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Reviews Written by
Wendy Jones "wjones7423" (Dundee, Scotland)
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   

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Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, Second Edition
Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, Second Edition
by Renni Browne
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.30

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Resource, 21 April 2015
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Right from the start this book is both helpful and useful. There is a brief introduction, which sets the scene, and then it's straight into the meat of the book. Chapter 1 is Show and Tell. The authors explain what this is and demonstrate the difference with some useful examples. This involves giving a passage which does not quite work and then showing how it could be improved by changing, removing or adding words. This works well as it is clear to see the differences and how they were achieved. There are also exercises to do at the end of each chapter. The suggested answers to these are at the back of the book.

Each chapter uses a similar format and is equally as good. Chapters cover, dialogue, interior monologue, using beats, and point of view, amongst others. I would say it covers all those areas which many writers find difficult.

The one thing I did find slightly jarring was the cartoons. I do not feel they added anything of value and the writing which accompanies them is difficult to read. The book is excellent without them.

Whilst more experienced writers may find they know much of the advice given in this book already, those newer to the craft will find it to be useful. I would suggest it is read before starting the first novel. Once the first draft is written then it should come into play to help shape and develop the novel. Overall, an excellent book which I can highly recommend


In a Dark, Dark Wood
In a Dark, Dark Wood
by Ruth Ware
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.08

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Page Turner, 19 April 2015
This review is from: In a Dark, Dark Wood (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This book is exciting, absorbing and a real page turner. It is a psychological thriller in a somewhat claustrophobic setting which gives added tension and edge to the narrative. It takes place during a he weekend and the isolated setting makes a perfect backdrop to a dark crime thriller. The story is taut and Ware uses words to good effect. No word is wasted and moves the plot forward. This is possibly one of the most unusual, and yet one of the most gripping books I have ever read. You never know what is going to happen next and the fear keeps your adrenaline high and you have to keep reading. This is a brilliant debut and Ruth Ware is an author I will definitely be looking out for in the future. A definite highly recommended.


When the Boats Come Home
When the Boats Come Home
by Dorothy Stewart
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous Historical Interest, 12 April 2015
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This is not a genre I usually read, but as this book is set in Scotland, and particularly places I have lived I thought I would give it a go. I am so glad I did, as Ioved it. Stewart tells the story of War Widow Lydia, and is set against a background of Jock Troupe and the Fishermans revival. The historical background is well researched and is skilfully weaved into the narrative of the novel. As a historical treatise it is fascinating and shows the life of the times extremely well.

The characterisation in the book is excellent. They feel like real individuals and I felt I knew them personally. Lydia, in particular, is expertly drawn. I like the way the different classes were described. Although all working class, there were different divisions within this. The two grandmothers were also excellent characters and I could picture them perfectly. In fact I have known people just like them.

This is a Christian novel and the characters faith in God is a large feature of the book. However, it blends in beautifully and does not overwhelm. This is a book which could be read by anyone who is interested in Scottish Historical Fiction.

This is a book which I could highly recommend.


I'm Travelling Alone
I'm Travelling Alone
by Samuel Bjork
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £14.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A New Voice in Nordic Noir, 9 April 2015
This review is from: I'm Travelling Alone (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I love Nordic Crime and I was looking forward to reading this book by debut author Samuel Bjork. I was not disappointed. What a brilliant book. The story line is taut, the writing, draws you in and the plot is excellent. As this is the first book in, what I hope will be, a series, Characterisation plays a large part. Bjork excels in his characterisation. Each character is different and has a distinct personality and speech pattern. This makes it easy to differentiate between them. However, the main character, Mia Kruger, is exceptionally well written. She is complex, multifaceted and haunted by demons form her past.

In this book Mia is dragged back from the brink of suicide by the lure of one, last, dark case. Serial killer is murdering young girls and leaving them with a note around their neck, "I am Travelling Alone." This description alone had me wanting to read more. From the first word to the last I was hooked and could not put this book down. I would say that Samuel Bjork is an exceptional new voice in Nordic Crime and definitely one to look out for.

A definite highly recommended from this very satisfied reader.


Panasonic ALL3 Wireless Speaker System (Black)
Panasonic ALL3 Wireless Speaker System (Black)
Price: £221.45

4.0 out of 5 stars Right out of the box it looks a little chunky but is a nice size and neat, 6 April 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
For the power and the spec of this speaker I would expect it to be much heavier but I found it to be fairly light. Right out of the box it looks a little chunky but is a nice size and neat. The box contains the speaker and a set of simple start up instructions. I followed these to the letter and the first couple of steps went smoothly. Then it got a lot more tricky. It would not recognize my WiFi. It picked up all my neighbors but not mine. Several phone calls to the manufacturer later and we were no further forward. In all fairness to Panasonic support they tried everything they could to get me connected and no joy. Then I had the bright idea of ringing my WiFi provider and they advised changing the channel. This worked and I was on. I then had to update the firmware which took a few moments. The remainder of the setup was a breeze and I had my iPod and phone linked up in no time. The sound is clear and strong, the volume works at high levels but I only did this to test it. I listen at a more normal level. It links to spottilfy and other music services but I have only used Spotify. Once you have this set up it is an excellent wireless system which I would highly recommend.


