Book Reviews

Below are the books I have read and reviewed in the last month or so. Click the Amazon link and you will find my review under ‘Love Reading Love Books’.

The Red Effect

Harvey Black

Amazon.co.uk

RedEffect72dpi

The Painted Bridge

Wendy Wallace

(My daughter’s review)

Amazon.co.uk

the painted bridge

Missing Believed Dead

Chris Longmuir

Amazon.co.uk

missing believed dead

Blueprint For Love

Henriette Gyland

Amazon.co.uk

bp for love

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Tuesday Chit Chat with… CONTRACTED AUTHOR, OUR VERY OWN LAURA JAMES

My wonderful friend and fellow Romaniac, Laura James has news, good news, in fact, really great news. Delighted for her! 😀

The Romaniacs

Sorry for shouting. It wasn’t the aggressive shouty type. More of a town cryer style because Hear ye, Hear ye we have some fantastic news for you today. And without further ado, we’ll get on with asking the lady herself…

Author Pic Brighter

We’ve noticed at Romaniac HQ that Laura hasn’t been eating her cake of late. We know this means something is on her mind. So, tell us Laura, what’s occurring?

You know me, stomach’s always the first to give when anything major happens in my life.

Don’t leave us guessing, Laura! You are being interviewed by a lady who is heavily pregnant with twins. I’m not in a position to be left in the lurch. What is the MAJOR thing that has happened in your life?

Sorry, Catherine. Hang in there.

I should warn you, I’m liable to spontaneously combust at any moment, and that’s something even I can’t plan for…

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Book Review : It Happened One Night by Phillipa Ashley

it happened one night

REVIEW

This is the first book I’ve read by Phillipa Ashley and wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but I have to say I really loved It Happened One Night.

Initially, I thought this was going to be a story of young love between and 18 year old, Sophie,  and 21 year old, Adam, but that was just the first few chapters where the scene and background were set for the rest of the book. The ‘early’ years ended on a cliff hanger – all the reader knows is that something quite bad happened at a party. The next chapter starts 10 years later, where we catch up with Sophie and Adam and find out what happened and how their lives have moved on since then. The supporting cast had some great characters which all added to an entertaining, fun and relaxed read.

Phillipa Ashley has a lovely, fresh style of writing that is well developed, yet casual at the same time. It made me feel totally at home and once I started reading it, I didn’t want to put it down.

Definitely one to put in your suitcase alongside your flip-flops and sun cream.

DESCRIPTION

Sophie McBride has been in love with Adam Templar for as long as she can remember. Talented, brilliant and sexy, he shines like the sun over the tiny Lakeland village where she’s grown up. Now, at eighteen, she has her own big ideas and what’s more, Adam is home from university and has finally noticed her . . . really noticed her. When he asks her to a party, she dares to hope that all her dreams can come true, but what happens that night sets off a chain of events that bring heartbreak for Sophie – and lead to Adam leaving Langmere under the darkest of clouds.

Ten years later, no one is more shocked than Sophie to find him back in the village. Now an up-and-coming film director, he’s returned to make a drama about a notorious local poet and brought his glamorous cast, crew – and girlfriend – with him. As the on-screen drama plays out, can Sophie and Adam lay the past to rest or will history repeat itself?

Amazon UK

Amazon US

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

phillipa ashleyBritish author, Phillipa Ashley, loves writing lively, sexy, funny romantic fiction. After studying English Language and Literature at Oxford University, she worked as a copywriter and journalist. Her novels have been published by Headline Little Black Dress, Piatkus Entice and Samhain Publishing.

She started writing fiction in 2005, after being inspired by the BBC TV drama, North & South. Her first novel, Decent Exposure – titled Dating Mr December for the US – topped the Play.com Romance chart and won the Romantic Novelists Association New Writers Award 2007. In 2009, it was filmed as a Lifetime TV movie called 12 Men of Christmas starring Kristin Chenoweth and Josh Hopkins. Having her novel made into a movie inspired It Happened One Night which is published in June 2013.

Her most recent book for Piatkus Entice is Miranda’s Mount which won Best e book at the Festival of Romance Reader Awards 2012.

