Wednesday, 28 September 2011

After River by Donna Milner

Growing up in the 1960’s on a dairy farm in the mountains of British Columbia, Natalie Ward is surrounded by her loving family. She is particularly close to her eldest brother Boyer.  She does not know much about life outside her cosy somewhat cocooned family setting.

In the summer she turns fifteen a stranger comes to work on the farm. An American draft-dodger called River; he would test the morals and beliefs of the family and community to breaking point.  The series of events following that summer day would leave relationships shattered and the Ward family changed forever.

This is a brilliant read. An emotionally charged novel from beginning to end it flips back and forth between the present day and back to the 1960’s.  It tells the story of how events that happen can completely change people’s lives. The storyline is superbly written, it is sad in parts and there is some tragedy. You get straight into the story from the first page and the story just carries you along at a nice pace. You do get quite emotionally attached to the characters, especially Natalie.

I really recommend this book it is an excellent read. 

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Under the Rainbow by Mary O’Sullivan

After finding out her boyfriend is cheating, Adele Burke decides to leave her home and teaching job in Dublin for a year. Adele decides to return back to her hometown of Cairnsure on the South coast.

She is looking forward to being back with family and friends, particularly her friend Carla who is now a wife and mother and Jodi who has a successful career working as an accountant. All three of them will soon be celebrating their thirtieth birthdays and Adele is hoping to rekindle the closeness of their friendship that they have shared from childhood.

However things do not go as well as she plans when she returns, she seems to be surrounded by mysteries. She is disappointed to find that Carla and Jodi seem to be too busy wrapped up in their own lives. Carla who seems to have it all, the perfect lifestyle seems to be unhappy, while Jodi has left her blossoming career behind in London that was going so well. Adele’s widowed mother begins to act strangely when Eoin Kirby arrives in town from New Zealand. Her mother even goes as far as warning Adele not to have any thing to do with him, but does not explain why.

What is going on? What are the people she holds dear to, her keeping from her?

Adele must deal with deceit, heartbreak and tragedy before Cairnsure gives up its secrets.

This is the second book by Mary O’Sullivan and I enjoyed reading this just as much as the first book. It is a real page turner of a book; I could not put it down. So much happens it is none stop drama from beginning to end. I wanted to find out what was going on and happening with each character. The book has a fantastic cast of characters who all have their own mysteries and secrets to unravel.  I really recommend this book it is really well written with such well thought out storylines that take you on an emotional journey.

I will now be adding all of Mary O’Sullivan’s books to my collection and I can not wait to read them.

For more information on books by Mary O’Sullivan visit their website 

Wake Me Up! A True Story Love Story about Life after Death by Lyn Ragan

This is Lyn’s true life story.

On a damp, dark and dreary Wednesday morning Lyn’s life changed forever, her future husband Chip is the victim of a horrific shooting and murdered, at only forty-one years of age. Too young to die especially the way he was taken. 

How do you say goodbye to someone you loved more than anything in the world?

How do you know how to say goodbye to someone who was perfectly fine just a few days ago?

This is the situation Lyn now finds herself in. When Lyn as vivid dreams about Chip and she as some experiences that she can not explain. She begins to ask herself is it possible that Chip still exists? Is he trying to show her that he has not gone and is trying to get her attention? Can Lyn now step out of her comfort zone and enter an unknown tour into the afterlife?

The book is about Lyn’s journey in her search to find out the truth, if it is possible for Chip to communicate with her and for her to communicate with him and is there life after death.

This is a really moving story that touches on just how difficult it is when we lose a loved one. It shows just how strong love can be. A real inspiring read that makes you think.

For more information on books by Lyn Ragan visit their website

Monday, 19 September 2011

The Arranger by L.J. Sellers

This story is set in the future, year 2023.

Lara Evans is a cop at heart. She was a homicide detective for sixteen years. After leaving the police force she was unemployed for years. Unemployment is high, jobs are a valuable commodity and the jobs that offer med-cards are much sought after. Gun laws have got loose and health insurance got scarce. There is also a growing shortage of doctors. So paramedics are now in demand. So Lara has become a freelance paramedic. Lara liked her job. She loved the moment of rushing to a scene not knowing what chaos she would encounter. She always takes her stun gun everywhere that she goes.

When she is out responding to an emergency call, she arrives at the scene and she has to avoid been shot by a man who comes out of the house and starts shooting at her. Inside she finds a man has been shot but he is still alive. The man is Thaddeus Morton who is the employment commissioner. Some one had tried to kill the employment commissioner but who would do that and why? Morton asks that Lara does not report the incident blaming it on a lover and tells her it would look bad for him and he would be removed from overseeing The Gauntlet.

Lara has trained intensely for the last four years to be a contender in this years Gauntlet, she is one of the contestants. The Gauntlet is the one thing in the country that still gives people something to cheer for, it is like the Olympics, millions of viewers watch the show.

