Hidden Colours by Nillu Nasser #BookReview @nillunasser

Cover: Hidden Colours
by Nillu Nasser

 

The author sent me an ARC of this book (mobi format) in exchange for an honest review.

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)

Plot
(by Goodreads)

When Yusuf fled Syria, he lost everything. Now the circus, with its middle-eastern flair, is the only home he knows. When the lights go on, the refugees dazzle their audience, but off-stage tensions flare.

Ellie is passionate about the circus and drawn to its broken people. Even so, if she wants to keep her job at the newspaper, she must head up a campaign against it.

One night, in the midst of a show, two young circus boys come to blows. With the circus at risk of closure, Ellie must convince her readers that we can have compassion for those we fear, or Yusuf will be forced to uproot again.

 

Genre(s): Kindle eBooks
> Literature & Fiction > Literary Fiction > Sagas
> Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Sagas
Books
> Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Family Saga
Series: n.a.
Length: 315 pages
Release date: 2018-12-03

 

Teaser


Could she hear herself, the way she had prioritised things over human lives? Ellie wanted to blurt out in disgust, but she held back. It wouldn’t do to poke her boss in the eye so soon after her latest fiasco. Instead, she said merely, “The circus has become part of Berlin.” How could any good come of the immigrants feeling unwelcome?

“Only for hippies and liberals.” Marina fixed Ellie with a hard-eyed stare. Her pupils glinted like flint. “Don’t forget the disgruntled and the fearful, the lost and the angry. They drive our readership. We’re a newspaper, not an encyclopaedia. You know how it works.”

Ellie was starting to. Her mood hung about her like a gloomy cloud.


My Opinion

This book introduces you to a variety of complex characters and topical situations; it is a work of fiction, yet it hits close to home.

With “Hidden Colours”, Nillu Nasser has created a remarkable, well-elaborated story with interesting characters. It was easy to get into the story; the author guides you through the Berlin setting while subtly taking you closer to the characters and their lives. Yusuf and Ellie are very complex, likeable; the other characters are of sufficient depth – according to their relevance. Nillu Nasser created a remarkable story that offers food for thought on current day topics like xenophobia, racism, the lack of integrity, etc. The story proceeds at a steady pace, carefully portraying the main persons and their feelings; it comprises some interesting turns, and has a great flow. “Hidden Colours” is intense, thought-provoking, and unforgettable.

This is a book for you if you like stories with a meaning, carefully elaborated plots with memorable characters, as well as food for thought.

Highly recommended!

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Mood Hopeful
Pace Steady
POV Third person – past tense
Language :mrgreen:  (decent enough)
Violence 😳  (scattered violence, fatalities)
Sexual content :mrgreen: – 😳  (some kisses, a mild scene without detail)

 

About the author

Nillu Nasser is a writer of literary fiction novels. She also blogs, writes short fiction and poetry.

Nillu’s short story ‘Painted Truths and Prayer Beads’ was published in May 2016 in Mosaics 2: A Collection of Independent Women. Another short story ‘The Tombstone Man and the Coming of the Tigress’ was published in June 2016 in UnCommon Origins, an anthology of short fiction. In 2017, ‘Tombstone Man’ reappeared in UnCommonly Good.

Nillu has a BA in English and German Literature and an MA in European Politics. After graduating she worked in national and regional politics, but eventually reverted to her first love.

She lives in London with her husband, three children, one angelic and one demonic cat, though she secretly yearns for a dog. If you fly into Gatwick and look hard enough, you will see her furiously scribbling in her garden office, where she is working on her next story.

To find out more about Nillu and get the juice on her latest books, read her blog or sign up for her newsletter at www.nillunasser.com.

