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.

Having enjoyed The Viper and the Urchin so much, I decided to look at some more titles listed as steampunk by Amazon.

At first none attracted me as they seemed to be more Urban Fantasy.  I was intrigued by these two books,

Steampunk Lego

Steampunk Lego

Steampunk Coloring Book

Steampunk Coloring Book

but I finally selected a book which caught my eye mainly for its title.


The female Pharaoh, Hatshepsut, who began her 22 year reign in 1478 BC, has always intrigued me so I looked at the

Book Description

Viscount Nathaniel Lyons is a man of numerous secrets, but there is one in particular that threatens his fledgling relationship with Cara. Stunned by Nate’s revelation, and before she can absorb the ramifications of his actions, he is arrested, charged with treason and imprisoned in the grim Tower of London. He stole something the mad queen wants, and only has days to deliver, before his date with the executioner.

Although sorely tempted, Cara can’t let him die on Tower Green, not when their connection means she would share his fate.

Only together can Cara and Nate figure out how to wrestle Hatshepsut’s Collar from around the queen’s neck, before she plunges Britain into a world war. The search for answers sends Cara to the opulent Winter Palace of St Petersburg and the frozen depths of Siberia, with every step shadowed by an enemy with his own dark plans.

So the tale is set in an alternative London and Russia.  The picture is rather confusing.  Writing about the author A W Exley the publisher says, “Anita writes fantasy historical novels with a steampunk twist.”

There are only six 4 and 5 star reviews which reveal that the heroine finds herself hatching Dragons on a pirate airship and that it is the second book of a series.

The plot sounds varied and eventful but Shall I BUY or will I PASS? I’m going to PASS.

What have others chosen this week?

Shelley is seeking happiness  http://shelleywilsonauthor.com/2015/09/11/buy-or-pass-looking-for-happy-books-fridayfivechallenge/

Cathy has chosen sex and comedy 


Alison has found a birthday that is not as she expected


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?


Memories of my school library

For many years I had the joy of purchasing books for school libraries, mainly for the 7 to 13 age group.  I read most of the books aimed at the 10+ group and delighted in many of them.  Today I am looking back to a few gems.


Philip Reeve in his book Mortal Engines has created a glorious steampunk world which is utterly believable.  Set in a future after the 60 Minute War, cities like London are on wheels acting as predators, feeding on smaller towns.  Young engineering apprentice Tom and his unlikely companion Hester, an assassin, survive and mature as they travel from one dilemma to another.  I was captivated by their world and rewarded by the follow up books.


The Wind Singer by Hollywood playwright William Nicholson is a dystopian novel inevitably compared with The Hunger Games although The Wind Singer was written several years earlier.  Twins Kestrel and Bowman live in the well-ordered city of Aramanth which has lost its soul.  They and their parents are all examined regularly on their studies and ability and this decides their rank in society.  This is identified by the colour of their clothing and dictates their house and possessions. After Kestrel rebels, supported by her family, she and Bowman set out on a dangerous journey in search of the voice of the Wind Singer.  Eminently suitable for children who enjoy fat books it is equally enjoyable for an adult reader.


Celia Rees writes books which make you think.  Witch Child is a popular book told in the words of a young girl who emigrates to America in the 18th century after seeing her grandmother hanged for witchcraft but for me Celia’s best book is Truth or Dare.  Told alternately in the words of 13 year old Josh and his mother Joanna it concerns the mysterious death of Joanna’s brother Patrick when he was a boy.  Josh discovers that his uncle, Patrick, was considered strange by others, that he was obsessed by UFOs and that his mother feels tremendous guilt about his death.  There is a developing friendship between Josh and the older girl next door, sadness while his grandmother lies dying and an exciting twist in the tail.


Lian Hearn has written several books in her Tales of the Otori set in a fantasy, magical Japan. Across the Nightingale Floor introduces us to 16 year old Takeo, heir to the Otori Clan who learns the skills of martial arts in order to stay alive.  He meets Kaede, with whom he falls in love, but there can be no future for them together.  The book is full of adventure, thrill and emotion.


Jamila Gavin is most famous for her epic Coram Boy which tells the tale of one of the orphans in Thomas Coram’s Foundling Hospital in 18th century London.  It is a dark, sad story involving, murder of children, slavery and exploitation but there is also hope and happiness.  She has also written a trilogy of books about a brother and sister who left India in 1947.  The Wheel of Surya tells the story of Jaspal and his sister Marvinder who are caught up in the riots of Partition between India and Pakistan.    Homeless and penniless (rupeeless?), they set out to find their father who had gone as a student to England at the end of the Second World War.