Professor Layton and the Spectre's Call (Nintendo DS)
Professor Layton and the Spectre's Call (Nintendo DS)
Offered by sir_bubby
Price: £8.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Superb Puzzle Game, 3 April 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is another great game in the Layton stable. If you haven't come across Professor Layton before then the basic premise is that you have to solve puzzles to help professor Layton in his quest. There are enough puzzles to keep the most ardent of officionados happy. Some are fairly easy and others extremely tricky. The storyline alongside is good but a tad lengthy. Sometimes I felt it dragged which is why I have given four stars instead of five. I like the way Luke si introduced in this one and we get to know more about him. If you like puzzles I would definitely recommend this game.


Philips GC1020/70 EasySpeed Steam Iron with 70 g Steam Boost, 0.2 Litre, 1800 W, Green
Philips GC1020/70 EasySpeed Steam Iron with 70 g Steam Boost, 0.2 Litre, 1800 W, Green
Price: £19.98

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous, 2 April 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This iron looks sleek, modern and impressive right out of the box. It is not a heavy iron and yet it irons smoothly and evenly. It heats up quickly and the water reservoir is substantial. When steam is used it steams evenly and does not soak your item like some comparable irons do. The sole plate is even and smooth and I found it easy to iron my clothes. Even delicate and easy crumpled clothes were finished in no time. I tried the true test of an iron which is how well does it iron Linen. I ironed my one and only linen suit and the iron coped admirably with this. From having used the iron I would definitely recommend.


Judas: The troubling history of the renegade apostle
Judas: The troubling history of the renegade apostle
Price: £10.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, 2 April 2015
This has to be one of the most fascinating books I have ever read. We don't hear much about Judas Iscariot, and indeed, even the bible does not go into great depth about him. My first thought on seeing this book was, how could anyone make a factual book about Judas Iscariot, when all we really know about him is the fateful kiss? well, I can assure you that Peter Stanford has managed this. The book is not only well researched but interesting to the nth degree. It doesn't just go into the Biblical accounts, but also the Apocryphal Gospels and historical accounts. Stanford's research is so detailed it even goes into architecture which depicts Judas such as an arched doorway in Jerusalem, and Whistler's Judas Window in a Church in Dorset. It also covers such things as the Trees in the Garden of Gethsemane, and icons and paintings depicting Judas.

Given that this is a historical examination of the life of Judas, one would think it would be dry and boring. Far from it. Stanford's writing style is such that the book is highly readable. The chapters are fairly short and look at Judas in both historical and contemporary accounts. Judas continues to fascinate today even down to analysing the lyrics in Bob Dylan's songs. This demonstrates the level and detail of the research which Stanford has carried out. I love the A-Z of Judas which runs through the book. A couple of examples are

B: Judas Beer
Y: Judas yellow, a colour of paint.

These snippets are one of the things which help to lift this book out of the humdrum and in to the exceptional. You will need to buy the book to find out what Z covers, but I can assure you it's not what you think.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough. I really could not put it down it was so interesting. It is not often a non fiction book does this to me.

I was given this book by the Publisher in return for an honest review. I was not at any time asked to provide a positive review. I have done so based on my reading, and enjoyment, of the book.


Simply Good News
Simply Good News
by Tom Wright
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Challenging, 31 Mar. 2015
This review is from: Simply Good News (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Tom Wright is both a prolific, and gifted, writer and I was looking forward to his latest offering. As always he did not disappoint. This may be a contentious book, in that he is saying that many Christians, and indeed Churches, are viewing the good news of the Bible in the wrong way. He has an almost chatty style of writing which makes you feel like he is talking to a friend. Yet, don't let this fool you, as the book is full of depth and certainly makes you think. He takes you back to Roman times and looks at the Crucifixion and Ressurection through several different lenses. The book is well researched and theologically sound and Wright yet again shows that he has a solid understanding of the bible. I would highly recommend this to all Christians and it will certainly make you think and develop your understanding of the Bible.


Bakers Dentacrunch Chicken and Country Vegetables Dry Dog Food 1 kg (Pack of 4)
Bakers Dentacrunch Chicken and Country Vegetables Dry Dog Food 1 kg (Pack of 4)
Price: £11.80

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Dog Food, 23 Mar. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I took a bit of a punt with this as my cousins dog is a bit fussy. I need to have dog food in the house for the numerous times it is over with me. The dog, which is an Alsatian, wolfed it down. It has eaten it several times now and doesn't seem to be going off it. With regards to the health of the dogs teeth. These seem fine and I am sure that using this food will help to keep them tag way. If this has been enjoyed by such fussy do then I can definitely highly recommend.


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