Home for Christmas by Jan Ruth

Home 4 Xmas

I’ve been getting myself into the Christmas mood by reading three fairly long short stories by Jan Ruth on the theme of Home for Christmas.  Each story is set in Snowdonia but there are three very different story styles.

Rudolph the Brown-nosed Reindeer describes an occasion everyone hates – a corporate weekend, part team building, part appraisal and part social. Rick, a reserved, hard-working man in his 30s is facing a lonely Christmas and he is not sure whether being stranded in a cottage in Snowdonia in bad weather will improve his mood or not. The story is a mixture of humour and pathos with an unexpected ending.

Jim’s Christmas Carol has a more complex plot.  Life catches up with an unfaithful husband in the setting of Christmas dinner at his large comfortable home.  Good and evil are present in his home and we see the situation from more than one viewpoint.  Tarot cards, Satan and a guardian angel all play a part.

The last, and my favourite story, really is Home for Christmas for Philippa. Worn out by her pretence of a successful career and relationship she has returned to her home village for peace to take stock.  This is a romantic comedy in a delightful setting which I will not spoil by writing any more.

A great book to download and read over Christmas.


When Doves Fly by Lauren Gregory


Here is a book which takes us back to the Wild West we used to see in old movies, where men are tough and uncouth and women are there for their pleasure.  Into this setting comes Lily Wright, running away from abuse and tragedy, looking for a new life in a boomtown during the gold rush in Colorado.  Intending to open a dry goods store, her plans are in disarray after she loses her money and belongings.  Without any assistance she struggles to make a living despite the fates being against her.


Lily is an insecure but brave and determined woman, with whom the reader becomes intimately involved.  She learns a valuable lesson from Alice Durand, a wizened old woman whose life story could make another book!  We experience Lily’s suffering in intense detail and cannot help wishing that her knight in shining armour will appear.  However, Lily must make her own destiny.


The hypocritical residents of the ironically named Clear Springs include evil villains, honourable citizens and a hoard of dysfunctional individuals trying to make a fortune.  It’s the perfect setting for life-changing drama.  This could have made the story too predictable but this is far from the case. Lauren Gregory’s characters are real and vibrant.  They come with back stories which give them substance and their actions make for a dramatic plot.  There are the seeds of a saga in this novel.

Rosie's Book Review team 1

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!


This week’s Teaser passages come from When Doves Fly by Lauren Gregory.  Set in Colorado in the 1870s it describes the perils of life for women trying to survive near the Rocky Mountains at that time.

With a frustrated groan, she turned the horse westward and sank into the rocking rhythm of his gait.  The hard ride had exhausted both of them and opened her eyes to the unforgiving wilderness of the Rocky Mountains she had daydreamed about since childhood.

“Lord, but ya are pretty when you smile,” he sighed, a wistful exhale.  Her heart responded with a stutter but she caught herself and shot him a disapproving look.

I will be reviewing this novel later this week.



Interview with Dark Poet Lynn Gerrard

Interview with Dark Poet Lynn Gerrard

Lynn’s revelations of her combination of humour and darkness need to be shared widely. You can read a taster of Lynn’s questioning verse here

Lynn Gerrard DarkI’d like to welcome Lynn Gerrard to Infinite Pathways today to chat about her first book Darkness and Decadence – the Grumblings of a Gargoyle and other authorly interests.

Lynn Gerrard was born in St Helens, Merseyside, where she now lives with her husband Michael and their Jack Russell, Ralph. Having studied psychology, psychoanalysis, sociology and criminal law, Lynn finds it easy to observe the darker side of human nature and this is reflected in her writing. Lynn is a keen activist for mental health awareness and has performed as part of the Stand Up To Stigma campaign.

Thanks for coming!

A Small Cup of CoffeeYou are most welcome and thank you for inviting me…lovely place you have here! OoOo coffee too, most kind!

I can’t have my guests parched now, can I 😉

Can you describe your poetic style for us and bit about how you’ve developed your written voice?

My poetic style is…

View original post 2,649 more words


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

Feeling in tune with the time of year my bookcover choice this week was on the theme of Joy.  Very quickly I saw a book called just Joy, a short story for Christmas by Celina Grace.


It sounds too good to be true, Joy by Grace, but hold on a minute, it’s a Kate Redman story.  Who is Kate Redman?  Apparently she’s a Detective Sergeant who usually solves much longer mystery stories with names such as Echo, Sanctuary or Chimera.  This short 8000 word book is a present from the author because it’s free!

