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

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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

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No One Can Hear You by Nikki Crutchley #RBRT #BookReview @NikkiCAuthor

Cover: No One Can Hear You
by Nikki Crutchley

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

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)

Plot
(by Goodreads)

‘He said that they’d let me go on purpose. That they could easily find me if they wanted to. He said that they didn’t want me. That I was too much trouble. He said if I went to the cops, he’d know. If I told Sonya, he’d know. If I talked to friends or teachers, he’d know. He told me to pretend it didn’t happen. He told me to consider it a compliment, that I was too strong. His last words to me were, ‘Just forget’.

Troubled teen Faith Marsden was one of several girls abducted from Crawton, a country town known for its picturesque lake and fertile farmland. Unlike the others, she escaped, though sixteen years on she still bears the emotional and physical scars.

Zoe Haywood returns to Crawton to bury her estranged mother Lillian, who has taken her own life. As she and Faith rekindle their high-school friendship, they discover notes left by Lillian that point to two more young women who recently disappeared from Crawton. But Lillian’s confused ramblings leave them with more questions than answers.

As Faith and Zoe delve deeper into the mystery, they become intent on saving the missing women, but in doing so are drawn into Auckland’s hidden world of drugs, abduction and murder. And then Faith decides to confront the mastermind – on her own.

 

Genre(s): > Crime Thrillers
> Women Sleuths
> Murder Thrillers
Series: n.a.
File size: 282 pages
Release date: 2018-09-24

 

Teaser


‘This has something to do with the same people who took Tania.’ She remembered everything she’d overheard over the last two months. Conversations between Tai and Garth, including how she was going to be next. She wanted him to know that she knew they had taken Tania. From the recesses ofher brain she said, ‘The secret garden.’ And watched for Tai’s reaction.

The look of shock on his face was gone in an instant, but she saw it. He rearranged his features and shrugged. ‘No idea what you’re talking about.’


My Opinion

This book’s prologue introduces you to Faith Marsden and what happened to her in February 2001; then – moving on to October 2017 in the first chapter – you get to know Zoe Haywood, a science teacher who has to return to Crawton where her mother has passed away.

With “No One Can Hear You”, Nikki Crutchley has created another gripping as well as chilling thriller with a plot that keeps its promises. It is a plot that kept me glued to my eReader, drawing me very close to Zoe. Nikki Crutchley created a well elaborated thriller with a complex and likeable heroine – as well as a colourful variety of further important characters. Zoe and the others are believable, complemented by the aptly written plot. There is a lot more to the story than simply good versus bad; 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! After completing this book I realised that Nikki Crutchley has made it into my top 15 list of thriller authors.

This is a book for you if you like intriguing suspense, feisty heroines, believable characters, and if you appreciate expertly elaborated stories.

Highly recommended!

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Mood Suspenseful
Pace Fast
POV Third person – past tense
Language :mrgreen: – 😳 (average swearwords spread sparsely)
Violence 😳  (some violence)
Sexual content 😳  (some mentions, scenes without too much detail)

 

About the author

After seven years of working as a librarian in New Zealand and overseas, Nikki now works as a freelance proofreader and copy editor. She lives in the small Waikato town of Cambridge in New Zealand with her husband and two girls.

Nikki has been writing on and off her whole life and recently has had success in flash fiction. She has been published in Flash Frontier, Flash Fiction Magazine and Mayhem Literary Journal. Crime/thriller/mystery novels are her passion. “Nothing Bad Happens Here” was her fist novel, set on the Coromanadel Coast of New Zealand.

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 “No One Can Hear You”?  Or – if you did not yet read No One Can Hear You” – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂

Karen_RBRT

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Finders, Not Keepers (The Not So Reluctant Detectives, #1) by D.E. Haggerty #BookReview #RBRT @dehaggerty

Cover: Finders, Not Keepers
(The Not So Reluctant Detectives, #1)
by D.E. Haggerty

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:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (4 stars)

Plot
(by Goodreads)

What do you do with a diamond no one wants? You can’t keep it. Or can you?

