Book Review: The Ring of Gilly Wood by Ruth Bainister @SilverWoodBooks @rararesources #Middle-Grade

Book Review: The Ring of Gilly Wood by Ruth Bainister @SilverWoodBooks @rararesources #Middle-Grade

The Ring of Gilly Wood

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‘There he is,’ whispered Vixen. ‘It’s true then,’ said Buck Rabbit. ‘He’s just a small mole,’ said Doe Rabbit. ‘He’s not just a mole,’ said Vixen.  A great queen loses a ring. Hundreds of years later a ring slips onto the paw of a young mole. The mole grows to be a wise and trusted leader of Gilly Wood and all the animals that live there. But a great threat is coming. Can one small mole save a whole valley? Mole sets out to do just that with friends he makes along the way and the strange thing on his paw…

 

 

Our Thoughts

I liked the historical element at the beginning of the book, the story oof the ring and the queen visiting the town and just randomly swimming in the pond. You wouldn’t see that happening now days!!!!! How one of the character’s stole the said ring and as karma would have it never got to benefit from it.

The author also managed to show in the earlier parts of this novel how the food chain works out in the woods. There was a reason the moles were born to early, a reason why the vixen attacked the nest, that is how nature works. I was glad this wasn’t glossed over in getting to the point of the story of the mole and the ring.

Though this book is slow to get started which I think put my two off, if you stick with it you can see how the author hasn’t just given the mole the ring, the ring has been on a journey to get to the mole and he had to fight for survival himself.

A nice read, Sadly my two weren’t taken by the story but I enjoyed it all the same.

 

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Ruth was born on a hot August day on a farm in Sussex. Her English teacher once made her write a story about wasps after one landed on her during a lesson. She still hates wasps but she loves writing. Ruth now lives in Kent with her family and their strange dog.

 

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Ruth Banister

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The Uncompromising Lord Flint @VirginiaHeath_ @MillsandBoon @Rararesources #Q&A #GiveAway

The Uncompromising Lord Flint @VirginiaHeath_ @MillsandBoon @Rararesources #Q&A #GiveAway

The Uncompromising Lord Flint

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Imprisoned by her past- Set free by her enemy!

Charged with high treason, Lady Jessamine Fane is under the watchful eye of icily calm Lord Peter Flint. It’s a task this spy won’t be swayed from, no matter how alluring his prisoner! Only it’s not long before Flint realises that tenacious Jess hides a lifetime of pain. With so much at stake, can he afford to take a chance on their powerful attraction?

Author Q&A

 

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Something a bit different on my blog today, a Q&A session with author of “The Uncompromising Lord Flint”

Q1: What inspired you to write The Uncompromising Lord Flint?

The cool, calm, collected and unflappable hero, Flint, appeared in two previous books as a side character. When it came to writing his story, I wanted to see exactly how cool and unflappable he really was. That’s why I gave him Jessamine. From the opening line to the final sentence, she drives him mad and challenges him more than anyone has ever challenged him before. And I also love and enemies to lovers story. It’s my absolute favourite trope.

Q2: Who would you want to play the main characters in your book if your novel was optioned for tv / film?

From the outset, Lord Peter Flint looked exactly like Tom Hiddleston in my head. Tall, blonde and suave. Jessamine would be played by Jenna Coleman, who plays Queen Victoria in Victoria- petite, dark-haired, English-rose pretty.

Q3: How many rejections did you get before you got a publishing deal?

Quite a few, as all writers do. I wrote my first book in the late 90s, and after being rejected, didn’t write another till 2014! The second book, I sent to around forty publishers and agents. I got six straight don’t call us, we’ll call you rejections. The rest never even bothered contacting me. That also knocked my confidence but I didn’t give up this time. I kept writing. In fact I wrote another three books which I never sent off to anyone and to this day have never been read by anyone but me. Then, in the summer of 2015, I started writing That Despicable Rogue and it felt different somehow. I sent it to only one publisher and they bought it! Fourteen books later and I am still with that same publisher.

Q4: How did you deal with them when you started out?

Badly. I took the rejection personally and allowed it to doubt myself enough to give up writing for a decade!

