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Monthly Archives: August 2015

#FridayFiveChallenge

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.

East Indiaman

This week I searched for a book using the word East.  This brought up books using East End or East Anglia in their titles and of course East of Eden by John Steinbeck, but the cover picture which caught my eye was The East Indiaman by Ellis K Meacham the first book in the Percival Merewether series.  Once again I have found an author who has died but is not famous.  Ellis K. Meacham (1913-1998) was a Commander in the US Naval Reserve serving as a gunnery officer in the Pacific during the Second World War.  He won the “Friends of American Writers Major Award in Fiction” in 1969 for THE EAST INDIAMAN.

When I was quite young, I relished Mr Midshipman Easy by Captain Marryat and I have read a few Of Patrick O’Brian’s books including Master and Commander so a virtual long sea voyage on a sailing ship appeals to me.

BOOK DESCRIPTION

For Percival Merewether, 1806 would be a year to remember. For in January of that year he was promoted from First Lieutenant to become the junior Captain in the Company’s Service and given the command of his first ship – the “Rapid.”
Armed with ten 9-pounders, the “Rapid” was a match for any pirate ship that crossed its bows, and in it Captain Merewether was to spend as action-packed and eventful a first year as any ambitious young sea-farer could have wished.
Merewether had quick wits and daring to match his ambition. And with mutinies, diplomatic intrigues and skirmishes with the French to occupy him, he soon found that he needed both qualities as never before…

There are only 9 reviews all 4 & 5 star reviews all written by men.  Their comments include

Real life flawed characters. all the usual cliques but all actually true of these books. and importantly for a landlubber like myself, the author can clearly show a change in the ship’s direction without referring to every brace, sheet, rope, pulley, block and tackle that needs to be moved every time.

A well written and imaginative series covering the naval adventures of a young officer in the East India Company. A well-known shipping company of great tradition and honour.

A kindle is £2.04 and taking a peep inside I like the writing style. Shall I BUY or will I PASS? I’m going to BUY.

To see the books others have found this week:-

Shelley has found romance with a gypsy

http://shelleywilsonauthor.com/2015/08/28/buy-or-pass-looking-at-gypsy-romance-fridayfivechallenge/

Rosie chose a honeymoon with a nasty twist

https://rosieamber.wordpress.com/2015/08/28/would-you-buy-or-pass-fridayfivechallenge-busmans-honeymoon-by-jenna-bennett-mystery/

Cathy’s book is a thriller about a missing child

 https://betweenthelinesbookblog.wordpress.com/2015/08/28/friday-five-challenge-8/

Barb is having fun being a Bad Gran http://barbtaub.com/2015/08/28/what-to-call-granny-fridayfivechallenge-from-rosieamber1/comment-page-1/#comment-138006

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?

Today I’m Really Pleased to be Chatting with Author Mary Smith

And here Mary Smith talks about her writing to Judith Barrow

Judith Barrow

Mary Smith - web ready

Hello, Mary, please introduce yourself and your books to help our readers get to know you.

Hello Judith. Thank you so much for interviewing me for your blog. I live in Dumfries & Galloway in south west Scotland. Of course, I couldn’t wait to get away when I was young and lived and worked in England, Pakistan and Afghanistan before returning home. I think being away for so long made me really appreciate what a beautiful part of the country this is.

So far, I have published one novel, one memoir, one poetry collection and one – the latest – a picture-led local history book. Now that Dumfries Through Time is out I’m going back to write a sequel to my novel, No More Mulberries – as long as I don’t allow myself to be side-tracked by other projects.

No More Mulberries - web ready (1)

Please explain how you came to be a writer, what inspired…

View original post 1,212 more words

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!

Today’s Teaser is from The Cunning Woman’s Cup by Sue Hewitt .  I have cheated slightly including 4 short sentences.

Violet stood just inside the doorway of the room she had not entered for so many years and looked around her. Thick, soft dust covered every surface, lacy cobwebs danced in the draught from the opening of the door.  The late afternoon sun angled in from the windows lighting the air in blocks full of dancing motes.  It fell on the hand-knotted rug on the floor; it clipped the patchwork quilt at the end of one of the two single beds with their heavy, carved, wooden headboards.

Cunning

#FridayFiveChallenge

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.

