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Monthly Archives: January 2016

Meet and Greet Weekend @ DBDO: 1/29/16

Reblogged on https://lizannelloyd.wordpress.com/
Lost in a Good Book.

Dream Big, Dream Often

dream-big image credit: the love shop

It’s the Meet and Greet weekend at Dream Big!!  I hope everyone’s January has been productive!  Hard to believe it is almost February!

Ok so here are the rules:

  1. Leave a link to your page or post in the comments of this post.
  2. Reblog this post.  It helps you, it helps me, it helps everyone!  The more people that see and participate in the MnG, the more potential new followers!  So, share, share share!
  3. Edit your reblog post and add tags.
  4. Feel free to leave your link multiple times each day!  It is okay to update your link for more exposure every day if you want.  It is up to you!

  5. Share this post on social media.  Many of my non-blogger friends love that I put the Meet n Greet on Facebook and Twitter because they find new blogs to follow.

Now that all the rules…

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#FridayFiveChallenge

This fun feature is a mini workshop invented by Rosie Amber. We look at book covers just from their thumbnail pictures at online selling book sites and make quick fire buying decisions. We look from a READERS Point of View and this exercise is very EYE OPENING.

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

Separation

I’ve received a great many emails from Amazon this week so I browsed among the thumbnail books they recommended to see if anything caught my attention.

The Separation by Dinah Jefferies appealed to me on a number of levels.  It appears to be set in the Tropics, it talks of separation of a mother and her daughter and it is called, “Captivating, powerful and passionate.”  The book’s description is enticing:-

What happens when a mother and her daughters are separated; who do they become when they believe it might be forever?

1953, the eve of the Cartwright’s departure from Malaya. Eleven-year-old Emma can’t understand why they’re leaving without their mother; why her taciturn father is refusing to answer questions.

Lydia arrives home to an empty house – there’s no sign of her husband Alec or her daughters. Panic stricken, she embarks on a dangerous journey to find them through the hot and civil-war-torn Malayan jungle – one that only the power of a mother’s love can help her to survive.

The 147 reviews average out at 4.7 stars for this debut novel.  Reviews include these comments:-

The author, Dinah Jefferies, drew inspiration from her experience of living in Malaya as a child to bring the place to life and, although adjectives are used liberally, she harnesses all senses with great effect. As she described the bus “stuffed with people, baggage, chickens and goats”, “the endless battle against humming mosquitoes” and the “wet heat which approached like a solid wall,” I felt like I too was sweating in the humidity as I turned the pages of The Separation.

In Malaya, we have Lydia’s search for her children – gripping and exciting – set against a background of barely suppressed violence, with a background of political intrigue and treachery.  And in England, we have young Emma struggling to understand her mother’s absence, her years at an austere private school, with some of her experiences moving me to tears. The contrast between the two settings can, at times, make it a bit of a wrench moving from one storyline to the other – I was mesmerised by Lydia, and did resent at times the move to the grey and cold. But as the story unfolds – and the way in which the reader always knows a little more than the characters is very well done – the stories start to converge, and there are plenty of unexpected and shocking twists and turns to keep you eagerly turning the pages.

At £1.99 for the Kindle and two more promising books by the same author, shall I BUY or will I PASS?   I’m going to BUY.

What have others chosen this week?

Barb has given us a fascinating cover comparison between the US & Uk versions of a variety of books.

Rosie is bravely venturing into Horror.

Shelley has found suspense in Texas.

Cathy is concerned, as we all are at the moment, with the Weather.

So now it’s your turn.

read coffee

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 appeal.

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?

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 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!

Wind rose

This week’s Teaser passages come from The Virgin of the Wind Rose by Glen Craney. Described as a Christopher Columbus mystery thriller, this book moves through the centuries in a complex, intriguing plot.

“Blind and lost she knew she couldn’t outrun them.  She climbed up the wall slots and slithered inside the highest burial niche.  Three shadows passed by with flashlights.  The beam stopped at the niche below her.

Slowly the voices receded. A door was bolted.”

My review will be posted next week.

 

#FridayFiveChallenge

This fun feature is a mini workshop invented by Rosie Amber. We look at book covers just from their thumbnail pictures at online selling book sites and make quick fire buying decisions. We look from a READERS Point of View and this exercise is very EYE OPENING.

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

Hope

This week I browsed under the keyword Magic and I came across three books by Meena Van Praag including The House at the End of Hope Street.  

After Alba Ashby suffers the Worst Events of Her Life, she finds herself at the door of 11 Hope Street, Cambridge. There, a beautiful older woman named Peggy invites Alba to stay, on the house’s usual conditions: she’ll have 99 nights, and no more, to turn her life around. Once inside, Alba sees that 11 Hope Street is no ordinary place. Past residents include Virginia Woolf, Dorothy Parker, and Agatha Christie, who all stayed there when they, too, had lost hope. With the house’s help, Alba decides to risk everything – and embarks on a journey that may even save her life.

There’s a suggestion of the sort of book which Cecelia Ahern writes and I always enjoy the magic she includes in her plots but let’s turn to the reviews of The House at the End of Hope Street.

Both lyrical and literary, with an engrossing plot peopled with characters you can’t help but root for, The House at the End of Hope Street is a beautiful and spirit-lifting book. Who wouldn’t want to live in a house where shelves magically fill with books, closets magically fill with clothes, and hot chocolate has healing properties?

