Archives for category: Rosie’s Book Team Review

Terry Tyler, author and reviewer extraordinaire, visits Rosie’s blog with a perfectly timed post about authors who can’t take a reviewers opinion and turn nasty.

Today I’m hosting a post written by Terry Tyler which I feel strongly about as well. #Bookblogger bashing: in the end, you’re only hurting yourself. I’ve read a few posts lately ab…

Source: #Bookblogger bashing: in the end, you’re only hurting yourself #MondayBlogs | Rosie Amber

Hi all:

Today I bring you a book I reviewed as part of Rosie’s Book Review Team

Murder at the Lighthouse. An Exham on Sea Mystery by Frances Evesham

Murder at the Lighthouse. An Exham on Sea Mystery by Frances Evesham

Love cozy crime, murder mysteries, clever animals and cake? Don’t miss Murder at the Lighthouse, a short animal mystery set in Exham on Sea, a typical English seaside town in Somerset.


Amateur female sleuth Libby Forest arrives in the small town after years in a disastrous marriage, to build a new life making cakes and chocolates in Exham on Sea. She finds a body under the lighthouse and discovers her own talent for solving mysteries, helped by Bear, an enormous Carpathian Sheepdog, and Fuzzy, an aloof marmalade cat.
Everyone knows the dead woman under the lighthouse, but no one seems to know why she died. What brought the folk-rock star back to Exham on Sea after so many years? Who  wanted her dead? Does the key to her murder lie in the town, or far away across the Atlantic? Libby joins forces with secretive Max Ramshore and risks the wrath of the townspeople as she puts together the pieces of the jigsaw to solve the mystery of Susie Bennett’s death.
Pit your wits against Exham’s female sleuth and solve the mystery.
The first short read in the series, set in the coastal resort of Exham on Sea, Murder at the Lighthouse introduces a cast of local characters, including Mandy the teenage Goth, Frank Wolf the baker at Wolf’s the Bread and Detective Sergeant Joe Ramshore, Max’s estranged son. The green fields, rolling hills and sandy beaches of the West Country provide the perfect setting for crime, intrigue and mystery.
For lovers of Agatha Christie novels, Midsomer Murders, lovable pets and cake, the series offers a continuing supply of quick crime stories to read in one sitting, as Libby solves a mixture of intriguing mysteries and uncovers the secrets of the small town’s past. Download the first in the series now. The second story is on its way…

LinkmyBook.to/murderatthelighthouse

And here, my review:

I am reviewing this book as part of Rosie’s Book Review Team. Thanks to Rosie and to the author for sending me a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

This is the first book I’ve read by the author although I had come across a number of excellent reviews of some of her other books and I was intrigued by this novella that promised an easy and entertaining read. And it does deliver it.

The description recommends the book to those who love Agatha Christie’s novels or Midsomer Murders and it is right, although the characters, especially Libby, are less formulaic that some of the standard fare in the genre, whilst living up to the expectations of those used to reading cozy mysteries.

There is a ‘gentle’ small town teeming with secrets, a female protagonist who is a new arrival, with a traumatic past and many plans (that include baking, cookery books and chocolates), a troubled teenager, a cat, a couple of dogs, an attractive and mysterious man, and of course, a murder, well, two. The protagonist, who has defied friends’ opinions to move and start a new life, is determined not to let anybody else take her for granted, and that seems to be one of her reasons for not letting go of the case, despite the police’s lack of interest in the two bodies she finds (that initially are thought to have suffered accidents).

For me one of the strengths of the book are the main characters, that are drawn in good detail but always allowing for further discoveries to be made, although I thought that some of the secondary ones (both some of the ladies in the historical society and others who are involved in the case) were quickly dispatched with, and the reader needs to be careful not to get them confused or miss them completely.

I also enjoyed the depiction of the town, as seen from an outsider’s perspective, which allows the reader to discover the ins and outs of everybody’s personal lives and relationships at the same time as Libby (although sometimes she keeps things up her sleeve, as is to be expected in the genre).

