Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Watercolours in the Rain by Jo Lambert

A night of deception changed the lives of Talún and Jess, their relationship came to an abrupt end and they both went their separate ways. Fresh starts, new lives and moving on, a twist of fate brings them both back to the village at the same time for different reasons.

Talún now the heir to a fortune and living a good life, is an easy target for scheming and manipulating Lily, in finding her dream life of a wealthy husband and funding the extravagant lifestyle she dreams of. Using their one night stand for a backbone to build her lies and deception. Talún soon finds himself trapped in a situation that leaves him hopeless and powerless to be with the woman he loves. His only chance of hope lays with sleepy summer secrets from the past to set him free and for a chance of love.

With a lost love theme. A tangled web of a love triangle, that slowly becomes untangled, revealing the truth. If you have read Jo Lambert books you will be acquainted with the characters in this book. It was great to return to their world and catch up and get the next instalment of what happens next. The book can also be read as a standalone story too, but because all author Jo Lambert books are good, I highly recommend you read them all.

Sunday, 30 October 2016

The Wendy House by Pauline Barclay

The Wendy House is a compelling story that tells the touching story of the horrors of abuse and the deep emotional scars it leaves behind. The author writes and captures the true feelings and emotions of the trauma the victim is going through and how it effects the whole family dynamics, with the shock waves and secrets of the feelings of fear and repercussions of speaking up.

A very difficult and taboo subject to write about in a novel, some readers may find its content upsetting, but the author handles the difficult scenes in a gentle, honest and respectful way. The book really makes you become involved with the leading character, it is gripping and you want to reach in among the pages and offer help and understanding. 'Tell someone', you feel yourself saying. I have read all of author Pauline Barclay's books and they are all very good and excellent reads, but this is her best work to date. 

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Echoes of Time (The Guernsey Novels Book 5) By Anne Allen

Natalie moves into her dream cottage. The cottage had been modernised and rebuilt after a fire had destroyed the original cottage. Although unique and a beautiful place to live in Guernsey, the cottage itself is quite isolated and secluded, so when strange things start to happen when she moves into the cottage, which look like ghostly goings on, and Natalie finds out that the previous owner disappeared under mysterious circumstance she decides to look into the story to try and find out what is the cause of the hauntings from the past.

Set in the modern day and during the Second World War this is a beautifully told story, this is not just a ghost story, it also about a forbidden romance, a love story added together with mystery and suspense. There is not a dull moment in this story from start to finish and you find yourself caught up in the sad and haunting emotions of the book. 

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Killer Diamonds by Rebecca Chance

Diamonds owned by the Oscar winning actress Vivienne Winter are about to go under the hammer in a glamorous auction expected to make millions. Vivienne's multi-million-dollar jewellery collection is not just attracting buyers, wicked grandson Angel has his own agenda, assisted by the unscrupulous Nicole. Taking in innocent and ambitious jewellery expert Christine in their scheme to scandal.

Wow! Is all I can say about this book. Speechless I am. How can you sum up just how good this book is? It is fabulous. With sizzling and steamy sex scenes that are so well written and done in the most outrageous and entertaining way, that they will steam your reading glasses right up. Leaving you flushed on the train journey home. A sensational story with all the characters needed and personality and charisma to make you want to keep on reading and it is one thrill of a ride. Living up to the bonkbuster naughty name this book is pure dynamite.

