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#FridayBookShare ~Falling Pomegranate Seeds by Wendy J Dunn


#FridayBookShare is a game created by Shelley Wilson to help search for an ideal read.

Anyone can have a go – all you need to do is answer the following questions based on the book you are currently reading/finished reading this week and use the hashtag #FridayBookShare

First line of the book.

Recruit fans by adding the book blurb

Introduce the main character using only three words.

Delightful design (add the cover image of the book).

Audience appeal (who would enjoy reading this book?)

Your favourite line/scene.

Falling Pomegranate Seeds : The Duty of Daughters by Wendy J Dunn is Book 1 of her series about Katherine of Aragon

First Line    Dona Beatriz Galindo caught her breath and tidied her habito.  She shook her head a little when she noticed ink-stained fingers and several spots of black ink on the front of her green gown.

Recruit fans by adding the book blurb

Dońa Beatriz Galindo.
Respected scholar.
Tutor to royalty.
Friend and advisor to Queen Isabel of Castile.

Beatriz is an uneasy witness to the Holy War of Queen Isabel and her husband, Ferdinand, King of Aragon. A Holy War seeing the Moors pushed out of territories ruled by them for centuries.

The road for women is a hard one. Beatriz must tutor the queen’s youngest child, Catalina, and equip her for a very different future life. She must teach her how to survive exile, an existence outside the protection of her mother. She must prepare Catalina to be England’s queen.

A tale of mothers and daughters, power, intrigue, death, love, and redemption. In the end, Falling Pomegranate Seeds sings a song of friendship and life.

Introduce the main character Beatriz is intelligent, loving and observant

Delightful Design


Audience appeal   An inside account of the renouned court of Ferdinand and Isabella revealing the tragic and fascinating family life of the young Katherine of Aragon, when politics could cost you your life.  

Your favourite line/scene 

At dawn, Beatriz stood with Catalina and Maria on the terraced roof of the Tower of Comares. Rivulets of white gold streamed through feathery clouds, the deluge of light from a rising sun turning the snowy top of Sierra Nevada aflame, continuing to the near fortress hill.  On the last morning with her girls at the Alhambra, the scent of oranges and pomegranates, and a silver morning wove together a vivid design of poignant farewell.

“Of all the places I have lived, I love here the best. ‘Tis my heart’s true home.”  Beatriz squeezed Calatalina’s hand.  “All will be well.”

Catalina looked at the sky.  “Will England have dawns as beautiful as this?  I want to imprint it on my memory so I never forget.”

If you want to join in, then answer the F.R.I.D.A.Y questions and use the Friday Book Share meme. Tag Shelley (@ShelleyWilson72) in, so she can read what you have added, too.

#Bookreview of The Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly


Last week I gave you a taster of my current read The Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly.  Here is my review:-

I have very mixed feelings about this book.  After reading A Gathering Light I had great expectations of The Tea Rose but sadly it is not a novel of quality, merely a good yarn.  Starting in 1888 the story moves from Whitechapel, London to New York.  Heroine Fiona Finnegan, a poor worker in a tea factory experiences one tragedy after another until the dastardly villain causes her to run away to America.  Believing she has been abandoned by her sweetheart, Joe, she teams up with kind, ineffectual aristocrat, Nick, and gradually moves from rags to riches.

I was very concerned by the vocabulary.  No-one in London or New York would talk constantly of, “going to the Loo,” in the 1880s and “going for a date” and “brainstorm” were not words of that time either.  There are many convenient happenchances and the murders of Jack the Ripper are included to tempt readers to pick up the book, but Jennifer Donnolly is at her best when using her own imagination to create an amazing twist in the plot.  It is for this reason that I carried on reading to the end, though the melodramatic conclusion wasn’t really necessary.

So if you can suspend your disbelief and lose yourself in a tale of good and evil with a strong heroine, without questioning historical accuracy, then this is an enjoyable tale, but I won’t be continuing with this trilogy.

I would add the caveat that A Gathering Light by Jennifer Donnelly is well worth reading.


Teaser Tuesday #TuesdayBookBlog

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by Jenn of Books And A Beat. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two or three “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


I am currently reading The Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly which appealed to me because the first half is set in London in 1888 where an Irish family struggle to live working as a docker, laundress and a tea packer. For Fiona her life goes from bad to worse until circumstances take her to New York.