The contest had become the reason she gets up on a morning. If she keeps Morton’s secrets and he stays on as a judge Lara thinks this would be for the best because it couldn’t hurt to have someone in her corner while she competed, especially with the Gauntlet said to be more difficult this year and more physically punishing at forty-two Lara was to be the oldest contestant. The analysts have put her chances of winning at fifty to one.

Can Lara conquer all the challengers the contest throws at her? Or will life itself throw its own challenges she must overcome?

Meanwhile Paul Madsen would do anything to impress Camille the girl he works with in his government job. He thinks that by losing weight and paying for plastic surgery on his face he will improve is chances of getting with Camille and helping her out with her career. So he comes up with the plan for staff to be hired and fired for cash knowing that in the current job climate people will be prepared to pay lots of money for the job positions which have high-end med-cards and that the savings of not paying health insurance would make it an offer that those seeking these positions could not refuse. Can Paul pull it off and win the affections of Camille?

This book had me gripped all the way through. It keeps you in suspense with every page right through to the end of the book. So much happens throughout the story but it is so well written that you do not loose the thread of what is going on. I really like a book that you can not guess the ending and this is one of those books. It builds you up to a superb ending.

If you like murder and suspense this is the book for you.

For more information on books by L.J. Sellers visit their website

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Secrets about life every woman should know by Barbara De Angelis

This is a spiritual self-help book that Barbara De Angelis wrote and shared with us how we can create the happy, fulfilled life we have always dreamed of by using ten principles for total spiritual and emotional fulfilment. Each of the ten principles is given its own chapter to explain to us how using each one of these principles can help us to create the kind of true freedom we are all seeking, the freedom that comes from knowing how to tap into a powerful inner state of confidence, clarity and peace.  This book gives us the tools to put in practice an inner centre of emotional and spiritual self-reliance. We learn how to discover a sense of real emotional security that nothing and no one can ever take away. We learn to experience the kind of lasting happiness you’ve always hoped was possible. We learn how to work with not against the flow of change and how to become bigger than your own fear. Discover that everything you need to be happy is inside you.

Barbara De Angelis Ph.D. is a world renowned relationships psychologist and counsellor. This is one of the best spiritual self-help books I have read if not the best. It is so easy to follow. You know how sometimes with these types of books they can be written in such a dull, complicated uninteresting way? Well this is not one of them! It is like chatting to a friend over a cup of coffee. It is guiding you but you don’t feel like you are being guided it is done in such a simple way that you remember everything that Barbara is telling us so it is so easy to learn the principles without having to take notes or re-read chapters.  It is a very inspiring read and I certainly will be trying to put the ten principles in my own life. So you do get a lot out of reading this book. I will look forward to reading more of Barbara De Angelis books they are a brilliant read.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Soul Protector by Amanda Leigh Cowley

This is the first book in the Soul Protector series.

Gracie Reynolds life is not going great, her boyfriend has dumped her and she is unhappy in her job. So it is with great reluctance that she attends one of her best friends Lydia’s birthday party. When Lydia’s boyfriend uses the party for an opportunity to propose to Lydia, Gracie finds that instead of been thrilled for her friend she is instead eaten up by jealousy. She wants to share her friend’s happiness and wishes she could swap places with Lydia, because Lydia seems to have it all. Unknown to Gracie she is in fact a Soul Protector which means that at random she can switch into other people’s bodies. She finds this out when she gives Lydia a complementary congratulation hug after a dizzy spell she discovers that she is now occupying Lydia’s body and that she has switch bodies. Luckily for Gracie when she wants the nightmare to end everything goes back to normal and she returns back to her own body. Confused about what just happened she can find no logical explanation why this happened. So she decides to keep quiet about it.

Later when she sees a man with a strange orange glow, watching her does he hold the key to finding the answers to what is happening to Gracie?

This is a really original and unique story about body switching. We have all seen the body switching films which all give us the same storyline they switch bodies and then spend the entire film trying to switch back. This is not one of those stereotypical stories. This story concentrates more on Gracie as a person and we learn all about her background.  We go on the journey with her as she discovers that she is a Soul Protector and what it means to be one.  I think this is only the start of Gracie’s adventures and would look forward to reading many more. 

For more information on books by Amanda Leight Cowley visit their website

Making Waves by Nell Dixon

It should have been Cassidy’s wedding day but her fiancé Ethan has dumped her for another women. So she goes to stay in her friend’s vacant cottage in New Bay. This little picture-postcard cottage is her haven of peace and quiet, a place for her to reflect on what’s happened and think things through about what she is going to do with herself now.

Josh is having a three week holiday staying in his friend’s vacant cottage. He happens to be Cassidy’s work obsessed boss, running a thriving dotcom marketing business. Josh intends to have a great holiday catching up with friends, surfing and having parties at the cottage he is staying in.