Monday, 1 August 2016

Eight Tips I Wish I Had Known Before Becoming An Author by Lynda Spiro

Before writing There Is Always More To Say, I had never disciplined myself into writing an entire novel. I had neither the experience nor the knowledge. I just started writing down my thoughts! What I have learnt along the way has been invaluable to me. Particularly as I prepare for my next great adventure. Below are some tips which I would like to share with you. Tips that I believe have helped me to become a better writer over time.
  1. Finding my environment
    1. I found this to be incredibly important. Personally, I love writing early in the morning or late in the evening when my mind isn’t distracted by other things in my day. I love being alone with my thoughts. It also gives me more time to think, sometimes reading passages aloud or listening to music. But this is just me! Think about how and where you work best and try to make it as constructive an environment as you can.
  2. Listening to my characters
    1. I don’t always know what my characters are thinking. I don’t always know what they are about to say, or what they want to do. It’s only when I start writing that it comes to me. This isn’t because I don’t plan. But I like to be flexible and see what happens. Where I get taken to. Try to take some time to listen to your characters. You never know where they might end up taking you.
  3. Write, write, and write again!
    1. Before I wrote There Is Always More To Say, I never knew how long the writing process would take. Although I did set myself a deadline of one year! And I didn’t really think about what the process would be like. Or what it would entail. I also didn’t realise that I would not be writing the story from beginning to end. But in individual sections that I would then combine to create the whole book. Because seemingly this is what worked for me. When I wrote each piece, I would always return to it at a later date. This meant that many aspects of the story changed along the way. This was because I had the framework, but not always the details. I recommend you try the same! You never know how your fifth draft will differ from your first draft. It takes practice and refinement. Rewriting my work helped me establish the universe in which my novel was set. I hope you try the same.
  4. Story comes first – always
    1. Sometimes I wanted to take my characters on crazy adventures. This may have been because of something that had happened to me during that particular day on which I was writing, or something I had recently overheard or seen somewhere. Did it benefit the story I was trying to tell? No. Always remember the story you are trying to tell, and that the actions of your characters have reactions. Do they make sense for the novel as a whole? I learnt along the way that it’s not always either necessary or beneficial to include every idea. The story is paramount. There are always more stories to tell! There is always more to say!
  5. Leaving the comfort zone
    1. I would say that writing a novel allowed me to completely leave my comfort zone. I think it has been one of my greatest achievements to date! I loved the whole experience from beginning to end. I loved realising a project that I had never attempted before. The same should be for you. You never know where your imagination will take you by trying new things. Trust me, it is so much fun!
  6. Don’t be afraid of constructive feedback
    1. It can be a scary process when you seek feedback on a piece of work. Especially when it’s your creative baby. I found that the initial responses from a friend and also from my husband helped to propel the story into a more refined and perfected product. It really helped both me and the story. Their unanswered questions were easy for me to answer. I was given the opportunity to fix some crucial issues that I hadn’t seen whilst I’d been writing. I had left some ‘holes’ in the story. These were easy for me to fill in as they were in my head. But I had assumed that the reader knew more than I had explained. I recommend finding someone you trust and giving them snippets to review for tone and story. For me, it was my best friend and husband. For you, it could be a friend, a family member, or even a stranger! It’s extremely important to get a second pair of eyes along the way. Or maybe even a third and fourth! Whatever works best for you
  7. Always read, except for when you write
    1. I love reading, but I found it very distracting whilst I was actually writing There Is Always More To Say. This was because sometimes the tone, style, or language of the author I was reading would want to appear in my work. So although I think it’s really important to never stop reading, for me whilst writing I cannot read other people’s work for fear of being influenced by their words. Remember you want to keep your words yours. And the subconscious can do strange things.
  8. Write everyday – it is always a success
    1. Whilst I was writing There Is Always To Say, I would never let a day go by without writing anything. Even if it was just a few sentences in the notebook that I carry around with me. I wanted to maintain my flow and keep by creative style alive. It was very important to me that once I had started my novel, it wasn’t interrupted. I wanted to keep the flow, the tone, and the journey constant. That’s why I would suggest writing everyday – if only a few words. Never let your story leave your mind.

These are some of the biggest lessons I learnt whilst writing There Is Always More To Say. It was an incredibly exciting journey for me. It was difficult at times, and sometimes disheartening. But that’s what having a creative mind is! Throughout the ups and downs of writing my first novel these eight points helped me to achieve my dream. I hope they help you achieve yours. Good luck!

Lynda x

The Brazilian Husband by Rebecca Powell

This is one of those wonderful books that dives the reader straight into a story. The story is very well written about a woman called Judith, who after losing her Brazilian husband of fifteen years, makes a journey to Brazil with their daughter Rosa. There is an added mystery to the story, that slowly reveals itself throughout the book. Things are not what they seem and the ghosts of the past must be faced and laid to rest, before they can look to the future.

Set in 1994 with the backdrop of the football World Cup and capturing the heart and culture of Brazil, this is an excellent storyline that is so neatly done and so orderly set out that it is just perfect. The author clearly has a huge talent for storytelling and creating words that deliver a good story. Before you know it with this book you are well past the halfway point and you will just want to keep on reading. A very satisfying and enjoyable read.

Thursday, 21 July 2016

There Is Always More To Say by Lynda Young Spiro

A chance meeting, an instant attraction and a forbidden love. Thoughts of intimacy and what could have been are the essence of this book. Our leading character takes the reader on an intense journey of a long distance relationship of only a small space of time spent together, that shows a lifetime of love.

Every once in a while a manuscript or book is sent to me that you can see has the potential to be something really special and this is one of those amazing times. The book can be read in one sitting and it was read in one sitting with me. I could not put the book down. Emotionally charged with feelings, this is a book that deep emotions pour out over the pages. Words created beautifully, some may find it a touch repetitive, but the narrative which it written the character would often have those repetitive thoughts on her mind. So I thought it to be poetic. The jumping back and forth between decades was done well and does not confuse the reader. I liked the way the writer made the focus on the love between the two characters and not on their sexuality. A beautiful book. More please! Dear author.