Last week I searched for books about Time Management.  This week I looked in fiction using the word Time.  Immediately I came across a list of the obvious cliches.  After Time and Time Again by Ben Elton, was Only  time will tell by Jeffrey Archer.  Then I found a more intriguing selection;

2time4time

5time3time

But I was finally drawn to

stitch

The first in a series, here is the Book Description

A stitch in time saves nine …or does it?
Sarah Yates is a thirty-something history teacher, divorced, disillusioned and desperate to have more excitement in her life. Making all her dreams come true seems about as likely as climbing Everest in stilettos.

Then one evening the doorbell rings and the handsome and mysterious John Needler brings more excitement than Sarah could ever have imagined. John wants Sarah to go back in time …

Sarah is whisked from the Sheffield Blitz to the suffragette movement in London to the Old American West, trying to make sure people find their happy endings. The only question is, will she ever be able to find hers?

The reviewers have given a range of stars but 74 of them are 5 star.  The reviews do make it sound like an enjoyable read

The slices of historical life during Sarah’s time travels are beautifully done, a brilliant reinterpretation of life-changing events, wonderfully entertaining and constantly tongue-in-cheek seen through Sarah’s modern eyes.

A really unusual and gripping read. I absolutely loved it and would highly recommend it whether you like time travel or not. It is so different from anything I have ever read. 

At £2.63 it’s an acceptable Kindle price. Shall I BUY or will I PASS? I’m going to BUY.

What have others chosen this week?

Cathy has chosen a paranormal thriller https://betweenthelinesbookblog.wordpress.com/2015/08/21/friday-five-challenge-7/comment-page-1/#comment-2433

Terry is looking behind the curtains http://terrytyler59.blogspot.co.uk/2015/08/would-you-buy-or-pass-13.html

Shelley needs financial guidance! http://shelleywilsonauthor.com/2015/08/21/buy-or-pass-show-me-the-money-fridayfivechallenge/comment-page-1/#comment-649

Rosie was drawn to a song she remembers well https://rosieamber.wordpress.com/2015/08/21/would-you-buy-or-pass-fridayfivechallenge-waiting-for-a-star-to-fall-by-elaine-cremin/

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?

No More Mulberries by Mary Smith

Mulberries

No more Mulberries is a novel which completely changed my hazy, ignorant view of Afghanistan.  Miriam, its narrator, describes life in the 1990s as a “foreign” wife of an Afghan doctor in the small village of Sang-i-Sia.  Her frank account of her commitment to the country and determination to make her marriage work, despite cultural differences and the troubles of civil war, make you feel that you are reading a letter from a close friend.

The book gradually reveals that Miriam was originally Margaret, a Scottish midwife, whose meeting with an Afghan student lead her to visiting the country and conversion to Islam.  Her story is sad and she struggles with the practicalities of everyday life with few western luxuries, but the central conflict is the role of women in Afghanistan.  In her job she tries to improve the lot of women with no education but she also has friends who have achieved a degree of independence within their marriages.

Worried by the way her husband Iqbal has changed since they returned to Afghanistan from Pakistan, she realises that he is deeply concerned about his reputation and that her, “unacceptable behaviour,” will cause him to lose face amongst his peers.  As a boy he had suffered from leprosy, causing people to fear him and not give him respect.  In his role as a doctor he has earned acceptance but an event, which occurred during his childhood, haunts his dreams.

The details of everyday life in an Afghan home are fascinating, including delightful vocabulary, such as, “Unrolling the dustakhan over the striped gillim on the living room floor,” and, “sitting crossed-legged on the toshak.”  The kindness and generosity shown to foreigners such as Miriam and her family are evident in the hospitality and friendship she experiences. And yet this is against a background of murder and conflict.

What I especially like about Mary Smith’s writing is that every word counts.  We are given details, when they are needed, to explain the plot or describe the setting but time is not wasted.  She moves on to the next event swiftly, highlighting it with portentous remarks such as, “Oh, Jawad, what have I done?”  No More Mulberries is a significant contribution to the understanding of another culture but it is also a really enjoyable book to read.

#FridayFiveChallenge

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 am posting late in the day so I browsed for books on Time Management.  The second one in the list had this lovely cover photo and a title I really identify with!