Connect with the Author:

Amazon:  Nillu Nasser

Please take a look at my statement on reading in My train of thoughts on …reading.  Now I am asking you.  🙂

My questions for you bibliophiles:
What about you?  What did you think about “Hidden Colours”?  Or – if you did not yet read “Hidden Colours” – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂


Review:  All the Tomorrows

10 Statements – Nillu Nasser

 

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Expecting the Unexpected in Derbyshire (Longbourn, #8) by Margaret Lynette Sharp #BookReview @MargaretLynett1

Cover: Expecting the Unexpected in Derbyshire
(JAFF; Longbourn, #8)
by Margaret Lynette Sharp

 

The author sent me an ARC of this book (mobi format) in exchange for an honest review.

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (4 stars)

Plot
(by Goodreads)

When expectant mother Anne King (née de Bourgh) and her husband David came to stay at the home of fellow newly-weds Georgiana Hodges (née Darcy) and her husband Edward, events take an unexpected turn. Will the ensuing crisis be enough to precipitate an about-face on the part of Lady Catherine de Bourgh?

Genre(s): Fan Fiction
Kindle eBooks
> Kindle Short Reads > 30 minutes (12-21 pages) > Romance
> Romance > Historical Romance > Regency
> Literature & Fiction > Short Stories > Single Authors
Series: Longbourn, #8
Length: 21 pages
Release date: 2017-10-03

 

Teaser


“I see nothing foolish in having Georgiana’s image painted in oils, shortly after her marriage,” Darcy replied.

Elizabeth gave a genuine smile.

“I did not expect you to sport with me, Darcy. No doubt, you must be aware of the substance of my words.”


My Opinion

As this book is a work of fan fiction, it takes you back to the places and characters of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice”.

With “Expecting the Unexpected in Derbyshire”, Margaret Lynette Sharp has created another nice piece of fan fiction. If you have read Pride and Prejudice” or even watched the remarkable TV mini series (1980), you recognize the world of Elizabeth Darcy, née Bennet. The From Longbourn to Pemberley series is centred on Elizabeth, whose warmth and intelligence also made Pride and Prejudice” special. Her husband, Fitzwilliam Darcy, develops nicely – a tendency the readers could assume at the end of Pride and Prejudice”. It is a short read, taking you back to Longbourn and Pemberley to further extend your Pride and Prejudice and/or Longbourn/Pemberley experiences. Lady Catherine de Bourgh is her usual traditional self, as we know her from our previous encounters be it in the book or in the already mentioned mini series. True to the title, there are some nice turns. Margaret Lynette Sharp again took up the hard challenge of writing fan fiction on a classic by Jane Austen, aptly enhancing the story without changing the characters’ ways. If you loved Pride and Prejudice, you will appreciate the additional stories this courageous author has to offer.

This is a book for you if you like Pride and Prejudice”, fan fiction, classic reads, and classic reads’ aptly written fan fiction.

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (3 stars)
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (4 stars)
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (4 stars)
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (4 stars)
Mood Hopeful, nostalgic
Pace Steady
POV Third person – past tense
Language :mrgreen:  (decent, no swearwords)
Violence :mrgreen:  (none)
Sexual content :mrgreen:  (none)

 

About the author

My name is Margaret Lynette Sharp, and I’m the wife of the creator of the Grand Organ in the Concert Hall of the Sydney Opera House, Ronald Sharp B.E.M. I’m proud to say that I’ve won two literary awards – one each at the 2014 and 2015 Short Story Writing Competition held as part of the Hurstville (in suburban Sydney, Australia) Discovery Festival of Community Arts.
These stories have been published in prizewinners’ anthologies, ‘Write Out Loud’ and ‘The Art of Writing’.

My first venture into Jane Austen fan fiction resulted in the best-selling ‘Longbourn Revisited’.
Next came the well-reviewed title, ‘An Encounter at Longbourn’, followed by ‘A Party at Longbourn’, ‘And from Longbourn, A Wedding Comes,’ and ‘Much Ado at Longbourn’. Recently, these five stories were combined, forming the novel-length ‘From Longbourn, With Love’. To date, I have forty published eBooks, and some of these are also available as paperbacks.