Fiona stared at the stark wooden markers sticking out of the snow dusted ground.  On the left, her father’s, already weathered by the elements.  Next to his, her mother’s and the baby’s, just starting to darken.  And a brand new one, the wooden cross still pale.

And then he saw them.  Tea roses.  Hundreds and hundreds of them.  The entire backyard was full of them, sprawling over walls and pathways, basking and preening in the sunshine.

The Tea Rose is the first book of a series available from Amazon UK or Amazon US


The Devil You Know by Terry Tyler #bookreview


When serial killers are finally arrested, people are usually amazed by how normal the culprit seemed to be, but surely their nearest and dearest had suspicions. In fact, some folk must have secretly suspected that they knew the murderer but dared not voice their thoughts.

In Terry Tyler’s book, The Devil You Know, five people start to believe that someone they know well may be the killer because of his deceit, or his inexplicable or unpleasant behaviour. As a reader, I was intrigued and unable to deduce which, or even if any of the five candidates might be the murderer. The novel includes some exceedingly nasty characters and sad, unfortunate victims. It also shows us many aspects of society, such as exploited young women from Eastern Europe, a bullying husband and a pragmatic, helpful teacher.

When the mystery is solved, despite the surprise revelation, it all begins to fall into place. The unexplained actions of several characters are revealed to be the result of their human failings. The part of the book which I most enjoyed, was the final section when the continuing lives of the original five characters, who had expressed their fears, were revealed to us. My particular favourite, was Dorothy, an aging single mother who wondered whether, “The autumn of your life,” has, “the mellow golden glow of early October or the dark gloom of late November.”

As in many of Terry Tyler’s novels, the weaknesses and determination of the characters reflect modern society and drive an exciting plot. An original, psychological thriller.

You can find The Devil You Know at Amazon UK  or at Amazon US

and you can read more on Terry’s blog


The Poisoned Rock by Robert Daws #bookreview


The Poisoned Rock, though set mainly in present day Gibraltar, also takes us back to events in 1942 and the repercussions of the murder of a young prostitute.  Chief Inspector Gus Broderick and Detective Sergeant Tamara Sullivan are embroiled in a complex investigation of murder and abduction which takes them over the border into Spain, exploring the background to the film, “Queen of Diamonds,” currently in production on the streets of Gibraltar.


The film set and the relationships of director, producer and Hollywood star are described with veracity and interest, as you would expect from the author, Robert Daws, and the increasingly mysterious story of espionage and heartless murder is difficult to put down.  The varied characters make guessing the culprit or culprits almost impossible and you will be intrigued by the final denouement.


Although complete in itself, this is the second book about the investigations of Broderick and Sullivan and as I learnt more about them, I looked forward to further developments at the office of the Royal Gibraltar Police Department, in the next book, to be published in 2017.


As an actor, Robert Daws has appeared in leading roles in a number of award-winning and long-running British television series, including Jeeves and Wooster, Casualty, The House of Eliott, Outside Edge, Roger Roger, Sword of Honour, Take A Girl Like You,Doc Martin, New Tricks, Midsomer Murders, Rock and Chips, The Royal, Death in Paradise, Father Brown and Poldark.

His recent work for the stage includes the national tours of Michael Frayn’s Alarms and Excursions, and David Harrower’sBlackbird. In the West End, he has recently appeared as Dr John Watson in The Secret of Sherlock Holmes, Geoffrey Hammond inPublic Property, Jim Hacker in Yes, Prime Minister and John Betjeman in Summoned by Betjeman.

His many BBC radio performances include Arthur Lowe in Dear Arthur, Love John, Ronnie Barker in Goodnight from Him and Chief Inspector Trueman in Trueman and Riley, the long-running police detective series he co-created with writer Brian B Thompson.

Robert’s second and third Sullivan and Broderick novels – Poisoned Rock and Killing Rock – will be published in September 2016 and early 2017, respectively. His first novella, The Rock, has been optioned and is being developed for television.

The Poisoned Rock can be found on Amazon UK

The Pickpocket (The Viper and the Urchin, Book 0.5) by Celine Jeanjean #bookreview


Book Description

Rory is a seven-year-old starveling, carving out a survival for herself down on the docks of Damsport. When Daria, an older girl and talented pickpocket, suggests they team up to con Damsians out of their purses, Rory accepts at once.

