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Ms. E. D. Harrison

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Price: £6.60

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended, 3 July 2014
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This book is amazing in that you really know that the author knows what he is talking about. You can feel it through the pages that he has felt this pain and he is sharing with the reader how to deal with it as best as you can.

Highly recommended read.

Cupid's Way: A Heart-Warming Romantic Comedy
Cupid's Way: A Heart-Warming Romantic Comedy
Price: £1.99

4.0 out of 5 stars A great chilled-out and easy read., 3 July 2014
As you can probably gather from the title, this book is foremost a fun, romantic comedy. The main character - Evie, is at somewhat of a crossroads in her life, and I think she only realises this when she gives a nervy speech about wooden cladding and meets an attractive stranger. This is where the sexual and romantic tensions kick starts between herself and the 'faceless developer' Michael Andrews. Evie is left stressed with the dilemma of choosing between her attraction to Michael, or saving the cute little street in which her grandparents live - cue the double entendre title.

I enjoyed reading this as for a change, it oozed positivity. Of course it was realistic in that problems occurred and characters got upset, but it seemed that any problem could be tackled without great difficulty, as the love and feelings Evie shared with her grandparents acted as a scaffolding throughout. It just shows that life is easier when you are around those who care for you, and you care for them back. I could identify with Evie to some extent, but on the most part, I was pretty jealous of her.

As usual, Joanne Phillips' writing style is effortless yet witty, and easily relaxes you into the story. It is an easy read in the sense that the style grabs your attention and doesn't let go until you realise you have read half the book.

I haven't given it five stars as I preferred Joanne Phillips' other novel - Flora Lively, which was more down my street (no pun intended). Having said that, I would recommend Cupid's Way to anyone who likes romantic comedies with an underlying theme - this one being 'fight for what you believe in'.

Portmeirion Vintage Kelloggs Large Melamine Tray
Portmeirion Vintage Kelloggs Large Melamine Tray
Offered by Beau Perry
Price: £13.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Great design and quality, 14 Jan. 2014
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Bought this as a gift and the recipient is very happy with it. No more crumbs! It's sturdy and also boasts a timeless vintage design.

The Silence of Juliet Mann: A Christmas Novelette
The Silence of Juliet Mann: A Christmas Novelette

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Juliet, the dice was loaded from the start..., 11 Dec. 2013
What a cracking little read. Such a brilliant topic (these things need to be written about) and handled so well, I'm sure this could have been turned into a full-length novel. There was so much more to explore here, I wanted more :D. It ended too soon, but I guess that's the thing with novelettes, they are mini mini mini. Overall a great, quick read, which really resonated with me.

Murder at the Maples: Cozy Private Investigator Series (Flora Lively Mysteries Book 1)
Murder at the Maples: Cozy Private Investigator Series (Flora Lively Mysteries Book 1)
Price: £1.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Meet Miss Lively..., 29 Oct. 2013
I knew I was going to love this book for many reasons - I enjoyed the previous books by Joanne Phillips, I live where the story is set, and I have a naturally inquisitive mind like Flora :D. Needless to say, I wasn't disappointed when I reached the end, because all loose ends were nicely tied up or left hanging for a further in-depth exploration, and I'm happy to say, there was an announcement of a second book in the series 'coming soon'. Excellent.

The book is advertised as a 'cosy mystery', but there are plenty of themes other than the mystery which get touched on. Age is a key theme throughout, as 'The Maples' is a retirement village. But older adults are not patronised, they are treated with respect by the main character, and rightly so. In a society where being too young gets frowned upon and too old gets pity, it is refreshing to read a book where the real world is represented but also respected. Another topic entrenched in the heart of the book is childhood bullying. I think everyone can relate to school bullying in some shape or form, therefore everyone can understand the pain and suffering it causes. In the story however, Joanne Phillips takes it a step further and shows the dire consequences of this behaviour if it is left to linger and grow for sixty years, without being accepted.

Seriousness aside, there were times I heard myself laughing out-loud (which happens rarely) and I could just imagine being in some of the ridiculous situations Flora is in. I imagine it would be hilarious as a TV series - apart from the murder of course. But whatever Flora gets up to, we know she has the kindest heart and is only ever looking out for other people, even if it does mean postponing her own dream and carrying on her fathers' business. I for one, like kind characters. Shows me there are actually people who care, in a world where selfishness is rife - regardless or not of whether the character is real. But behind every character is a writer ;)

So, overall, I really enjoyed this little read. I can't wait for the next installment. I'd recommend to anyone who is curious about things not being quite as they seem, but do not want to read about graphic details. The plot is not so much trained on the deaths but of the puzzle and intricate weaving of stories surrounding them. One mystery leads into another mystery, and all is revealed in the last few chapters...

Morrigan: Emergence
Morrigan: Emergence
Price: £2.66

3.0 out of 5 stars It's a kinda magic..., 5 Aug. 2013
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I give this book 3.5 stars.

