Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Blogging Break


Keep Calm...

I am going to be spending time with family and friends over Christmas, New Year and most of January so will not be posting any more Book Reviews for a few weeks. If you have called by looking for ideas for your next read I am hoping that with the over 60 books I have read and reviewed this year that I have left you with plenty of ideas.

Please have a browse around now you are here and hopefully you will find something of interest amongst this lot. Do let me know as it always fun to discuss the books we read with others isn’t it.

I look forward to continuing to share my reading with you during 2012 and also reading your reviews as well if you are a fellow book blogger.

Thanks everyone for your support.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Perhaps Tomorrow by Jean Fullerton


                                    Perhaps tomorrow by Jean Fullerton


  • Paperback: 277 pages
  • Genre: Historical Romantic Fiction
  • Publisher: Orion 2011
  • Source: Book provided by the author in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.
  • First Sentence : ‘Mattie Maguire, owner of Maguire and Son’s coal yard, woke to the light tap of the knocker-upper’s cane on the window and Brian, her three-year-old son, chattering to his wooden soldiers in his cot at the foot of her bed.’
  • Review Quote : ‘A real page-turner with larger- than-life characters and convincing period detail’ – Daily Express.
  • My Opinion: A relaxing read that transported me back to an era that I am glad I was not born in!


    It is thanks to the enthusiasm of many authors today that use the internet to publicise their work that I have started reading more widely than ever. I have always had eclectic tastes but until recently historical fiction was a genre that I had not been reading much. If you look back over my recent book reviews you will notice that many of them are books I have read thanks to the generosity of the authors. I very much appreciate that they are willing to let me read and review their work. It is also thanks to some of these authors that I am now reading and enjoying more historical fiction.

    Jean Fullerton is one of the authors whose enthusiasm for her writing goes far beyond the book and the story. Since reading Perhaps Tomorrow while researching autobiographical information about her, I discovered that on her website, she has copious information and photos of locations used in the novel. Wonderful it really brings it alive and makes you realise how comprehensive this author’s research is.


    The female heroine is young widow Mattie Maguire who is a tough young lady. Struggling for three years since her husband died, to keep the family coal business afloat she has a hard time. Not only is she a woman in a mans world, but she has a young son and a disturbed mother in law to look after as well. At first she has no idea that her livelihood is under threat by the proposals of corrupt local business man, Amos Stebbins. Mattie believes that she will never fall in love again, until into her life comes Nathaniel Tate. Nathaniel has escaped wrongful imprisonment and returned to London to make the man who has ruined his life pay for his past crimes. Of course the man is Amos Stebbins and tracking him down to the coal yard is how he and Mattie meet when she offers him work.  It is thanks to Nathaniel that Mattie manages to cope with the dastardly deeds that Amos tries to bring her business to collapse. The pair grow ever closer only to be torn apart again when the police catch up with him. It is a challenge for him to prove his innocence, expose Amos and get back with the woman he loves.

    A relaxing read that transported me back to an era that I am glad I was not born in! If you think you would enjoy a love story set in the late 1840’s then you will not go far wrong with this one.

    Jean Fullerton

    Author information

    Jean Fullerton  was born into a large, East End family and grew up in the overcrowded streets clustered around the Tower of London. She still lives in East London, just five miles from where she was born. She feels that it is her background that gives her stories their distinctive authenticity. Jean is particularly fascinated by the 18th and 19th centuries and her books are set in this period. she is also passionate about the historical accuracy, so enjoys researching the details almost as much as writing the novels. 

    These links will take you to further information about her earlier novels.

    A Glimpse at Happiness

    No Cure for Love

    Information and photo used in this post are with thanks to the following websites.

    Author's Official Website

    Goodreads Profile

    Amazon Profile


  • Tuesday, December 13, 2011

    The Blue Demon by David Hewson

    Italy in Books - Reading Challenge 2011

    The Blue Demon (Nic Costa, #8)

  • Paperback:  391 pages
  • Genre:  Thriller, Mystery, Fiction
  • Publisher:   February 5th 2010 by Macmillan
  • Source: Obtained in a Charity bookshop in the UK especially for the Italy in Books Challenge
  • First Sentence : The garden of the Quirinale  felt like a suntrap as the man in the silver armour strode down the shingle path.
  • My Opinion:  The fact that it was set in places I am familiar with added to the interest considerably.


    The December post for the list of books that the other people taking part are reading this month has already been posted. December Reviews

    This is my last entry as the challenge reaches a successful conclusion for me, I have read and reviewed a book for every month of the year. I would like to take the opportunity to thank  Brighton Blogger of  Book After Book for hosting what has been a fun challenge to participate in.

    I doubt I would ever have considered reading this title had it not been for the Italy in Books Reading Challenge for 2011.  Thrillers and mysteries are a genre I do not read a great deal of although I have a few authors of this genre I enjoy. In fact I usually only read this genre if it is one my husband has read and recommends to me. This was the case with this one and also to be honest I was hunting around our bookshelves for something set in Italy for the final book of the challenge. So although this title would maybe not be my first choice I did find it a good read and the fact that it was set in places I am familiar with added to the interest considerably.

