So where's the snow?

Muddling through in Austria; God, life and a small black dog


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Falling for Rain by Janice Kirk and Gina Buonaguro

 

I’ve just heard from the authors of this book, that all the annoying bits I’ve ranted about have been removed since May, so what can I say but ENJOY!
This book has been in and out of the Amazon Bestsellers over the past couple of months so I thought I must have a read.  Love story, rural setting.  I loved it, strong characters, good-looking bloke, all the things that I felt weren’t tied up, were by the end, good twist and conclusion was all I could wish. It’s well written and produced too, although in a really amateur manner they had to split the word falling on their title page.  I was interested to see how a collaboration between two writers would work, and it does.

BUT   I really, really disliked the commercialism.  Twice in the text, comes a page, saying if you liked this, you’ll love our other books, blah,blah, blah.  First time had me thinking it I’d inadvertently downloaded a sample. This is so intrusive, it’s unbelievable.

This almost had me put the book down and not review it, but I have to have my rant!  If your book is good, you don’t need to be peddling it in this way. Its annoying.  I don’t want to know about your website, or the other books, except maybe at the end when I may want to read a sample of your other books, but this is AWFUL!  It’ll actually stop me reading anymore by these two.


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Cup Cake by Mariah Jones


 

What a lovely, lovely, funny  tale for all those, like me, who’ve struggled with weight issues!  Darcy is successful with her Cupcake bakery, but she just doesnt see it!   I so identified with Darcy and her problems, and had a real giggle over what happened at the bakery raid. There is so much humour there that could happen to anyone, I loved that, I’m not going to say anymore!

There was just the right amount of dramatic tension, and love.  The only thing I felt was that Thorne was just too gorgeous.  As he was the object of Darcy’s love, ok , he would seem so, beauty is in the eye of the beholder,etc, etc  but maybe if the others didn’t think him so attractive, it would  gel a little better.  After all such knock out blokes would have an array of females, although he has his reasons. Then again, he falls for Darcy, amidst all the stuff at the moment about big women, a real man who can see her heart from the start.  Lurvely!


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My way home by Cynthia Lee Cartier

I pushed the wrong button on Amazon.com and bought this by mistake, so felt I’ll have to read it on principle.  It started out with yet another marriage break up, but something in the style kept me going, and I’m so, so glad I did!

Here’s a couple who get back together again and work through it – how completely refreshing, and its well described with all the pain and doubt.  Then Cammy decides to move to Saint Gabriel, an Island somewhere off the USA. Now I have absolutely no idea where it could be, I can’t find it on the Internet, so it’s another place, someone enlighten me?   I loved the descriptions of the Island, which usually is a thing that easily bores. I think the difference is that its set in reality which makes writing so different compared to when you are creating a place in your mind’s eye.

The way the text was written made us know that Cammy settles here, for example saying Sara is her friend rather than became a friend, see what I mean. The book really does read like a personal account of someone doing a move and settling in a new place – now that’s not easy to achieve.  Cammy’s character, for example her love of lists is so simply displayed, cos there are lists in the story!

The only bit that didn’t quite gel for me was her finding her relations, I don’t think there were enough hooks earlier in the plot, but it did explain her fascination for the Island!

I’ve always loved stories of someone moving to a new place, making a new start, and can’t for the life of me imagine why. I looked back to books such as the Little White Horse, and the Herb of Grace by Elizabeth Goudge,  and The Black Hunting whip by Monica Edwards, and this is also a theme in Howard Spring‘s work, another favourite of mine.  maybe its the excitement of the new and they are all set in real places too.  Anyway, this book had it all for me!

PS.  The author herself says its Mackinac Island, Michigan , so I’m off to explore on the net.  I’m so smitten with the descriptions in the book, I just have to see!


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Chik-Lit for Foxy hens


 

I am loath to write a negative review, but was so disappointed by this collection of short stories, I feel I must.  The title had me expecting something funky for ladies who are technically a bit too old for the real Chic lit generation.

I’m afraid I didn’t get into past the first few pages of the third story.  Those I did read seemed formed from a wealthy, complacent ideology (I could do a literary analysis of why I think this, but don’t think I have any insomniacs reading this).  I try to be aware of my own as I read and of course this coloured my reaction.  However, the first story just didn’t work, the man who walks into the heroines life is unbelievable and that a dying man would accept his man as his replacement (that’s the presumption), just didn’t gel.  Likewise  in the second story when a woman is going to leave her unfaithful husband and then sleeps with him for several weeks before she leaves, even setting a date to go,  just didn’t read plausible. In her new life,she conveniently takes up with the help. This and the unbelieveably unfaithful husband had me binning the book before I got any further.

I didn’t need to know about the writer and their achievements before  I read their story either – that smacked of self-satisfaction.

This was such a chance to write some funky love stories but it was all the dreary round of divorce/death and meeting  a second love , what a shame. I  do apologise if I did miss something new and original and funky, but I think not.

Lady writers, being in love in your forties and fifties doesn’t always involve infidelity, death and angst.  Think and get our of your boxes!


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Tom – time for another little plug…..

Have I mentioned that I wrote a book??????

Over 1,500 downloads and not a single comment!   It’s a great read (so say I) and its at a great price, have a look!  Facebook readers; I apologise, for some reason best known to themselves, they are blocking these picture links – which is daft as they promote Amazon. You can find the book on all the English Amazon sites.

Fleeing to the countryside from London to escape another bad relationship, Clare hopes to make yet another new start that will finally sort out her life. She finds things aren’t so simple as her best friend Sylvie is abroad leaving Clare to share the house with enigmatic and moody Alex. Clare soon finds work and a new livelihood but still finds that all her relationships with men seem doomed to failure.Alongside the tale of Clare’s new life runs the story of Tom’s troubled childhood and adolescence. How will he fit into her new world?Set in the 1990s, before widespread use of Mobiles and the Internet, ‘Tom’ is not only a sinister tale of lost identity, possession and mental illness but also a journey to fulfilment and love as Clare, Alex, Tom and Sylvie find healing and faith.
 
 


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Drew in Blue by J.M.Kelley – book of the month!

I never read other book reviews or even about the author before I read a book, I want as few preconceptions as possible, and not to absorb other people’s ideas.  And sometimes too much information isn’t needed! It’s funny though, often when I go afterwards to learn more, others back up my views or I’ve guessed correctly about the author.

In this case, Drew, the main character had me wondering whether the author was male or female because apart from a few stereotypical bits, SHE had got the male viewpoint really well which is often difficult.

A single guy coping with a baby – and the picture you get of Drew at the starts bodes no good.  As you get to know him, you find his mother died young and he was in foster homes; this makes you expect him to be a waster. Well, he is of sorts but he is also a talented painter.  Drew’s coping with his son Nick is so well depicted that I was there as he tried to feed the baby and cope with the sleepless nights. I did half expect Nick’s mother to try to reclaim him but she didn’t. Such an obvious device would have spoilt the book.

Like so many main characters, he is completely oblivious to his real feelings for Kris. This is such a common factor in main characters that I’m beginning to see it as like the Shakespearean fatal flaw over all humanity; take Ted in Ted’s Island for example. Throughout literature, the heroes eyes are opened to the true love/enemy at the last minute.  So I guess I should just get used to it.

I loved this flawed man who through being a father moves to adulthood and maturity. Drew will be one of my favourite characters for quite a while!