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Kidnap by Barbara Spencer

Five children are kidnapped, all have wealthy, powerful and influential parents. A serial kidnapper is on the loose and when news of an unaccounted for plane crashing reaches the families and police they must act fast to save the lives and to bring the youngsters home safe.

Told from both the captured youths and the police and families looking for them points of view this story builds into quite an adventure for the youngsters, who are used to living very privileged lives and now find themselves having to fight for their freedom and form a friendship bond with each other in order to survive.

I enjoyed the pace of the book and the chapters at times left me in suspense and made me want to read on and find out what happens. I found all the characters likeable and I found the storyline original, although I did find the ending a little bit abrupt and would have preferred a more neater ending, but I can see why the author chose to give it the ending she did and it does work.

Saturday, 2 July 2016

Weaver of Dreams Nikki Bywater

All ideas have to come from somewhere and often for a writer the inspiration can come at anytime. For example there you are sitting in a nice restaurant with good company and having a wonderful evening. Then it strikes, an idea, the need to go write it down. You know you must act fast before this brilliant piece of work fades from your mind forever. It can be the same driving the car and having to pull over and write it down on whatever you can find available. At these times we never have our notebooks handy do we?

I once storyboarded on a tablecloth that belonged to a rather nice hotel in London. I just could not stop myself as the words poured out. It worked for me, sadly not for the tablecloth. Napkins are the best I find, perfect for this. I always have a pen never paper. I know even after writing this that will always be the way.

The ideas that come to you in your dreams are best. You have an amazing dream and you know it would make a good story, but then suddenly it's gone, you no longer remember or have a clue about what the dream was. You try hard in your mind to bring the memory back to the front of your ever crowded brain, but its gone.

Why do we have dreams anyway? Entertainment while we sleep? It just goes to show that we humans need to have the land of make believe in our lives. The escapism it brings. We act out whole scenarios in our sleep that are very real. People interact with us and we have sometimes logical, but then at times the weirdest of dreams, right? Not to mention nightmares. What are they all about? Sometimes people even dream and think they are awake. Sometimes people dream while being awake. What's it all about?

Many a book written too, that tell us our dreams meaning. Like there is some kind of hidden message in our dream and a purpose for it.

Dreams don't seem to come from ideas do they? They are very random, but there you are suddenly in a scene, interacting with others, like it is real and you are really there. Sometimes you can dream so deep that it takes you a few seconds to grasp where you are when you wake. Or if someone wakes you up and you are having a fabulous dream…

The writer is the dreamer, for us the dream never ends. We can create and live in a world of make believe and lose hours in our work. We can be our characters and invent their world. We have the control over their lives and destiny. For like dreams we create a succession of images, ideas and emotions. A writer is the weaver of dreams.

Monday, 27 June 2016

Join me from the Jotter by Nikki Bywater

Where does it all begin?… With, Once upon a time?… Where will it go?… From my dreams to the reality of the pages of a book? Or will it stay trapped within my minds hold forever? I have to let the words out… If I don't my words will explode in the depth of my mind, where they cannot seek light from the dark that is withheld within. So I keep them moving and a flowing. A steady stream of thoughts and ideas. I pretend I have a plan, that I know which direction I am headed, but the words carry me, they spiral into a mindset of their own. Pulling me in for the ride. Taking me with them every step of the way, guiding me from the darkness into the light. I hear nothing, I see only through a writer's eye. I hear the voices of characters calling me and telling me their tale. I sense nothing, but feel everything. I am their emotions and I create. I create a world in which they breathe. I bring them to life. I feel their pain and see their happiness. I know and predict where they are heading. I have the inside knowledge of what will become. I see the future. I can bring the words to life and see them flow and now the words are a flowing and I know which way we are going. To see them spoken and brought to life, by an actor so precise. To see them change before my eyes into a character they may despise. To feel their heart beating as we set the scene and we take our mark. To bring the words to life and turn the pages into conversation spoken out for real and we are running, time is filled as we go again and again, until we get it right and from all angles throughout the night. To lose ourselves in the role until we stop and think…

Spontaneous and Unscripted by Nikki Bywater

On a good day...

Well today was one of those lucky days… You know those beautiful, amazing and fantastic days when you write and write and write? Those days when you work through lunch and dinner and lose yourself entirely in your work. That you escape and find yourself deep in the depths of your imagination. Living in the land of make believe and finding answers and solutions to every possibility, to create a masterpiece of grouping the right words and only dropping the occasional typo for artistic affect.