Her books have been translated into many languages including Thai, Turkish, Bulgarian and Russian. In the US, four of her books have been published by Sourcebooks and reached the Amazon.com Romance Top 20. She was a judge for the RNA Love Story of the Year 2011 and has interviewed many interesting people during her career as a journalist including the writers, Ian Rankin and Sir John Mortimer and actors Richard Armitage, Robert Powell and Nigel Havers.

Phillipa lives in Staffordshire with her husband and daughter and loves Champagne, Jane Austen, hiking, surfing and body boarding. She also loves visiting her apartment in the Lake District as often as possible, the setting for It Happened One Night.

She is represented by the Wade & Doherty Literary Agency and Sayle Screen.

Phillipa’s Links:

www.phillipa-ashley.com

Twitter : @PhillipaAshley

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Phillipa-Ashley

Phillipa’s Author Page on Amazon

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Guest Post from Carol E Wyer

carol e wyerTrying to keep a grumpy old man amused is virtually impossible. Trust me, I know. After my own little Grumpy retired, he suddenly became far too interested in what I was doing, for my own good. I couldn’t move without him wanting to know what I was up to or asking if I wanted to have a cup of coffee (i.e. make him one.)

Eventually, after various attempts to keep him amused, I introduced him to blogging. I set him up a monthly column “Hubby’s Hotties” on one of my blogs: Fortifying Your Fifties. It was to allow him to rant about all those things he generally rants to me about, and give me a break. Of course, being technically incompetent he spent hours writing out his posts in biro then handing them to me to put into the blog. It gave me much more work than I anticipated but it amused him for a while. Five months to be precise. It’s a shame he gave it up because he attracted a lot of followers. Just to prove any old grumpy can blog, here’s his second post which amused quite a few people (I am known as Facing50 in the blogging world):

“My second post, and I have decided to type it all myself. After the grief I got (from you know who) for writing out so much last time, I thought I’d better have a go on my tod. (Facing 50 kept muttering about “A dog” and “barking yourself”.) Facing 50 is going to cut this out from my computer screen and glue it into the blog on hers. It remains a mystery to me, so I leave all that technical gubbins to her.

All of this brings me nicely onto the subject for this week – technology or mobile phones to be precise. I am not a fan of mobile phones. Even when I had to have one for work, I used to turn it off when I went out for the day. If I didn’t, the blasted thing would always ring just as I was in an important lunch meeting with a client. Note I say “lunch meeting”. I was usually on the dessert when the phone rang. Some idiot back at base inevitably wanted the answer to some asinine query that could easily be dealt with without disturbing my crème brûlée.

Even today, Facing 50 insists I carry a mobile with me whenever we go to the shops and split up for a couple of hours. She says it is to ensure I get back to the meeting place on time, and not leave her standing there like a lemon, as I have been known to do in the past. I feel it’s like having one of those bracelets that tracks your every move. Like the ones that released prisoners have. Don’t tell her, but I switch it off.  If she says she was trying to reach me, I claim I had no signal when she phoned. Ah, she’s probably just read that bit.

Mobiles irritate me. I detest people who pick up their phone and answer it no matter where they are. If they are in the bank talking to the cashier, they’ll suddenly answer a call and chat, oblivious to the person who is serving them. It’s downright rude. Worse still are those people who walk towards you speaking. You think they are addressing you and are just about to reply, when you notice that “thing” in their ear and realise they are conversing with Bob in the office, not you.

More than calls, I hate texts. I don’t know how to send them and I don’t understand the text language that youngsters use. Even Facing 50 thought our son was sending her “lots of love” for months until she found out “lol” meant “laugh out loud”.

Last post, I received a comment from one of you which read “ROFL”. I worried it might be the sound of her vomiting. I therefore, researched the web to find out what it meant, and in doing so, found some very good text abbreviations for older people to use. I thought I’d share them with you and hopefully, they’ll make you LYAO. See, I’m learning every day.

Try them out and start a new trend:

ATD                At the Doctors

ATGC             At the Garden Centre

BTW               Bring the Wheelchair

BYOT             Bring Your Own Teeth

CGU                Can’t Get Up

CGIU               Can’t Get It Up

FWIW              Forgot Where I Was

GGPBL           Gotta Go; Pacemaker Battery Low!

LMDO              Laughing My Dentures Out

OMSG             Oh. My! Sorry – Gas

ROFL&ICGU Rolling On The Floor Laughing And I Can’t Get Up

WAITT             Who Am I Talking To?

