find a way to bridge their differences, in order to heal, follow their hearts, and learn to love again?
You’ve got my undivided attention Jeanne, this is your chance to tell me about Bridge to Us and convince us all to buy it and move it up our to-be-read list?
I enjoy a good love story, but
I’m not all that attracted to first loves, unless they are tragic in some way.
I rarely read them and can’t seem to write them. Instead, I write stories that
take broken people and put them back together through second chances love.
Bridge to Us puts Julianne—a 26-year-old newly divorced nurse who
doesn’t date and thinks most men need mommies—and Jokob—a 30-something widower,
who also doesn’t date because he heart is still broken into tiny
pieces—together at one of Jokob’s art shows. In spite of their resistance to
dating, they agree to spend time together on a non-date on one of his sunrise
Both are attracted to the other, but Julianne’s desire to never allow another man to derail her dreams, and Jokob’s wound, work at odds on their path to finding joy and happiness.
I notice you publish a lot of anthologies. Are you the organiser for these coming together, and what is your process for choosing the authors that participate in them? Do you have other work in the pipeline, how are they going and do you want to tell us your plans for any future publications?
Several of the anthologies are the result of short story contest wins via Saturday Writers. We host contests 9 months out of the year and all winners and honourable mentions are published in our yearly anthology. My first published story
was actually an essay I wrote right after Robin Williams’s suicide. Having experienced the loss of a loved one via suicide a few years before, and having grown up with a suicidal mother, Williams’s death hit me hard. I wrote, Yes, it’s Personal out of that grief. It was published in the 2014 Saturday Writers anthology.
I’ve lost count of how many
anthologies via other producers I’ve been published in, but I believe it’s six.
Most of those I’ve heard about in a variety of ways, often via Facebook.
In late 2018, I began a short story workshop on Facebook using the theme of the earth elements. I invited writers I already knew to participate and some of them invited a few others, for a total of thirteen. Two of the participants had to drop out so we ended up with eleven stories, ranging in word length from just under 3000 to just over 10,000. We spent months critiquing and editing and fine-tuning each story until they shone. Then in March 2019, I published Elemental Tales: A Multi-Genre Stone Soup Anthology, Exploring the World through a Tapestry of Elementals.
The 11 authors in this book found a way to interpret the earth elements in unique and unusual ways. Do you like Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Mythology, or Magical Realism—you got it! Or maybe you prefer Fairy Tale/Fantasy—yep, in there. A little Slipstream or Grit Lit more your speed—in there, too! There’s even some Contemporary Fiction and Middle-grade to satisfy everyone’s tastes. The inside is just as yummy as the cover.
I am still in the consideration
process for whether to produce another “Stone Soup” anthology, but if I do, it
will be via a similar process of workshopping short stories. These are more
geared to newer writers still learning the craft. It’s one way I give back to
the writing community.
My current work-in-process is
book 2 of A Love Lost and Found Novel series, Ocean to Us. Like Bridge to Us, it is a second chances love story,
but is also a seasoned love story, with protags who are over the age of 40.
Both the male and female main characters have experienced long-term
relationships that have ended. It’s based on my short story, “Born in the Sign,”
that was published in Elemental Tales.
This is a fun one that involves sailing and crossing oceans to find love. It’s
partially influenced by my 2017 trip to Tanzania.
I am also working on a novel entitled, The Things We Do Not Speak Of. I’m a bit like you—I love to blend genres. This is a coming of age/southern mystery/small-town tale about a fourteen year-old Somali refugee who comes to live in the fictional town of Savannah Falls, South Carolina.
Which part of the writing process do you find the most satisfying? Getting that first draft completed, editing or finally getting to hold your published book in your hand?
Oh wow…hard question. I love creating story, so the process of the first draft is always an amazing discovery. I’m an odd duck—I don’t outline or plan in any way. I write chapters out of order, depending on which characters are speaking to me at the moment. Then somehow I piece it all together (I heard this recently referred to as a jigsaw writer 😀 I often do the same thing, Jeanne!)