When you find yourself at the crossroad between fact and fiction and think to yourself this is going remarkably well and my editor will be pleased. I am going to hit that deadline after all. You whiz through the cravings for coffee and the need to bathe and dress. Yes last nights washing up needs doing and the washer needs loading, but no, we cannot stop can we? We are addicts just a few thousand more words before bed…

Next thing you know it's 3am and you are still going fast… Now you are thinking of the reviews. How many can we collect? Will they be good? And we have not even thought of the ending and the re-writes. For today my writers nothing will stop us… We are an unstoppable writing machine…

On a bad day…

12pm and we are still not at our desks… Just one more cup of coffee should do it…. Then we are at our desks staring at our screens… When not looking out of the window or getting distracted by day time television and chatting with the neighbours on social media... Playing with our storyboarding and looking busy. Sharpening pencils, that do not need any more attention…. Scribbling on our notepads. Swinging on our chairs… Calling friends… Avoiding taking important writing telephone calls… Fretting about our deadlines… Eating cheese on toast and spaghetti hoops. Banging our heads on our keyboards… Looking holding out for that inspiration and for the words to rain down on us from a great height and fill our heads and move our fingers from tapping our keyboards in frustration, to banging words out with our keys…

Next thing you know it's 3 am and you have fallen asleep in a pool of dribble on your keyboard and all that is on your screen is iwwdhowjdwpjdddddddwdoqdwoiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii fffffffffffksoksororoeoroeokfckckkkkkkkkkkkkko from where your head hit the keys. You pick your self up and dust yourself down… Who knows what tomorrow may bring. 

Out of the Darkness by Katy Hogan

Three strangers, Jess, Alex and Hannah each facing their own life challenges and difficulties, find a strong connection and friendship together with a little help from the other side and a little love and light that will change their lives forever.

This is a nice and easy read that does not focus and become too heavy on the paranormal. It is a gentle and touchingly told story about fate, destiny and a determination for the three leading characters to take a huge leap of faith into the unknown, to find the answers they are seeking. It is very sensibly written and researched by author Katy Hogan. This is one of those wonderful page-turners of a book, that you will not be able to put down. I look forward to reading more books by Katy Hogan.

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Woman Master by Mehrnaz Stars

At times this is quite a chilling and a moving story about different generations of Persian women from one family. Headed by Pari, who marries a man who already has one wife. Pari's husband is head of a village, so Pari becomes the Zan-Arbab, the Women Master who everybody goes to if they need help and advice. The story moves through Pari's lifetime and the changes she goes through. It is about tradition and the ways that women have to do what is expected of them. There are some scenes towards the end of the book that the reader may find disturbing and uncomfortable. The author does present the story well and it is beautifully written. I would read more books by this author in the future.

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Reflections by Eleanor Smythe

This is another great read from author Eleanor Smythe. I really enjoyed the storyline, which is about a stolen painting which had been replaced by a forgery and the main characters Roland and Sally meet and work together to solve the mystery of how and what happened to the original painting. It also touches on family dynamics and relationships.

The Memoirs of 'I' by Yolanda De Iuliis

This is a yearly self-reflection of a diary style book, which the author decided to record her deepest thoughts and insights into her life. So that twelve months later she can look back and reflect on how much she changed through the year as a person and the reaction to her own life experiences.

I have to admit this is not what I was expecting from the book and I have never read a book like it. There is a philosophical side to the book and it does make you think and there are some very intriguing thoughts and ideas that really make you think. There is also a sense of sadness and loss about the author. That she is coming to terms with a personal loss in her life.

Some may find the book a little self-indulgent and not agree with the opinions and views of the author, the author does invite the reader to answer questions and to make there own minds up too.

This book is a deep and powerful journey into an unknown mind. It is like travelling through a forest of thoughts. It is a fascinating read and there are some very wise words of wisdom and some will find it a very helpful insight.

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Meet the Author - Rosemary Smith

Victorian Romantic Suspense Novellas by Rosemary Smith

These seven novellas, set in Victorian times by Rosemary Smith, are published on Kindle by Endeavour Press.

Each story contains romance, mystery, old houses, the sea, weddings, and a handsome hero. All the ingredients to create a page turning story.

They are set in Cornwall, Devon, Wales & Yorkshire. Rosemary has visited all the locations in her books, and lives in Devon.

Rosemary didn't start writing until she was 56 years old, and has never looked back after her first novella being accepted by DC Thomson. She has a lively imagination, and particularly loves the Victorian Era, feeling a great affinity with the gentry and old houses of that period. She does a lot of research on clothes especially, which she really enjoys.

Selecting names for characters and houses are particularly enjoyable. And Rosemary works her stories around titles she picks, and always knows how a story is going to end!

Born in Finchley in London in 1946, her family moved to Devon near the sea in 1959. Rosemary says she always thinks of Devon as home.

