#TuesdayBookBlog #bookreview for One Hundred and Seven Poems About Everything and Nothing by Emily Halfpenny #poetry

I’ve decided I was put off poetry at school because, after giving it a wide berth for many years, I now occasionally indulge and find I enjoy it after all. Either that or I’m finally maturing…

One Hundred and Seven Poems About Everything and Nothing by Emily Halfpenny has been one such indulgence. This is a collection of poems of day to day life, love, grief, and all those emotions in between as well as the general ups and downs we all have to deal with. There are long and short pieces, some funny, others not so much, but whatever your tastes there is plenty to enjoy in this book. And as is always the case with poetry you can dip in and out of it.

I started making a list of favourites; What a Difference, Zing, I didn’t know, What’s your fave, Golf, Grandad, I want to Munch, but as you can see the list was becoming longer and longer, which rather missed the point so I stopped, however it does give you an idea as to how enjoyable this book was to read.

So much is written by tortured poets about the darker aspects of life so it was refreshing to read these poems which are, mostly, uplifting and fun and therefore, I believe, written from a happy place. Lovely.

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#TuesdayBookBlog #bookreview for The Collector by Nora Roberts #contemporary #romanticsuspense

My library book

The Collector is probably the best book from Nora Roberts that I have read to date. Life can change in a heartbeat, that’s the tag line, and it certainly does for Lila Emerson.

Lila is pretty much perfect. I love the sound of her life. She house-sits, looking after fabulously glamorous homes with perfect pets and is a writer of YA novels, successful ones, of course. She is very personable, practical, fixing all sorts of things and she people watches, a favourite pastime of mine, but while doing so she witnesses something shocking. Through that event she meets Ashton Archer – a successful artist from a wealthy, and large, family – and comes onto the radar of a vicious and single-minded assassin. Uh oh…

I enjoyed the supporting cast too, the lovely dependable friend Julie, and Lucas, her blast from the past. This is an easy and enjoyable read filled with likeable characters as well as a couple you’d rather not come across down a dark alley.

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Here are some Spring Promotions of #Free #eBooks to share with you #ProlificWorks #BookFunnel #Freebies #Freeebooks

I have been joining a lot of promotions recently for free eBooks via Prolific Works, Book Funnel and Book Cave and I’ve realised I haven’t been sharing them on my blog but only in my Newsletter.

The most recent to start is a Book Funnel one, Spring Romance (you can click on the title to go and view the books on offer). The full list is below.

These sites are great places for you to go and pick up free books. You never know you might just find your next favourite author…

Book Funnel – Spring Romance Reads 1.3.19 – 13.5.19

Spring Love and Romance 1.3.19 – 31.5.19

Spring Romance Reads 1.3.19 – 27.4.19

Romance Reader Appreciation Month 1.3.19 – 30.4.19

Spring Romance Giveaway 7.4.19 – 21.4.19

Book Funnel – Spring Romance 7.4.19 – 30.4.19.

Happy Reading!

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Cover Reveal for Reasonable Doubt? a mysterious #crime #thriller by Julie Haiselden @juliehaiselden @storywhispers

I read Julie Haiselden’s debut novel, Long Shadows, back in 2017. You can read my review here, and I was therefore delighted to be asked to be a part of her cover reveal today.

One rural village; so many secrets…

Blenthorne nestles in a quiet corner of Cumbria and is home to local entrepreneur, Lizzie Lockwood. Lizzie has returned to the home she loves after an unpleasant hiatus.  She is determined to put the past behind her as she concentrates on her thriving business interests and a fledgling relationship.

Her happy bubble is soon burst by the arrival of tainted newcomer, Helen Anderson who is intent on inveigling herself into Lizzie’s life.  Hot on her heels is investigative journalist, Percival Lynton Whitaker.  As he garners gossip for his impending ‘Reasonable Doubt?’ exposé on Helen, a chance encounter takes him back to a macabre event from yesteryear. Has he inadvertently stumbled across someone who was implicated in a notorious unsolved multiple murder?

Lizzie is far from pleased that the journalist’s focus appears to have shifted.  As events play out, she starts to wonder how well she knows her community.  Maybe Helen is the least of her worries?  Is it possible that among her friends or neighbours lurks a murderer?  For all its tranquil appearance, is Blenthorne harbouring a child-killer?

Book Info

Pages count – 238

Release Date – 15th April 2019

Will be available in ebook and paperback (paperback will be available to pre-order from 2nd April)

Publisher – Self-Published

ISBN – 978-1090488992

Julie Haiselden

Author Bio

In 2015, my debut novel, Long Shadows was published.  My second offering was a Victorian thriller, Evil Echoes and my third, a contemporary soon-to-be-published sequel to Long Shadows, although all three books stand alone.

In a past life, I used to tread the boards and shout the odd stage direction.  Currently, I work as a church verger and when I’m not writing, reviewing or blogging, I give talks to local groups and am a volunteer room guide for the National Trust.  I am blessed with a marvellous home life as a wife, mother and grandmother.