But Rory’s friendship with Daria turns out to be much more than a partnership of convenience, transforming her into the confident urchin we met in The Bloodless Assassin, and teaching her the dangers of letting someone get too close.

To get the most out of this novella, the author recommends that you first read The Bloodless Assassin.

My review

As a long-time fan of The Viper and the Urchin series, I was intrigued by this introduction to the developing character of Rory, the street urchin.  But this book is not just about Rory’s early development, it is a story with pathos which enriches the reader’s knowledge of the underbelly of the city of Damsport.


In “The Pickpocket,” we find Rory at only 7 years old trying to survive against all odds.  Alone and uncared for, she is in danger of starving to death or of being casually murdered.  Scavenging and begging for food, she is noticed by the charismatic Daria, an older, more sophisticated street dweller, who sees potential in Rory.  While Rory annoys and pesters those who pass by, Daria can take advantage of their distraction to steal their money.  Soon Rory is captivated by her “friend,” wishing to emulate her, but she discovers that confident, sassy Daria has a secret.


In these chapters, Rory gains an identity, her raison d’être which make her the character we meet in the subsequent books.  As she moves through the Rookery, she will continue to be attacked and abused but she has become a streetwise survivor with an aim for the future.

My Review of The Bloodless Assassin

Trouble in Nuala by Harriet Steel #bookreview


Trouble in Nuala is the first in a series of investigations by Inspector Shanti de Silva in colonial Ceylon.  Although a Sri Lankan himself, Shanti is married to Jane, an Englishwoman whom he had met after she came to the island as a governess.  They mix in the “best” social circles of Nuala, up in the hills far from the busy city of Colombo.  An experienced policeman, he may feel frustrated by his junior police officers and by the patronising attitude of Clutterbuck, the assistant government agent, but he is determined to investigate all cases without preference.

Although mainly concerned with minor offences such as neglected horses running wild, the sudden death of a bombastic, unpopular tea planter strikes de Silva as being suspicious, so he quietly makes inquiries into all the circumstances.  The lonely widow and the planter’s stepson were not happy, the plantation was making a loss and a young lawyer had recently accused the planter of mistreating his workers.

Interspersed with the gradual investigation is a delightful description of the beauty of Sri Lanka and of the pretentious social life of the British community living there in the 1930s.  Shanti and Jane have a respectful relationship based on love and consideration, so he willingly eats cucumber sandwiches when he would much prefer a spicier snack.

This gentle, intelligent policemen could well become renowned for his careful and thoughtful approach to crime in an enthralling environment.  A very enjoyable and relaxing book to read.  I look forward to his next investigation.

You can find Trouble in Nuala here

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Zeppelin Letters

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The Black Veil Ones

My Diary Travel, Photography, My Sight About Somethings

Review Tales

A Personal & Sincere Review On Books Read.

Lizzie Lamb

Writer of Contemporary Romance with a Humorous Twist

Beyond Lisbon

Experience Portugal... beyond Lisbon!

Pills & Pillow-Talk

Carol Cooper does bedside manners


Fiction and other writing by Jessica Norrie and friends

Millie Thom

Bringing history to life

The Idle Woman

Potterings in history and fiction

Charles Heath - Author

Thrills, Spills, and just a dash of Romance

Musings of a Random Mind

Fiction based on reality. Any similarities to the characters and events in the life of the author are purely intentional.

She Writes And Bakes

Books and cakes - is there anything better?

Bibliophile Book Club



A town everyone hates, yet no one leaves...


'Every book is a journey waiting to happen'

Lynn's Waffles

Mostly Old Photos and Family History

the orang-utan librarian

welcome to the virtual library

The Reading Bug

A blog about reading, books, and language.

Spilling Ink

Ali Stegert - Kidlit Writer - Word Herder - Book Hoarder

The SPAB Blog

A Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings blog

So, I Read This Book Today

Editing, Proofreading, Reviewing and Other Stuff


Your guide to practically true history.


reader, writer, reviewer


News and updates from my Charnwood Genealogy adventures



toofulltowrite (I've started so I'll finish)


Obstinate Headstrong Girl ~ author Renée Reynolds

Writer. Thinker. Talker. Author of smart, sassy, and seductive happily ever afters. I love a good shenanigan.



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words and scribble.

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Researching and writing about the life of John Pitt, 2nd Earl of Chatham

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a beginning, a middle, and an end…but not necessarily in that order


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