There is another book in the offing very soon, titled 'Love, Tears & Roses'
Another romantic mystery, but set in WW1 & 2009 on Exmoor.
Thanking Nikki for having her on the blog Rosemary hopes you will enjoy at least one of her stories.
All available on Kindle from Amazon

Monday, 16 May 2016

Meet the Author - June Moonbridge

June was born in June and she always loved the moon. She comes from Slovenia, a country which got its independence almost three decades ago.

She studied economics, and quickly realised she hated it. Afterwards, she found herself working in a mainly male-dominated businesses; at first in automotive and later steel products. She can choose the best steel for your project, but don't, please don't, ask her which lipstick brand you should use.

She started to write in high school and was criticised by her teacher. Stubborn as she is, that didn't stop her. Under different pen names, she had stories published in magazines, and then went on to publish three books.

After having two children, and learning that her second child has autism, she married their father and carried on working. Work and family life left her with little free time. But the desire to write didn't die. When life somehow sorted itself out, she decided to write a novel in English and her first submissions were rejected…

For what happened then, re-read the third paragraph, second sentence above...

All that the Heart Desires by June Moonbridge

At twenty-five, Desire Hart has experienced enough grief for a lifetime.
Changing everything in her life - her identity, her hometown and her country of residence, Desire is determined that nothing will prevent her achieving from finding her missing son. Not even love.
On a spring evening, she meets the golden boy of F1 racing, Lorcan Shore, and finds herself falling for him. Struggling to suppress her feelings, she realises he could help her get closer to the child she believes is her long lost son.
But nothing goes according to plan. Her identity is revealed by the press, Lorcan has a terrifying accident, and the trail to her son finishes in another dead end. So Desire does what she does best - she runs away.
Set against the glamorous backdrops of Monaco, Paris and Nice, ‘All That the Heart Desires’ mixes romance and mystery as Desire struggles to come to terms with her past.
Will she allow herself to accept love into her life again?

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Don Robinson: The Story of a High Flier by David Fowler

Don Robinson is a remarkable man. Who has done many remarkable things. Don is a self-made businessman, entrepreneur and philanthropist. Born in Batley, West Yorkshire he moved to Scarborough aged ten. Don left school aged fourteen and played professional rugby and other sports. After he had completed his national service he rented a small part of Scarborough beach and installed trampolines for use to members of the public. This was very successful and lead him to setting up sites throughout the country and also hiring and selling trampolines. He then moved on to have a number of very successful businesses and tourist attractions, like Scarborough Zoo and Water Scene. Many more tourist attractions where to follow not only in Scarborough, but throughout the UK and abroad too.

Don launched a radio station aboard a ship in the 1960's. He was responsible for the first direct charter flights from England to Las Vegas. He was a successful wrestling promoter and wrestler. He became chairman of Scarborough Football Club and then Hull City Football Club and President of Scarborough Cricket Club. Don also was a committee member of the Variety Club of Great Britain and he was a director at Yorkshire Television.

Don also found the time to become a Scarborough Borough Councillor and own the Royal Opera House in his adopted home town too. He also managed to bring Little Richard to perform at Bridlington Spa and at that very same gig a then unknown Robert Palmer performed in a supporting band. I could go on, and on and list all he has achieved! Don Robinson is an amazing and inspiring man. This book is a fascinating read.

I had a huge personal interest in reading this book. I am related to Don Robinson. I am the eldest granddaughter of Joan Milner, nee Robinson. We spent many childhood holidays with her at Auntie May and Uncle Joe's house in Scarborough, Don Robinson's parents, until my grandparents moved to Scarborough themselves in 1985. We were very lucky to be able to go often to a lot of the tourist attractions that Don owned in Scarborough. Many happy occasions spent with family at these locations, like Water Scene, going down the enormous water slide with my gran! My gran also cared for Joe during his final days at her home. My grandma herself passed away in 2011 and I am left with many happy memories of our time in Scarborough. Don Robinson is a huge part of Scarborough's history.

Don Robinson has a wonderful story to tell and I think it would be fantastic for it to be told and brought to life in film. I would very much like to see Don Robinson's wonderful story go into production and be brought to the big screen. The book gives a lot of information and although it does repeat itself sometimes, the author David Fowler has really done his research.

Saturday, 7 May 2016

Diary of A Stressed Out Mother: 'Bedlam' by Nicola Kelsall

A warm, witty read about a 'stressed out mother' of four Dora, who encounters some hilarious and laugh out loud calamities all in the name of 'responsibility' and 'family life' The book is set out in a diary blog form which makes it have a nice fast flow and gives it a lively pace. With lots of colourful characters, sharp wit and a silly sense of humour, this book is an hilarious read.