I grew up in an inner city suburb of Sydney, moving to a pleasant, tree-filled outer suburb at the age of ten. Ron and I currently live in this same house, a small Federation brick and tile home.

I’m thankful that we live near a river that has a large, netted swimming baths. I love to swim, and I’ve been a member of the local swimming club for well over thirty years. Our little white rescue dog, Chicki, comes with me and waits patiently while I enjoy the water. Afterwards comes her reward – a walk beside the river, and a chance to play on a little, sandy beach. Who knows what doggy friends she’ll find there…

Connect with the author:

Please take a look at my statement on reading in My train of thoughts on …reading.  Now I am asking you.  🙂

My questions for you bibliophiles:
What about you? What did you think about “Expecting the Unexpected in Derbyshire”? Or – if you did not yet read “Expecting the Unexpected in Derbyshire” – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂

 

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Lucky Star by Holly Curtis #BookReview @1HollyCurtis

Cover: Lucky Star
by Holly Curtis

The author sent me an ARC of this book (epub format) in exchange for an honest review.

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)

Plot
(by Amazon)

Teenager Ben Somerset has three great loves in his life: Sherlock Holmes, designer clothes and a certain song by Madonna. And then Susie appears.

Set in England in 1984 Lucky Star tells of Ben’s introduction to the world of shoplifting, music, politics, love and heartbreak.

 

Genre(s): Books > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction
> Urban Life
Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction
> Coming of Age
> Urban
Series: n.a.
Length: 193 pages
Release date: 2018-04-25

 

Teaser


She nods very slowly, like it’s all a big joke. ‘Nice place. Very classy. What’s it like inside?’

‘Oh, we never go inside,’ I reply, thinking it sounds really cool to say we never go inside the community centre.

She tilts her head back and laughs. ‘Wow! So you just use the community centre to hang about outside it!’

Realising how clumpish my comment must seem I laugh with her. …


My Opinion

This story introduces you to Ben Somerset, his friends, and their teenage lives in the 1980s.

With “Lucky Star”, Holly Curtis transports us back into the 1980s to meet ‘Somers’, ‘Harts’, ‘Jord’, and further acquaintances. The story is told by a realistic teenager of that time, a nice journey into the past; especially readers who were teenagers in the 1980s will consider this book a nice reminder. As the story proceeds, Ben gains complexity, the other characters are of sufficient depth, according to their relevance. The book comprises interesting turns and has a good flow. Holly Curtis provides us with Ben’s view of his world, lets the readers get close(r) to him. I was drawn into the story after a few chapters – when I gained a basic knowledge of Ben. I could then easily envision the characters and locations. I had a good time reading “Lucky Star”. It is a quite enjoyable read.

This is for you if you like coming of age stories with some likeable characters.

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (three stars)
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ – ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (three to four stars)
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Mood Suspenseful
Pace Steady
POV First person – past tense
Language :mrgreen:  (decent enough)
Violence :mrgreen:  (a little slapping)
Sexual content :mrgreen:  (mild kissing)

 

About the author

Holly’s first book is a comedy called “Celluloid” and has been hailed as ‘the best book ever about a film lover who tries to prevent his local, independent cinema from being closed and turned into flats by a psychotic gangster property developer.’

Holly’s favourite story is A Christmas Carol and loves movies from the 30s-50s.

Holly was born and raised in the UK and will probably perish there.

Connect with the Author:

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14002240.Holly_Curtis
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/1HollyCurtis
Amazon:  Holly Curtis
Amazon:  books2read.com/u/3G9Xen


Please take a look at my statement on reading in My train of thoughts on …reading.  Now I am asking you.  🙂

My questions for you bibliophiles:
What about you?  What did you think about “Lucky Star”?  Or – if you did not yet read “Lucky Star” – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂

 

The Story That Had No Beginning by Daniel Kemp #BookReview @danielkemp6

Cover:
The Story That Had No Beginning
by Daniel Kemp

The author sent me an ARC of this book (mobi format) in exchange for an honest review.

