Fancy That: A heart-warming Christmas ‘tail’ by Cara Ward #RBRT #BookReview

Cover: Fancy That: A heart-warming Christmas ‘tail’
by Cara Ward

The author sent me an ARC of this book (mobi format) in exchange for an honest review (member of Rosie’s Book Review Team).

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)

Plot
(by Goodreads)

Was there life outside my little box?

Tom and Pat have known each for over fifty years but only been friends for three when someone (or something) comes into their life and changes everything.

A charming short story for Christmas and beyond about friendship, hope… and a dog called Zelda.

From the author of Cara Ward’s “Weighting to Live” series.

 

Genre(s): Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction
> Genre Fiction > Holidays
> Contemporary Fiction
Books > Literature & Fiction
> Genre Fiction > Holidays
Series: n.a.
File size: 64 KB
Release date: 2018-11-21

 

Teaser


Confused, I looked inside the cage to find the biggest Alsatian I had ever seen in my life. ‘Yes. And?’

As if it were the most obvious thing in the world, he told me, ‘Well I want him Tom.’

I burst out laughing, thinking it was a joke – well, hoping it was at least… ‘But Pat, it’s an Alsatian.’

He repeated my words. ‘Yes. And?’


My Opinion

This book offers you a heart-warming story of two widowed retirees, hope, and a dog named Zelda.

With “Fancy That”, Cara Ward has created a beautiful and unforgettable short story. Tom narrates the story, drawing you right in. I read this story in one go, certain that it would not be the last time. Cara Ward created this well-elaborated story that is entertaining and offers food for thought at the same time. It is a highly enjoyable read with authentic characters, interesting turns, and a great flow. A memorable book to read again, written by an excellent story-teller.

This is a book for you if you like intriguing contemporary fiction, believable characters, food for thought, and if you appreciate expertly elaborated stories.

Highly recommended!

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Mood Calm (in a very good way)
Pace Steady
POV First person – past tense
Language :mrgreen:  (decent)
Violence :mrgreen:  (no violence)
Sexual content :mrgreen:  (decent)

 

About the author

Originally from London, Cara started writing in 2013.

In 2014, as part of NaNoWriMo, she wrote the first draft of “Weighting to Live”. The following February she published it under the pen name Lily Divine. She then went on to write two sequels: “Changes”, a book of short stories and “Sixteen Months”, a novelette. In 2017, Cara decided to republish them under her own name, adding to the series in 2018 with the short story “Plus Uno”. In 2017 she published her first non-fiction book “Curing my Incurable Eczema”, the story of her battle with eczema and red skin syndrome and “Every Trich in the Book” in 2018 with Trigger, documenting her recovery from trichotillomania. In November 2018 she published the short story “Fancy That”.

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 “Fancy That”?  Or – if you did not yet read Fancy That” – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂

Karen_RBRT

rosies-book-review-team-1

 

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The Curse (Roxanne Fosch, #0.5) by Jina S. Bazzar #BookReview @Jina_Bazzar

Cover: The Curse
(Roxanne Fosch, #0.5)
by Jina S. Bazzar

 

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

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)

Plot
(by Goodreads)

Yoncey Fosch, the leader of the Unseelie Dhiultadh clan would give anything to save his brother from a mysterious plague. Anything, including his leadership mantle and a favor to his deadliest enemy, Queen Titania’s consort.

But his actions will have far reaching consequences, and Fosch realizes he is not only unwilling to pay the price, but will defy anyone who calls him on it.

 

Genre(s): Kindle Short Reads > 90 minutes (44-64 pages)
> Teen & Young Adult
> Science Fiction & Fantasy
> Literature & Fiction
Series: Roxanne Fosch, #0.5
Length: 61 pages
Release date: 2018-04-15

 

Teaser


“Completion of the bargain … perhaps an offspring would be a fitting price.” Oberon mused, and Fosch’s stomach contents curdled. “A Dhiultadh, one strong enough to power the binding stones and still live to tell. It makes me wonder, what an offspring of yours and a Seelie would create.”


My Opinion

This book introduces you to Yoncey Fosch who wants to save his brother and other clan members from a plague – whatever it may cost him.

With “The Curse”, Jina S. Bazzar presents us with the prequel to “Heir of Ashes”, introducing the Roxanne Fosch series. This prequel is a sound basis for the series, telling the story of how Roxanne Fosch came to be. The story is nicely elaborated, comprises interesting turns, and has a  good flow. Jina S. Bazzar introduces each character with care, providing them with sufficient depth for their respective relevance. I was drawn into the story right away – as an invisible and curious bystander. I could easily envision the characters and locations – with an amazing colour intensity. I had a great time reading “The Curse”. I am looking forward to continuing the story.

