Teaser Tuesday #TuesdayBookBlog

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 current read is Sheer Fear, a thriller by Geoffrey David West, which is the third of his Jack Lockwood mysteries.  Jack is constantly finding himself in dangerous situations:-

I used the high power torch to examine the gravestones and it began to rain, a firm steady drizzle, and the minimal moonlight had disappeared.

I’d removed the top layer of one half of the grave when I felt a hand on my shoulder, pulling me backwards.  “What the hell do you think you’re doing,” yelled the man I was now facing.

Sheer

You can find Sheer Fear on Kindle here

 

 

 

#FridayFiveChallenge

cat coff

To join in with the #FridayFiveChallenge please read the rules at the bottom of the page.

It’s nearly December so I’m looking for books for my grand-daughter, who is a precocious two and a quarter year old.  There are many bright colourful covers to browse through but I am quite fussy about the style of drawing and determined to avoid Disney and PP.  Those of you who don’t know who PP is, obviously haven’t been near a small child for some time.  First I stopped at Mog the Forgetful Cat, as Judith Kerr is such a wonderful children’s author and illustrator, but I really ought to look for a new book.

Mog           Laura

Laura’s star is another book I am familiar with, but now there is an interactive App of Laura’s Christmas Star.  It’s probably wonderful but not really something that a Gran who used to be a teacher and librarian should give!!

Recently my grand-daughter had a digger in her garden and when it was put back on the lorry to be taken away she stood at the door waving and saying, “Bye-bye Digger,” for a very long time, so Goodnight Digger by Michelle Robinson illustrated by Nick East seems most appropriate.

Digger   Time for bed

With 122 reviewers giving 5 stars, the comments include,  A ‘must have’ book for a mechanically-minded two year old. A wonderful combination of digger and good night story…..a perfect way of rounding off a day full of playing and imaginings of trains and diggers and trucks.

My 2 year old girl loves it.   Obviously helps if they like diggers and other vehicles!

I needed to look inside to check that there were words and preferably a rhyme which she loves to repeat.  But perhaps I should choose an animal book?  I quickly spotted Giraffe’s Can’t Dance written by Giles Andreae and illustrated by Guy Parker-Rees.

Giraffes  Can't dance    With an average 4.7 stars, reviews say, Superb book which subtly points out that we can do something if we really want to – it might just need a different approach!  Great for narrating – the flowing rhyming text is easy to encourage the important ‘all-join-in.

A real treasure that teaches children and adults alike that appearances can be deceptive and we must look past the cover. Look past this books cover and you find yourself on a magical road to self awareness. A great tool for discussing all forms of prejudice or just a wonderfully funny book.

So what shall I do?  Looking at these four options shall I BUY or will I PASS?  I am going to BUY Giraffes Can’t Dance and Goodnight Digger.

What have others chosen this week?

Shelley has found a book to change your habits and improve your life. http://shelleywilsonauthor.com/2015/11/20/would-you-buy-or-pass-nonfiction-selfhelp-for-fridayfivechallenge/

Rosie is looking for medieval history about Queen Matilda https://rosieamber.wordpress.com/2015/11/20/searching-the-twelfth-century-for-the-empress-matilda-fridayfivechallenge/

Cathy went for a Nordic Noir Thriller http://betweenthelinesbookblog.com/2015/11/20/fridayfivechallenge-buy-or-pass/

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?

#Authors to Follow

Since I took a more active part on Twitter in 2013 and more especially after I joined Rosie Amber’s Book Review team in 2014 I have discovered several tremendously rewarding authors, almost all Indie writers.  You have probably already read their books, but just in case you haven’t yet discovered them:-

Jan Ruth  Jan Ruth

Jan Ruth lives in Snowdonia, North Wales, UK.

This ancient, romantic landscape is a perfect setting for Jan’s fiction, or simply day-dreaming in the heather. Jan writes contemporary stories about people, with a good smattering of humour, drama, dogs and horses.

 

Jan’s realistic characters and emotionally charged storylines are difficult to put down so I’m tempted to buy the following collection as a present for someone (probably me!)

