Showing posts with label Contemporary. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Contemporary. Show all posts

Monday, January 8, 2018

Sonnets for Heidi by Melissa Bowersock


AMAZON US
I love the eclectic nature of Bowersock’s books. She's an author who produces quality whatever the genre. And on the subject of quality, the package is always complete with absolutely spot-on editing…the icing on an outstanding cake. 

This is an emotionally charged tale of forbidden love.  Aunt Heidi has few living relatives, and the only one willing to take on the responsibility of her care, when Alzheimer’s disease dictates the need for residential care, is her niece, Trish Munroe.  In the time leading up to Heidi’s sudden death, Trish shares some tender moments with an elderly lady who swings from clarity to confusion at the snap of the fingers. Her endeavours to keep Heidi's memory alive lead not only to the revelation of family secrets but to Trish’s own enlightenment: an unburdening of her own past and clarity for her future.

This was a story based on more than one ‘difficult’, sometimes not-talked-about subject, but handled oh-so-professionally by Bowersock. I found the characters ready-developed: you walk into their lives instantly. You know them instantly. You empathise instantly. They’re real-life people right from the start.

This is a novel with a warm glow. It’s professional, it’s classy. Sheer pleasure from start to finish.



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Monday, November 27, 2017

The Art of Hiding by Amanda Prowse


The problem with this book was that it stayed with me as I started the next one! I just couldn’t seem to get the characters….and not just the main one…out of my head. 



Stay-at-home wife and mum Nina’s life is shattered to smithereens when her husband, Finn, is tragically killed in a car accident. However, the gaping wounds of her loss have salt cruelly rubbed into them when she discovers Finn left her with millions of pounds of debt. Gone are her rich lifestyle and all its trappings, gone is the posh private school for her children, gone is her mansion of a house. With few, if not no, options left to her, she is forced to return to the council estate in Southampton, where she grew up and where her sister still lives, not only to try and make sense of what has happened but to work out how she is going to feed, clothe and house her family.


This is an excellent story with a plot and characters that ooze credibility on every page. It’s a story of tragedy and loss, enlightenment and achievement. It was my first date with this author, and I’m already lining up a few more. I’ve read many a good book, but few imprint themselves in my mind enough to distract me in my subsequent read, so, Ms Prowse, I can confidently say: job jolly well done.




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Stay Tuned by Lauren Clark

Melissa, producer of a news programme, is in a marriage which has lost its mojo…husband is never home and communication is on a yellow-Post-It basis. Added to which, her news anchors have a live fisticuffs on the evening show, resulting in both being dismissed and Melissa having to spruce herself up and fill in. Oh, and one more thing: her mother has dementia.

This all sounds all rather tame for a plot, if I’m honest. BUT…I really, really enjoyed this. What could have been a somewhat schmaltzy, boring, clichéd story was actually a very well-written one that kept me interested from start to finish, and I found myself really looking forward to picking up the story every night for my pre-beauty-sleep read. No schmaltz, no boring, no clichés. Written articulately with style, it was actually quite wholesome with some down-to-earth, believable characters. Every relationship was handled with skill and insight…they were diverse, relatable and sometimes touching.

And how refreshing to find a well-edited book for a change…quite the icing on the cake. A light and easy read, yes, indeed, but one that doesn’t skimp on balance or sincerity.






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Tuesday, November 14, 2017

The Fault in our Stars by John Green

AMAZON UK
AMAZON US

I had no idea this existed until I realised there was a movie with the same title. I have a golden rule of never watching a movie until I’ve read the book, so decided to get that out of the way. With a host of good reviews on Amazon, I really wanted to see for myself if it lived up to its popularity.



I’m sure it’s fairly widely known that the story features two terminally ill teenagers (Hazel and Augustus), who meet at a cancer support group. It’s an instant attraction, both mental and physical, and the encounter impacts their (short) lives.

Despite the fact that it’s a little hard to believe the dialogue is coming out of the mouths of sixteen/seventeen-year-olds, the rather excessive use of Capitalized Phrases To Make a Point, and the plot stretching the imagination just a little too far, I really loved this book.

It’s easy to get into and easy to love the characters without feeling pity for them. It’s a love story, sprinkled with deep sadness and poignancy, but the writing is razor-sharp, witty, humorous, and engaging. I found it hard to put down, hard to accept that it had finished (note to self: read more John Green!) and can’t wait to see the movie.


