And as I said in my last post I had two reviews to share with you – here is the second
Tequila Rose Virginity Blues: Contemporary Romance Short Story by Wendy Jane
Blurb: 1st Place Runner Up in Rave Reviews Book Club’s Alpha-Omega Short Story Writing Contest 2018.
Tequila Rose may have met the man of her dreams. Unfortunately, she wakes up suffering from alcoholic amnesia and doesn’t remember anything about the night before. Tall, dark, and Jack may be the cure her jaded heart desperately needs, but Tequila’s wary as friends warn her that Jack hangs out with the local drug dealer. Thrust together at a Speed Dating event, their chemistry sizzles, but is Jack after a different kind of fix?
My Rating: 4/5
My Thoughts: A great short story which opens with the most agonising hangover imaginable – anyone who has ever over indulged will not be able to help but sympathise. And, as with all good hangovers, Tequila Rose not only has a bad head and churning stomach – she also has a total lack of recall when it comes to the evenings events.
This is a great little tale of love, alcohol and zany relatives. The character of Tequila Rose is very real and relatable – and the people in her life round her out completely. Enough twists in the tale to keep a reader interested to the last page. Some adorable illustrations dotted through the story and what a gorgeous book cover!
It feels like a while since I posted a review (where does the time go to?) but I have a couple to share now – and the first is…
Two Shorts and a Snort by Jan Sikes
Blurb: This book consists of two short stories and one poem from award-winning author, Jan Sikes, in response to a writing challenge from the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB.
How far will one man go to satisfy an obsession? The price could cost him his life.
Is it possible to pray up a baby? Frank and Mary Pyburn are convinced that is what they’ve done.
Friends Instead of Lovers:
Sometimes it’s better to remain friends, instead of giving in to desires and crossing a line.
My Rating: 4/5
My Thoughts: A quick and enjoyable read made up of two short stories and a poem.
Obsessed – this story had a real feel of the location/people/era – the dialogue and descriptions perfectly illustrate a mans obsession with the woman he wants to marry, and the incredible lengths to which obsession can drive a person.
Maggie – this is a cute, gentle tale of a found baby and the couple who take her in. A good blend of happy and sad round this tale out perfectly.
Friends Instead of Lovers – this short poem sums up the potential peril of turning a friendship into something more, and losing the thing that made the friendship so special in the first place.
All in all this is well worth a read – short and satisfying.
There is something about a nice sunny Sunday afternoon that just demands sitting out and enjoying a good book. The last few lovely weekends have been spent reading and enjoying Mannethorn’s Key by Simon Lindley
Blurb: Slumped over the toilet bowl in his slum apartment, Bart’s high-rolling lifestyle isn’t exactly coming up roses. Alcohol, affairs, and a skill exploited for short-term gain have rewarded him with divorce, bankruptcy, and unemployment.
A world away, a wizard-apprentice confronts a foe as threatening as the once-dominant age of Dragon’s Rule. But to triumph, he will need Bart – a washed-up derivatives broker – plucked from a last-ditch job interview and thrust into a testing ground, where a knight with a penchant for lopping off heads will either groom him for the world beyond or murder him in the process.
Exiled dragon-lords, grass-eating giants, impetuous warriors, troll assassins, ribald dwarfs, evil men, and vengeful women seek to save themselves from a flawed world of failing magic. With hungover Bart at its epicenter, what can possibly go wrong?
Rating: 6/5 (I know that’s not really allowed but some books just deserve the extra point!)
My thoughts: Bart’s life is a mess, unemployed and living in a run down apartment the only relationship he has is with the bottle – not exactly what a hero is made of. A hero is exactly what he needs to become if he’s going to help battle the evil growing in another world.
It took me a couple of chapters to properly settle into this book. I think with fantasy novels set in other worlds you need a bit of time to get to grips with who (or what) the characters are but as I read further I became completely immersed in this fantastical world. There are several story lines running, all of which slowly begin to entwine each one adding to the others.