I actually don’t mind editing—it
comes naturally to me, so much so, I’ve started taking on clients. Peeling
apart a scene to find just the right way of saying something is an intriguing
But holding a newly pressed book
is such a mind-blowing experience. I’ve fallen in love with the matte finish
and use it for everything now—it feels yummy in my hands.
A few quick fire ones.
India or Iceland?
India—I don’t like the cold
Red or white?
Red—I plant tons of red-flowering plants to attract the hummingbirds.
Which superpower would you like to have? And Why?
Probably the power to heal. Because who wouldn’t want to help others?
What piece of advice would you like to give your 16-year-old self – if you were given the opportunity to use a time machine!?
Don’t wait until you’re in your fifties to take writing seriously. (Couldn’t agreed more!)
Continue to exercise—you’ll miss your knees and the ability to eat anything and not gain an ounce.
I believe that perfect days are unplanned, BUT if you were to plan your perfect day what would it look like?
Gorgeous sunny day, pool temp of
about 87, a great book, and my sweetie. What could be better than that? Or a
beach…beaches are always good.
Sounds wonderful, and thanks for joining me Jeanne and I wish you every success with your writing.
It’s funny how some characters come
into your life, isn’t it?
Sometimes they arrive fully formed
with all their habits and problems already installed, unlike the ones who grew slowly
like oak saplings with the roots and then the complicated pattern of leaves and
branches as the tree gradually grows to maturity.
I often wonder where my characters
come from. It has been suggested that they are all aspects of ourselves, a
complex soup of all our thoughts and emotions, plus those of every person we
have ever known. None of which explains where my latest detective, David
Mallory came from.
Now I know that Kate Devereau, my
protagonist from Nine Lives and Out of Time, has a lot of me in her and on
reflection, I seem to base the females in my books on the women I know. The men
in my books are the characters I have the most fun with, probably because I am
trying to create someone I could live with!
We like to think we have a hand in
their creation, but I certainly wouldn’t have imagined writing about someone
who lives with the nightmare of being born in the wrong body, and then making
him the star of a detective story with a little romance thrown in!
I had to do a lot of research and then dig deep to imagine what David Mallory’s world would be like. All too often, people with these problems face a life of struggle and embarrassment, with few pleasant moments. I wanted to show that they can find tenderness and humour, and that with the right treatment, can live happy and successful lives…
Marie is affectionately known as the giant redwood, probably because she is
very tall, but also because of her love for trees. Most afternoons she can be
found repotting or taking care of her bonsai collection, but her love of
detective mysteries soon brings her back indoors. She has written three fiction
novels in this genre, Nine Lives, Out of Time and Crossfire and is looking
forward to publishing Silent Payback, her fourth book.
spends any free time learning everything she can about self-publishing, and
despite all the obstacles, she never gives up on anything and is as stubborn as
a mule. She also shares a website http://jenanita01.com with
I don’t read poetry much; I keep saying that yet keep getting drawn to it. As with this book, Party Glass, which I chose to read from the submissions made to Rosie Ambers Book Review Team. I received a copy from the author but that doesn’t change my review in any way.
I read this short book in one sitting, hooked from the
wonderful line “smothering tongues with nostalgia” in elastic days along with “whisper of ferns kissing ankles”. This
author conjures up wonderful images and feelings in their words, along with
beautiful settings so real you can feel the sand, the heat, the freedom as in beach burnt.
Along with the two mentioned above my other favourites were London Boy, Not Entirely Blonde, Caitlyn and still brimming. Highly recommended for all poetry lovers out there, or even those who simply like to dip in and out now and again.
Right from the start of this story you know you’re off on an
interesting journey with a colourful family. The tale is told from the
daughter, Mary’s, point of view. She has an older sister called Sally who she
doesn’t think too much of because of her promiscuous behaviour. A drunken
gambler for a father and a mother with a temper. One day, after the father has
gone on a bender and been missing for a few days he comes home having won a
guest house in a card game and just like that a whole new life beckons for the
Mary loves the new life in Cornwall where she gets to live with her beloved Nan in a caravan at the end of the garden. The village offers her new freedoms and her first fledging attempts at romance but of course nothing is going to run that smoothly. Sally is soon up to her old tricks which brings trouble for the family and Mary finds a diary the alarming contents of which start to take over her life.