Overall a nice little read. I guessed half the ending, but the other half was like, woah. So yes, an unexpected turn of events there - which is always good in a book. The writing is pretty good for a first novel and I wasn't bored with the story, I was intrigued. I love magic and this was again a different world to Harry Potter, Sam Gangee, Rincewind, and Matilda, in which I could lose myself. Sadly, I would have liked more magic - you can never have too much :)

This nearly had 4 stars from me. It didn't, for the following reasons:

There were errors, and quite a few. 'Desert' instead of 'dessert', the wrong type of speech marks at the start of speech, 'her' instead of 'here' etc etc. If I can notice these, I'm sure an editor should have. Perhaps get a better editor next time? *Shrugs*. There was also a continuity error, where a name was mentioned, then Morrigan asks the name of the person who was already mentioned.

Some of the phrases the teens use are way too old for them. It was just wrong hearing 'poo poohed' come from a seventeen year old - no. Just no.

Another thing which was jarring was that some of the dialect was in Irish 'ye', whereas sometimes it was like the author had forgotten to do this. It didn't sound as if it was all in Irish. So, I would have preferred it either to have no obvious Irish dialect - the setting is obviously in Ireland, and book lovers have more than enough imagination - or have it all written in Irish. Although the latter would have been a bit tough to get through smoothly, not being Irish myself, but after getting used to it it would be fine. I just kind of thought, it would be like Hagrid's speech suddenly changing from 'alrite 'arry?' to, '...are you alright there Harry?' So I would have liked a bit more consistency. But that's just me.

I was also wondering why it was mostly in American English -'color', 'jewelry' when the author is from Ireland, but that's just me wondering.

I think also that the title of the novel kills some of the suspense. I already knew she was a witch, I was waiting and waiting for the moment this was revealed (somewhere around 30% through I think), so up until that point I was kinda like, oh. If the title missed out 'witch', and was just a tale of a teenage girl or something, the witch thing would be an awesomely welcome surprise. I like these type of surprises.

But yes, overall I enjoyed it and actually wanted to read it continuously, which is a sign the book must be good :) - otherwise it would be sitting on my table with a bookmark somewhere around 25%, gathering dust. I got it as a freebie, and therefore thank the author for the opportunity to read it without paying. I'll more than likely be purchasing the next book, as the epilogue leaves it open for plenty more to happen to Morrigan. I wished the epilogue were longer actually, this is where all the fun started with ghosts and stuff. Anyway, great solid first novel, well done! :D

Saving Saffron Sweeting
Saving Saffron Sweeting
Price: £2.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Commendable debut novel, 14 July 2013
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This book was good. The author can definitely write and has produced a solid debut novel but there were a few things that I didn't like.

In my opinion, many of the differences between the British and the Americans were stressed so obviously and I don't think it was necessary. People read, watch television, listen to the radio i.e. consume media, therefore most people know that 'candy' means sweets etc. I felt that by making these differences seem so, well, different, it made some sentences forced and really obvious.

I think a lot of adjectives could have been deleted without detracting from the story - probably making it better.

I cringed at some of the odd phrases like 'blankie' and 'God's teeth', and I really don't think Grace was the kind of person to say 'shagging' *cringe*. Some of the terminology also seemed mixed up, like a British person would be given an American phrase. Grace, the main character, is only meant to have been in America for four years, so I don't think her life's worth of vocabulary would have gone out the window, so on her return to England she would start saying 'cell phone' and 'cowardly custard'.

I felt that Grace falling into a job was too convenient. And Amelia handing a random stranger keys to a million pound house, just wouldn't happen. Everything seemed a tad convenient. Why on earth would a Hotel owner need advice on how to run a hotel? Why did it seem that every business owner in Saffron had no idea how to run the business it was they were running?

Sadly, I didn't care about the main character. This was the disappointment to me. I felt bad of course that her husband was an arse and cheated on her, and was totally annoyed at the ending, but I felt that if I met Grace I wouldn't particularly like her. All we get of her personality is how she likes the looks of buildings, and cushions and men etc. Being in a first person perspective, I expected to at least feeeeel something. She did show some emotion, but I didn't feel it, meaning the emotion could have been written in a different way maybe.

I also felt the village was a little inaccurate. I loved Saffron Sweeting - don't get me wrong - but where were all the people under 25 (apart from the Americans and the children on Halloween). Where were the annoying teens kicking their football against the post office window so Violet had to come out and shout? And everyone seemed to know everyone and get along with everyone. Sadly, that just isn't true nowadays in villages, in my experience anyway. Maybe 30 years ago.

And Mungo...well. I thought he would be a lot more involved in the story considering he is on the front cover. However, Mungo could easily be deleted and this would not affect the story at all. Grace said she became attached to the dog, but I couldn't feel it. It felt like he was thrown in as something to write about when Grace was alone in her house. I would have loved to see more of an emotional reliance on the dog or something. Just something a bit more.