The characters are a varied bunch, human like and not, good and evil or often a little bit of both, and Bart is our touchstone. The “normal” man trying to understand exactly what is going on while hoping he can find his way back home.
If you’re a fan of fantasy then you will love this book. If you’re not a fan of fantasy just try it anyway, you might well become a fan!
The only thing about this book that was disappointing was getting to the end and realising the next instalment is not yet out!
*Sits waiting patiently for part two*
Time has come once again for the members of Rave Reviews Book Club to take a moment and “pay it forward” by spending a day supporting another member, who in turn will support another member, who in turn will… well you get the idea 🙂
I am lucky to have been assigned the talented children’s author Maretha Botha, who has created the wonderful world of Fauna Park.
Who is Maretha?
Author/Illustrator Maretha Botha admits to being addicted to espresso and chocolate, and hiking occasionally on the moors, as well as being a seasonal gardener. In addition, she has written a series of children’s books – Fauna Park Tales. Books 1-3 are available in Kindle as well as black and white paperbacks. To enhance reading pleasure for better readers in her target market, 9-13, she has added some illustrations.
Additionally, she has combined books one and two in a 174-page Colour illustrated Version, should you want to see colour illustrations on the printed page as well.
What has she written?
Maretha has written a series of animal books based in the fictional location called “Fauna Park” where the animals commune together in an attempt to protect and preserve them all. I reviewed the first instalment of this series recently here: https://dawndelivers.wordpress.com/2017/05/07/flame-and-hope-book-review-rrbc/
It almost made me wish I had a couple of kids to read the book to … almost 😉
Where can I find her?
Well, like most of us these days, Maretha can be contacted around the web and you can find her at these places:
On her blog: https://marethabotha2013.wordpress.com/
On twitter: @MarethMBotha
On Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Maretha-Botha/e/B00MOORJAO/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1
So, now you’ve met Maretha it’s time you got to know her furry friends who live within the pages of her books 🙂
I would like to introduce you to today’s #RRBC Push Tuesday winner Gwendolyn M Plano the author of “Letting Go into Perfect Love: Discovering the extraordinary after abuse.”
Gwendolyn Plano grew up in Southern California and spent most of her professional life in higher education. She taught and served as an administrator in colleges in Japan, New York, Connecticut, and California. Gwen’s academic background is in theology and counseling. She now lives in the Midwest, where she enjoys retirement.
As a college administrator, Gwen lived her professional life in a highly visible and accountable space–but as a wife and mother, behind closed doors, she and her family experienced the terror of domestic violence and abuse. The statistics are staggering–every 9 seconds in the United States, a woman is assaulted or beaten–but to Gwen, this was her secret; it was her shame. When her husband eventually turned his brutality on her son, she knew she could no longer stay quiet.
As for the book itself – well if the reviews are anything to go by this is certainly one of those “must read” books.
Amazons Blurb: Inspiring and unforgettable, Letting Go into Perfect Love is a riveting account of a journey through the terror of domestic violence to a faith that transforms all. As a college administrator, Gwendolyn M. Plano lived her professional life in a highly visible and accountable space–but as a wife and mother, behind closed doors, she and her family experienced unpredictable threat. The statistics are staggering–every 9 seconds in the United States, a woman is assaulted or beaten–but to Gwen, this was her secret; it was her shame. When her husband eventually turned his brutality on her son, she knew she could no longer remain silent.
Alternately heart-wrenching and joyful, this is a story of triumph over adversity–one woman’s uplifting account of learning how to forgive the unforgiveable, recover her sense of self, bring healing into her family, and honor the journey home. Accompanied by glimpses of celestial beings, Gwen charts a path through sorrow to joy–and ultimately, writes of the one perfect love we all seek.
The story that unfolds is not a blow-by-blow account of savagery hidden within a twenty-five-year marriage; rather, it is a walk through innocent dreams betrayed–to courage found. “Tragedy spares no one;” Gwen points out, “it just courts each of us differently. One way or another, it finds a path into our hearts, and there we do battle with the intruder.” As a survivor who came out of her unhealthy relationship determined to start over, Gwen artfully depicts the challenges of balancing the obligations of motherhood and career with her family’s healing process, while offering hope to anyone facing monumental challenges.