Q5: Which authors inspired you to write?

Nora Roberts- definitely. She is an inspiration. Prolific and not afraid to try new things or write in other genres. I love everything from her romances to her crime thrillers.

Q6: What are your writing routines?

I keep to office hours because I’m a full time writer and because I’m an early bird by nature. I get the most work done between 8am and 2pm. But I also need to take regular breaks, so I’ll write for 2 hours, then take my dog Trevor for a walk, write for two more, then have lunch. I find those bursts of creativity are the best way for me to structure my day. I find the walking helps me to figure out where to go next because I am not a plotter. I see the story in my head like a film and write it as it appears. When the film slows or stops, I know its time for some fresh air and a change of scenery. I never write in the evenings and rarely at weekends because I think it’s important to recharge the batteries and a bit of distance from the story each weekend gets the juices flowing so I hit the ground running each Monday.

Q7: If you could go back to when you first started writing what one piece advice would you give yourself

Don’t take criticism- constructive or otherwise- personally. If it’s constructive, it will only make your stories better, if its mean, ignore it.

Q8: What would you say to someone who wants to write?

Learn to take criticism, act on it and keep plodding onwards. Easy reading is hard writing. It takes dedication and a lot of work to see your story on the shelves- but when you do, it’s the best feeling in the world.

Q9: If you weren’t writing what would you be doing?

Probably still teaching teenagers history in my own quirky way

Q10: Tell me something about yourself your readers might not know?

I am a history teacher by trade. I did my degree in history and even wrote a couple of history text books which are still used in British Secondary Schools.

Thank you Virgina x

When Virginia Heath was a little girl it took her ages to fall asleep, so she made up stories in her head to help pass the time while she was staring at the ceiling. As she got older, the stories became more complicated, sometimes taking weeks to get to the happy ending. Then one day, she decided to embrace the insomnia and start writing them down. Despite that, it still takes her forever to fall asleep.

Facebook-Xperia      Virginia Heath Author             logo_thumb800@VirginiaHeath_

 

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Giveaway – Win 2 x e-copies of The Uncompromising Lord Flint (Open INT)

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T&Cs Worldwide entries welcome. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Island of Secrets by @DianeDemetre @LuminosityPub @rararesources #Q&A

Island of Secrets by @DianeDemetre @LuminosityPub @rararesources #Q&A

Island of Secrets

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A captivating story of love, mystery and hope

Two love stories separated in time. Two women following their dreams. In a paradise littered with painful secrets, will love turn the tide?

1973: Cecilia “CiCi” Freemont has a restless soul and the voice of an angel. Leaving her privileged upbringing behind, she chases her dreams to the sandy beaches of an unspoiled Hawaiian paradise, Harbor Island. But life takes an unexpected turn when she falls for the island’s young heir-apparent and her newfound adventure becomes too much to bear…

  1. Investigative journalist Tina Templeton has dedicated herself to the pursuit of truth. But when she inherits Harbor Island, her career plans take a confusing twist. Managing the sprawling island estate is tough business even with the help of aging cabaret singer, CiCi Freemont. Especially when a massive ecological disaster threatens to destroy her beautiful beaches—and the responding coast guard captain steals her heart.

As the investigation into the disaster reveals a 40-year-old mystery that could change their lives forever, will Tina find love among the secrets, or will CiCi’s painful past dash her dreams on the rocks?

Island of Secrets is an epic love story. If you like generations-spanning drama, characters with hidden pasts, heart-warming romance and intrigue, then you’ll love Diane Demetre’s powerful romantic mystery in paradise.

Author Q&A

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After failing in love with the cover, I just knew I need to get Diane to answer a few questions for “A Story About A Girl”

 

 

Q1) What inspired you to write Island of Secrets?

I remember vividly when the idea for this book came to me. My husband and I were out in our boat on the Broadwater on the Gold Coast in Australia. It was one of those magnificent boating days—calm, sultry and cloudless. Having just completed Retribution, I’d been waiting on the inspiration for my next book. Nothing yet had beamed in. As someone who is willing to wait for inspiration rather than forcing my creativity, I was enjoying a couple weeks off from my writing schedule.

