Birdbrain: Go Ahead Love Your Planet. Just not too much. By Virginia Arthur: Book Review.

51KypBLyH2L._SS300_Wow! A mouthful, I really enjoyed reading this. If you enjoyed Thelma and Louise and/or Benjamin Zephaniah’s poem Trees Please (available on a variety of poetry websites) then this book will appeal to you. This may seem like a never the (literary) twain shall meet, but the book starts with the protagonist Ellowyn (Ellie to her friends) starting a journey of self discovery-  out and about with her friend Patty. Ellie suffers life’s ups and downs, without spoiling, the ups are the message of this story, she becomes interested in birds and the environment. She has further adventures with her sister and brother-in-law involving ecology campaigns. There is romance, success, failure and a ‘What will she do next?’ intrigue in this book. When I started reading it, I thought ; two books for the price of one? But it isn’t, I was glad that part 1&2 are published together because it really completed the journey. What a treat it has been to read this, outside, accompanied by birdsong during a rare sunny week.

Page turner rating 5/5

Three word review : Birds world love.

Mapp and Lucia: Book Review

51gzewW685L._SS300_If you enjoyed ‘The Go Between’ by L. P. Hartley, ‘Howards End’ by E. M. Forster, or the more contemporary ’44 Scotland Street’ by Alexander McCall Smith, then Mapp and Lucia will appeal to you. What am I saying?! Mapp and Lucia will appeal to everyone – unless of course, you are far too ‘taresome’! This is a hysterical British South Coast 1930s upper middle class version of Coronation Street. (I am allowed to make this adoration, I’m from Manchester). It is well worth reading the entire 27 hours of the entire series to get to know these wonderful imagined characters whilst they observe and perceive one another. You’ll be wanting to end every conversation with ‘Au reservoir’ (sic) as they do in the books, I tried it but it didn’t catch on…

Page turner rating 5/5

Three word review: Gorgeous favourite read.

Fragile Cord by Emma Salisbury: Book Review.


It’s about time I read a thriller set in Salford. If you enjoyed TV series ‘Cracker’ or ‘Shameless’ then ‘Fragile Cord’ will appeal to you. A mother and her son are found dead in their beautifully kept home, a crime on the ‘rougher’ side of the city happens, eventually leading to another death. Emma Salisbury’s detective characters try to solve both cases. That is part of why I enjoyed this book, a behind the scenes story of why crime happens. A great read with all the twists and turns expected of its genre. Bonus reading group questions – a nice touch, plus a follow on read of the next in series – great!

Page-turner-ability rating 5/5 stars

Three word review : Cracker meets Shameless.


‘Jack the Shifter’ by Bettina Wolfe : Book Review

If you enjoyed the film Molly’s Game, or anything poker related, this book will appeal to you. Actually, I’ve never played poker in my life but a good psychological thriller every now and then provides a great read. A young woman has to deal with redundancy, the change of circumstance leads her to online gambling and the dangers that come with it. The setting reminded me of the dodgy card place in Twin Peaks and the backdrop is as cold as the antagonists heart. Great twist included. I could not get to sleep for page-turning this book, and when I did I had nightmares!

Page-turner-ability rating 5/5 stars

Three word review : Creepy card characters.

Book Review: Scuba Dancing by Nicola Slade.

If you enjoyed ‘A Long Way Down’ by Nick Hornby, the laugh-your-socks-off romance of Laura Barnard, and, adoringly, the quirky 1980’s sitcom ‘Ever Decreasing Circles’ then SCUBA DANCING by Nicola Slade is the holiday read for you. A group of unlikely counterparts team up to achieve their Caribbean dream. The youngest character, Finn is aged 40 and on the cusp of a ‘find yourself’ crisis. Another character Ursula, is in a platonic relationship with an angel. Although this may sound a little distracting, I promise if you keep reading the angel does fit the story. The book comes with a handy character list at the start, which is well worth reading. As is this heartwarming story providing proof that romance, and all that goes with it never dies.

Samantha’s three word review: Gin, wisdom, romance.

Page turner rating: 5/5.

Slipping Through the Cracks

Or keep it in the family! Sort of… I am pleased to announce this is my Father-in-Law’s short story collection, published yesterday. I woke up at about 5.30am by accident and started reading, honestly I could not put it down. Gripping first story about a curious incident near the sea. Great cover, and the titles of the tales look interesting (I love a good title). Will review on Amazon when I have read it all.

I cannot claim this is a result of creative genes, of course. My husband said ‘Oh, I didn’t know my Dad was interested in writing’ then proceeded to tell me that he remembered him writing poetry…

Happy reading everyone! Samantha

Nice One!

20170924_155249I got a nice surprise the other day when I was looking at my KDP pages on Amazon. Some kind person has reviewed my book ‘1962’ IN AMERICA!!! Yes it’s true, someone from that massive country has read a book by little me! I am so made up! Thank you whoever you are. In terms of progress, learning about advertising I am reaching the conclusion (in a non-scientific way) that ‘word of mouth’ is the way forward. I’ve been sharing the love all year, reviewing as much as I have time for. This morning I reviewed the bar I went to last night, five stars for The Northern Crafthouse in Whitefield, they have a ‘gin palace’ and everything! That’s another story…

Happy writing, Samantha

News of Reviews

20170712_124753Thrilled to bits to report I now have three reviews on Amazon for both my books. (and one two stars on Goodreads- sad face emoji)  From what I can make out in the reams of advice, reviews make all the difference. I am ashamed to say that I always shied away from writing reviews of what I have read- until recently.  Partly because I am not a professional book reviewer, what if I say something wrong? What are customers looking for when they are choosing a new book to read? I don’t really look at the reviews myself, I choose what I am going to read next by recommendations, word of mouth.  Also, when I’m reading I think if it’s a really well known book with lots of existing reviews who cares what I think. They don’t need my review! Or do they?

I recently reviewed a book ‘Riddled With Senses’ by Petra Jacob.riddle-coverI really enjoyed reading it, so I just wrote what I thought and gave it five stars. My new plan is to continue reviewing, although  if I don’t have anything good to say, I won’t say anything at all. Hopefully the universe will pay me back.

Happy Wednesday, Samantha