    With mainly Italian characters, lots of references to Italian history, art and culture, use of Italian and familiar places how could I fail to enjoy this novel.  Having visited some of the Etruscan tombs in this region it was fascinating to read a novel weaved around the legacy of the lost race of the Etruscans. The storyline is complex with many twists and turns and will keep you guessing right to the very end.

    The story commences with the kidnapping of a government minister and his driver murdered, just days before an important  conference with leaders of the G8 in Rome. When a ritual murder takes place, performed it seems by someone dressed as The Blue Demon from Etruscan history. It is then that Detective Nic Costa suspects that a twenty year old case where a mysterious group committed a series of crimes in the style of the infamous Blue Demon of Etruscan history was never really solved. The group has reformed and are planning attacks on Rome with devastating consequences. Old Etruscan myths, conspiracy and murders old and new are all part of the investigation.

    Well worth reading if you are not only a lover of all things Italian but enjoy a good mystery.

    For those of you interested in learning more about the historical background, I have included a couple of links to get you started.

     The Tomb of The Blue Demons      The Blue Demons in the Etruscan Underworld.

    Author Profile

    David Hewson

    DAVID HEWSON was born in Yorkshire in 1953 and left school at the age of seventeen to work as a cub reporter on one of the smallest evening newspapers in the country in Scarborough. Eight years later I was a staff reporter on The Times in London, covering news, business and latterly working as arts correspondent. I worked on the launch of the Independent and was a weekly columnist for the Sunday Times for a decade before giving up journalism entirely in 2005 to focus on writing fiction.

    He has written sixteen novels, as well as several travel books. Until 2005 he was a weekly columnist for the Sunday Times until becoming a full-time author. David lives in Kent but visits Italy frequently. All 11 of his Italian books are now in development as TV movies.

    Sources of information used in this post :- 

     Goodreads Author Profile     Author's Official Website  David Hewson - Blog


    I also post these ‘Italy in Books’ reviews on my other blog.
    News From Italy

  • Monday, December 12, 2011

    2.18 by Aglaya Moroz



  • Ebook:  321KB in the Kindle Edition
  • Genre:  Fantasy Adventure Fiction
  • Publisher:  Aglaya Moroz; Original Edition edition (29 Aug 2011)
  • Source: Book provided by the author in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.
  • First Sentence : The valley was generously and unhesitatingly painted with green, red, yellow and purple.
  • My Opinion:  I did not enjoy this at all, I did warn the author though that I find fantasy difficult and this was just too much for me, but may well appeal to fans of the genre.

    The story started well enough as we learn that the heroine Tessa and her boyfriend Orson are leading a normal life in Denver. Until one day Tessa finds herself transported through a time portal to Geodar a parallel world to Earth with two supernatural beings called Camille and Val. These two strangers that appeared that night in her bedroom introduced themselves to her as her guardians. Camille was a representative of light and Val one of darkness. This is indeed a very strange fantasy adventure story involving this trio hunting down a crazy Russian scientist called Roman, who actually turns the tables on them by kidnapping Tessa.

    Unfortunately the further I got into the book the more confused I became and also more irritated. Maybe I do not have the imagination I think I have but I was really unable to get my head round the higher powers that were supposedly running this parallel world!           

    I read on despite not understanding what was going on! Tess is thrown out of the realm of Geodar for performing magic during a minstrels tournament, only to find herself in Ergo meeting a Goddess called Ayouso.

    Will she be stuck in these different realms for the rest of eternity or will she be returned to Earth the same day she left? If you want to find out you will have to read the book yourself.

    I was also disappointed that I came across so many grammatical and spelling errors, this does seem to be a recurring problem where eBooks are concerned. Not in all cases but certainly I feel more than is acceptable. Is it lack of editing I wonder, do some authors just not get their books proof read or edited before publishing.

    Not for me then but many of you fantasy fiction fans out there will probably enjoy this, especially if the author gets the editing sorted before the print publication.

    For the sake of those of you that may enjoy this genre and not find my preview of the story very clear I am reproducing here the book description from Goodreads

    An ordinary, 23-year-old, MarCom manager in Denver finds herself falling in love with her seemingly ever-present Guardian... Demon. “Seemingly” is the key word here, because by a bureaucratic mistake, at the time of Tessa’s birth, she was not assigned a Guardian Angel or a Guardian Demon, until just today.
    And the reason Camille and Val appear in the middle of a hot summer night in her bedroom is a simple one. By another mistake made by somebody in the Archives of the Powers, she wasn’t given a purpose in life.
    Tessa Vetrov is offered a new mission -- to hunt down an insane Russian scientist in Geodar, a neighbouring realm of Earth, under the supervision of her newly-appointed Guardians. She reluctantly accepts the offer, which is guaranteed to take only one minute of her life here on Earth, and the successful completion of which will bring her a hefty reward.
    Unfortunately, it turns out that Tessa is just a pawn in a high-stake game of the Higher Powers, and not all of their promises will be kept..."