The last person Cassidy would have wanted to run into in New Bay would be her boss Josh, so when they run into each other in the local café that was bad enough but they find out that by mistake they have ended up sharing the same cottage. Cassidy is disappointed seeing her chance of some peaceful respite to reflect on things is to be disturbed by Josh’s partying. With neither of them prepared to move out they come up with some compromises so they can share the cottage.

Cassidy is shocked to find that she starts to feel attracted to Josh. Is what she is feeling some kind of rebound effect from being jilted or is it something more?

Another great read from Nell Dixon This book may only be forty-six pages long but it is packed with a good story which can be read in one sitting, which with it being a real page turner of a book is a good thing. Nice likable characters set in a scenic coastal bay. With a hint of romance who could ask for anything more.

For more information on books by Nell Dixon visit their website 

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Intimate Strangers by Laura Taylor

Nicholas Benteen is an ex-mercenary who now lives alone in a remote part of Northern Nevada in a secluded location. Nicholas has designed his home himself to be an isolated retreat; it is filled with security devices to protect his privacy. He also owns tens of thousands of acres of land that he has created a safe haven not only for himself but for the people who worked and helped him from his past and he has vowed to keep them safe and protect them. Nicholas sees this as his penance for dispensing death to those who prayed on the weak and vulnerable across the globe. Nicholas is worried that those people could come back and hurt or kill him and the people he is trying to protect.

Hannah Cassidy is a first grade teacher who has driven half-way across the country from St Louis Missouri to speak to Nicholas to ask for his help to locate her missing older brother Sean. She knows that Nicholas has a connection with her brother through him being mentioned in some of Sean’s letters. She needs to find Sean so that he can come home and see his serious ill mother because this may be her last chance to see Sean.

Nicholas is reluctant to help Hannah; he does not trust her, he thinks she is another adversary intent on exacting lethal revenge for his past deeds. Nicholas goes as far to at first intimidate Hannah to make her go away, but Hannah is stubborn and persistent for him to tell her where Sean is. Despite their differences there is a strong chemistry between Nicholas and Hannah and how will Nicholas handle been torn between his loyalty to protect Sean and the obligation he feels towards Hannah? Why has Sean avoided all contact with his family for so many years?

Suspense, romance and an erotic book for the eyes of adults only. WARNING this book contains some very HOT steamy sensual and fantastically well written sexy scenes.  So once again watch you are not reading in a public place to spare your blushes!!! It is a book well worth reading if you are into romantic and erotic books, but I can see it been enjoyed by a much wider reader due to its well written suspense storyline with a tough guy hero who is some what different to so many of the other heroes usually found in this genre.  I give this book TOP MARKS for a brilliant read. Written by Laura Taylor, who is an award winning author.

For more information on books by Laura Taylor visit their website

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift

I would like to include in my reviews some of the classics.  I thought I might re read some of them and see what I think of them as a woman now in her thirties. I first remember reading Gulliver’s Travels around thirty years ago aged around eight. We read it at school, all the class together in the classroom and I know some of the other children use to hate and dread the moment the teacher would pick on them to read out loud to the class, but I was always hoping to be picked because I loved reading out loud and been able to express by the tone of my voice all the different characters.

To be honest I did not remember much about the many places Gulliver travels to or ends up in on in his voyages to sea, mainly memory has been over taken by the many films that are out. I have yet to see the most recent starring Jack Black. Most of us remember Lilliput and know that part of the story really well and the scene that comes to mind is Gulliver lying tied down and held by the little people who are no more than six inches high. We also remember Brobdingnang the land of the giant people. But there is far more than that to this story which I had completely forgotten about. Gulliver travels to several more remote islands Laputa, Balnibarbi, Luggnagg, Glubbdubdrib and Houynhnms where he meets some more interesting beings and characters and has lots of adventures. 

For me personally Lilliput is still my favourite part of the book and the part I find the most interesting. It makes you think that Gulliver must have really enjoyed travelling because he ends up in these situations and then gets back home safely but then still returns to sea!

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Operation Sunshine by Jenny Colgan

Evie works on reception for a plastic surgeons clinic in Harley Street in London, when her employers invite her to attend a conference with them in the South of France; she sees it as a chance to have a good holiday. It is just what she is looking for, the chance to have a normal holiday, sun, sea and hopefully sex. Every holiday Evie has been on has not gone too well in the past. Will this one make a difference and be the holiday of a lifetime?  

I really do enjoy reading Jenny Colgan’s books and this one does not disappoint. It is filled with non stop comedy, wit and one liners that will have you laughing out loud from start to finish as we follow Evie on her adventure and what an adventure she has!  Great storyline and a nice play on the title too.  A must read for all chick lit fans.