WTP                Where’s The Prunes?”

See, he had potential to be a good blogger. Pity he decided to revert to his old ways and stick to what he knows best; irritating me while I am trying to get on with something. Good luck. Hope you have better luck with your grumpies.

grumpymancover

Is your Grumpy Old Man getting under your feet? Is he wrestling with retirement? Are you wondering if you should bundle him up and entrust him to basket-weaving classes? Then this book could be the answer to your prayers. This light hearted guide is packed full of lively ideas, anecdotes and quips. Not only does it set out to provide laughs, but offers over 700 ideas and ways to keep a Grumpy Old Man occupied.

From collecting airline sick bags to zorbing, you will be sure to find an absorbing pastime for your beloved curmudgeon. There are examples of those who have faced extraordinary challenges in older age, fascinating facts to interest a reluctant partner and innovative ideas drizzled, of course, with a large dollop of humour.

Written tongue-in-cheek, this book succeeds in proving that getting older doesn’t mean the end of life or having fun. It provides amusing answers to the question, “How on Earth will my husband fill in his time in his retirement?” It offers suggestions on what might, or most certainly might not, amuse him. Ideal for trivia buffs, those approaching retirement, (or just at a loose end) and frustrated women who have an irritable male on their hands, this book will lighten any mood and may even prevent the odd murder.

The following is an excerpt from a recent article published in Men’s Health on NBC News

(http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/50305818/ns/health-mens_health/t/get-my-lawn-why-some-older-men-get-so-grouchy/

The look: A scowling face, a wagging finger, and a shaking head. The targets: The economy. Teenagers. Windmills.

Some informally dub it “grumpy old man complex.” British author Carol Wyer labels it “irritable male syndrome,” a spike in the outward crankiness of guys of a certain age.

“Women have friends and we talk about our problems and we take medication and all that kind of stuff. But for men, it’s something they suppress. It’s a male thing,” says Wyer, author of the upcoming humor book “How Not To Murder Your Grumpy.”

Feeling that they no longer are useful, especially, if a man has held an important position in employment prior to retirement, “can result in severe depression at worst and general grumpiness at best,” Wyer said.

Wyer’s husband of 25 years, John, turned 60 this year and became very grumpy just after his birthday, she says. “I have spoken to other women in the same position who have said exactly the same: Husbands, even those who have looked forward to a big birthday, have become morose soon after,” Wyer says.

John Wyer, who owned his own business and misses “the cut and thrust” of his work, has self-diagnosed his own occasionally gloomy anger as something of a byproduct of Western society’s collective view toward — and value of — people who are 60 or beyond.

“One of the things that really took hold of me was the fact that I was approaching a ripe old age, let’s say, and I felt society can cast you off as a little bit of a no-hoper. I just feel that isn’t right. I feel people in increasing years have a lot to offer. And they shouldn’t cast off to one side. And I suppose my grumpiness is a little bit of a protest against sliding down that particular route,” he said.

“You think, well, gosh, there’s got to be to be something a little more than this. Being grumpy is just my way of getting through it and laughing at myself.”

About the Author:

carolewyerAfter completing a degree in French and English, Carol E Wyer became a language teacher. She actually began her working life abroad, in Casablanca, Morocco, where she taught English as a Foreign Language in an American Language school. It was soon discovered that she could speak French rather well, and she became a translator and teacher to large organisations and companies such as ‘Regie de Tabac’, Morocco’s largest cigarette company, and the Mediterranean Shipping Company.

After a few years she was ‘head-hunted ‘to run the English as a Foreign Language department of a private school in the UK. (Imagine Hogwarts without the wizardry.)

Carol taught English up to, and including ‘A’ Level, along with English as a Foreign Language. She also qualified to teach pupils with Dyslexia and became Head of English for Special Needs.

In 1988, Carol set up her own language company called Language 2000 Ltd and worked in schools and for companies. She taught a variety of languages, including basic Japanese, to all ages and translated documents.

A recurrence of spinal difficulties that began when she was a teenager, forced her to give up teaching and choose a new direction. In order to deal with her health problems, Carol attended a fitness course (Premier), took the qualifications to become a fitness instructor and became a personal trainer. That led her to become a trainer for others, particularly for older people who, like herself, had undergone major surgery.