While cleaning her ex-husband’s effects out of the attic, Terri finds an exquisite diamond pendant necklace. She’s determined to return the necklace to its proper owner, but the owner was brutally killed, a murder which remains unsolved, and her heirs want nothing to do with the diamond. Terri embarks upon a journey researching charities to which she can donate the diamond. When her research becomes dangerous, Terri contemplates solving the murder herself. Her best friend, Melanie, jumps feet first into investigating the murder, but her neighbor, Ryder, doesn’t want Terri exposed to any danger. Ryder, to Terri’s surprise, also wants to be more than neighbors with Terri. Luckily, he’s prepared to take any measure necessary to keep her safe because someone is determined to stop her inquiries.

Join Terri on her quest to find a home for the diamond, which may result in the unveiling of a murderer – if she survives long enough.

Genre(s): Kindle eBooks
> Romance > Mystery & Suspense > Mystery
> Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Mystery > Cozy
Books
> Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Mystery > Cozy
Series: The Not So Reluctant Detectives, #1
Length: 244 pages
Release date: 2018-08-20

Teaser


“I’m sure you’re curious about Jessica.” Terri nodded but didn’t dare speak for fear her curiosity would come across as excitement, which was morbid considering the poor woman was dead. “Phil?”

Mr. Collins cleared his throat. “Our niece Jessica was only twenty-five when she was killed.”


My Opinion

This book focuses on Terri, recently divorced. Finding a diamond pendant necklace in her attic, and trying to get it back to its rightful owner gets her in some unanticipated situations.

With “Finders, Not Keepers”, D. E. Haggerty has created an expertly worded and very funny suspense story with a romantic touch. The story comprises a broad variety of believable characters with sufficient depth, hilarious moments, and interesting interactions to solve the case of the diamond pendant necklace. I had a great time reading “Finders, Not Keepers” – it is a very fun read. I was drawn into the story right away, chuckling about the cute yet stubborn protagonist and her complexes, her best friend Melanie – even more determined, and Terri’s rather protective neighbour, Ryder.

This is for you if you like female amateur sleuths, stubborn and determined women, hilarious situations as well as a great combination of cosy suspense, humour, and romance.

A funny and suspenseful book to read again; it is the very promising first in a new series.

Recommended.

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (4 stars)
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (5 stars)
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (4 stars)
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (4 stars)
Mood Suspenseful
Pace Steady
POV Third person – past tense
Language :mrgreen:  (appropriate)
Violence :mrgreen:  (some mentions)
Sexual content :mrgreen:  (decent enough)

 

About the author

I grew-up reading everything I could get my grubby hands on from my mom’s Harlequin romances to Nancy Drew to “Little Women”. When I wasn’t flipping pages in a library book, I was penning horrendous poems, writing songs no one should ever sing, or drafting stories which have thankfully been destroyed. College and a stint in the U.S. Army came along, robbing me of free time to write and read, although on the odd occasion I did manage to sneak a book into my rucksack between rolled up socks, MRIs, t-shirts, and cold weather gear. After surviving the army experience, I went back to school and got my law degree. I jumped ship and joined the hubby in the Netherlands before the graduation ceremony could even begin. A few years into my legal career, I was exhausted, fed up, and just plain done. I quit my job and sat down to write a manuscript, which I promptly hid in the attic after returning to the law. But being a lawyer really wasn’t my thing, so I quit (again!) and went off to Germany to start a B&B. Turns out being a B&B owner wasn’t my thing either. I polished off that manuscript languishing in the attic before following the husband to Istanbul where I decided to give the whole writer-thing a go. But ten years was too many to stay away from adopted home. I packed up again and moved to The Hague where I’m currently working on my next book. I hope I’ll always be working on my next book.