For more information on books by Jenny Colgan visit their website

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

September Song by Nell Dixon

Erin has taken a year out of university and is doing some travelling and earning some money before her final year. She is working in a café in a small town called New Bay. Dan goes into the café everyday he has noticed Erin and finds her attractive. Erin has not taken much notice of Dan, not liking the way he dresses.

When Erin’s friend gets glandular fever and has to pull out of a concert that Erin’s got tickets for Dan offers to accompany Erin and takes the spare ticket. When Dan turns up to pick Erin up for the concert and he is wearing more fashionable clothes, Erin finds him more attractive. They enjoy the concert and share a kiss at the end.  However when Dan does not turn up at the café at his usual time, the next day Erin thinks that Dan as lost interest.

Will Dan return and f he does will Erin be able to accept him when she knows the truth about him?

A romantic novella by Nell Dixon who was the winner of the RNA’s prestigious Romance Prize 2007 and 2010.

This is another great book by Nell Dixon. The book can easily be read in one sitting and is a nice romantic tale. A recommended read for all romantic fans.

For more information on books by Nell Dixon visit their website

Sophie’s Turn by Nicky Wells

Sophie Penhalligan was a fan of the band TUSCQ in the 80’s. So much so that she managed to spend some time with the band travelling back from a gig on their tour bus one time and she got very close to the bands lead singer Dan.

Now she is working as a journalist on the local newspaper Read London and she has been going out with her accountant boyfriend Tim for the last two years, it is not what you would call the perfect relationship but when Tim proposes Sophie says yes.

When Sophie is at the airport waiting to catch a flight she bumps into Darren from the band and they get talking and Darren tells her that the band are still performing gigs together, so when Sophie sees that they are playing near her she decides to go. This gets her back in touch with the group. Dan is still the lead singer and there is still an attraction between the pair. However Sophie is honest with Dan and tells him about her engagement to Tim.

When the band go on tour Dan engineers it that Sophie has to go on tour with them to give her newspaper the exclusive scoop all about the tour and the band, she is the only journalist that they will give access all areas to. So when her boss tells her she has to go or lose her job a reluctant Sophie goes on tour with the band.

Can she resist temptation?

Is Dan the right choice and Tim the wrong one?

This is the first novel from Nicky Wells and it is really well written with an interesting and entertaining and fun storyline. This book is an enjoyable read for all chick lit fans.

For more information on books by Nicky Wells visit her website

Sunday, 4 September 2011

A Tiny Bit Marvellous by Dawn French

Mo Battle is about to turn the big 50 and she is having a mid-life panic. She is fed up with her life that is the same, day in day out, she is a wife and mother to two teenagers, Dora who is seventeen and has self-esteem problems and holds her mum responsible for everything going wrong in her life and Peter who truly believes he is Oscar Wilde, his hero. Mo’s husband is not saying much and is keeping very quiet.

Mo is prepared to do something completely different to bring change to her dull life and which is a big step away from being a wife and mum. She is taking a huge risk regardless of the consequences that it can cause her family, either driving them apart or pulling them closer together.

This is a really funny novel from the well known comedienne Dawn French. This is Dawn’s first novel and it is written from each of the characters own points of view and we get to see the ups and downs of family life and the different relationships and feelings they have for each other. I am a parent to two teenagers myself and the observation of teenage behaviour is spot on and anyone who are parents to teenage children will relate to this book and how true to life it is.  Dawn is well known for making people laugh and she does not disappoint with this book and its great wit. 

Saturday, 3 September 2011

A Ripple in Time - Angel of the Titanic by Julia Hughes

Wren needs to convince his cousin Rhyllann to bring the sword Caliburn (Excalibur) to him at Stonehenge. The only problem is that Wren has been dead for the last five years and if he steps out of the stones protective circle he will cease to exist. Wren needs to turn back time to make sure that one of the biggest events in history takes place, the sinking of the Titanic. Wren is in an alternative reality were the Titanic captain was forewarned about the ship hitting the iceberg so he changed course and the Titanic never hit the iceberg, so it never sunk. Due to the Titanic not sinking this caused an even bigger disaster, World War I did not end in 1918, and many more lives were lost as a result of this.

Wren must make sure that the Titanic fulfils her true destiny and sinks. The only person that can see Wren is an old lady. She gives Wren the name Angel of the Titanic, and her Granddaughter agrees to help Wren on his quest.

Can they change the timeline back to its normal course?

This is a great idea for a storyline, very original and makes you think what if the Titanic had not sunk. The story mixes fact and fiction and uses some well known legends and they do gel nice together turning the story into a good adventure. The story is written in a fast pace that goes straight into the heart of the story. The book has a great cast of characters. If you like mystical adventure stories with a touch of romance then this is the book for you.

For more information on books by Julia Hughes visit her website