Anyway, this is all just opinion. But I think the author has a very promising writing career ahead of her. Perhaps edit more and employ a wide variety of beta readers before sending it out into the world next time. Congratulations on a commendable first novel!

Price: £2.39

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it!, 23 April 2013
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This review is from: Purple (Kindle Edition)
Loved loved loved it! (I'll say it thrice for added emphasis :P)

Where do I start? Well Graham Sharpe is better at writing from a teens point of a view than Jo Rowling (I know that's a big claim but read it and see). The thoughts of the characters come so naturally and all the little insecurities of adolescence are accurately portrayed in there.

I found the topic of the book fascinating; it was original and interesting. I found a lot of the writing pretty inspiring and there are some thought-provoking quotes in there that resonate deeply with me. It's quite philosophical if you look at it that way - which is great, as it gets you thinking about things you might not originally think about.

The writing was flawless too. I think I spotted one typo, which is less than you get in a traditionally published book.

About half way through, some of the wit reminded me greatly of Discworld #1 by Terry Pratchett. You read a sentence and then have to reread it to make sure you understood it, but then it puts a huge smile on your face because of the pure cleverness of the comment. I love that type of humour; I think it's very English.

What is so real about this book is that you know the author is not just making up things (well obviously the purple) but I mean the emotions and the advice that the older people give the younger people etc. You can tell that this author has experienced raw emotions as it is reflected greatly in the writing. Nobody could pluck some of those sentences out of thin air without having the actual experience under his/her belt. What I'm basically trying to say is a lot of the book was pretty deep, and I really liked that. It was the very opposite of shallow - and I hate shallow.

Graham Sharpe has managed to successfully capture what it is like to be a young person and an older person during the time that a natural disaster has happened. With the young people comes uncertainty and effort, as they try to run the world with what little experience they have. And with the older people comes the wisdom and the regret and the advice to the younger ones.

What I also loved was how everything was connected. It was amusing to read how one thing influenced another - seemingly completely coincidentally - but all is revealed at the end.

"I know exactly what you mean; I once got a message from a sea lion."


LOL. I love this humour - I can just imagine the eye rolling weird looks of the British but not saying what they really think.

So overall, this book was inspiring. Although the event which has happened at the beginning is sad for the young people, their coincidental journey to reclaim back what was lost was a personal journey for each of them. And I thoroughly enjoyed joining the four friends on it. I wish I had such strong friendships as those characters in the book. It gives you hope. And that is an excellent feeling to have after finishing a book.

Very well done Mr Sharpe - I'll be looking out for more books from you :)

Second Chances
Second Chances
Price: £1.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly thought-provoking, 26 Feb. 2013
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This review is from: Second Chances (Kindle Edition)
I give this book 4 and a half stars, the other half was only lost due to typos (yes, I know, harsh but hey...), but I thought I'd round it up instead of down for the benefit of this site :D I'm not sure whether it's classed as chick lit or whatever, but I definitely think it had more meaning to it than your average love story.

Firstly, I could not put it down. I was hooked from the beginning as it started off that the two main characters were in some kind of limbo- I love stories that take it beyond real life. I just had to continue until I finished, and near the end I was thinking 'nooooooooooooooooooooo' when something happens. However, I'll not say anymore about that. I will say though that the 'afterwards' part was probably unnecessary. It was nice to see what happened to the characters in the end but sometimes stories need to just end on a striking sentence to leave the reader with their own thoughts.

The themes were dealt with subtly and great care was taken; the book broached a delicate topic. I thought the story unravelled excellently and I can only praise the writing style. Not too arty farty where you have to take ten minutes to comprehend each sentence, but it wasn't without its creative metaphor or punchy sentence structure.

All in all, a very good read. Just a shame it ended so soon. Or maybe it was a good thing, otherwise I'd never get any work done today! I highly recommend it :)

The Snow Child
The Snow Child
by Eowyn Ivey
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It was just Ok, 7 Feb. 2013
This review is from: The Snow Child (Paperback)
I wasn't that impressed with this book. It was well written I suppose but that's expected of a published book. It was bought me as a present and I thought it was going to be a great read because of the cover *slaps face*. Don't be fooled by covers! Silly me... Anyway, it was ok. I finished it- eventually. I like fantasy and I like reading about others' emotional problems and solutions, but the story didn't seem to go anywhere. The whole plot was told in the first half and then when something did happen near the end, I felt like it was just put in to bring the story to an end. I was also left a little confused. Was the snow child real or not? I know you're probably meant to use your imagination and decide yourself but when there's contrasting evidence and I'm left undecided it is frustrating. Maybe it just wasn't for me. I notice there's lots of 5 star reviews so other people obviously liked it. I suppose you won't know until you read it :)
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 6, 2013 10:23 AM BST

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