Friday Five Challenge

Welcome to my Friday Five Challenge
(Original idea from Rosie Amber at https://rosieamber.wordpress.com/)

cat coff

To join in read the rules at the bottom.

This week I tried searching for books using the keyword Mystery.  It gave disappointing results including bizarrely Cross Stitch Patterns for Starters!

So I tried again using the word  Sea.  This time a more interesting, if rather predictable selection appeared.  None appealed until I spotted this cover

Seasick

Once I started to read the blurb I realised this book was outside my comfort zone.  Seasick by Iain Robb Wright is described as a novel of horror and suspense.  

Jack is about to board The Spirit of Kirkpatrick, a cruise liner built for relaxation and fun. Pretty soon, however, Jack is going to realize that a little fun in the sun is the last thing he’s going to get. There’s a virus onboard and it’s turning people insane.

So far so good but…

It won’t be long before the entire ship is overrun with blood and death — and there is nowhere to escape in the middle of the sea. Nowhere to run.

To add to the intrigue there’s an element of groundhog day and zombies!

There are eighty five 4 and 5 star reviews and 14 with 3,2 or 1 star.  One reviewer comments,

There’s all the classic ingredients of a terrific horror novel; we have copious amounts of blood-shed in gory, living colour and colourful, complex characters who never turn out to be quite what they seem and a fantastic ending which the reader will never see coming. 

Another says,

A few grammatical and spelling errors, and the last few chapters could certainly do with being re-edited – there is no plural ‘women’ in the book – each time it says ‘woman’ and this gets irritating.  We don’t find enough out about the virus and what caused/created/released it, or why, only assumptions. I figured out how the story was going to have to end, although I was secretly hoping for a different way

I think many people would really enjoy this book but I’m afraid the copious amounts of bloodshed mean that I will PASS

Now a recap on a book I looked at two weeks ago and decided to BUY

Snapped

Written several years ago it is a relaxing holiday read with a murder mystery to solve. Artist/photographer Rose Tremain is an intrepid investigator living in a beautiful setting. The other characters were unconvincing and time changes within chapters confusing, but I would read another of Rose’s adventures if I could borrow it from the Library.

So now it’s your turn.

Get yourself a cuppa and give yourself 5 minutes.

In today’s online shopping age, readers often base their buying decisions from small postage stamp size book covers (Thumb-nails), a quick glance at the book description and the review. How much time do they really spend making that buying decision?

AUTHORS – You often only have seconds to get a reader to buy your book, is your book cover and book bio up to it?

Rosie’s Friday Five Challenge is this….. IN ONLY FIVE MINUTES….

1) Go to any online book supplier,

2) Randomly choose a category,

3) Speed through the book covers, choose one which has instantly appealed to your eye,

4) Read the book Bio/ Description for this book, and any other details.

5) If there are reviews, check out a couple,

6) Make an instant decision, would you BUY or PASS?

For other Friday Five Choices 

Cathy has chosen a book set in 1953

 https://betweenthelinesbookblog.wordpress.com/2015/07/31/friday-five-challenge-5/

Rosie is baking with Paul Hollywood!

https://rosieamber.wordpress.com/2015/07/31/would-you-buy-or-pass-fridayfivechallenge-how-to-bake-by-paulhollywood/

Shelley has found a mystery story about an abandoned baby

http://shelleywilsonauthor.com/2015/07/31/buy-or-pass-an-anniversary-post-for-the-fridayfivechallenge/

Terry has found a family saga set in wartime Poland

http://terrytyler59.blogspot.co.uk/2015/07/would-you-buy-or-pass-10.html?spref=tw

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Silver Rain by Jan Ruth

Silver Rain

I knew on opening Silver Rain that I would be engaged by a complex family drama set in the beautiful countryside of North Wales but I hadn’t expected to have so much empathy with the two main characters Al and Kate.

Kate is a warm-hearted, mature woman with flame red hair, trying to release herself from guilt, a year after the death of her husband Greg.  She is encumbered by a dysfunctional sister, Annemarie, and a frail elderly mother.  Her relationship with daughter Tia is in crisis so she is looking forward to a peaceful break, staying with her sister-in-law Fran at Chathill, a ramshackle farmhouse.

wales

Unbeknown to Kate, Fran’s brother-in-law, Al, is also coming to stay, with his young girlfriend Jo, even though he has been estranged from his brother George, Fran’s husband, for 15 years.  After the break-up of his marriage, the sale of his house has made Al homeless.  There will be no peace for Kate while Fran and daughter Becca care for a menagerie of rescue animals and George fumes at the effrontery of Al coming to stay at Chathill after their disagreement many years earlier.

