#FridayFiveChallenge

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

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

Colour of poison

This week I have been researching poisoning in Victorian times using the British Newspaper archive so I searched for novels about poison.  The Colour of Poison instantly appealed to me because of the illuminated letter C, the pattern and colour of the cover and the words, “Medieval Murder Mystery.”

Book Description

The first Sebastian Foxley Medieval Mystery by Toni Mount.

The narrow, stinking streets of medieval London can sometimes be a dark place. Burglary, arson, kidnapping and murder are every-day events. The streets even echo with rumours of the mysterious art of alchemy being used to make gold for the King.

Join Seb, a talented but crippled artist, as he is drawn into a web of lies to save his handsome brother from the hangman’s rope. Will he find an inner strength in these, the darkest of times, or will events outside his control overwhelm him?

Only one thing is certain – if Seb can’t save his brother, nobody can.

The author Toni Mount is a history teacher, speaker and historic interpreter. This is her first novel but her first hardback “Everyday Life in Medieval London” made it to No.1 at Goodreads for the best non-fiction history book and “Medieval Housewives…” book was voted a “Favourite book” of that year.

So far, there are only 3 customer reviews, two 4s and one 5 star.

An evocative description of the times and people make this a very believable tale. I felt that it gathered in strength as it developed and became more gripping as it went along towards it’s finale.

rollicking, fast-moving plot holds the attention from start to finish.

I had a peep inside and after a detailed account of a hanging, we find ourselves in an apothecary’s still room which is a place where I would love to be!  So Shall I BUY or will I PASS?   At only 99p for the Kindle edition I’m going to BUY.

What have others found in today’s #Friday Five Challenge ?

Rosie has discovered a tantalising steampunk novel.

Cathy has found a beautiful blue book of ancient secrets

Shelley has chosen the theme of Good Friday

So now it’s your turn.

cat

 

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?

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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 book selling sites and make quick fire buying decisions. We look from a READER’S Point of View and this exercise is very REVEALING.

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

Last week Cathy showed us a book Behind Closed Doors and the cover appealed to me so much that I decided to look for other books with doors to open.  This book appeared on Twitter and in fact it isn’t a door but a shutter which needs to be opened.

Lilac

The House with the Lilac Shutters is a collection of short stories by Gabrielle Barnby

Irma Lagrasse has taught piano to three generations of villagers, whilst slowly twisting the knife of vengeance; Nico knows a secret; and M. Lenoir has discovered a suppressed and dangerous passion.

Revolving around the Café Rose, opposite The House with the Lilac Shutters, this collection of contemporary short stories links a small town in France with a small town in England, traces the unexpected connections between the people of both places and explores the unpredictable influences that the past can have on the present.

Characters weave in and out of each other’s stories, secrets are concealed and new connections are made.

With a keenly observant eye, Barnby illustrates the everyday tragedies, sorrows, hopes and joys of ordinary people in this vividly understated and unsentimental collection.

The book has five customer reviews, three 5 star, one 4 star and one 3 star.

“Set in small towns in both France and England, the stories stand in their own right as beautifully observed descriptions of human jealousy, desire, guilt and love, but they also contribute to a completely satisfying whole.

As the stories progress, hints are dropped like pebbles in a pond so that each story ripples into another, revealing a bit more about a character from an earlier story and helping the reader build up an understanding of why characters are as they are.”

It is evidently not just a happy sunny holiday read:-

“If the town provides the context for these interlinked characters we are invited to zoom in on a particular small café as a prominent hub for their interaction. It happens to face the house with the lilac shutters of the title of this collection, where an attempted suicide took place that casts its shadow over the rest of the stories and is revisited towards the end.”

The Kindle costs £2.99.  Shall I BUY or will I PASS?   I’m going to BUY.  I only occasionally choose short stories but the link between a small French town and a small English town intrigues me, so it’s a BUY for me.

What have others found in today’s #Friday Five Challenge ?

Shelley has found a boldly covered alternative fairy tale.