And from a male reviewer this was added:-

In a world where warmth, unselfishness and a touch of everyday magic are in such woefully short supply it was a genuine and (yes…for a bloke, unexpected) pleasure to follow the diverse and constantly surprising, romantic adventures of a motley band of women (of all ages), all resident in a very odd Cambridge house, each with her own over-stuffed bag of quirks, foible and failings and each seeking the missing piece to her own hitherto private, emotional jigsaw. This is essentially a book about friendship, the resilience of the human spirit and the redemptive power of love in all its guises. All that plus deep secrets and dark chocolate.

The Kindle edition is priced at £2.63 So shall I BUY or will I PASS?

I can’t resist, I’m going to BUY.

What have others chosen this week?

Rosie has found a travel guide to Utah

Shelley is looking at a new release with a warming cover

Cathy is feeling icy cold

Barb is tracing the Rivers of London supernaturally

cat coff

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 appeal.

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?

Traces of Red by Christine Campbell

 

Traces

Traces of Red is the second book in The Reluctant Detective Series by Christine Campbell.  Once again, the irrepressible Mirabelle helps her soulmate, DI Sam Burns, solve a complicated case but there is no need for you to have read Searching for Summer, the first book in the series, since the back story is gradually revealed during this novel.

 

Mirabelle has given up her work as a social worker and has turned her small Edinburgh flat into a Missing Person’s Bureau.  Usually these are young women, so she is surprised when Kay, a quiet middle class woman, seeks help finding her missing husband.  It is soon evident that all has not been right in this marriage and Kay is keen to help Mirabelle by organising her files and accompanying her on investigations.

 

Meanwhile DI Burns is interviewing a barman at a pub where a baby was found and he is trying to find the mother and her female companion.  He enlists Mirabelle’s help when an injured young woman is found but she also helps Sam to deal with the loss of his much loved mother.

 

All the characters in Christine Campbell’s books are distinct and real.  They seem to talk directly to the reader so that it matters what happens to them.  The interwoven strands of this story reminded me of Kate Atkinson’s Jackson Brodie books, as does the bittersweet ending to the novel.  I highly recommend Traces of Red whether you like mystery, detective or contemporary stories.

You can read an interview with Christine Campbell here

Rosie's Book Review team 1

#FridayFiveChallenge

This fun feature is a mini workshop invented by Rosie Amber. We look at book covers just from their thumbnail pictures at online selling book sites and make quick fire buying decisions. We look from a READERS Point of View and this exercise is very EYE OPENING.

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

cat coff

My choice today was brought to my attention by a retweet which Olga posted yesterday.

Match Me US

I love hearts, especially fabric ones and pink and grey go so well together.  The cover works perfectly with the title so let’s look on Amazon.  But what a surprise, the cover on AmazonUK is different.

MatchUK

The UK version is like so many other books and boring.  The tagline What if Mr Right is just a click away?  is so hackneyed.  On the US edition Ever thought about recycling your Ex? is at least amusing.  Perhaps I live in the wrong country?

So what is the storyline?

Ever thought about recycling your Ex?
Best friends Catherine, Rachel & Sarah are fun, smart, successful and single – just like millions of women with a low tolerance for idiocy in their dates.
Mr. Right hasn’t turned up yet, and Mr. Right-Now isn’t worth booking a wax appointment for. So when Catherine, London’s finest matchmaker, gets Rachel and Sarah to join her dating site where they can recycle their ex-boyfriends in exchange for an upgrade, they soon realize that anything could happen . . .
Three best friends, proving that sometimes it really isn’t you… it’s him.

A book about three women once again, but with a touch of humour.  The 8 reviewers have given an average 4.7 stars but the comments aren’t encouraging.

Switch off your critical faculties for this one as the unbelievability quotient is high, but it is a fast and fun easy rom-com read for when you need utterly mindless entertainment.

A perfect read for someone stuck in bed with flu and needing a dose of pure escapism and entertainment. I’m not too sure how believable the plot’s premise that ex couples would join a dating agency together is, though it does serve well to introduce some of the characters more thoroughly.  One to suspend disbelief and simply enjoy.

So shall I BUY or will I PASS?

The kindle version is only £1.99 but this book is not for me so I will PASS but I’d love to have the pink and grey heart so if I was in an airport in the US I might have bought it.

What have others chosen this week?

Rosie is trying to move out of her comfort Zone by looking at Sci-Fi

https://rosieamber.wordpress.com/2016/01/15/todays-fridayfivechallenge-do-androids-dream-of-electric-sheep-by-philip-k-dick/

Cathy is dashing through the snow

http://betweenthelinesbookblog.com/2016/01/15/fridayfivechallenge-dashing-through-the-snow-by-debbie-macomber-rosieamber1-romcom/

Shelley has found a funny touching story on the theme of radio

http://shelleywilsonauthor.com/2016/01/15/would-you-buy-or-pass-fat-chance-by-nick-spalding-fridayfivechallenge/

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 appeal.

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?

 

Wednesday Wing….Book Clubs. Love ’em? Hate ’em? What works? What doesn’t? #wwwblogs

This has stimulated plenty of discussion on Rosie Amber’s website.

Rosie Amber

Following on from last week’s fantastic discussion on book series, this week I want to throw the doors open to a discussion about book clubs.

Rosie's Notebook

I know very little about book clubs, I’ve always steered clear of them, preferring to read my own choice of books, I have a few friends who have dabbled. However they are a way to link readers to writers.

Reading Soft edge

Here are some starter questions, feel free to answer these or let’s see where the discussion takes us.

  • So what makes a good book club?
  • What is the ideal length of time between each meeting?
  • What are the best ways to create a discussion about the book?
  • What is the best way to learn about the books to be reviewed? A list in advance? Or a choice at the meeting?
  • Would you pay a fee to belong to a book club?
  • Virtual book clubs – what are they…

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