But what did happen between the two brothers?  The underlying theme is secrets.  As Kate is drawn closer to Al by his charisma and humanity she needs to know how his close relationship with his brother was destroyed, but increasingly she also finds herself keeping secrets which could destroy their developing relationship.

Interwoven with the main storyline are humour, mystery and passionate romance.  Yet the characters, of every age, deal with the problems and joys encountered by us all today.  As a reader, you long for a happy ending for Al and Kate but there are also so many other sub-plots that could lead to other interesting tales, especially the back story of Al’s mother.

To meet Al’s dogs Butter and Marge, Becca’s horses Pumpkin Pie and Candy Floss and see Al in wig, baggy trousers and clown make-up I recommend you begin reading Silver Rain as soon as possible.

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “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!

My teaser today is from Silver Rain by Jan Ruth.

Silver

“He couldn’t really blame her, she was a Capricorn, after all. What would a sensible goat want with a bloody scorpion?  She was standing, aloof and surefooted on a cliff face and he was running about in circles on the beach below, snapping his claws, then having to crawl into his shell.”

Friday Five Challenge

Welcome to my Friday Five Challenge
(Original idea from Rosie Amber at https://rosieamber.wordpress.com/)

cat coff

To join in read the rules at the bottom.

As I am going to Cornwall next week I remembered enjoying my first Rosamunde Pilcher book after finding it in a house we were renting, so this week I searched for books using the word Cornwall.  Amongst the travel guides and books by Patricia Cornwell I found several books by Janie Bolitho about a sleuth called Rose Trevelyan.  The books are newly issued but Jane Bolitho died, aged 52, in 2002.  Book one in the Rose Trevelyan series is Snapped in Cornwall.

Snapped

The book description is as follows:-

Rose Trevelyan had only met Gabrielle Milton once, but felt they might become good friends. She was delighted, therefore, to receive an invitation to the Milton’s party where the wine flowed freely and a good time was being had by all – that is, until Gabrielle’s crumpled, lifeless body was found underneath a balcony.

There are ten 5 star and five 4 star reviews, all seeming to enjoy the mystery and touch of romance and this quote makes it sound ideal holiday reading,

The beauty of Cornwall and the capricious nature of its weather are wonderfully evoked and the characters are people you would expect to meet in any small town.

So for a bargain 99p for the kindle I am downloading it now!

So now it’s your turn.

Get yourself a cuppa and give yourself 5 minutes.

In today’s online shopping age, readers often base their buying decisions from small postage stamp size book covers (Thumb-nails), a quick glance at the book description and the review. How much time do they really spend making that buying decision?

AUTHORS – You often only have seconds to get a reader to buy your book, is your book cover and book bio up to it?

Rosie’s Friday Five Challenge is this….. IN ONLY FIVE MINUTES….

1) Go to any online book supplier,

2) Randomly choose a category,

3) Speed through the book covers, choose one which has instantly appealed to your eye,

4) Read the book Bio/ Description for this book, and any other details.

5) If there are reviews, check out a couple,

6) Make an instant decision, would you BUY or PASS?

 For other Friday Five Choices:-

Shelley chose Steampunk  http://shelleywilsonauthor.com/2015/07/17/buy-or-pass-time-to-put-steampunk-through-the-fridayfivechallenge/

Rosie found a book about Zara Fitzgerald  https://rosieamber.wordpress.com/2015/07/17/would-you-buy-or-pass-fridayfivechallenge-z-a-novel-of-zelda-fitzgerald-by-theresefowler/

Cathy was drawn to an unusual cover picture in the travel section  https://betweenthelinesbookblog.wordpress.com/2015/07/17/friday-five-challenge-a-la-mod-by-ian-moore/

Terry went looking for an August holiday read  http://terrytyler59.blogspot.co.uk/2015/07/would-you-buy-or-pass-8.html?spref=tw

Grimalkins, Gothics, & Beware the Cat

Beware the Cat! A fascinating blog by Mimi.

Mimi Matthews

“I knewe these things wil seem mervelous to many men, that Cats should understand and speak, have a governour among themselves, and be obedient to their Lawes…” (Beware the Cat by William Baldwin, 1570.)