I did enjoy this read which sets off at a cracking pace. The characters are well rounded and interesting and the family dynamic worked well. The pace slowed a little in the second half but there was plenty of interest going on in the story and as added intrigue, throughout the whole book, there hangs that little shred of doubt about how the guest house was won in the first place.
Loving Vengeance has finally hit those virtual bookshelves today, but that’s not all, the paperback is actually ready – yay! It was touch and go for one reason and another but it is up on Amazon now and my box will be arriving tomorrow. 😀
The audio book is also in production and will be available in a few weeks. More on that another time.
For those of you new here, firstly, welcome, it’s good to see you, secondly here’s a little bit about my new release.
Loving Vengeance is the sequel to Parallel Lies and they form The Ross Duology. There has been some talk about Maddy continuing to have further adventures after Loving Vengeance but for now it is a duology. Having said that Parallel Lies was going to be a standalone, and look how that worked out!
Do I need to read Parallel Lies first? I hear you ask. Well, yes, in my mind you do. Why would you not start a series, however short, at the beginning? That can only lead to chaos.
Anyone who is familiar with my work will tell you I write long stories that I divide into books, it’s just the way I work. You can read Parallel Lies on it’s own though, in my mind it has the perfect ending but there are those who wanted more, hence, Loving Vengeance.
‘For those who admire
character-driven thrillers, who can handle brief but shocking violence, and who
enjoy beautiful writing’ Barb Taub Blog
and romance peppered with a lot of attitude, this is a thrill of a read.’
Christina Philippou Blog
‘it’s a cracking good read, a mixture of mystery and crime with an overlay of romance.’ Judith Barrow Blog
This is just some of the praise that has been heaped on Parallel Lies. With the sequel now out this is the time to get into this series with its engaging characters, dark storyline and mysterious heroine.
So, now you’re sorted with Parallel Lies let’s get onto Loving Vengeance.
Here is the blurb…
A woman with a
troubled past. A new love hanging in the balance. Will an unexpected visitor
strengthen her resolve or destroy the life she’s trying to build?
world, once so organised, is a mess. Suffering the fallout from the mistakes
she made with Tag, she has no idea where she stands with Daniel. Are they only
friends or is there still a chance for something more?
James – cool, calm and calculated. A stranger, she thinks. But he knows her,
and he comes with an opportunity she can’t refuse, involving an enemy she’d
tried to forget. At first keen to return to her past, Madeleine soon realises
it’s not only the gang that’s changed, and battles her own demons as well as an
Daniel step up when he’s needed? Or will it be James who rides in to the rescue?
Because when things go badly for Madeleine, and all hope seems lost, there is
only one who can save the day. And only one who can bring more to the task than
Loving Vengeance is the second
book in this fast-paced duology. If you like strong heroines, character-driven
action and powerful emotions, then you’ll love Georgia Rose’s exciting novel.
Buy Loving Vengeance now to get to the heart of the action today!
There are already some reviews on Goodreads – yay! Thank you to all who have put up an early review. If you would like to take a look at those you can do so here.
Thank you to all of you who pre-ordered Loving Vengeance and entered the first of my giveaways. As it’s publication day that giveaway has ended. That was the one for the paperbacks of Parallel Lies and Loving Vengeance plus a couple of other surprise goodies.
I have put the numbers into a random number generator this morning and the lucky winner is… drum roll please… Kathy Newcomer!! Congratulations Kathy – please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org with your postal address and I shall get your prize on the way to you.
To everyone else, I’m sorry it wasn’t you this time and I hope you have better luck in my other giveaway, which of course you have already entered, haven’t you?