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Reckoning Tide by Anneli Purchase

Escaping from her abusive husband Robert, Andrea finds safety and plans to start a new life with new love Jim. However mentally unstable Robert is not prepared to relinquish his control and hold over Andrea. Stalking the couple in a creepy game of cat and mouse across the ocean into a reckoning tide.

I actually read this book in one sitting. This is one of those wonderful stories that pulls you in from page one. I was intrigued. The storyline did remind me a lot of the novel and film Dead Calm and the suspension in this thriller did not have quite the edge that keeps building up to an explosive ending. All in all though it does have a good pace to the story and is a nice easy read.

Monday, 25 April 2016

Smuggler's Moon (Rakes & Rebels Book #5) by Cynthia Wright

A sham wedding brings together our two leading characters... The dashingly handsome Lord Sebastian and feisty Julia. Both have been left hugely let down and in debt by family members who have gambled away their fortunes. Adventure and danger soon follow and stormy seas are ahead. Can love blossom under a smuggler's moon?

Set in Cornwall in 1798, this is a historical romance novel that has a spark that will sweep you along throughout the story as you get captured into the heart of romance. With some sexy scenes and a good, strong leading lady in Julia and a loveable rogue of a romantic hero in Sebastian. The chemistry bounces off the pages and is so wonderfully written you will not want to stop reading. Author Cynthia Wright has done excellent research of locations too and they give the story a beautiful backdrop and setting that adds another dimension to the story.

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Life Swap by Carol E. Wyer

Simon and Polly have similar submissive personalities and the lack of confidence to stand up for themselves is making their lives a living hell. So when they are given the opportunity to swap lives with other people, they both jump at the chance of leaving their lives behind to live more glamorous and exciting lives, regardless of the hellish consequences.

Although some may find the pace of this book a little slow to begin with, it slowly builds up to setting the perfect timing for a story that could easily be adapted into a script. I really liked the clever way author Carol E. Wyer leaves the reader in suspense at the cliffhanger endings of the chapters, leading the reader into the unexpected. This added with a good injection of humour to the story makes it a highly amusing and entertaining read.

Monday, 4 April 2016

Match Me If You Can by Michele Gorman

Three friends, Catherine, Rachel and Sarah who all are single and live together try to find love through a dating company that works, that when you join you have to enlist your ex too. A kind of recycling relationships by nominating and getting your ex to join while they then can fill out a form, which hilariously is supposed to give them a heads up on how they can improve their chances of finding love.

A very entertaining and funny read. Witty wording and some great characters give this book charm, appeal and a good sense of humour.

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Wild Water (Wild Water #1) by Jan Ruth

Jack is a successful business man, however he is not so successful in his home life, wife Patsy has started to behave differently and there is a distance growing between them. Jack's life gets even more complicated when through his business he meets up with his childhood sweetheart Anna who he had left broken hearted years ago. He stills feels bad about hurting her and the decisions he made in the past.

Wild Water is a family drama that is emotionally charged when a family reaches breaking point. It shows the effect on all the family and how difficult relationships can be. There is a sadness to the story and a lot of regret and hurt. There is also a chance of hope, a romance and new beginnings. The story is written well and the long chapters, if you are like me and do not like to put a book down before a chapter ends, will make you work your way through the story fast and before you know it you are a good way through this incredible story.

Monday, 14 March 2016

Pandora's Gift (Pandora series #3) By Carolyn Mathews

In the third book of the Pandora series, it is a life changing series of events that lead to the unknown and unexpected. Pandora's life begins to change when Jay loses their home and business in the current financial climate. Pandora soon learns that her current job as a TV panellist may also come to an end. However Pandora must face her biggest challenge, as we enter the supernatural part of the story, she must find away to disappear from her life in order to fulfil a prophecy and risks her losing the rest of the life and the part of her life she treasures the most.

The great thing about the Pandora series of books is that the story is like a blend of genres all mixed together to make the perfect story. This is a story where anything can happen… Anything is possible. The series of books are intriguing, you just never know what will happen next. The clever way the author does not stick to one genre too gives her more scope to let her imagination run wild and enchants the reader into an encaptivating read that will grab the readers attention from beginning to the end. The brilliant balance of romance and chick-lit meeting the paranormal and mystique makes this and the two other books in the Pandora series unmissable.

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Heart Conditions (The Break Up Doctor #3) by Phoebe Fox

Brook the break up doctor is back. Helping solve the relationship problems of many, but unable to help herself. Ex Ben is moving on and now has a new girlfriend, while ex Michael shows up and wants to try again. Knowing she still has feelings for Ben will she give Michael a second chance?

