Marigold Bradshaw was always going to do well for herself in life. This was obvious on the Bradshaw family photograph, captured in sepia when Marigold was fourteen and Rose was age nine. Marigold, imposing and impressive on the back row, shoulders straight, hair behaving itself, brand new dress. The centre of the photograph, the centre of attention, her proudly positioned head articulated ‘I plan to marry well’. Marigold stood above her little sister Rose, perched upon a three-legged stool underneath Marigold. Head bowed, small and shy with her hair in her eyes, and a hand me down dress. Rose had no plan, but in life, received a surprise. Marigold pitied her little sister, but it was not her job to pass judgement; not on a Sunday.
Above is a snippet from chapter one about Ernest’s mother and Auntie Marigold. 1962 is Ernest’s story, he has ambition to become the next cycling champion to hail from 1960s Lancashire… Trouble is, it’s 1962- nuclear war is in the news and his mother is petrified. I hope you will join Ernest in this journey story, especially whilst it is on special offer!https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B074P5TNTJ
If you enjoyed the film… then the book will appeal to you, I am sure of this. There is, of course the dilemma; is the book better than the film? Or is the film better than the book? This is by no means a good example to answer that question, but I’ll say this, the book is definitely not disappointing compared to the film, it is chilling . I almost feel I don’t need to continue with this review now that I’ve said that, but for those of you that haven’t seen the film, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane is a deliciously thrilling story of two sisters, one a child star, the other a movie star, later on in their lives in their ramshackle Hollywood mansion. Part tragicomedy, part thriller best word I can think of is noir… As a writer of a novel about two sisters (Curmudgeon Avenue) – published later this year, I know that sisters provide such fun in literature. Henry Farrell’s descriptions of human observations really make the book, you can just see them, especially Jane’s interaction with the young woman behind the counter when Jane is placing an advert in the newspaper.
Page turner ability 5/5 – this is going to be a favourite.
Three word review : Nasty noir rivalry
If you enjoy the occasional romantic comedy such as ‘My Best Friend’s Wedding’ or the classic ‘Sleepless in Seattle’ (come on, you know it’s a classic), then ‘Marrying Mr Valentine’ by Laura Barnard will appeal to you. Laura’s make-you-smile style is mixed with more serious subjects to tell the story of Nadine’s journey to overcome previous heartache.
Page-turner-ability rating 5/5 stars
Three word review: I loved it!
I first started reading Laura’s books in 2016, I was researching self published authors before starting to publish my own writing. It’s not often that I go back to the same author as I am always looking for new reads, but Laura’s books have been a real treat amongst all the serious stuff I have to read for my degree. It is well worth rooting through the lists of millions of books to find an author that you like reading. Mix it up, try different genres.
However, I have recently started a book that I could not finish reading I won’t name it, as I didn’t enjoy it (or finish it) I won’t be reviewing it. I’m just adding this on, so everyone knows I don’t gush at everything I read!
Happy reading, Samantha
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.
This is a prequel book to the other three Selkie Moon mysteries by Virginia King. Even the protagonist’s name tells a story. Spooky text messages and memories of an uncomfortable (to say the least) house party. This horrific scenario got my mind racing, I was reminded of a film, Mike Leigh’s Naked . Not the same storyline, but made me think of it. The tease of folklore makes you think that there is more to this story… and there is! The next book in the series… In this short prequel, Virginia King’s writing style and plot thickening skills provides her readers with trust that it’s worth finding out what happens next.
Page-turner-ability rating 5/5
Three word review: Compelled to continue
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.
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.
If you enjoyed reading Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis De Bernieres then The Tuscan Child by Rhys Bowen will appeal to you, I’m sure of this. The story is told from the point of view of Sir Hugo Langley in 1944 when, during the war, his plane crashed in Tuscany, and his bereaved daughter, Joanna, in 1973 and her journey to find out the truth about her father’s Italian recovery/adventure/mystery. I enjoyed the two time settings, one employed first person, the other third person writing. Platefuls of Italian food and culture mentions- you could be there!
Page turner-ability rating 5/5 stars.
Three word review : Mysterious Tuscan Interlude.
Happy Reading! Samantha
I’ve recently ran a five day free promotion on one of my e-books ‘Quirky Tales to Make Your Day’. This created a self inflicted wild goose chase of networking with social media pages and potential reviewers – one said yes, RESULT! The last time I tried to get people to review me, I gave free books to actual people I know. I have decided to keep plodding on, but before I do try and look at things from the reviewer’s point of view. After all this week’s social networking I have sold about one book to the ten I have promised myself to read! I don’t know how these book reviewers do it! Their eyes must be all over the place! Not to mention, can you imagine not being able to just read an old classic?! I bet they get loads of e-mithers! Nevertheless, I’ve decided to start reviewing – although my priority is writing my next novel, if I read something I like, I’ll share it and if I don’t have anything nice to say, I won’t say anything at all. You won’t catch me posting a two stars with no comment on Goodreads! And you never know, I might get ‘reviewed back’!
That picture above is not representative of the several million (not really it’s about 11 or twelve) indie published books I have downloaded or ordered the paperback of this month waiting to be read. But notice how my father-in-law’s book has sneaked itself on the photo, oh! And one of mine, Piccalilly up there in the top right corner!
Reviewers, I salute you!
Happy Saturday, Samantha.