If you haven’t you are missing out on winning this sweet prize pot valued at over £100/$120! There are many ways you can gather entry points but do note that there are a fabulous 5 entry points for buying your own copy of Loving Vengeance, ahem… just saying…
If you would still like to enter the closing date is 23rd October and if you click on the link below you will be taken to the entry form – Good luck!
In Crime and PUNKishment the writers show in words and photos the time when punk burst into the public consciousness and how it affected them. There is an awful lot of good stuff in this book and if you are into punk, or grew up in that scene you will enjoy this read – there’s something for everyone. For me just some of the highlights were:
Drugs and Booze and
Cigarettes and Catholicism by Tom DeSavia. 13 and falling in love with punk
rock happened the same year he tried drugs the first time. This is very well
written and hooked me right into the story.
The gobsmacking coincidental outcome that’s every fans dream
in Black Hole Kid by Robert ‘Fysh’
An interesting and true story from this side of the pond called
‘Bollocks’ involving Richard Branson and
Johnny Rotten written with great eloquence and panache, as always, by Mark
Record Shopping by
Brenda Perlin brought a smile to my face with the memories of my own similar,
although completely different, music shopping experiences over in the UK. I
also loved her ‘The Best Night of my Life’
Forty Years of Punk… and Uber, that was unexpected.
Then I’m back with Fysh again for Second Time Around, and it’s all about The Damned with another
On the darker side there’s a lot in this book on the self-destruction
involved. The drugs, violence, riots, deaths and suicides as well as much
reflection and sadness with one death too many changing the paths of some. It’s
an honest account direct from the hearts of those involved.
On a lighter note there are interviews with characters, musicians and players in the punk scene together with loads of photos. Like I said at the beginning, something for everyone and a lot of work has gone into pulling this book together and presenting it so well. Good job to all involved and highly recommended.
Signed Paperbacks of Parallel Lies and Loving Vengeance (not shown in photo it’s as not yet in existence, but soon people, soon)
A pouch type thing of delicious chocolates from Hotel Chocolat – yum…
Plus, A tin of Lovehearts 4 Red Rose Tealight Candles A Heart Shaped Tin of Mints A Book Light Smiley Face Notebook with sticky tabs and pen A Heart shaped Notepad A ‘Hello Beautiful’ Mug Feel Good cards – 30 daily challenges! 1 pad of heart shaped sticky notes
And, quite possibly a couple of other little surprises!
There are many ways in which you can enter and they are each worth 1 entry point (apart from if you buy a copy of Loving Vengeance, that is worth a whopping 5 points). Feel free to enter in as many, or as few, ways as you want to, although obviously more entries mean more chances to win!
Any questions please do not hesitate to contact me on email@example.com
I love Kobo. I love the platform and the people who are friendly and welcoming. I put my books wide a while ago now and I’m already feeling that soon I could be selling more books on Kobo than on another well know site. We shall see.
Anyway, I was keen to read Killing it on Kobo to find out as much as I could about the platform and to pick up any tips that would improve the performance of my books on there.
Killing it on Kobo is written by Mark using his 6 years experience as Director of Self-Publishing and Author Relations. As I have come to realise there is no magic solution to finding success as an author, no one size fits all and this book is honest in that respect. You therefore need to read this book and adapt the information in there to suit your own needs and goals.
Killing it on Kobo sets out the basics as well as giving further detail on optimising pre-order sales, pricing and promotions. Writing this review now reminds me there are chapters I need to reread as I have a new release looming so it’s a book you can dip in and out of as and when you need a refresher.
I have set myself a specific goal for sales at Kobo this Autumn and I look forward to seeing if, with the help of the information in this book I can meet it.
Kobo is an essential platform if you are an author who does not believe in exclusivity and this book an essential read to help you find out all you need to know about Kobo.
Please note that there are affiliate links attached to this website and blog, which means if you click on a link, it may take you to a shopping platform and if you purchase something, although it won’t cost you anything extra, I may earn a small commission. This goes towards running this website and the production of my books. Thank you.
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