There are 16 reviews all written this week, 8 four star and 8 five star.  Interesting comments are,

Why would a local derelict come to the local police station with an angelic blonde 18-month old baby girl saying, “her name is Joy!” right before Christmas? Especially when a distraught couple has moments before come in claiming their 18- month old baby daughter, Sophia, has been kidnapped? Kate’s intuition as a police officer quickly uncovers much beyond the surface linking both incidents.

This is a very well written short story that takes place right before Christmas. It gives you hints to the solution, but keeps you pleasantly guessing.

So shall I BUY or will I PASS?  I am definitely going to download this free mystery story.

What have others chosen this week?

Rosie has found a book I strongly recommend The Gift of Rain https://rosieamber.wordpress.com/2015/12/11/fridayfivechallenge-the-gift-of-rain-by-tan-twan-eng-fridayreads/

Cathie has chosen another book I have read which I can also endorse, I am David. http://betweenthelinesbookblog.com/2015/12/11/fridayfivechallenge-buy-or-pass-i-am-david-by-anne-holm-histfic-ya/

Shelley has found us A Christmas Violin http://shelleywilsonauthor.com/2015/12/11/would-you-buy-or-pass-the-christmas-violin-fridayfivechallenge/

And Barb’s blog about Christmas is a great read in itself!  http://barbtaub.com/2015/12/11/beats-me-claude-fridayfivechallenge-from-rosieamber-santas-little-balls/

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?


What Jennifer Knows by Wendy Janes


Jennifer is the kind of woman you would want as your friend. You could share your troubles and your joys with her and she would keep your secrets. A mother and grandmother, she works part time in a school, giving dance therapy lessons to special needs children and lives with her slightly grumpy, but loving husband, Gerald, who is a well-known sculptor.

But she has a dilemma; while supporting her friends with their relationship problems she discovers a secret which she ought to reveal but she prevaricates, putting off the awful day because she knows there cannot be a good ending.

And it is relationships which this book is all about. We learn of an important partnership in Jennifer’s past and she is trying to deal with a lack of communication with her daughter. Her young friend, Freya is a vulnerable, needy girl who experiences problems with personal relationships, be it boyfriend or sister. Jennifer’s other friend Abi, seems much more in control. A successful head teacher, she juggles work and social commitments quite well, until her lover moves in. And there is the pivotal male protagonist; a shadowy, complicated individual whose motives are difficult to understand but whose problems must stem from his unloved childhood.

What Jennifer Knows appears at first to be a simple story of village life but as Wendy Janes reveals the layers of complex relationships, conflict and regret it becomes a much deeper story and the outcome for the characters we have come to know, matter a great deal.

At times I was losing patience with Jennifer’s reticence. She is obviously a talented, empathetic woman but she is reluctant to rock the boat. However, in the clever twist at the end of the story she finally chooses to face a problem head-on and takes decisive action.

This is an ideal novel for a book club as there are so many moral issues to discuss. I also found the references to the three schools very interesting as they reflected issues I have also experienced. This is definitely a thought provoking novel.

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Never Say Sorry by Rose Edmunds

Never say

Set in the world of corporate finance, Never Say Sorry could easily be very confusing to the average reader, but the ten characters who play major parts in the plot are all clearly drawn personalities, even if their motives are deliberately obtuse.  I particularly liked Brad, the global CEO of BEP Pharmaceuticals who made sure that he met his security consultant, Wayne, in various New Jersey diners so that he could eat the junk food denied him by his wife.

The heroine, Claudia is a larger than life, vibrant but prickly journalist, who intends to be noticed and to make her mark in her chosen career.  In contrast the hero, Hugh, is a rather wet behind the ears, lazy, pleasure-loving accountant.  And yet his failings make him likeable.

These two disparate characters are paired up, by accident of fate, against their initial instincts, to investigate pharmaceutical and financial fraud.  As they stumble towards the truth, they are both in grave danger as intrigue and deception leads to a thrilling conclusion.

Never Say Sorry was the first novel published by Rose Edmunds

Rose Edmunds

This is how she describes her career so far.

For more than 20 years I almost passed as normal in several well-known financial firms in London, working undercover to research my novels.

Currently, I’ve published two thrillers. Both are set in the world of high finance, but in essence the stories are about people and what motivates them – greed, fear, insecurity, ambition – the usual suspects. You will certainly recognize the personality types, whatever your walk of life.


I am looking forward to the return of Amy from Rose’s second novel Concealment which I reviewed here