Home 4 Xmas

Terry Tyler

TT

Terry lives in the north of England with her husband, and has published eleven books on Amazon. Readers say she has created her own genre, which lies somewhere in the area of contemporary drama and romantic suspense, with the occasional bit of rock fiction and mystery thrown in.

“I usually write contemporary fiction, mostly of interest to women, but many men have read them too; “Dream On” has had more reviews from men than from women. I write about the issues that concern so many today; divorce, infidelity, addiction, obsession with celebrity, stalking, meeting people via social networking sites.”

Dream

Recently Terry has used the Tudor and Plantagenet families for the structure of her stories although they are set in modern times.

Readers are now looking forward to reading the follow up to House of York.

Carol Hedges  

Carol

Carol Hedges writes Victorian crime fiction in her own inimitable style. You are transported into the life of Victorian London, be it middle class parlour or the murky streets by the Thames, peopled with larger than life characters whose exploits you have to follow.

I have devoured all three of these volumes and I’m now eager to read the fourth tale of Detective Inspector Stride and Detective Sergeant Cully.  In the meantime, I’m tempted to try her very different YA book, Jigsaw Pieces.

Jigsaw

Jenny Lloyd

Jenny

Jenny Lloyd is the indie author of “Leap the Wild Water,” a novel set in early 19th century Wales.  A tale of treachery, betrayal, family secrets, and moral dilemmas, “Leap the Wild Water” is set amid the brooding, mountainous landscapes of 19th century, rural Wales. It is a story about the conflict between a brother and sister struggling to survive in a community where, if you are a woman, to err is unforgivable and the freedom to carve a life of one’s own seems an impossible dream.

“If you visit Wales, I’m that crazy Welsh woman seen wandering about the Welsh mountains in all weathers with a notebook in hand. The landscape here is little changed from the era in which I like to write and it features in my writing.  The inspirations for my writing come from the real life struggles of rural people, especially women, in the 19th century, and events in my own family’s history. The themes I write about include the pressures which drive people to act against their consciences; what it really means to be free; and how fear and prejudice destroy man’s humanity.”

leap_the_wild_water_cover_for_kindle1       Raven

Both these powerful novels are well worth reading.

I shall write about some of the other authors I have discovered in the last 18 months, soon.

#FridayFiveChallenge

cat coff

To join in with the #FridayFiveChallenge please read the rules at the bottom of the page

While busy scanning the postcard selection I inherited from my grandmother, I thought I should search for a book on the theme of postcards since I have always loved buying, sending and receiving them, even if it out of date to do so!

There are many sets of postcards in book form such as The Golden age of Disney Art and Patterns at the V and A which are tempting but expensive.  Then there are books telling you how to collect postcards and value them which are earnest and boring.

Living w PCs

Eventually I was divided between two very different books.  The first, Living with Postcards is an account by Joy Muller about her collection of fantasy postcards.  Looking inside the rather boring cover I discovered incredible vintage coloured postcards showing babies growing inside flowers, real photos of dogs wearing clothes (just like cats on Twitter!) and fairies fluttering round Peter Pan’s statue in Kensington Gardens.

I would love to leaf through this book or borrow it from a Library but Shall I BUY or will I PASS?  I am going to PASS.

The other book I discovered was fiction, although it is simply titled The Postcard.  The Postcard

Written by Leah Fleming, this is the book description:

At her father’s funeral, Melissa makes a shocking discovery that will send her on a journey across continents and into her family’s hidden past…

2002, Australia.

When Melissa discovers a postcard addressed to ‘Desmond’ among her recently deceased father’s effects, she is determined to discover this person’s identity and his relationship to her father. She soon embarks on a journey that will take her across oceans and into the past…

1930’s, London.

Caroline grew on a secluded Scottish estate with her ‘Aunt’ Phoebe. Now, the shocking realisation that Phoebe is actually her mother fuels a rebellious streak in Caroline, who elopes to Cairo to get married. But her marriage quickly turns sour and leads to an affair with an old lover, and to a baby boy, Desmond. With her personal life in tatters and WWII approaching, she volunteers as a secret agent, smuggling valuable information into Europe for the British government.