This is for you if you like (urban) fantasy, likeable characters, surprises, and good storytelling.

Recommended.

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Mood Suspenseful
Pace Steady
POV Third person – past tense
Language :mrgreen:  (decent enough)
Violence 😳  (mostly mentions)
Sexual content :mrgreen:  (some mentions)

 

About the author

Jina was born and raised in Brazil, where she had a joyful and fulfilling childhood. Soon after she graduated from high school, she was diagnosed with a chronic disease that caused gradual vision loss. She became blind at the age of twenty-three. She has since lived in the United States and Brazil, though currently resides in the Middle East.

Like most authors, Jina had always been an avid reader, a fan of the fantastic, but was denied the joy of books when she became blind. Once she discovered screen readers, she picked up the habit of reading again, but discovered that reading was no longer enough, so she started writing her own book.

When she’s not writing in the Roxanne Fosch series or her blog, she’s writing articles for Conscious talk Magazine, where she works as a columnist.

Connect with the Author:

Website:  https://authorsinspirations.wordpress.com/
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/Jina_Bazzar
Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17738345.Jina_S_Bazzar
Amazon:  Jina S. Bassar
Buy links:  books2read.com/u/bwYeWO


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 Curse”?  Or – if you did not yet read “The Curse” – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂


Link:  10 Statements – Jina S. Bazzar

 

The Lost Sentinel (Silent Sea Chronicles, #1) by Suzanne Rogerson #BookReview @rogersonsm

Cover: The Lost Sentinel
(Silent Sea Chronicles, #1)
by Suzanne Rogerson

 

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

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)

Plot
(by Goodreads)

The magical island of Kalaya is dying, along with its Sentinel.

The Assembly controls Kalaya. Originally set up to govern, they now persecute those with magic and exile them to the Turrak Mountains.

Tei, a tailor’s daughter, has always hidden her magic but when her father’s old friend visits and warns them to flee to the mountains she must leave her old life behind.
On the journey, an attack leaves her father mortally wounded. He entrusts her into the care of the exiles and on his deathbed makes a shocking confession.
Struggling with self doubt, Tei joins the exiles search for the new Sentinel who is the only person capable of restoring the fading magic. But mysterious Masked Riders are hunting the Sentinel too, and time, as well as hope, is running out.

Against mounting odds it will take friendship, heartache and sacrifice for the exiles to succeed in their quest, but is Tei willing to risk everything to save the island magic?

Follow Tei’s journey through the magical land of Kalaya and the Astral Plane in “The Lost Sentinel – Book 1 in the Silent Sea Chronicles”.

 

Genre(s): Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy
> Sword & Sorcery
> Epic
Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy
> Sword & Sorcery
Series: Silent Sea Chronicles, #1
Length: 363 pages
Release date: 2017-06-16

 

Teaser


A few moments later, Rike rose and re-joined them. He frowned at Garrick before offering Tei an exasperated look. ‘The Sentinel taught us all life is important to the magic, and in turn to our own survival. The Kalayan people have forgotten this delicate balance and now everyone suffers.’ He sighed and shook his head as he looked over at the bodies of his fellow Kalayans. ‘I don’t respect these men for the choices they’ve made, but they do deserve a chance to give back to the magic. I’ve summoned the Spirit Guides to help them. Now we need to go before those Masked Riders decide to regroup.’ He looked pointedly at his protector.


My Opinion

This book introduces you to Tei whose life takes a turn after an old friend of her father’s warns them to leave their life behind.

With “The Lost Sentinel”, Suzanne Rogerson presents us with several interwoven plot lines, one covering Tei and her companions, another getting closer to Brogan, and a third one is on Farrell. All plot lines are relevant, even if I admittedly had a ranking for them i.e. one that I could not get too warm with. The story is skilfully elaborated, comprises interesting turns, and has a  great flow. Suzanne Rogerson introduces each character with finesse, providing them with sufficient depth for their respective relevance. I was drawn into the story right away – very close to Rike and to Brogan, highly appreciating their integrety. I will presumably get closer to Tei in the second instalment, when she has gained a little more maturity. I could easily envision the characters and locations. I had a great time reading “The Lost Sentinel”. It is a very enjoyable read.

This is for you if you like urban fantasy, very likeable characters to cheer on their thrilling trip, integrity, surprises, and great storytelling.

This is a book/series to read again. Highly recommended.

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Mood Suspenseful
Pace Steady
POV Third person – past tense
Language :mrgreen:  (decent enough)
Violence 😳 – 😡  (fight scenes include some gore)
Sexual content :mrgreen:  –  😳  (some kisses and mentions)

 

About the author

Suzanne lives in Middlesex with her hugely encouraging husband and two children.