Albeit short, the novella’s plot is interesting and will keep you guessing from the beginning, the characters might seem immediately recognisable but appearances might be deceptive, and the book has a great sense of place and community. Being a cozy mystery, it’s not heavy on the procedural or forensic side of things, and as the person solving the mystery is an amateur, the reader has to try and follow her reasoning and the clues. I must confess I didn’t manage to solve the case. It was perhaps my quick reading, but I wasn’t sure all the clues were evident enough to allow other readers to solve the case, but that didn’t spoil my enjoyment.

Murder at the Lighthouse is a light and entertaining read (but don’t be fooled, you need to keep your wits about you!) that opens a series introducing characters that I wanted to get to know better, in a charming setting that hides many secrets. Beware if you’re hungry, as the comments about the main character’s experiments in baking might make you reach for something sweet!

If you want to check more of the author’s books, here is the link:

http://amzn.to/1RvmX7F

Thanks so much to the author and to Rosie for organising this great review team, thanks to all of you for reading, and if you’ve enjoyed it, like, share, comment, CLICK, and don’t forget to write a review if you read a book!

Hi all:

Those of you who have been reading my blog for a while will remember that I have featured audiobooks before and also talked about the possibility of using ACX to create an audiobook version of your book (if you’re a writer. Or if you are a narrator you can also advertise your services there. See here my previous post).

Since I wrote that post, I’ve been lucky enough to have been picked up by Marie and Tim O’Dell at Red Rose audiobooks, and the fantastic Gwyn Olson has narrated my book. And now, is live!

I Love Your Cupcakes, audio with Gwyn Olson as narrator

I Love Your Cupcakes, audio with Gwyn Olson as narrator

A reminder of what the book is about:

Dulce, Adelfa and Storm, the protagonists of I Love Your Cupcakes are business partners, friends and share some “interesting” family connections. All the men Dulce meets only want to talk about her cakes and she’s tired of it. Her friend Adelfa, although she’s a Chemistry Professor, can’t manage to find the recipe for the perfect relationship. And Storm, the third of the partners of their bakery/coffee shop/bookshop/art gallery and ex-fire station, is an artist who is not a master in the art of love. How could they imagine that at the studio of the contest “Do You Have What it Takes to Be the Next Baking Star?” they’d find sexual harassment, cheats, fights and also love? Recipes included (only for cakes, not love!)

Tag line: I Love Your Cupcakes is a “sweet” romance, a virtual fantasy high in calories and a fun adventure. Dare to give it a bite!

Here the links:

In AUDIBLE (UK) AMAZON.COM    AMAZON.CO.UK     i-TUNES

You can get a sample at all the links mentioned but also here in Sound Cloud.

ACX always provides complimentary codes for Audible (although if you’ve never bought an audiobook through them, you have the first one FREE). At the time of writing this I have received codes for the Audible.co.uk site and have requested some for Audible.com (that I hope they send me. They have done in the past). If you’d liked to get one, please leave me a comment and I’ll need your e-mail address (normally WordPress provides that for people leaving comments, although it doesn’t always work). And I’d be very grateful if you found it in your heart to leave a review once you’ve heard it. And feel free to share this post with anybody who might be interested.

By the way, do you prefer this modified cover, or the original one?

I Love Your Cupcakes by Olga Núñez Miret. Cover by Lourdes Vidal

I Love Your Cupcakes by Olga Núñez Miret. Cover by Lourdes Vidal

And, this is especially for all of you BLOGGERS and REVIEWERS who blog about books and writing. I’ve mentioned before that now I’m a proud member of Rosie’s Book Review Team. Rosie and her collaborators have been exploring the use of HASHTAGS especially in Twitter, and now have a new tag for those of us who blog about books. It is: #TuesdayBookBlog.

RBRT (1)

A bit more on the subject of tags, from Rosie’s mouth (or pen):

Most Twittering bloggers know about the benefits of ‘blog share’ days; it all started with Rachel Thompson and her fabulously successful #MondayBlogs.  Now, there is also #wwwblogs on Wednesday (Wednesday women writers), #SundayBlogShare, #ArchiveDay on Saturday, and probably others, too.