Author Links


Twitter – https://twitter.com/juliehaiselden

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/juliehaiseldenbooks

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13607989.Julie_Haiselden

Amazon Links

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#TuesdayBookBlog #bookreview for A Plague of Pages by John F Leonard @john_f_leonard #horror #RBRT

I chose to read A Plague of Pages by John F Leonard as a member of Rosie’s Book Review Team and received a copy from the author. This does not alter my review in any way.

If anyone follows my reviews they will have noticed I am something of a fan of Leonard’s work by now.* This can prove problematic when you then read something not quite on a par with the previous work by that author, which could have been the case here as A Plague of Pages is considerably longer than the previous short stories. However fortunately A Plague of Pages does not disappoint. In fact, quite the opposite, given the longer format Leonard has greater opportunity to hook the reader in with his excellent writing and to develop the storyline into something that keeps those pages turning.

The story starts with the police attending a rather bizarre death in a library and I enjoyed the relationship, or rather the lack thereof, between Detective Sergeant Adi Shadwell and the decidedly charmless constable, Ricky Douglas.

We then go back a little in time to meet Anthony Eames who has been brought low, from being married and having a successful estate agency, by those who should have been there to support him. He has turned his back on all that and in a bid to start over has decided to write instead. He chooses to do this with a pen left to him by his father. It is only when the consequences of doing so start to be revealed that the true horror of what he has unleashed comes home to him. Or does it? Maybe he is just having a breakdown? There is only one way to find out. Write something where he can check the outcome.

I won’t say anything further for fear of spoiling this excellent read for someone else, suffice to say there is plenty to frighten you and Anthony has to revisit his family history to uncover the provenance of the pen while protecting it from those who view it with green-eyed envy.

Not for the squeamish perhaps but otherwise it’s an excellent story I’d recommend to all.

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*I reviewed Doggem here and Call Drops here, if you’re interested.

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#TuesdayBookBlog #bookreview for And Is There Honey Still For Tea? by Peter Murphy #Political #Fiction #Cambridge #espionage #legal #courtroomdrama

I read this book because Peter Murphy came to speak to the writers’ group I attend and he recommended it as he intended on using this book to show how he researched his novels. He was an excellent speaker and the content of his presentation was very interesting.

And Is There Honey Still For Tea? is the third Ben Schroeder novel and is set in 1965. Francis Hollander arrives from America to accuse Sir James Digby of being a Soviet spy. Initially this appears to be a simple case of libel but as the case proceeds, and MI6 get involved, it’s no longer clear who’s in the right anymore.

This book looks, with great depth, into the background and development of the Cambridge Spies and I found all of that fascinating. This input is written from Digby’s point of view and I enjoyed watching what felt like his rather naïve associations with those who wanted to draw him into their world of espionage. All the way through Digby’s real passion was for chess and although that had a crucial place within the story for me there was a little too much detail. That’s just a personal thing.

I enjoyed reading about life at the Bar, a lot of it seemed terribly dated, even for 1965, but I know that’s how life was at that time.

Peter Murphy writes his legal thrillers with great authority as he was a barrister, and his expert knowledge is clear throughout this read. The courtroom detail, the references to the law you can be assured are spot on. This didn’t really read as a thriller for me although I suspect others in the series may well contain more suspense, that said if you love courtroom dramas and an excellent attention to detail then this will definitely be one for you.

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#TuesdayBookBlog #bookreview for This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay @amateuradam #nonfiction #medical #diary

I’ve joined a Book Group, have I told you that already? I have absolutely no recollection of what I’ve said where anymore so apologies if that is old news. Anyway, I have and I will be sharing most of those reads with you here. I say most as I got off to a rather inauspicious start with the first one and haven’t quite worked out what to say about that yet. However, roll on to month two and the chosen book, This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay.

This book has plenty of reviews already, is a bestseller and is high, if not actually number 1, in the rankings, at least in the UK. For obvious reasons, mostly because of it being set in the NHS, it is not quite as popular in the US. It doesn’t need my review but actually I’m still making the effort because for me this book corrected an assumption I’d made, and opened my eyes up to the view from a doctor’s perspective on the bloody trenches he served in within the NHS.

I really enjoyed Kay’s writing and because it was set out as diary entries it made the book a quick read. I liked the footnotes, sometimes funny, or a casual aside, sometimes imparting useful information, so there was an element of learning in there too.

I mentioned an assumption above, which was that I thought doctors were highly paid. This is based purely on the fact that when I was horrified about the amount of debt my son was going to rack up, when he was considering pursuing a career in medicine, I was told that doctors were usually the first to pay back their student loans because their wages were so high. From this book that appears not to be the case.