A Naturalistic Cat by Louis Wain, (1860 – 1939).A Naturalistic Cat by Louis Wain, (1860–1939).

In the year 1553, during the reign of Edward VI, printer’s assistant William Baldwin penned the first English novel ever written: Beware the Cat.  Before this time, all works of fiction in English of short-story length or longer were not original texts.  They were translations or adaptations from other languages, such as French or Latin.

View original post 1,372 more words

Danger at Thatcham Hall by Frances Evesham

Thatcham Hall

Olivia Martin, impetuous 19 year old heroine of “Danger at Thatcham Hall” shares many characteristics with Jane Austen’s Elizabeth Bennett.  She is forthright and courageous and too intelligent to fall in love with every handsome young man she meets.

Early in the first chapter, Olivia finds herself marooned in the alien world of “the Countryside” with an unnerving stranger and tales of maimed animals and a possible murder.  She longs to return to London to follow her dreams of success in music but she knows that this is not possible for a young lady with limited funds.  Instead she finds herself aiding an infuriating older man, with a mocking smile, to solve the mystery of dangerous events.

But can she trust Nelson Roberts, an ex-army officer, recently trained as a lawyer, who has come to help Lord Thatcham?  As readers we soon realise that Nelson is a complex man who wrestles with unpleasant memories from his time in Afghanistan and his motives change as the plot moves forward.  Both he and Olivia have put their own lives at danger.

Thatcham Hall is in the reliable hands of Mayhew the butler and Mrs Rivers the housekeeper but some of the other servants seem less trustworthy.  The villagers are not very friendly and deep in the wood lives an old lady who brews herbal remedies.  The setting is vividly described as each new twist of the plot is gradually revealed.

I cannot fault this well-crafted story which contains all the best ingredients for a mystery, romance and period novel without being in any way derivative.  If you pick it up to read you won’t want to put it down.

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Friday Five Challenge

Welcome to my Friday Five Challenge
(Original idea from Rosie Amber at https://rosieamber.wordpress.com/)cat coff

To join in read the rules at the bottom.

Today I searched for a book under the topic of Surrey.  In the books category I was offered a very dull selection of travel and history books which looked as though they had sat on the shelves for some considerable time.  Clicking to Kindles I was offered a more lively selection including The Surrey Strangler but disappointed to discover that this was set, not in southern England but across the pond, I moved on.  Suddenly I spotted the name Gillian Tindall whose name was familiar to me from reading The House by the Thames which tells the history of a 450 year old house still standing near to The Globe Theatre. This more recent book is called Three Houses, Many Lives.

3 houses

On this occasion Gillian Tindall looks at three houses A Cotswold vicarage, a former girls’ boarding school in Surrey and a Jacobean house now buried in inner London in which she personally has lived.  According to the description, “these three houses represent the changing face of England over four centuries through the lives of the many people who lived in them.”

There are six customer reviews giving 4 or 5 stars, two giving 3 and one 2 star.  Those with reservations feel too much time is spent describing Miss Tindall’s research and preferred reading her personal recollections.  Peeping briefly into the book I was intrigued by paragraph headings such as Bombs and fantasies and Passionate Hornsey.

This book is clearly of interest to social historians and those who enjoy family history research and that’s definitely me so will I BUY or will I PASS?  I’ll BUY.

So now it’s your turn.

Get yourself a cuppa and give yourself 5 minutes.

In today’s online shopping age, readers often base their buying decisions from small postage stamp size book covers (Thumb-nails), a quick glance at the book description and the review. How much time do they really spend making that buying decision?

AUTHORS – You often only have seconds to get a reader to buy your book, is your book cover and book bio up to it?

My Friday Five Challenge is this….. IN ONLY FIVE MINUTES….

1) Go to any online book supplier,

2) Randomly choose a category,

3) Speed through the book covers, choose one which has instantly appealed to your eye,

4) Read the book Bio/ Description for this book, and any other details.

5) If there are reviews, check out a couple,

6) Make an instant decision, would you BUY or PASS?

Some other Friday Five Challenges to look at today:-

https://rosieamber.wordpress.com/2015/07/10/would-you-buy-or-pass-fridayfivechallenge-handbags-and-poobags-by-alice-wright/

BUY or PASS? Goodreads Provides a Winner for #FridayFiveChallenge

https://betweenthelinesbookblog.wordpress.com/2015/07/10/friday-five-challenge-3/

Cold, cold, cold, oh, please… #FridayFiveChallenge from @rosieamber1