I was so glad when Michael turned up in this book. I have read the other two books in the series and I always felt there was unfinished business between the two characters. This book is more personal to Brook too. The story concentrates more on Brook's relationships than her helping others. You don't have to read the other books to enjoy this story, but I recommend that you do. They are all brilliant reads.

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Meet the Author - Mary O’Sullivan

Music To Write By

Music has charms to sooth the savage breast,
To soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak.”
These words were written by playwright, William Congreve. Born in Yorkshire in 1670, his family relocated to Youghal, in County Cork, Ireland, when William was only four years old. He was educated in Dublin and London and went on to write five plays. The lines above come from his 1697 play, The Mourning Bride. They are as true today as they were all that time ago.
To twist the meaning of Congreave’s lines a little, there can be no breast more savage, in the screaming tantrum sense, than that of an author whose words have flown into the darkness of outer space, and refuse to come back. You can coax, bully, beg , eat chocolate , give your computer a sneaky little punch , but blank screens stay blank , and lost words remain absent without leave . Shutting down your laptop, and hiding it in the back of the press you are always meaning to clear out, helps for a little while, but you can still feel the tyranny of the blank screen and sense the missing words just out of reach. A meet-up with friends will distract you for a time. A long trek up- hill, so steep you cannot think beyond your next gasping breath, is sure to do you good. But sooner or later, you are going to have to take this problem on. And that is when the wisdom of Congreave’s words become apparent.
Having written eight novels, I believe that each has a rhythm of its own. It can be judged by the pace at which the plot unfolds. This also involves the style of the writing, how long or short the sentences, how much of the prose is dedicated to descriptive passages and how much to moving the action forward. Dialogue too, changes the rhythm, so that each individual novel contains many distinct tempos. Words take flight and screens remain blank when you lose the rhythm of your writing. And this is where I made one of my most comforting discoveries as an author – there is a world of music waiting to lift you out of your unproductive phase.
While writing my first novel, Parting Company, I was working full time as a Laboratory Technician, caring for my family, and also trying to squeeze in some writing time. As anyone who has tried to juggle work, home and writing will know, one of the most difficult aspects, aside from trying to carve out some time, is letting go of all your other responsibilities when you open up your novel file. The list of ‘to dos’ can keep nagging you for attention while you are struggling to take your mind into your work of fiction. It took me some time , and many false starts , before I found the rhythm of Parting Company , but when I did , I knew my Andrea Bocelli CD, Romanza, echoed all the emotion I was trying to inject into the story. Also the first track, Con Te Partiró (Time To Say Goodbye), a duet with Sarah Brightman, evoked all the heartbreak of the goodbye my main character had to say before the novel end. As soon as I played the music, it banished the ‘to do’ list and brought me directly to where I needed to be – in the fictional world of Parting Company.
My second novel. As Easy As That, was written in a panic. I had signed a three book contract with Poolbeg Publishing, without having any idea whether I could ever write another word, let alone a novel. This book involved some dodgy characters, white collar criminals, who bent, if not broke the law. Infertility, alcoholism and adultery also featured, so that the rhythm of this book was fast changing and varied. I found the musical match in a compilation –The Classical Album 2005 - , with Katherine Jenkins, Russell Watson, Haley Westenra and others. That CD helped me keep the rhythm going to the end. I finished that book with a huge sigh of relief!
And so it went with my next novels. Each one found its pace and then its matching piece of music. Time And Tide, published in 2012, is about climate change and how it affected a small community on the West coast of Ireland when hurricane force winds and swollen seas destroyed their village. Vivaldi’s Four Seasons was the only choice of music for that. I loved to play it loudly as I wrote – provided I was alone in the house. Cymbals clashed in the music while waves crashed on shore in the story, destroying homes and lives. There was a symbiosis between words and music. All I had to do, to be immediately immersed in that fictional, storm battered, village was to play my Vivaldi CD. The same is still true today.
So far so good. Seven novels, seven pieces of music and not a writer’s blank in sight. And so I started my eighth novel. I knew this was going to be a challenge because it was my first thriller. As usual, I did not set out to write in a certain category, but because one of my characters was a serial killer and another, a victim of that killer, it had to belong in the crime genre. I researched extensively and then tip-toed into the manuscript. And yes, it did find a rhythm and pace, but it never found its soulmate music. I tried many different types, including Tubular Bells (Mike Oldfield). My thinking there was that it had been the theme music for The Exorcist, the most terrifying film I have ever seen, so it would suit Thicker Than Water, which was the most terrifying book I had ever written. But I was wrong. There was no musical match for Thicker Than Water, not even Freddie Mercury. The only sound was the click of the keyboard as the story rolled out to its conclusion. It seemed to me then that my music had been another victim of the serial killer
I am very grateful to wonderful Nikki for hosting me today and thanks also to Lucy Felthouse for organising my visit here.
Below is an excerpt in the voice of the killer from Thicker Than Water :