While we were relaxing on the Broadwater and lapping up the beautiful weather, an old Huon pine cruiser drove past us. Like a bolt out of the blue, Island of Secrets landed in my consciousness. The story arrived well-formed, with characters I immediately visualized.

I’d visited Hawaii a couple of years earlier, and Maui, with its volcanic geography, lush vegetation and captivating sea life lived up to its name of the Magic Isle. It was the ideal location for Island of Secrets.

Q2: Who would you want to play the main characters in your book if your novel was optioned for tv / film?

To be honest, this is the only story I’ve written so far where casting is still hazy. I’d like to leave the casting to the readers on this one.

Q3: How many rejections did you get before you got a publishing deal?

I was fortunate to get a publishing contract for my first book fairly quickly. I had a few rejections, but I don’t keep count

Q4 How did you deal with them when you started out?

The same as I do now. I don’t take them personally. I just keep going.

Q5: Which authors inspired you to write? 

Agatha Christie

Q6: What are your writing routines? 

I try to write everyday and most times I succeed. It’s all about practice, patience and perseverance…as is all life 🙂

Q7: If you could go back to when you first started writing what one piece advice would you give yourself

Don’t be in a rush to publish.

Q8: What would you say to someone who wants to write.

Just do it!

Q9: If you weren’t writhing what would you be doing? 

I’d still be running my major business and relaxing in my spare time, instead of writing.

Q10: Tell me something about yourself your readers might not know?

I was a dancer, choreographer and director in the first third of my career.

Thank you Diane X

Diane began her career as a school teacher before moving into the entertainment industry as a choreographer, director, event manager, dancer and actress, working in television and live theatre, and managing multi-million dollar productions.

Following her onstage career, she spent many years as a stress & life skills therapist, keynote speaker and presenter, appearing on national radio and television.

When she launched into a writing career, Diane’s debut erotic romance series, the Dance of Love was voted Luminosity Publishing Readers’ Choice Best Books and Best Covers for 2015 and 2016.

Her romantic suspense, Retribution won the Romance Writers of Australia Emerald Pro Award 2017 for Best Unpublished Manuscript. Diane loves to write genre-busting stories with a twist. Her works are packed with emotional punch and feature empowered heroines who live life to the fullest, much like the author herself.

Facebook-XperiaDiane Demetre Authorlogo_thumb800@DianeDemetre

 

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Diane’s books is available from:

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Direct from the Publisher

 

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Flash Fiction – The Wall

The Wall

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PHOTO PROMPT © Russell Gayer

 

“I’m going to climb that wall.” Jim said as we stood looking towards the infamous Trump Wall.

“I don’t understand, why you would?” I asked as we studied the wall from the barbed wire fencing.

“It’ll be a challenge.” Jim said turning to me “Have you ever wondered if the wall was there to keep us all in and not the other way?”

I looked at Jim puzzled, there were plenty of other routes out weren’t there? “But for how long?” Jim asked reading my mind….

That was the last I ever saw of Jim running towards HIS freedom.

***

I’ve not done Friday Fictioners in EVER! no idea why but I’ll just blame blogging, novel writing, insurance exams and…. But it is still going strong and run by Rochelle so make sure you pop by to check out her 100 word piece from the above prompt. You can visit other people who are taking part in this weeks 100 word picture prompt here

I struggled with what I wanted to say in this weeks piece, I kinda felt that the ending isn’t right and I could have made it longer, getting in everything I wanted to say. Freedom is a funny thing, but we are all entitled to it one way or another.

X

 

Happy IWSG Day! #IWSG @TheIWSG

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I have been thinking it’s Monday all day today! EPIC fail I even told a client I wouldn’t be back in till Wednesday! Fail!

So I am just gearing up to go to a writer’s thing in Cambridge, which means picking what I want to attend and which “mentor” person I want to see.

I’ve had my first half of my WIP back from my aunty so I need to hit the ground running on that one… Esp as I need to submit it by next Friday! For this thing in Cambridge.

Things are also gearing up at work… But that’s another story….