She wrote her first novel at the age of twelve. She discovered the fantasy genre in her late teens and has never looked back. Giving up work to raise a family gave her the impetus to take her attempts at novel-writing beyond the first draft, and she is lucky enough to have a husband who supports her dream – even if he does occasionally hint that she might think about getting a proper job one day.

Suzanne loves gardening and has a Hebe (shrub) fetish. She enjoys cooking with ingredients from the garden, and regularly feeds unsuspecting guests vegetable-based cakes.

She collects books, loves going for walks and picnics with the children and sharing with them her love of nature and photography.

Suzanne is interested in history and enjoys wandering around castles. But most of all she likes to escape with a great film, or soak in a hot bubble bath with an ice cream and a book.

Connect with the Author:

Website:  https://suzannerogersonfantasyauthor.com/
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/rogersonsm
Amazon:  Suzanne Rogerson
Buy links:  books2read.com/u/bwY6Ov


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 Lost Sentinel”?  Or – if you did not yet read “The Lost Sentinel” – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂


Review:  Visions of Zarua by Suzanne Rogerson

 

The Christmas Ghosts (Volume 1) by G. Lawrence #RBRT #BookReview @TudorTweep

Cover: The Christmas Ghosts, Volume 1
by G. Lawrence

 

The author sent me an ARC of this book (mobi format) in exchange for an honest review (member of Rosie’s Book Review Team).

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)

Plot
(by Amazon)

Have a Very Merry, Ghostly Christmas!

G. Lawrence presents a collection of five short ghost stories, all based in Cornwall and Devon for Christmas. Spooky, amusing, and touching by turns, these ghost stories are a great seasonal buy!

 

Genre(s): Books > Literature & Fiction
> Genre Fiction > Horror > Ghosts
> Humor & Satire > Humorous
Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction
> Humor & Satire > General Humor
Series: The Christmas Ghosts, Volume 1
File size: 140 pages
Release date: 2016-10-11

 

Teaser


Hardly daring to breathe, Mary reached the bottom of the stairs and listened again for any sign that she had disrupted the sleep of her sons or their families, but she could hear nothing. She made her way into the kitchen and took up a little pan, pouring water into it from a jug she had prepared earlier, so that the household would not hear her running water from the tap in the night. She checked her watch; she still had a few minutes before the appointment. As the water boiled on the electric stove, she poured a measure of good single-malt whisky into a cup, and mixed in a spoonful of thick, golden honey. Then she took cloves from her herb rack, and added two to the cup of whisky and honey. The water boiled, and she took it off the heat as she poured a dash of lemon juice into the cup and added a thin slice of lemon as well, so thinly sliced that its flesh was almost transparent in the moonlight.


My Opinion

This book offers you five remarkable short stories.

With “The Christmas Ghosts, Volume 1″, G. Lawrence has created a wonderful collection of short stories with a title that keeps its promises. Each story kept me glued to my eReader, drawing me very close to the protagonists, except the Rodger Reed character; in this story, I was an interested bystander. G. Lawrence created well-elaborated stories which are entertaining and offer food for thought at the same time. The protagonists are believable, complemented by the aptly written stories. There are some insights in the human behaviour that will make you wonder. It is a highly enjoyable read with authentic characters, interesting turns, and a great flow. A memorable book to read again, written by an author to watch out for!

Short Story Rating
Guardian 5 stars
Hot Toddy 5 stars
Rodger Reed and the Road Kill Rabbit 4 stars
Old Man Symmonds 5 stars
The Christmas Ghosts 5 stars

“Guardian” is my favourite story of the year.

This is a book for you if you like intriguing contemporary fiction with interlaced paranormalcy, believable characters, and if you appreciate expertly elaborated stories.

Highly recommended!

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Mood Suspenseful
Pace Steady
POV Third person – past tense
Language :mrgreen:  (some mild swearwords spread sparsely)
Violence :mrgreen:  (no violence, except an accident)
Sexual content :mrgreen:  (decent)

 

About the author

I am an independently published author, and proud to be so. Living in a little cottage in Cornwall in the UK, I love where I live as much as I love to write.

The age of the Tudors has been an obsession for me since I was a child, and many of my upcoming books will center on that time, but I also pen the odd dystopian fiction or historical fiction from other time periods. I will be releasing all my titles on amazon, for kindle and then hopefully for print later.

I studied Literature (with a capital L) at University and usually have twenty or more books I’m currently reading. Reading and writing are about mood for me, and I haven’t found a genre I didn’t enjoy something about so far…

You can often find me on Wattpad or Twitter when I’m not writing…

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 “The Christmas Ghosts, Volume 1”?  Or – if you did not yet read The Christmas Ghosts, Volume 1″ – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂

Karen_RBRT

rosies-book-review-team-1

 

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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