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Uncertainty Principles by Krista Tibbs

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Uncertainty Principles by Krista Tibbs

This was an original and surprisingly compelling story. Surprisingly to me, that is—the scientific element in the story had me a little worried. The sciences were not my strongest, or even favourite, subject at school, so I thought most of it would go over my head. It didn’t, and as a result I was able to enjoy a very unusual novel.

Five students team up for a science project, one they need to make a success of, as they want to secure their graduation marks. And so, they find a way to measure atmospheric energy to enable them to estimate the probability of the occurrence of events that are almost certain to be catastrophic. A life-changing incident involving one of the group halts the project. Four members of the team re-assemble nine years later, their memories very fresh still from the abrupt end to their undergraduate project. Each of them is older not just in years, but in wisdom, outlook and responsibility, the inexperience of their youth nine years earlier somewhat dissipated. Their regrouping, it seems, though strained, proves to be vital...if not life-saving.
Uncertainty Principles by Krista Tibbs
I have to say that it did take me a while to work out to whom the first person POV belonged, and I wasn’t always sure when I was in the undergraduate time or the nine-year-later time. However, eventually, everything does fall into place very methodically.

 I enjoyed this book. The five students couldn’t be more unalike, but they’re cleverly juxtapositioned, a bit like an outfit with clashing colours that works well as a whole, and I loved that I really had no idea how this story would roll out. Add to that, intelligent and articulate writing AND—hoorah!!!—excellent editing, and you’ve got a different and top-quality read.


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Monday, November 6, 2017

Circle in the Sand by Lia Fairchild Download

AMAZON UK
AMAZON US

I’m no stranger to Lia’s writing. She’s a multi-faceted writer who can turn her hand to contemporary fiction, crime thrillers, chick lit and short stories.

Circle in the Sand by Lia Fairchild Download


This was a story about four people, bound by a long-standing friendship, a friendship that's tight and unbreakable. Adulthood and circumstances has meant four very different paths have been followed, but the binds that tie can never be broken. The four are Jax, Sage and twins Emily and Ned. We catch up with them at a time when each has reached a turning point in his/her life: there are decisions to be made, lifestyles to examine, careers to change…and needs to be met.


What I liked about this novel was that while the skeleton of the story is unremarkable, Lia’s perspicacity and insight present four friends who bring the whole thing to life. Four very diverse characters, each likeable for different reasons. Each has depth and different perspectives on life. There’s a feeling of warmth throughout and you are cocooned in a glow as you read this is; no matter what happens or what gets in the way of bringing the four together, the bond of their friendship is unbreakable.

This is a feel-good and satisfying story, beautifully written.

See also:
A Hint of Murder: The Bouncer
A Hint of Murder: The Doctor
A Hint of Murder: The Writer
In Search of Lucy

Circle in the Sand by Lia Fairchild Download




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Sunday, November 5, 2017

Ebook Don't Tell Anyone by Laurie Boris

AMAZON UK
AMAZON US

Ebook Don't Tell Anyone by Laurie Boris


Thank goodness for authors like Laurie Boris. She reminds me that the indie-author world is, mercifully, populated by some topnotch authors (a recent read exasperated me somewhat!). Think of when you’ve had an absolutely rotten day at work, you’ve lost the heel off your shoe, a hideous journey home and it’s still only Monday, but you get home, put the fire on, put your feet up, pour a glass of wine and enjoy a TV dinner. That ghastly day you’ve had fades away, and all is good with the world once again.

That’s how I feel when I pick up a book by Laurie.  I get that 'aaaaaaah' feeling. Invariably, she ticks all the boxes:

I'm hooked on page one.

The characters are immaculately drawn and defined.



The story neatly structured.

Her writing is faultless.

The editing exemplary.

...all round excellence, in fact.

This book doesn’t stray from the path of superiority, I've become accustomed to with this author. It’s a story about a woman with a terminal illness. A woman whose two sons and daughter-in-law find out accidentally. Apart from the unanswered questions why they were not told earlier about this distressing news, the issue opens a Pandora’s box of secrets, lies and unspoken emotions. Three people whose lives were ambling along in an okayish, bordering on mediocre, way, suddenly find they’re walking on a tightrope of relationships. The tensions build as the reader learns whether the truth and revelations see them falling off or reaching the other side.

Along with the impeccable character portrayal and beautifully conceived story…poignant, sad, shocking even…Laurie manages to mix in a little, but perfectly balanced, humour. The result? A five-star book.

Ebook Don't Tell Anyone by Laurie Boris


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