Adam Kay came across to me as a conscientious, hardworking and dedicated doctor (if a slightly sarcastic one, his words, not mine, and I am a fan of sarcasm) and it is to the shame of the NHS that he is not still practising. However, medicine’s loss is comedy’s gain, I guess.

I understand that medicine is a vocation, but it shouldn’t mean that those that follow that path should be taken advantage of by being worked into the ground, with time off cancelled on a whim and regular unpaid overtime, a knock on effect being strained friendships and ruined relationships.

I felt this book highlighted so many issues that are wrong in the NHS – the fact that wards are underequipped, shifts inadequately staffed, and I was staggered by the seemingly complete lack of support for all the employees. In fact, if anything the management appeared to make life as difficult as possible for them every day – no free parking and beds removed from on-call rooms just a couple of examples.

How on earth can you expect people to work a 97-hour week and still function correctly? And yet this is absolutely what is happening week in and week out to people who are dealing with life and death situations every day. Of course mistakes are going to be made.

This book is funny, in places, darkly funny you might say, gallows humour I think Kay calls it at one point. I like that kind of funny and it’s just as well it had those moments because when the heartbreak comes it really hits hard.

Why is it that it is so difficult to get things right at a grassroots level in the NHS? Look after the talent by giving them the right equipment, the right support and a decent work life balance. It’s as simple as that. The doctors are there, surely, medicine is incredibly competitive to get into so the universities are presumably churning out doctors at the other end, but if the NHS continues to use and abuse the staff as something akin to cannon fodder is it any wonder there is a staffing crisis.

My bet is that if Kay had been supported adequately in the first place and was not already utterly and completely mentally overwhelmed, then, when he faced a heartbreakingly tragic outcome on just another day for him at this particular coal face he would probably still be practising medicine. Like I said before, medicine’s loss.

I love the NHS, I feel it is something to be cherished and nurtured. I have met many fabulous people who work in it and I hope that this book is read as widely as possible to enlighten those, like me, who have tended to take it for granted and for others, ooh I don’t know, perhaps those in management, maybe even in Government, to take a long hard look at what they are doing and what needs to be done, to make the massive improvements that are needed to the working conditions.

An excellent read, I recommend it to everyone not of a nervous disposition. 

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Georgia’s #Paperback #Giveaway has started! #EntertoWin the paperback of your choice.

I have set up a new giveaway on this site for all those who prefer paperbacks to ebooks!

No purchase necessary. International entry.

Please note that when you have entered you will get an email with a link in it to confirm the entry. Also you will get another link in that email to take you back to the giveaway so you get the opportunity to share it and gain yourself extra entries in the draw. The sharing needs to be done in the actual giveaway box itself.

In the past there have been a couple of occasions when for unfathomable reasons the email address entered has not been accepted – I don’t know why and I’m unable to add your address in manually. I’m really sorry about that but I will be running my BIG giveaway later this year using a different program and there will be no problem with addresses on that one.

Check out all the rules by clicking on that link in green below the entry box as that will take you to the full giveaway page.

Good Luck!

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#TuesdayBookBlog #bookreview for #shortstory The Cleansing by Anton Eine @AntonEine #RBRT #sciencefiction #scifi

I chose to read The Cleansing, a short story by Anton Eine, as a member of Rosie’s Book Review Team. I received a copy from the author but this does not alter my review in anyway.

An outsiders view of our world makes for interesting reading, and this is what this story is all about. Only 18 pages long the story is told from the viewpoint of the occupants of some sort of spacecraft whose mission appears to be to cleanse planets of inhabitants that these occupants consider to be debris.

Much in this tale was of interest to me. The fact that it is entirely written as dialogue between two individuals, with not one dialogue tag. And that I found myself smiling on occasion as I recognised descriptions contained in the data received about our world that clearly perplexed the onlookers. When you look at it from their point of view, yes, it is all a little baffling.

“I don’t even understand the point of them saving all these banal moments from individuals’ day-to-day lives. It seems pointless.”

So true. Anyway, this is an enjoyable, if short, tale and I note it is a translation, from what I’m not sure… maybe not a language currently on this planet? Recommended for a quick read.

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#TuesdayBookBlog #bookreview for Power Play by E J Greenway @emsie1979 #politics #politicalnovel

I have been meaning to get back to the second book in this series, Power Play, for an incredibly long time. Still, better late than never, eh! As I said in my review for the first book, Party Games, I’m not a fan of politics but written well before Brexit (and all the horrors that has brought) was a twinkle in someone’s eye reading this novel now comes with something akin to fond nostalgia. Oh, how innocent and naïve we all were way back then.

I am just going to say right at the outset that I loved reading this book. There is so much going on in it, leadership battles, plotting, affairs, back-stabbing, scheming, family rifts, death, birth and everything in between. Really it’s everything you would expect in a story about politics and so much more. The characters are very well-drawn. the pacing terrific, the writing excellent.

As you can probably tell I heartily recommend this energetic and incredibly entertaining novel. It’s for anyone who enjoys a well told story.

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