Since Rachel started #MondayBlogs, she’s been battling against people using it for book promotion; her view is that you have six other days of the week to promote your books, but #MondayBlogs is about the writing itself ~ in other words, blog posts about anything other than your book!  She now states that there should be no book promotion of any sort on #MondayBlogs, not even third party reviews, which is understandable as there are so many ways in which her guidelines can be abused.

Because there are so many avid readers, writers and book bloggers who understand the benefit of blog share days, Rosie Amber’s Book Review Team is introducing a new hashtag on Tuesdays, for book posts only: #TuesdayBookBlog.  The first day this will be used is Tuesday, November 3rd.

As anyone who starts a hashtag knows, the main difficulty involved is dealing with ‘hashtag abuse’ ~ tweeters who spot a popular hashtag and add it to any tweet, whether relevant or not.  We will do our best to limit this; please feel free to point someone in the right direction if you see this happening.

So what are the guidelines for #TuesdayBookBlog?

DO post:

Blog posts only!

Book reviews ~ either for your own books, or other people’s, or book reviews you’ve written on your blog.

Author Interviews ~ yours or others’.

Cover reveals ~ yours or others’.

Upcoming/new releases ~ yours or others.

Articles or guest posts about books/writers ~ you/yours or others’.

DO NOT post:

Anything that isn’t a blog post

Blog posts that aren’t about books/writers.

Porn.

Blatant promotion of an existing publication that isn’t a proper article – in other words, we don’t want to see a blog post that consists of nothing but the cover of your book, Amazon blurb and buy links.  This was one of the ways in which #MondayBlogs was abused, after people were told they couldn’t use the hashtag for tweets with Amazon links.

To get the most out of #TuesdayBookBlog:

Retweet others on the hashtag and spread the word.  Hashtags work best when you do your bit, too.

The power of Twitter is in the retweet, more than the tweet.  Hashtag retweets are never guaranteed, but do remember that the more you do, the more you are likely to get back.

We hope you will achieve good results from #TuesdayBookBlog, and look forward to seeing you there!

Thanks to Rosie for her hard work to promote books, thanks to the team behind the audio, and thanks to you all for reading. Remember to like, share, comment and if you want, CLICK. Ah, let me know if you’re interested in a code to download the audio, and don’t forget to use the tag #TuesdayBookBlog if appropriate. 

 

 

 

I’m honoured to be featured in #RomancingSeptember with my novel ‘I Love Your Cupcakes’. Thanks, Rosie and all romance lovers! And don’t miss her reviews and the reviews of her team!

Rosie Amber

Welcome to Day 29 of Romancing September

2015 cover

Our guest today is Olga N Miret and her book I love Your Cupcakes

I Love Your Cupcakes

Where is your home town?

Barcelona, Spain.

How long have you been writing romance?

I only started writing straight romance a couple of years ago. Although some of my short stories and longer works of fiction (some I haven’t published yet) contain romance elements, I had never thought about writing a romance as such before.

What is your favourite sub-genre of romance?

To write, I’d say contemporary or chick-lit. But recently I’ve read several historical romances that I’ve really enjoyed.

Where is your book set?

A fictional mid-sized American town.

Introduce us to the main characters.

Dulcinea, Dulce in short (that means sweet in Spanish) is a young woman who’s tried quite a few things professionally (horticulture, business studies, hairdressing, childminding, photography) without much success. Her friend, Adelfa, who…

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Hi all:

Today I bring you one of my reviews as a member of Rosie’s Book Review Team. First, let me tell you a little bit about the book:

The Undertaker's Son by B A Spicer

The Undertaker’s Son by B A Spicer

The Undertaker’s Son by B A Spicer

A picturesque village in south-west France offers the chance of a new life for Martha Burton. But, beneath the rural idyll, lurks an evil that will not remain buried forever.

Claude Cousteau has never been in love. He has no real friends. The only meaningful attachment he has ever formed is to Felix Dumas, an influential lawyer, who once showed him kindness and with whom he spent an idyllic sunny afternoon, as a child.

When Felix Dumas’ way of life comes under threat, Claude is determined to defend the only true friend he has ever had.