  • Sorry Aglaya but I know this review will disappoint you. You obviously write a good story,  just not to my taste.  In my opinion this does need some editing before it appears in paperback next summer.  I guess or hope that this is already in the hands of your publishers and they will have said the same as me. Thanks for asking me to review for you and I wish you all the best with your writing.

    Author Profile.

  • All I can say about  Aglaya Moroz  is that she describes herself on her  Blogger Profile as a Storyteller. Explorer. Dreamer and Doer.

    I did ask the author for some biographical details and a photo but unfortunately she did not provide me with any, so this photo is the one she uses on her Goodreads Profile which does not tell us anything about her either. Maybe she is a shy young lady, she does have a blog though  My Belfry  and a Facebook Page.

  • Monday, December 5, 2011

    Legacy by Danielle Steel


  • Paperback: 415 pages
  • Genre: Romantic fiction
  • Publisher:Corgi 2011 – Part of Transworld Publishers
  • Source: Transworld Book Group Reading Challenge
  • First Sentence : ’There was a heavy snowfall that had started the night before as Brigitte Nicholson sat at her desk in the admissions office of Boston University, meticulously going over applications.’
  • Description From Amazon : One woman's quest to find her family...and herself.
  • My Opinion: Enjoyable, quick read.

    Transworld Book Group Reading Challenge

    Book Group Logo

    This is my second and final read for the Transworld Book Group Reading Challenge as somehow the other two titles I had picked for some reason or other never reached me! I do not think it was the post, as many other books have reached me. Having picked  four titles my first choice was the excellent and evocative The Sandalwood Tree. missing out choices two and three we move on to my fourth and final choice reviewed here today.

    It is only because of the Transworld Book Group Reading Challenge that I find myself reading Danielle Steel again as just over two years ago I read and reviewed Sisters claiming that ‘Although I have been reading the novels of Danielle Steel as light relief for over thirty years I am now seriously wondering why I continue to do so. She may be a prolific and popular author but I think the time has come to remove her novels from my wishlist and spend more time reading other authors that I enjoy more’. If I was so disappointed why did I indeed pick one of her titles for the challenge, well I am glad I did as this was so much better. An enjoyable read which I devoured in a couple of days, but I do prefer a book to have more substance to it these days than this provided. Danielle Steel is certainly a very prolific and popular writer with millions of fans and if her books come my way I may well read them from time to time for light entertainment, but they will still not be appearing on my wishlist.

    Two female protagonists dominate this story, separated by hundreds of years but sharing family genes. We first meet Brigitte Nicholson the modern day female, actually a somewhat boring character, living a safe and academic lifestyle, that I wanted to shake very early on in the book. Her life is turned upside down unexpectedly and struggling to come to terms with what has happened to her, she agrees to help her mother with a genealogy project, just for something to do initially. Fortunately for the reader the story is not just about Brigitte, she is just the tool the author has used to introduce us to the other female protagonist Wachiwi; whom we first meet in Chapter Six when we are transported from modern day to 1784 and are introduced to this daring young Sioux Indian girl. Her story is one of courage in the face of the unknown and for the rest of the novel it swaps between present and past as we learn Wachiwi’s story both in real time and through the research Brigitte is carrying out in the present day. Brigitte discovers that her family has connections to the French aristocracy and she cannot wait to learn how and why a Sioux Indian should end up in France married to a member of her family. Her boring life at last seems to be changing as she finds herself  taking opportunities she would never have thought of considering before embarking on the family research. Her ancestor Wachiwi certainly seems to shake up Brigitte’s life for the better and the story provides the reader with a few hours romantic entertainment.

  • Legacy by Danielle Steel

  • Uploaded by rhpubgroup on Sep 20, 2010


    Danielle SteelAuthor profile courtesy of  Goodreads

    Danielle Steel was born on August 14, 1947 in New York, New York, The United States. She is one the world’s most popular and highly acclaimed authors, with eighty international bestselling novels in print and 600 million copies sold. Nowadays she divides her time between California and Paris. She has nine children that despite her many interests always remain her first priority. From an education in New York and Europe to a professional background in public relations and advertising, and teaching, Danielle moved on quickly to her literary career, she wrote her first book at nineteen. Often, she works on five books at a time — researching one storyline, writing another, and editing the third. Still, she often spends two to three years researching and developing a single project. In the heat of a first draft, it is not uncommon for her to spend eighteen to twenty hours a day glued to her 1946 Olympia manual typewriter.
    Family, children, and young people are the central focus of her life, and her passion, which frequently shows in her writing. She deals with the themes that touch on the most pressing issues of real life, which makes her books universal, and touch so many people. She is fascinated by the pressing life situations that affect us all, how people handle them and are often transformed as a result. And her novels have explored subjects such as kidnapping, incest, mental illness, suicide, death, divorce, adoption, marriage, loss, cancer, war, among others. She also frequently writes about historical themes, shedding new light on familiar historical events with meticulously accurate research.

    Information for this post is with thanks to the following websites.

    Goodreads Author Profile       Facebook Profile

    Danielle Steel writes a blog Minnie Mouse where you can learn a lot more about Danielle the person.  For Danielle the author visit her Official Author Website