Rosie‘s choice is a gripping thriller.

Cathy has selected a cute ghost story.

So now it’s your turn.

cat

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?

#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.

Yesterday I received an email from Goodreads with a list of suggested YA titles.  I am often disappointed that so many of the books are about zombies or fantasy but one cover drew me in.

SaltUS

I will read anything about the sea, fiction or nonfiction, romance or tragedy.  Exploring the book on Goodreads and  Amazon I discovered that this is the third book by American author Ruta Sepetys and the second one to be about the effects of World War Two on the ordinary people of Europe.

Blurb

Winter, 1945. Four teenagers. Four secrets.

Each one born of a different homeland; each one hunted, and haunted, by tragedy, lies…and war.

As thousands of desperate refugees flock to the coast in the midst of a Soviet advance, four paths converge, vying for passage aboard the Wilhelm Gustloff, a ship that promises safety and freedom.

Yet not all promises can be kept.

Inspired by the single greatest tragedy in maritime history, bestselling and award-winning author Ruta Sepetys (Between Shades of Gray) lifts the veil on a shockingly little-known casualty of World War II. An illuminating and life-affirming tale of heart and hope.

This seems an apt time to be reading about refugees taking hazardous journeys even though it promises to be a traumatic read.

Most readers seem to be very enthusiastic about the book:-

 I really enjoyed Ruta Sepetys’ new book SALT TO THE SEA. I liked the format of short chapters with alternating protagonists, and I liked that each character had a secret to reveal, but most of all, I enjoyed learning about an event of historic significance.

Others, take the opposite viewpoint:-

The story is told in very short chapters of 2-3 pages (sometimes just a few sentences) and the perspective jumps between four different people – Joana, Florian, Emilia and Alfred. Personally, this didn’t work for me. We spent so little time with each character before moving on that I constantly felt distanced from them, never making an emotional connection. In the beginning, the rapid movement between perspectives even made it difficult to follow the story.

But the majority were positive:-

There are very few books that I recommend to every single person, regardless of what genre they like to read or their taste in books. But Salt to the Sea is one of them. From the moment I read the first page, I knew that this book would stick with me for the rest of my life.
Salt to the Sea is incredible. The characters, the writing, the plot. Everything is unparalleled.
It’s shocking and honest. It’s eye opening and emotional.
This book is perfect in every way. I highly recommend it.
SaltUK

 

And then I looked at Amazon.co.uk.

What a disappointing cover.  I can see the point of the barbed wire, but I would never have chosen this book at first glance.

So shall I BUY or will I PASS?

At £4.99 for the kindle version it is a little expensive when I already have so many books in my TBR pile, so I will PASS today but I will keep the book on the back boiler and may BUY in the future.

 

 

What have others chosen this week?

Shelley has found a sweet little kitten

Cathy reveals an electrifying cover

Rosie is going on a road trip on the back of a motorbike!

So now it’s your turn.

cat

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?

 

#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.

This week I searched for genealogical mystery, a genre which I have enjoyed before. British author Steve Robinson has written a series of novels about Jefferson Tate, an American genealogist who reluctantly flies across the Atlantic to solve mysteries.  Another british author, Nathan Dylan Goodwin, writes about an English forensic genealogist called Morton Farrier.

This time I was drawn to Blood Tied by Wendy Percival.  A thriller based on murder and family secrets.

Blood Tied

Book Description

“A desperate crime, kept secret for 60 years… but time has a way of exposing the truth…”

Esme Quentin is devastated when her sister Elizabeth is beaten unconscious, miles from her home. Two days later Esme discovers that Elizabeth has a secret past. Desperate for answers which the comatose Elizabeth cannot give, Esme enlists the help of her friend Lucy to search for the truth, unaware of the dangerous path she is treading. Together they unravel a tangle of bitterness, blackmail and dubious inheritance, and as the harrowing story is finally revealed, Esme stumbles upon evidence of a pitiful crime.