 

Author Bev Spicer

Author Bev Spicer

About the author:

Bev Spicer was born in Bridgnorth, a small market town in the Midlands. Her father was an Observer for the RAF and an experienced glider pilot (Bev spent many a weekend at the Midland Gliding Club, where she too learned to glide). Her mother was a local beauty queen and county hockey player, who still lives in Bridgnorth.

Bev was educated at Queens’ College, Cambridge, and became a lecturer at Anglia Ruskin University in 1997, moving to live in France with her husband and her two youngest children ten years later, where she lives in a lovely Charentaise house (in need of renovation).

She is widely read and has travelled extensively, living in Crete, where she taught English and learned to speak Greek, and in Seychelles, where she worked for the government and co-designed materials which were used to teach at secondary school level. She now writes every day and teaches English in her spare time.

Her humorous memoirs have been widely praised for their light-hearted but intelligent style, and hilarious, fast-paced dialogue. Her more literary novels and short stories have been equally well received for their complex characters, impressive prose, and imaginative settings.

You can find Bev’s blog here: http://baspicer.blogspot.fr/

Her Facebook page: http://on.fb.me/1D1fiWF

She’s on Twitter: https://twitter.com/BevSpice

Her Amazon page: http://www.amazon.com/Bev-Spicer/e/B008BHV7YC/

And now, my review:

I am reviewing this book as part of Rosie’s Book Review Team. Thanks to Rosie and to the author for providing a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

The book intrigued me because of the description and the setting. We all seem to expect crime, and crime novels, to be set in big cities, but when evil hides in a small, picturesque and peaceful town, it seems worse. As if evil had no place in such environment. It’s true that it’s perhaps more difficult to hide in a small and idyllic French town, but some manage to hide in plain sight.

The novel, written in the third person, is told from the point of view of a large number of characters, from the “evil” character hinted at in the description, the undertaker’s son of the title, Claude, to Patrice, a young student who ends up being more central to the plot than it seems at first. The author allows us to peer into the heads of her characters, and this is sometimes a very agreeable experience (like in the case of Martha Burton, the British divorcee out to create a new life for herself in France, who, despite disappointments in love is fairly happy), and at others, an utterly terrifying one. Apart from Claude, who has no redeeming qualities, and Patrice, who is a nice young man without any shades, all the rest of the characters are all too human: they hesitate, they are morally ambiguous at times, and even downright immoral. Felix Dumas, the crook, is utterly dislikeable, but even he has some redeeming qualities (he does not understand his son, but seems to love him, and he tells Claude not to take drastic measures. He does not want anyone killed.) And Angeline… It’s a credit to the author that by allowing us into the minds of her characters, we might not agree with what they do, the secrets they keep, or their reasons and justifications, but we understand them. Well, that is, except for Claude.

Claude reminded me of the main character in Peeping Tom due to his fascination with death. But, in contrast with Mark Lewis, the protagonist of Peeping Tom, who is a victim of his father’s psychological experiments, Claude is unknowable. We share his memories and see his attachment to Felix, but he operates outside of our conceptions of right and wrong. He’s a psychopath, but from what we get to see of him, he uses his interest and fascination with death in a utilitarian way, and turns it into a business, rather than being compelled to kill. He plans his jobs with military precision, and seems alien to humankind, functioning at a different level. This is not the typical serial killer whose neighbours would say he seemed so “normal”. He is nothing if not extraordinary. A character very difficult to forget that makes us question the limits of humanity and conscience.

The plot is intriguing but the writing ebbs and flows through certain moments, like parties, planting a tree, and the fleeting memories of a dementing old-man, that help us get a vivid sense of the town and its people, and make us care for the fate of its inhabitants. For the duration of the book we become privileged town dwellers and get to know everybody. This is not a frantically paced thriller, but a novel that shares in the more relaxed pace of its setting, and that’s perhaps what makes it more chilling.

The ending is satisfying (perhaps everything works out too well and that’s the least realistic aspect of the novel) and reassuring. I look forward to reading more novels by B A Spicer.

Four and a half stars.