Integral to Gwen’s journey is her faith. Because of her Catholic upbringing, she struggles with the scandal of divorce, but finally makes her peace. When her daughter reveals her molestation by clergy, however, her fragile sense of serenity dissolves. We walk with Gwen as she tries to make sense of this horror. The agony experienced by the entire family is devastatingly palpable. Against all odds, Gwen emerges confident of her faith and begins to see the threads of meaning in even the darkest moments.
This is a book for all. But, for those who have been in a destructive relationship, Gwen’s story will be heartbreakingly familiar. For those who have been spared such diminishment, it will provide insight into the often misunderstood phenomenon of domestic violence. Since one in every four women will experience such threat in her lifetime, understanding that murky world may provide the reader with the skills needed to help his or her sister or friend or neighbor. Whether victim or friend, though, readers will be inspired by the author’s courage and ultimate resolution of her predicament. And, you may see your own challenges a little differently.
So, why not check out this book, and its author 🙂
Find Gwen on twitter: @gmplano
Hmm okay – so the title of this post is meant to be read along to the tune of R.E.S.P.E.C.T but I’m not sure that worked too well 🙂 Made me chuckle at least ….
Now I’ve mentioned RRBC a few times on this ol’ blog of mine – but in case you haven’t seen those posts (why haven’t you seen those posts.. where have you been?) RRBC stands for Rave Reviews Book Club and it’s… well it’s a book club – I think you probably worked that out yourself didn’t you?
This, however, is not your normal run of the mill “let’s all read a book” type of book club… in fact just calling it a book club is somewhat of a disservice to everything else that goes along with it. What RRBC actually is is an amazing support structure by, for and with authors and readers.
I joined this club back in September of 2015 – I had self published my first book “Assaie’s Gift” the previous February and hadn’t really known where to go from there. I had invested in a couple of places that promised the earth (you know the sort, “we will tweet your book to our 20 million followers”) and had zero results when I happened to notice a re-occurance of the RRBC hashtag and decided to check it out.
Within a few months I had been awarded a “Push Tuesday” slot – which is basically a day when the whole club in encouraged to “push” the work of a selected member.
Then, last month, I was honoured with one of the three Book of the Month slots for my second release “Spirit of the Book”.
Being one of the BoMs has a few perks – firstly your book is listed for the month clearly on the websites sidebar and in the BoM page, then of course members are encouraged to read and review your work, there is also a monthly online chat where the authors get a chance to talk about, and answer questions about, their book.
Now I’m not going to say that being one of the BoMs instantly propelled my book to best seller status – that would have been nice but these things take time 😉 But I went from zero reviews on Amazon.com to 13 and from 1 review on Amazon.co.uk to 4. Not all of these were glowing 5* reviews, as nice as that would be the truth is it wouldn’t really be all then beneficial. What I did get – and what the club stands for – are some well reasoned and honest reviews, both praising what was enjoyed but also pointing out my flaws.
From this I discovered two important facts:
- I can tell quite a good story
- I cannot self edit
It was a good encouragement to get positive feedback on the story I wrote, I was pleased that the tale I wanted to tell was well received. It wasn’t great to be told there were too many typos/grammar errors in my book – I think it really is almost impossible to self-edit your own work, you just see the words you meant in your head – but it has encouraged me to invest in a proper edit through of the book, via another wonderful RRBC member who you can find at her website should you need such services.
Once Spirit is edited through I plan to do a “re-launch” of it, and I am in no doubt that the awesome members of RRBC will be behind me all the way helping me get the word out there of a new shiny version of my book.
So, if you’ve written yourself a book and don’t know where to go next then come and join us at RRBC… or if you are just looking for a new and exciting author then just check out our catalogue.
Well… what are you waiting for? Don’t forget to tell them I sent you!