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Psychosis – Tony Marturano – Reader’s Group

Posted on 27th February 2017 in #bookreview/ advice/ book review/ books

PsychosisI was truly honoured this week to be a part of a reader’s feedback group for author, Tony Marturano.

I was there to give feedback on the first draft of his new novel ‘Psychosis’ and it was a fabulous experience.

It was also a pretty nerve-wracking, daunting experience too as I have never met Tony before so I had no idea what sort of person he was, or even if this whole thing was a scam and I would end up chopped into a thousand tiny pieces and never seen again…

My fears were, fortunately, unfounded. I was welcomed into Tony’s home and made to feel incredibly welcome. There were 3 of us ‘newbies’, 2 in person and 1 by skype plus 4 more seasoned members of the feedback group.

It was a fascinating experience and I feel incredibly fortunate to have taken part. The other people in the group were all lovely and time flew by as we all offered our thoughts (while being plied with coffee and pastries). Tony ran the process like a well oiled machine and took compliments and criticisms all with the same gentle humour and easy manner. This made it very easy to be completely honest and I think it was brave of him to open himself up to opinions in this way.

The book itself (another thing I was dreading – what if it was awful?!) was really good. I obviously can’t give any spoilers (and will review it on my book review site in due course) but it is a really strong storyline and Tony’s characterisation and descriptive writing are simply superb.

I hope to see these lovely people again and I have already downloaded some of Tony’s other books to read!

The Casual Vacancy by J K Rowling #bookreview

Posted on 16th November 2012 in #bookreview/ book review/ books

 

The Casual Vacancy

by J K Rowling

Have to confess I actually had no idea what this book was about before I started reading it. The only press I’d seen regarding it was negative comments owing to it not being a children’s book. Which I personally thought was a bit odd – what gives anyone the right to dictate to an author which genre they ‘must’ write in?

So, I was actually under the impression that this was to be a shag-fest, swear-fest of a book, possibly about temporary office workers, (insert suitable reference not judging a book by its cover here 😉 ) and was therefore a little surprised to find myself reading a book about a vacancy at a Parish Council.

Not at all what I expected but a charming little (massive) book which leads you an a journey through the lives of the villagers of Pagford. This is a gentle read with lots of characters and intricately woven story threads which all pull together as you read on.

Overall it lacks the punch of the Harry Potter novels but as a standalone book it is a good, if bitter-sweet, read.

 

 

The Calling #BookReview

Posted on 16th August 2012 in #bookreview/ alison bruce/ book review/ books/ Crime Fiction

The Calling

by Alison Bruce

Synopsis: Kaye Whiting went to buy a birthday present and didn’t come back. Fifty miles away in Cambridge town centre a deeply disturbed young woman is standing by a payphone. She often feels compelled to do harmful things and is driven by a desire to make a call. When Kaye’s body is discovered, the only clue DC Gary Goodhew has to go on is a woman’s voice on his voicemail saying, “Kaye isn’t the first and won’t be the last…”

Regular readers of this blog will know that I am reading my way through the Alison Bruce books after discovering and loving Cambridge Blue.

I have one negative comment and I’ll get it out of the way first (Alison already knows this anyway!) I’m really sad that the cover has been changed from the original one which was:

I personally love the original style of the jacket covers and think it’s a real shame that they’ve been made more generic by the publishers.

Anyway, the book!

I know from my Q&A session with Alison that The Calling, although being the third in the Cambridge Blue series, is actually the first one that she wrote and I read the book with that knowledge to see if I could ‘tell’. I certainly don’t think it is screamingly obvious, but there were a few subtle differences about DC Gary Goodhew’s personality?

I love it when I get to start a new DC Gary Goodhew book, it’s great to settle down with a book knowing that you love the characters and that you love the writing style. The Calling did not disappoint. It is fast paced (as all of the series have been so far) and you get drawn into the story very quickly, making it hard to put the book down.

Poor Kaye, I was willing her to hang on and was quite shocked when she didn’t! That was totally unexpected for me but it was a great way to be thrown straight into the book. I thought that the pain portrayed by Kaye’s mother was excellently observed.

I kept changing my mind about who my chief suspect was as the story progressed and I enjoyed being kept on my toes as new developments arose. I liked the way that the crime was solved between DC Goodhew and the enigmatic character ‘Marlowe’ and thought the relationship between their, equally untraditional, personalities felt very plausable.

As ever I have no intention of giving away the ending to this book, except to say that I one point I did think Alison had taken leave of her senses with the way the story was heading but it was of course just another cleverly woven red herring!

Great book – if you are new to the Cambridge Blue series, please pick up a copy of Cambridge Blue first and fall in love with enigmatic DC Gary Goodhew!

#WIN The Chronicles of Narnia

Posted on 22nd June 2012 in #WIN/ books

I have been offered a giftset of The Chronicles of Narnia (rrp £90.93), containing seven hard backed books in a cloth backed slipcase, to give away!

As well as being wonderful to read, the books would make a fabulous gift and be an attractive asset to any book shelf.

To enter, please tweet “I’ve entered to win The Chronicles of Narnia gift set on @CoffeeCurls blog” and comment below to let me know that you’ve done so.

For an additional entry, you could sign up to The Works newsletter by emailing your details, along with the above phrase, to competitions@theworks.co.uk

The winner will be chosen, at random, by my cat Maisy… yes really, I will write the name of each entrant on a piece of paper, screw it up into a ball and then throw all the balls to Maisy – the one she bats back to me will win! I am sure that the lovely and oh so fair @SparkandFuse will let me know if this is an allowable system or  not and if it isn’t then I will be guided by them as to the correct way to randomly select my winner!

Closing date: 8pm on Friday 29th of June 2012. UK entries only, sorry.

Best of luck.

That’s all folks!

Ticked one off

Posted on 8th January 2011 in books/ Little Women/ Michael Connelly/ new year resolutions

As it’s very early January I feel the shadow of my New Year Resolutions weighing down upon me, so I thought I’d better make it at least look as though I intend to action them.

So. Today I have taken Little Women out of the library (I’ll start it just as soon as I’ve finished The Reversal by Michael Connelly…..) no I can’t believe that I’ve never read Little Women before either, but I will be remedying that in the next few days.

Go me.

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