I haven’t forgotten the links, but the author just let me know that on 7th and 8th, to coincide with this post, her book would be FREE, so make sure to get it!

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00G04DWWS/

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00G04DWWS/

Thanks to Rosie for creating and coordinating her team, thanks to B A Spicer for her book, thanks to all of you for reading, and you know, if you’ve enjoyed it, like, share, comment, and of course, CLICK! It’s FREE!

Hi all:

As you know, I love books and I review books. I recently joined a team of reviewers I’d been following with interest for some time, Rosie’s Book Review Team (see the logo at the bottom of the page). They are a fabulous team and Rosie is a great team leader.

I was very intrigued by Vanessa Matthews’s The Doctor’s Daughter and you’ll soon see why. First let me tell you a bit about the author.

Author Vanessa Matthews

Author Vanessa Matthews

ABOUT THE AUTHOR – Vanessa’s debut poetry collection ‘Melodies of my Other Life’ was published by indie press Winter Goose Publishing in 2013. Since then she has been featured in several poetry publications, has won two poetry contests and has developed her fiction writing skills through training with the Arvon Foundation and mentorship from The Literary Consultancy. The Doctor’s Daughter is her first novel. When she is not writing fiction, Vanessa works as a freelance copy writer and marketing consultant. She lives in the South West of England with her husband and four children.

You can find out more about Vanessa Matthews, here:

SOCIAL MEDIA –

Facebook.com/vanessamatthewswriter

Twitter @VanessaMatthews

Goodreads.com/goodreadscomVanessa_Matthews

Instagram.com/vanessamatthewswriter

Pinterest.com/nessamatthews
And now, the novel:

The Doctor's Daughter by Vanessa Matthews

The Doctor’s Daughter by Vanessa Matthews

THE DOCTOR’S DAUGHTER. A prominent psychiatrist’s daughter realises insanity can be found much closer to home when she unlocks secrets from the past that threaten to destroy her future. 

It’s 1927, women have the right to vote and morals are slackening, but 23 year old Marta Rosenblit is not a typical woman of her time. She has little connection with her elder sisters, her mother has been detained in an asylum since Marta was born and she has spent her life being shaped as her father Arnold’s protégé. She is lost, unsure of who she is and who she wants to be. Primarily set in Vienna, this dark tale follows her journey of self-discovery as she tries to step out of her father’s shadow and find her identity in a man’s world. Her father’s friend Dr Leopold Kaposi is keen to help her make her name, but his interest is not purely professional and his motivations pose greater risks that she could possibly know. Marta’s chance encounter in a café leads to a new friendship with young medical graduate Elise Saloman, but it soon turns out that Elise has some secrets of her own. When Marta’s shock discovery about her family story coincides with her mother’s apparent suicide, Marta can’t take anymore. None of the people she has grown to love and trust are who they seem. Her professional plans unravel, her relationships are in tatters and her sanity is on the line – and one person is behind it all.

Here is my review (WARNING: It’s a long one. I’ve tried not to share any spoilers.)

I am a psychiatrist, and when I read the plot of this book I could not resist. A book set in Vienna about the early times of psychiatry, and a woman, the daughter of a psychiatrist, trying to develop her own ideas and become independent from her father’s overbearing influence. I had to read it.

The book is fascinating and very well-written. I suspect that somebody without my background might enjoy the story more for what it is, and not try and overanalyse it or overdiagnose it. Arnold Rosenblit’s theories are suspiciously reminiscent of Sigmund Freud’s. And of course, he also had a daughter, Anna, who dedicated her life to study and develop child-psychology. I’ve read some of Freud’s works, but I haven’t read that much about his life, although from what I’ve seen, his relationship with his daughter was much more congenial than the one Arnold (a man difficult to like, although the description of his relationship with his wife is quite touching) had with Marta, the daughter of the title.

The book is written in the third person and mostly narrated through Marta’s point of view, although there are chapters from her friend Elise’s perspective, her father’s, and Leopold’s, a physician and long-time friend of the family.