So to this weeks question

What are your favorite and least favorite questions people ask you about your writing?

people don’t really ask me anything I guess… I tend to start conversation “You know that book that I am writing.” my family seem to be just letting me get on with it…. (story of my life) so I guess I can’t really answer this months question… 😦 ask me questions…

I hope everyone is well rested after Christmas and New Year!

Thanks as always to Alex Cavanaugh and his super team make sure we are all sticking to the rules and keeping IWSG going! Why don’t you pop along and join the blog hop! 

X

 

Top Ten Books of the Year…. @Mseancoleman @CallyTaylor @fab_fiction @writeangie @policecommander @RebeccaJBradley @laurajm8 @failsafequery @rozwatkins @Helen_fields

Top Ten!

This year I have read 26 books, almost half of these have been ARCs where I have found a couple of Gems.

So without further ado, in no particular order:

1: A Hollow Sky & The Cuckhoo Tree by @Mseancoleman

I received both of these books as ARCs and I really really enjoyed them and I can’t wait to find out what Sean and the team at @reddogtweets  do next but what ever it is I want more pretty covers and more Dr Alex Ripley.

2: The Treatment @CallyTaylor

No top ten would be complete without a mention to C L Taylor. Though this book is listed as a Young Adult I at 34 still really enjoyed it! That is the thing about Cally’s writing is that she will never disappoint what ever she is writing. I only wish I found the time to read The Fear as well which is sitting pretty on my TBR pile

3: The Surrogate & The Gift @fab_fiction

Louise is one of the most humble and grateful people I have ever come across, her books never fail to disappoint. As she doesn’t write about your every day topics there is must research and learning about the subjects of her novels. I am glad that I started and almost ended the year with Louise’s books in my bag and certainly recommend you search them out.

4: Evil Games @writeangie

Angela’s books I always read and end up thinking why am I not reading more and quicker. I am guaranteed a great ride with the Kim Stone books. Having almost gone back to the beginning with Evil Games, I am learning and understand things that I have read in later books which are now making sense. I am also glad I have read this book as I know one of the character’s is going to start to feature more heavily in her newer books. I’d also like to comment that I thought Barney was a bigger dog than it turns out he is. (I was thinking goldern lab….)

5: Blue: Keeping and Peace and Failing apart @policecommander

When this book first started doing the rounds a lot of people had recommended this book to me and I am glad that I picked it up as soon as I saw it in the shops. My dog also enjoyed this book but that’s a different story. If you are looking for guns, crime and full of action your picking up the wrong book. This book is almost a whistle stop tour of John’s life as a police officer. It is brutally honest and at times I shed a tear well several. I also contacted John about something that is written in this book that though I am a Account Administrator and work in insurance he had said exactly the same thing as I have in the past about our respective illnesses.

6: Dead Blind & Fighting Monsters @RebeccaJBradley

I always enjoy Rebecca’s books and the undertone message that they carry especially Dead Blind. I am a little behind with my favorite Nottingham detective but no doubt when I pick up her most recent books I will feel like I do when I read Angela Marson’s books. Why haven’t I been keeping up with the adventures of Hannah Robbins and the Nottingham Major Crime team.

7: Friend Request @laurajm8

This is a very important book for the times we live in and our use of social media. I am just very grateful that I grew up in a time before Facebook and other forms of social media. Laura has a very important message that is being passed on in this book and I am really looking forward to meeting her in person at an event in the new year. Love or Hate Facebook you need to read this book. This is also another book that my dog also enjoyed to the point where I had to buy a 2nd copy!

8: The Fail Safe Query @failsafequery

I don’t think my head has stopped spinning since I read this book! It is a welcome addition to my top ten purely for the amount of effort that must have gone in to writing this book. WOW! It also didn’t help my WIP as I would read Michael’s book and be so pumped up when I came to writing mine I didn’t know when to stop. I think this book is a fine example of planning your story line and making sure it all fits together perfectly. For a roller-coaster of a ride almost on the scale of David Videcette‘s book I recommend you getting your hands on a copy of this book.