Time

Do it Tomorrow by Mark Foster has an interesting description

An entirely new approach to time management. One of his most important points was that once we have taken on a commitment, prioritising does not work because we need to do everything relating to that commitment.  He has now perfected even more effective methods of getting everything done through the introduction of some radical new ideas, including closed lists, the manyana principle and the “will do” list. He is brilliant at helping people to use new forms of communication effectively so that they do not become a tyrant. The result is a complete system which will enable almost anyone to complete one day’s work in one day.

The book has 56 five star reviews, 9 four stars & 6 one to three stars.  Reviewers said:

His advice on dealing with backlogs (both electronic and paper) is worth the purchase of the book alone.

There seems to be a laborious amount of repetition of his theories, I’m afraid those 100-odd pages are best described as waffle.

From closed lists to the manana principle, Mark’s thinking is infused with clarity, applicability and a deep knowledge of human nature gleaned from his years of hands-on experience.

Shall I BUY or will I PASS?  Sounds interesting but at £5.99 for a Kindle I think I’ll PASS.  I just don’t have TIME to read it!

What have others chosen this week?

Shelley is checking out Diet books – http://shelleywilsonauthor.com/2015/08/14/buy-or-pass-looking-at-diet-books-for-the-fridayfivechallenge/

Cathy went in search of Salem witches –https://betweenthelinesbookblog.wordpress.com/2015/08/14/friday-five-challenge-6/

Terry looked up  a book from Norfolk – http://terrytyler59.blogspot.co.uk/2015/08/my-weekly-contribution-to-rosie-ambers.html

And Rosie selected Spiders!! – https://rosieamber.wordpress.com/2015/08/14/would-you-buy-or-pass-fridayfivechallenge-hard-landing-by-stephenleather-thriller/

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?

#FridayFiveChallenge

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.

I decided to search Kindle fiction using the word Algarve as I won’t be back there till the end of September and I am getting withdrawal symptoms.  There were two books called The Algarve Affair which didn’t appeal because the title is just too obvious but I was intrigued with this cover picture and the simple title Vanished

Mota

Book Description

Oliver de Reece is a 34 year old, rich, spoiled, formula 1 test driver. One year ago, he suffered a bad car crash, which left him unable to walk for several months. While recovering at his parents’ stately home, he becomes intrigued and falls in love with the new governess, Michelle Mason, who was hired to look after Oliver’s much younger half-brother and half-sister, the younger children of his father’s second marriage. Michelle is beautiful, intelligent but puzzling, strange, secretive and overqualified for the job. What is she hiding? Why is she there? Is she really who she claims to be? Slowly, Oliver uncovers the mysterious layers of Michelle’s life! What he finds deeply shocks him but, before he can act, Michelle vanishes without a trace.

This sounds rather predictable, the sort of serial you might read in a women’s magazine but I’m still interested so I looked briefly inside.  The book starts with an incident on a beach in the Algarve when Oliver was 15.  He saved a girl’s life but he never saw her again.  Now I really do want to know more.  Unfortunately there is only one review though it is 5 star. The author M G da Mota has written two other books which also have only 1 or 2 reviews but maybe she’s not making enough use of social media?  She is a well travelled lady who writes reviews of opera and classical music for two magazines on the web.

So will I BUY or PASS?  I’ll BUY

What have others chosen this week?

Alison turned to an historical novel about a French princess https://alisonwilliamswriting.wordpress.com/2015/08/07/fridayfivechallenge-isabella-braveheart-of-france-by-colin-falconer-rosieamber1/

Cathy looked at Amazon’s selections for her and found a book about Christmas! https://betweenthelinesbookblog.wordpress.com/2015/08/07/friday-five-challenge-buyorpass-christmas-spirit-by-susan-buchanan-fridayfivechallenge/

Barb has found a delightful children’s book  http://barbtaub.com/2015/08/07/buy-or-pass-dog-days-of-summer-and-fridayfivechallenge-from-rosieamber1/

I thought Rosie had also chosen a children’s book from the cover but it’s actually adult humour https://rosieamber.wordpress.com/2015/08/07/would-you-buy-or-pass-fridayfivechallenge-the-curious-incident-of-the-dog-in-a-nightdress-by-ross-ocarroll-kelly/

Terry has found some beauty secrets for those of us who are over 50   http://terrytyler59.blogspot.co.uk/2015/08/would-you-buy-or-pass-11.html

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?

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