Marta is a very complex character, and one I found difficult to simply empathise with and not to try and diagnose. Her mother was locked up in a psychiatric asylum when she was very young and she became the subject of her father’s observation. The father tried to keep her as isolated as possible from his other daughters, but the oldest daughter looked after her, even if minimally, and they were all in the same house. (It made me think of the scenario of the film Peeping Tom, although Arnold does not seem to have been openly and intentionally cruel.) She appears naïve and inexperienced, at least in how to behave socially and in her role and feelings as a woman, but she is a doctor, a psychiatrist, attends and organises her father’s talks and lectures, and teaches outside, therefore she’s exposed to society and has always been. This is not somebody who has truly grown up in isolation, although she has missed a guiding female figure in her life and the close emotional attachment.

She has her own psychological theories and ideas, but finds it difficult to make her father listen to her. She has very low self-esteem, self-harms and has been doing so for a long time, and when she enters a relationship with a man, she’s completely clueless as to standards of behaviour or how to interpret this man’s attentions (a much older man than her, but somebody with influence and who promises to help her). Although she was not brought up by her mother, I wondered how realistic some of her behaviours would be for a woman of her social class at that period. However, the novel does paint the fine society of the time as a close set-up with a very dark undercurrent, with drugs and alcohol being consumed abundantly, and adventurous sexual behaviours being fairly common, and perhaps Marta is reflexion of such contradictions. On the surface, very controlled (the superego), but with strong and dark passions underneath (the unconscious).

Eloise, the friend she casually meets (or so it seems at the time), is a formidable character, determined, strong-willed, and resourceful, prepared to fight the good fight for women in a society of men. It’s very easy to root for her.

There is a classical villain, that you might suspect or not from early on, but who eventually is exposed as being a psychopathic criminal. The difficulty I had with this character was that I never found him attractive enough or clever enough to justify the amount of power he had over everybody. He is narcissistic and manipulative but even he at some point acknowledges that he uses people but has no great contributions or ideas of his own. It is perhaps because we’re privy to Marta’s thoughts and we see behaviours most people wouldn’t see that we don’t fall for him, but later on he’s revealed to have behaved similarly with quite a few people, especially women, and for me, it was difficult to understand why they would all fall for him. Marta is a damaged individual and he takes advantage of it, but what about the other women? And the rest of society? Leaving that aside (it might be a personal thing with me), he’s definitely somebody you’ll love to hate. (I’m trying not to spoil the plot for readers, although the description of the books gives quite a few clues).

The ending, despite terrible things happening and much heartache, is a joy. Considering what has gone on before, everything turns very quickly, and it’s difficult to imagine that in real life psychological healing would be quite so complete and perhaps so smooth. But it is a fairy tale ending, and although a dark tale, one of sisterhood triumphant.

A word of warning, the book can prove a tough read, as some pretty dark things take place, and there are some cringe-inducing moments. It is not an easy read, but it will challenge you and make you think. And that’s not a bad thing.

I was offered a copy by the author in exchange for an honest review.

And now, the links:

Kindle edition £2.54 http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00Y165LRQ?*Version*=1&*entries*=0  (UK link but available worldwide)

Here the link in Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Vanessa-Matthews/e/B00JESTBAO/

Paperback edition £7.99 https://completelynovel.com/books/the-doctors-daughter–1 (A paperback edition will also be available on Amazon within 2-6 weeks but is available now on CompletelyNovel.)

Thanks so much to Vanessa Matthews for her thought inspiring book, thanks to Rosie Amber for co-ordinating and organising this wonderful team, and you know what to do, like, share, comment and CLICK!

Ah, and as you know, the second book in my series Angelic Business 2. Shapes of Greg is due to be published very soon (15th July). I’ll be telling you more next week, but in the meantime, I thought I’d leave you a new video:

Living in the Gap

“Ruffled feathers and endless squawking over a minor difficulty is typical of a crow’s life. I lean back on the counter and realize that could be my line….”

Opinión y actualidad

Opinión sobre noticias y asuntos de actualidad

Los escritos de Héctor Browne

Blog (algo literario y algo viejo) de un Licenciado en Letras, diplomado en edición, y Profesor de Lenguaje.

Priscilla Bettis, Author

The making of a horror novelist.

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