9: The Devil Dice @rozwatkins

I had meet Roz a couple of times at some events I had attended so was very much looking forward to reading her debut. This book is very clever as it takes in myths and legends and make you question whether the event really did happen or was there another force at play. Roz’s second book is due in 2019 and I only hope it is as good as this one and DI Meg Dalton and her colleges.

10: Perfect Remains @Helen_fields

I picked this book up as part of a 3 for 2 having heard positive things about it previously. I had no knowledge of Helen and her books which turns out I am four behind. I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book but as I started to read it I became interested in the character’s DI Callanach and his newly acquired colleagues. This book reminded me alot of Silence of the Lambs but also inspired me with another project I would like to write in the future! I am sure I will come across more books by Helen in the future and will most certainly snap them up.

few!

as for 2019 I have a pile of TBR  including Tubing by K. A. McKeagney, Child Taken by Darren Young   On my life by @theangelaclarke I also have a few curve balls on my shelves including One Little Lie by Sam Carrington and Kiss of Death by Paul Finch. Note to self stop entering competitions. I am also looking forward to catching up with some of my favs Cally, Angela, Rebecca and Louise Jensen.

 

Happy New Year!!!

 

x

 

 

Book Review: Presumed Guilty by @JaneIsaacAuthor @damppebbles DC Beth Chamberlain #2 #PresumedGuilty #damppebblesblogtours #review

Book Review: Presumed Guilty by @JaneIsaacAuthor @damppebbles DC Beth Chamberlain #2 #PresumedGuilty #damppebblesblogtours #review

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Accident or murder?

The first victim – a prominent local councillor, killed in a hit and run ‒ could be either, but the next bodies leave no doubt. A twisted killer is at large. And he’s not finished yet.

DC Beth Chamberlain, Family Liaison Officer, has to support the victims’ families, but before she can solve the crimes in the present, Beth needs to uncover the secrets of the past.

Meanwhile, the killer has her in his sights…

The latest electrifying whodunnit from the bestselling author of After He’s Gone. If you’re a fan of Angela Marsons, Nicci French and Rachel Abbott, you won’t want to miss Presumed Guilty.

My Thoughts

Presumed Guilty!

This review has had me lying in bed at night wondering what to write! As you all know by now I am a fan of crime fiction but with so much competition in that market with the likes of Angela Marson and Robert  Bryndza I was interested to know what corner of the independent female leads Jane Issacs occupied and I was pleasantly surprised! Because DC Beth Chamberlain is not only a detective, she is also a family liaison officer adding a new dimension to female lead crime fiction.

This story was told more in-depth about what the family of the victims were feeling and saying through Beth’s eyes and her colleague. I particularly liked how Beth went out of her way to check on other family members and offer her support to those who weren’t directly effected by the death. I liked Beth’s insecurities about her former secret boyfriend (a colleague) and the reasons why she ended it and her worries that he is now dating the DI who Beth doesn’t particularly like, and even though she is over him she still harbors feelings for him and like all exs only wants the best for them. Which I personally can totally relate!

As the story progresses Jane writes her characters and particularly Beth in away that you know why she is sat next to some of the greats (in my opinion)

This book can most certainly be read as a standalone, I myself hadn’t read the previous outing so I was glad that I could pick this book up and fail into the story without thinking I had missed something.

I will most certainly be on the look out for Beth Chamberlain 3 due out in 2019.

I would like to thanks Jane Issac and Emma from Damppebbles for giving me the chance to review this book and give my honest opinion.

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jane isaac Jane Isaac lives with her detective husband (very helpful for research!) and her daughter in rural Northamptonshire, UK where she can often be found trudging over the fields with her Labrador, Bollo. Her debut, An Unfamiliar Murder, was nominated as best mystery in the ‘eFestival of Words Best of the Independent eBook awards 2013.’ The follow up, The Truth Will Out, was nominated as ‘Thriller of the Month – April 2014’ by E-Thriller.com.

Presumed Guilty is Jane’s seventh novel and the second in her DC Beth Chamberlain (Family Liaison Officer) series. The third DC Beth Chamberlain novel will be released early 2019.

Facebook-Xperia JaneIsacAuthor               logo_thumb800 @JaneIsaacAuthor

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