I think perhaps this description reveals too much about the plot, but it has an average of four point five stars from 202 reviews.  Some reviewers are really enthusiastic,

This book was utterly absorbing and amazing, it truly is a brilliantly woven masterpiece of dangerous secrets and old ghosts, it mesmerizes the reader all way through. the story spans continents and decades and intertwines the past and the present in an intelligent way

While others have reservations,

The plot was slightly unbelievable at times, the female characters of Phoebe and Callie were hard to warm to. Sad at times but I felt the characters brought it on themselves.

little depth to the characters and the storyline seemed to drag on for ever.

So I am in a quandary.  Shall I BUY or will I PASS?  At £4.99 for the Kindle version I think I will PASS at the present.

What have others chosen this week?

Rosie has found a book to teach us all about vlogging https://rosieamber.wordpress.com/2015/11/13/girl-online-on-tour-by-zoe-sugg-fridayfivechallenge-zoezeebo/

Shelley is exploding into Sci-Fi http://shelleywilsonauthor.com/2015/11/13/would-you-buy-or-pass-oxygen-a-scifi-novel-for-fridayfivechallenge/

Cathy has selected a short action thriller http://betweenthelinesbookblog.com/2015/11/13/friday-five-challenge-11/

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?

Scotch on the Rocks by Lizzie Lamb

Scotch

From the first few lines of Scotch on the Rocks we know exactly the kind of character we are meeting in heroine Ishabel Stuart.  Brave and intelligent, her single minded determination could achieve anything but she may well antagonise anyone who crosses her path.  Returning to her home island in the Scottish Highlands she is seeking peace and a new life after the break down of her engagement.

But first she must arrange her father’s funeral and she is not best pleased to find her Aunt Esme’s B and B brimming with guests.  The guests depart, sadly taking Esme with them, but Issie still has to deal with the unwanted presence of a tall, handsome, charming American.  Why is she so rude to him and what is he hiding?

On the face of it, we have the recipe for a sweet romance as conflict gives way to love but Lizzie Lamb’s books offer far more than just that.  Mystery builds up as to why Brodie has come all the way from Kentucky to stay for the entire summer.  Parallel to this we wonder why Issie’s father and Aunt Esme had been estranged for so many years.  The more we learn, the more it appears that any relationship between Brodie and Ishabel is doomed.

And then there is Lindy, or Lola as she is calling herself that week, a zany, madcap young lady who helps out at the Guest House.  Lindy longs to escape Cormorant Island and she sees Brodie as her passport to Las Vegas.  Adding to the hilarious household is Pershing the Parrot, a cantankerous, vociferous bird who makes helpful remarks such as, “You silly tart!”

The beauty of the island landscape and the colourful characters living there make this novel a pleasure to read.  There are several incredibly funny scenes involving “ladies of the parish,” or Issie’s mother, an “Italian” Diva (well Dumbarton actually!).  The blunt description of Ishabel’s cheating ex-fiancé are refreshing to read and this is very much a contemporary story even though set in an idyllic location.

The love and passion experienced by more than one couple is intense and explicit and no-one would doubt the inevitable matching.  But in addition, a 50 year old wrong is righted and mysteries solved in a very unexpected conclusion.  There is something for everyone in Scotch on the Rocks, including the bottle of Scotch!

Rosie's Book Review team 1

You might also like to read Lizzie Lamb’s earlier novels:-

Tall, Dark and Kilted – Notting Hill Meets Monarch of the Glen – 2012 http://bit.ly/TDKLLamb

Boot Camp Bride – Romance and Intrigue on the Norfolk marshes – November 2013 http://bit.ly/BCBLLamb

Lizzie Lamb

Lizzie

Author Lizzie Lamb

Life is not a rehearsal
If you have a dream – go for it.