Realising too late the menace she has unwittingly unleashed, Esme is caught up in a terrifying ordeal. One that will not only test her courage and sanity but force her to confront her perception of birth and family.

28 reviews give an average 4.5 stars and include the following comments:-

Blood-Tied explores the complications that could arise when we find out more than we thought we knew about those nearest to us…
This is a well-crafted and engaging mystery; the pace is steady with a tense ending. The main character, Esme Quentin, is a former investigative journalist with a gentle, but persuasive manner. You feel the shock to the family, especially to Esme as she discovers more, but she keeps her head, her tenacity and her journalist’s nose twitching to the end.
For me there was a too much tea-making (although I do like a cuppa myself!), although this grounds the story in real life and contrasts well to what happens.

Totally engrossing read. Highly recommend. A good summer read to take on holiday! Good storyline very inspirational and well written.

At £2.99 the Kindle is affordable. Shall I BUY or will I PASS?   I’m going to BUY.

What have others chosen this week?

Shelley has found a beautiful cover with an intriguing Blurb.

Rosie has chosen a Spring cookbook.

Cathy has selected the wonderful Costa book award winner

Barb gives us the result of her UK/US cover survey

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?

#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?

#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?

 

#FridayFiveChallenge

cat coff

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

My book search this week was for a book involving a New Year.  The book I found, The Year of Taking Chances, starts at a New Year’s Eve party:

It’s New Year’s Eve, and Gemma and Spencer Bailey are throwing a house party. There’s music, dancing, champagne and all their best friends under one roof. It’s going to be a night to remember.

Also at the party is Caitlin, who has returned to the village to pack up her much-missed mum’s house and to figure out what to do with her life; and Saffron, a PR executive who’s keeping a secret which no amount of spin can change. The three women bond over Gemma’s dodgy cocktails and fortune cookies, and vow to make this year their best one yet.

But as the months unfold, Gemma, Saffron and Caitlin find themselves tested to their limits by shocking new developments. Family, love, work, home – all the things they’ve taken for granted are thrown into disarray. Under pressure, they are each forced to rethink their lives and start over. But dare they take a chance on something new?

Lucy D

The book title is appealing and the phrase, “A new start, a dream career, the love of your life,” sound like excellent wishes.  What does put me off slightly is the author’s name, Lucy Diamond.  It’s just too perfect for chicklit!  I’m also not especially keen on the names of the three women especially Saffron but maybe I’m just a fuddy-duddy.

Among the 500 plus reviews averaging 4.5 stars was this fairly representative comment:-

This is an escapist book. The world that these women inhabit isn’t quite like the real world and co-incidences do happen quite conveniently. However that really didn’t matter as I read this book. I wanted things to come together for these women and it didn’t bother me that it was a little glossy around the edges.

This book is a step up from a basic chick-lit book. There are some aspects which really hit home and as a reader you are stopped in your tracks. I don’t suppose the same things hit every reader but it did add a depth of thought to this book which I appreciated. At one point Gemma is described by her daughter as “just a Mum”. How many women have heard something similar, quite a few I imagine. It is certainly a thought provoking comment and I can quite see how it upset Gemma and acted as a spur to be more than “just a Mum”.

So shall I BUY or will I PASS?

At a cost of £3.59 for kindle & the reservations I have I will PASS, but I will look out for this author in the charity shop or my local Library.

What have others chosen this week?

Rosie has chosen one of my favourite authors M C Beaton for an Agatha Raisin adventure  https://rosieamber.wordpress.com/2016/01/08/its-back-fridayfivechallenge-would-you-buy-or-pass-agatha-raisin-and-the-day-the-floods-came/comment-page-1/#comment-18623

Cathy selected a post apocalyptic book ironically called Home

http://betweenthelinesbookblog.com/2016/01/08/fridayfivechallenge-home-by-tom-abrahams-buyorpass-postapocalyptic/

Searching for Stars, Shelley found Vampires

http://shelleywilsonauthor.com/2016/01/08/would-you-buy-or-pass-star-by-theresa-oliver-vampire-action-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 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?