Thanks to older age, Carol now no longer trains people, but she is currently writing a series of novels, articles and books which takes a humorous look at getting older. It is her hope that they will educate through laughter and help others appreciate life.

Carol has written several short stories over the years, including humorous books for children which served to teach them French. She was not able to fulfil her desire to be a full-time author until two years ago when her son flew from the nest, leaving his bedroom which Carol turned into her office.

Since then, she has written two novels, Mini Skirts and Laughter Lines and Surfing in Stilettos, both of which have enjoyed media attention and success, becoming best sellers and winning awards.

Carol writes regularly for author websites and she has recently become a contributing author on a help guide entitled Tutorials and Tools for Prospering in a Digital Age.

carolewyerbooks

Carol’s links:

Amazon UK Author Page :  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Carol-E.-Wyer/e/B005U34XNM/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Amazon US Author Page :  http://www.amazon.com/Carol-E.-Wyer/e/B005U34XNM/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

FeedARead (Paperback version)  Surfing in Stilettos :

http://www.feedaread.com/books/SURFING-IN-STILETTOS-9781781764886.aspx

FeedARead (Paperback version) Mini Skirts and Laughter Lines:

http://www.feedaread.com/books/MINI-SKIRTS-AND-LAUGHTER-LINES-9781908481818.aspx

Website:http://www.carolewyer.co.uk/#

Thornberry Publishing:http://www.thornberrypublishing.com/page10.htm

Safkhet Publishing:  http://www.safkhetpublishing.com/authors/Carol_Wyer.htm

And:http://www.safkhetpublishing.com/books/select/9781908208163/How_Not_To_Murder_Your_Grumpy.html

Blog:http://facing50withhumour.com

Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/pages/Carol-E-Wyer/221149241263847

Twitter:https://twitter.com/carolewyer

Goodreads:http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5061207.Carol_E_Wyer

Website:http://www.carolewyer.co.uk

Member of Romantic Novelists Association:http://www.romanticnovelistsassociation.org/index.php/about/author/carol_wyer

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Book Review -The One You Love by Paul Pilkington

TOYL

REVIEW

Emma Holden’s boyfriend goes missing on his own stag night and no-one knows what has happened to him.  This is the beginning of a mystery that takes Emma up and down the country, questioning everything she ever knew or thought she knew in a bid to find out what exactly happened that night.

The One You Love is a suspense novel with a romantic element and can be enjoyed by anyone who likes a good mystery. Hints and clues were dropped into the story line but every time I thought I might have it worked out, something else came up to make me change my mind. I liked the way small insights were given as to what was happening that the main characters didn’t necessarily know or, if they did, they weren’t sharing with each other. It unfolded rather like a crime drama seen on TV and kept me hooked and interested the whole way through.

Really enjoyable read and I shall definitely be adding  the other books in the series to my reading list.

DESCRIPTION

Emma Holden’s nightmare has just begun. Her fiancé vanishes, leaving the battered and bloodied body of his brother in their London apartment. Someone is stalking her, watching her every move. And her family are hiding a horrifying secret; a secret that threatens all those she loves. In a desperate race against time, Emma must uncover the truth if she ever wants to see her fiancé alive again.

The One You Love is a fast-paced suspense mystery, full of twists and turns, following in the tradition of writers such as Nicci French and Sophie Hannah.

Since July 2011 it has been downloaded over one million times, has spent a full month at number 1 in the UK Kindle free download chart (July-August 2011), and reached the top of the US Kindle free download chart.

About the Author

Paul Pilkington has had material broadcast on BBC radio and ITV television, and was long listed for the 2004 London Book Fair Lit Idol competition. In 2004, Paul was inspired to write his first suspense mystery, The One You Love, through his love of emotional mystery thrillers, such as those by Harlan Coben, Linwood Barclay, Nicci French and Thomas H Cook. His aim is to create fast-paced, twisting and turning fiction that stirs the emotions. His latest mystery suspense thriller, Someone to Save You, was released in 2011. The One You Fear (sequel to The One You Love), will be published in December 2012. Find out more about Paul’s writing:

Follow Paul on Twitter: @paulpilkington

Like him on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/paulpilkingtonauthor

Visit his website: http://www.paulpilkington.com