After teaching her 1000th pupil and working as a deputy head teacher in a large primary school, Lizzie decided it was time to leave the chalk face and pursue her first love: writing. She joined the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s New Writers’ Scheme, honed her craft and wrote Tall, Dark and Kilted (2012), quickly followed a year later by Boot Camp Bride. Lizzie loves the quick fire interchanges between the hero and heroine in the old black and white Hollywood movies, and hopes this love of dialogue comes across in her writing. Although much of her time is taken up publicising Tall, Dark and Kilted and Boot Camp Bride, she has published a third novel SCOTCH ON THE ROCKS and started writing number four. Lizzie is a founding member of indie publishing group – New Romantics Press. In November 2014 they held an Author Event at Waterstones High Street, Kensington, London the icing on the cake as far as they are concerned – and a fitting way to celebrate their achievements. As for the years Lizzie spent as a teacher, they haven’t quite gone to waste as she is building up a reputation as a go-to speaker on the subject of self-publishing.

Lizzie can be found at:-

www.facebook.com/LizzieLambwriter

lizzielambwriter@gmail.com

website: www.lizzielamb.co.uk

twitter: @lizzie_lamb

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!

Scotch

My present bedtime read is Scotch on the Rocks by Lizzie Lamb, a contemporary romance set on an island in the Highlands of Scotland.  The story moves from humorous escapades such as:-

Lindy exploded through the back door with her silk gerbera looking slightly the worse for wear, her expression that of an angry wasp.  “Issy, I didn’t realise that I had your Da strapped into the back seat of the Mini until we were half way across the causeway,”  She carried the urn containing James Stuart’s ashes at arm’s length and deposited it on the kitchen table.”

to moments of passion:-

How would it feel, she wondered, to lie naked in his arms, ranged against his long, tanned limbs – tangled in the sheets after making love?

Tomorrow you can read my review of Scotch on the Rocks.

#FridayFiveChallenge

cat coff

To join in with the #FridayFiveChallenge please read the rules at the bottom of the page

In recent months I have visited several interesting buildings from different eras so this week I searched through books under the category of Architecture.  Some of these books are full of glossy photographs and therefore expensive but then I happened upon a group of books by a man called Trevor Yorke.  They have titles such as The Victorian House Explained and English Churches Explained.  In order to judge whether these books would be informative yet also enjoyable to read, I needed to look inside.  I was pleased to find lots of hand-drawn pictures with clear labels.  As a family historian I was tempted to choose Gravestones, Tombs and Memorials but I decided that the most useful book was British Architectural Styles: An Easy Reference Guide.

Archit

 Book Description

Here is a compact and useful guide, filled with detailed and original drawings, to help put a date to the variety of period buildings we see around us. It covers an immense range of structures and styles from 1500 to 1950. In addition, there is a glossary of architectural terms and a historical time chart. The book will prove an invaluable companion whether visiting grand houses open to the public or simply strolling around the streets of villages, towns and cities.

There are 40 reviews averaging four point five stars including comments such as:

British Architectural Styles proved an easy reference guide, helping me to date the wide variety of building we see around us. It covers the immense range of architectural styles from 1500 to 1950, complete with a glossary of architectural terms and a historical time chart. Each chapter covers a distinct period with a background to the social and economic history and details of the styles of architecture in fashion at the time.

The Kindle copy is £3.47 and the paperback £4.99.  Shall I BUY or will I PASS? I’m going to BUY the paperback.

What have others chosen this week?

Rosie has gone Against the Flow in 1930s Australia https://rosieamber.wordpress.com/2015/11/06/against-the-flow-fridayfivechallenge-outback-life/#respond

Shelley’s choice took me back to waiting in the playground for my children to come out of school http://shelleywilsonauthor.com/2015/11/06/would-you-buy-or-pass-a-year-in-the-life-of-a-playground-mother-fridayfivechallenge/

Cathy has found a powerful title called Autumn’s Blood http://betweenthelinesbookblog.com/2015/11/06/fridayfivechallenge-autumns-blood-by-marissa-farrar-buy-or-pass-paranormal-shapeshifter/comment-page-1/#comment-3167

Alison has chosen a book about a family in crisis https://alisonwilliamswriting.wordpress.com/2015/11/06/fridayfivechallenge-december-by-elizabeth-h-winthrop-rosieamber1/comment-page-1/#comment-1608

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?