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)

Plot
(by Amazon)

Alicia Collinson and her partner, Sir Giles Milton QC have a dinner party to host in the Chelsea home they share, but they are unaware of an extra guest; the ghost of Alicia’s dead twin brother. Alicia poses a surprising question to Sir Giles and their guests:—“Do you think lying is endemic in society today?”

They all have different answers based on their experiences, but what was the purpose of her question and how did her brother die?

 

Genre(s): Kindle eBooks
> Literature & Fiction > Literary Fiction > British & Irish
Books
> Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Literary
Series: n.a.
Length: 158 pages
Release date: 2018-05-04

 

Teaser


I discovered in life that it is useless to speculate on what might have been. To want something that has gone is a wasted sentiment, one where grudges wander and despair is only a partially filled glass away. I have, however, nothing else to do than wonder what might have been had I found my twin that day in Bishopsgate. Having said that, and although I was not poor, I could not have competed with Mary on a financial footing, nor, it must be said, with the amount of time she did manage to devote to my sister. More importantly than either of those was how she exhibited an extraordinary example of benevolence for Alice to follow, whereas all I could have shown my sister was how to fight…


My Opinion

This story is introduced by Tom Collins. He tells the readers about how he and his twin sister Alice were taken into two different foster homes when they were eight, as well as about the dinner party, hosted by Alicia Collinson – his sister.

With “The Story That Had No Beginning”, Daniel Kemp presents us with a pretty unusual combination of contemporary fiction and mystery. The story is told by Tom’s ghost sometimes in a quite philosophical way. The first chapters may seem a little complicated, due to a multitude of characters, as you learn more about them, the better you get a clear picture. The book comprises interesting turns and has a good flow. Daniel Kemp lets a ghost tell the stories of his sister and of himself, enriching the plotline with surprising insights and food for thought. I was drawn into the story after a few chapters – when I had a basic knowledge of the relevant characters. I could then easily envision the characters and locations. I had a good time reading “The Story That Hand No Beginning”. It is a quite enjoyable read.

This is for you if you like contemporary fiction combined with mystery, surprises, and food for thought.

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (three stars)
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Mood Suspenseful
Pace Steady
POV First person – past tense
Language :mrgreen:  (decent enough)
Violence 😳  (scattered scenes, mentions)
Sexual content 😳  (mentions of acts, few details)

 

About the author

Daniel Kemp, ex-London police officer, mini-cab business owner, pub tenant and licensed London taxi driver never planned to be a writer, but after his first novel —The Desolate Garden — was under a paid option to become a $30 million film for five years until distribution became an insurmountable problem for the production company what else could he do?

In May 2018 his book What Happened In Vienna, Jack? became a number one bestseller on four separate Amazon sites: America, UK, Canada and Australia.

Nowadays he is a prolific storyteller and although it’s true to say that he mainly concentrates on what he knows most about; murders laced by the intrigue involving spies, his diverse experience of life shows in the short stories he writes; namely Why: A Complicated Love and the mysteriously titled– “The Story That Had No Beginning”.

He is the recipient of rave reviews from a prestigious Manhattan publication, been described as —the new Graham Greene — by a managerial employee of Waterstones Books, for whom he did a countrywide tour of signing events, and he has appeared on ‘live’ television.

Connect with the Author:

Website:  https://theauthordannykemp.com/
Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17257200.Daniel_Kemp
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/danielkemp6
Amazon:  Daniel Kemp
Amazon:  books2read.com/u/3G9QL8


Please take a look at my statement on reading in My train of thoughts on …reading.  Now I am asking you.  🙂

My questions for you bibliophiles:
What about you?  What did you think about “The Story That Had No Beginning”?  Or – if you did not yet read “The Story That Had No Beginning” – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂

 

The Legend of Astridr: Birth by Mandy Jackson-Beverly #BookReview @MJacksonBeverly

Cover: Astridr: Birth
by Mandy Jackson-Beverly

 

The author sent me an ARC of this book (mobi format) in exchange for an honest review.