Connect with the author:

Website:  http://dehaggerty.com/
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/denaehaggerty
Amazon:  D. E. Haggerty
Buy links:  books2read.com/u/mBPnJA


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 “Finders, Not Keepers”?  Or – if you did not yet read “Finders, Not Keepers” – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂


 

 

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Scathed (Grafton County Series, #3) by Sue Coletta #RBRT #BookReview @SueColetta1

Cover: Scathed
(Grafton County series, #3)
by Sue Coletta

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)

On a picturesque fall morning in Grafton County, New Hampshire, a brutal murder rocks the small town of Alexandria. In the backyard of a weekend getaway cabin, a dead woman is posed in red-satin, with two full-bloomed roses in place of eyes.

In her hand, a mysterious envelope addressed to Sheriff Niko Quintano. Inside, Paradox vows to kill again if his riddle isn’t solved within 24 hours.

With so little time and not enough manpower, Niko asks his wife for help. But Crime Writer Sage Quintano is dealing with her own private nightmare. Not only did she find massive amounts of blood on the mountain where she and her family reside, but a phone call from the past threatens her future—the creepy mechanical voice of John Doe, the serial killer who murdered her twin sister.

Together, can Niko and Sage solve the riddle in time to save the next victim? Or will the killer win this deadly game of survival?

Genre(s): Books > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense
> Thrillers & Suspense > Crime > Kidnapping
> Thrillers & Suspense > Crime > Serial Killers
> Thrillers & Suspense > Crime > Murder
Series: Grafton County, #3
Length: 260 pages
Release date: 2018-07-25

 

Teaser


Stopping her midstream, he flashed a flat hand. “Thank you, Deputy Campanelli. A simple yes or no will suffice.”

“For your information, I was gonna say corvette. Geez. And you say my mind never leaves the gutter.”


My Opinion

This third book in the Grafton County series re-introduces you to best-selling author Sage Quintano, her husband Niko, Grafton County Sheriff, their son Noah, and to their canine kids Colt and Ruger.

With Scathed, Sue Coletta has created another extraordinary and fast-paced thriller about a woman who once again is confronted with a serial killer – close to her own home. Who has moved up to the mountain? Who kills and leaves envelopes for Sheriff Niko Quintano? The story comprises a variety of interesting characters with sufficient depth and cleverly elaborated and fast-paced interactions. Be prepared to accompany Niko and his team to some grisly crime scenes; even if the descriptions are not too stretched, you clearly see that Sue Coletta is serious about her research. I had a thrilling time reading Scathed – it is a very compelling read; it takes you close to Sage, Niko and his partner Frankie, and to ‘the kids’. I was drawn into the story right away, very close to the protagonists. Sage and Frankie are complex and intense characters, their ways of thinking and their actions – as unusual as they may be – fit these women perfectly. The story has a great flow with some surprising (nicely integrated) turns.

This is for you if you like thrillers on serial killers, psychology, likeable and interesting characters, authors who did their homework (well-researched topics), do not shy away from gory scenes.

A very compelling read.

Highly recommended!

 

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Mood Suspenseful
Pace Steady
POV First person – past tense
Language :mrgreen: – 😳  (scattered mild swearwords)
Violence 😡  (violent)
Sexual content 😳  (some mentions and scenes)

 

About the author:

Proud member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers, Sue Coletta is always looking for new ways to commit murder…on the page. Her forensic articles have been published in InSinC magazine and a four-thousand-word excerpt of Marred scored first placement in Murder, USA, an upcoming anthology.

She runs a popular crime website and blog, where she shares crime tips, police jargon, and anything and everything in between. If you search her achieves, you’ll find posts from guests that work in law enforcement, forensics, coroner, undercover operatives, firearm experts…crime, crime, and more crime. If you’re a writer with murder in your plot, pick up a free copy of 60 Ways To Murder Your Fictional Characters.

For readers, she has the Crime Lover’s Lounge, where subscribers will be the first to know about free giveaways, contests, and have inside access to deleted scenes. As an added bonus, members will get to play in the lounge. Your secret code will unlock the virtual door. Inside, like-minded folks can discuss their favorite crime novels, solve mindbender puzzles, and/or relax and chat. Most importantly, have fun.

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 Scathed?  Or – if you did not yet read Scathed – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂

 

Karen_RBRT

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