Autumn is my favourite time of year. It’s a deceitful season , on the surface all red and gold and lush with berries, while underneath its fetid breath strips trees of leaves, fields of flowers and the skies of light. And yet I find something comforting about that season’s gloom. There are autumn days when I imagine I can reach up and draw the low lying grey clouds around me to protect and strengthen me in my purpose. And here is the secret autumn and I share. We are both dedicated to righting the wrongs brought on by fecund spring and brazen summer. We balance things out – the autumn and me. We lay things bare and uncover the true nature of what lies in the heart of a gaudy flower. Or a bejewelled whore.
They are very active now – the dreams that tell me how much work I have yet to do, the subconscious scanning of crowds, the laying of a plan of action, the stirring in my gut of the energy to power my mission, the voice that tells me to rid this world of tramps, whores, prostitutes or whatever name you want to give those whose calling it is to cater to the basest instincts. And, no, I’m not insane. The voice I listen to is not delusion. It is my own.
Blurb for Thicker Than Water:
When local teenager, Keira Shannon and her father, business man Gerard Shannon, go missing, the town of Ballyderg unites to search for them.
As the search continues rumours of domestic violence, extramarital affairs and criminal behaviour are rife. The crisis causes families and lifelong friends to doubt each other.
The only certainty left is that the town has been visited by evil. Or has it? Could it be the evil one has always lived there sharing history, laughter and tears? And if so, who could it be?

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Author Biography:
Mary worked many years as a Laboratory Technician. Her hobby, her passion, has always been writing. Busy with family and career, she grabbed some moments here and there to write poetry and short stories. She also wrote a general interest column in a local newspaper.
As the demands on her time became more manageable she joined a local creative writing class. It was then, with the encouragement of tutor Vincent McDonald, that the idea of writing a novel took shape. She began to expand on a short story she had written some years previously. It was a shock for her to discover that enthusiasm and imagination are not enough. For the first time she learned that writing can be very hard work.
Mary now has six traditionally published novels, nine eBooks and hopefully more to come, inspiration permitting.

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Sunday, 21 February 2016

Bedside Manners (The Breakup Doctor #2) by Phoebe Fox

The breakup doctor is back. In the second book of the series Brook Ogden's relationship therapy sessions have really taken off now and she is now holding group counselling sessions to a great mix of different people, all with one thing in common… They are in desperate need of help with their love lives and it is up to Brook to take on the challenge and help them through their relationship issues. Only her own relationship status is just as complication and she is confused and torn between two men, dependable Ben who she feels would be her perfect match and finding herself drawn to undependable Chip who could bring even more complications to add to the calamity.

This is a nice and easy read. Hilarious in parts and with some fantastic characters who really make the story a lively and good read. You do not have to read the first book in the series but I recommend that you do as that is also a fabulous read.

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

How Have I Cheated Death? A Short and Merry Life with Cystic Fibrosis by Tim Wotton

Tim Wotton in the run up to his fortieth birthday gives an honest and at times humorous account of what life is like living with Cystic Fibrosis. Tim is one of the oldest survivors of the disease and is an inspiration to all. We can all take something from this book that will educate and inspire us... whatever we do... Life is what we make it and Tim has certainly made it. Tim was told he would not make it to his seventeenth birthday, so with his fortieth birthday in sight he decides to write down his thoughts and the book takes us in diary form through his thirty-ninth year, through to the milestone birthday.

I learnt so much from this book, not only about Cystic Fibrosis, but about courage and determination and that a positive outlook to life can make a huge difference. The book is great for raising Cystic Fibrosis awareness. All who have or know someone with the condition will get some helpful insights and useful information from reading this book. The book will also be helpful to anyone facing challenges in their own life. It is always much easier I find to talk and learn from people who are going through the experience than get bogged down by all the medical jargon. I thank Tim Wotton for opening my eyes and making me more aware to a medical condition, I knew very little about.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

The Other Side of Town by Eleanor Smythe

Circumstances had brought Maureen and husband John to the other side of town. Away from their friends and what they knew, only for life to again throw tragic circumstances at them with the tragic loss of their teenage daughter Emma. But who is responsible for such a horrific crime? In a small town where everyone knows each other… Someone must know something… Why is no one coming forward with information? Maureen and John are determined to find out and uncover theh truth.

I really enjoyed this book. Just the clear uncomplicated plot that made the characters so real to life makes you feel like you are in the same room and an on looker to a series of events that lead to the unravelling of a serious crime. I liked the mystery of the book that you are kept guessing until the end who done it. I found some scenes very moving and touching. I will look forward to reading more books by the author Eleanor Smythe.