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)

Plot
(by Amazon)

Before the Allegiance came Astridr, whose legend began long before her birth.

When the imprisoned seer Sonja is liberated by thirteen Viking warriors, a storm takes the lives of her rescuers and she’s left dying and alone. The fae prince Hakon hears her cries—as does Freyja, goddess of the underworld, who arrives to negotiate for Sonja’s soul.

In love and sacrifice, Sonja survives to bear a daughter, Astridr—while the bargain between the fae prince and the goddess lays the foundation for an immortal’s legend.

 

Genre(s): Viking Historical Romance
Mythology
Fairy Tale Fantasy
Series: A Creative Series Novella, The Creative Series
Length: 70 pages
Release date: 2018-08-31

 

Teaser


And then one day a few centuries before the year 1000, the Lady was drawn to a place far from her home where she observed a web of deceit and love unfold. She knew at that instant that her vision from long ago was about to unfurl. She closed her eyes and watched from afar as Hakon strode across the desolate tundra and suddenly froze. He looked around as if searching for something or someone. But the Lady and the Rose had also heard a young woman’s cries for help as a familiar image flashed before her.


My Opinion

This book introduces you to Skuld and Gunwald. Fae king Gunwald saves the norn Skuld – later known as the Lady and the Rose; they fall in love, have a son, fae prince Hakon.

With “Astridr: Birth”, Mandy Jackson-Beverly presents us with a wonderful story of love, fate, myth, hope, and adventure. The story is skilfully elaborated and has a great flow. Mandy Jackson-Beverly introduces each relevant character almost tenderly, providing them with sufficient depth for their respective relevance. I was drawn into the story right away – very close to all of them. I could easily envision the characters and locations. I had a great time reading “Astridr: Birth”. It is a very pleasant read.

A great story by a skilful storyteller.

This is for you if you like fantasy, myth, action, very likeable characters, and excellent storytelling.

This is a book to read again. Recommended.

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Mood Hopeful
Pace Steady
POV Third person – past tense
Language :mrgreen:  (decent enough)
Violence 😳  (scattered fight scenes)
Sexual content :mrgreen:  (decent, some kisses)

 

About the author

Mandy Jackson-Beverly was born in the bustling town of Pyramid Hill, Victoria, Australia … Population: 419. This remote childhood kick-started Mandy’s imagination, as did the rugged coastline and rolling hills of Tasmania, where her family relocated when she was four years old.

In 1982, Mandy moved to London, where she discovered the importance of the creative collective: The 1980s fashion scene. A year later, in Los Angeles, she found her own creative freedom among the thriving, no-holds-barred visionaries of the music video world. As a costume designer and stylist Mandy worked for photographer Herb Ritts, and directors Joel and Ethan Coen, David Fincher, and Julien Temple, and music icons David Bowie, Madonna, and Tina Turner, to name a few.

Mandy has taught Advanced Placement Art, written and directed high school theater productions, is a contributor to The Huffington Post and a book reviewer for The New York Journal of Books. She resides in Ojai, California, with her husband, Brian Beverly, a crossed-eyed cat, Luna, a dog named Cash and, sometimes, her sons, Angus and Jack.

Connect with the Author:

Website:  http://mandyjacksonbeverly.com/
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/MJacksonBeverly
Amazon:  Mandy Jackson-Beverly
Buy links:  books2read.com/u/3J8MOX


Please take a look at my statement on reading in My train of thoughts on …reading.  Now I am asking you.  🙂

My questions for you bibliophiles:
What about you?  What did you think about “Astridr: Birth”?  Or – if you did not yet read “Astridr: Birth” – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂


10 Statements – Mandy Jackson-Beverly


The trailer above is short and sweet, a perfect match for the story. Even if the book in question is already released – I just had to share it with you. Enjoy the music!