books

Does the book fairy exist?

It might be the cough medicine I’m taking, but I’m convinced strange things have been happening on Goodreads.

For those of you unfamiliar with Goodreads, it’s a social cataloging site for booklovers (readers & writers alike)

Authors can list their books for readers to find, read and (hopefully) review. There are many thriving communities, discussing a wide range of topics – whether you’re a Harry Potter fan, or have a penchant for the Classics, there’s a group for you.

However, as with most things that seem too good to be true, there is also a darker underbelly of trolls. The kind of people who take pleasure in leaving one star ratings without a comment, or even worse with the inexcusable comment of “I didn’t read this book”.

But this week I think I’ve come across the Book Fairy, or at least someone who wants to send positive vibes rather than spread evil poison.

The Book Fairy is leaving 4 and 5 star ratings willy nilly – all without comment. Could she possibly have waited to post all her ratings in one go, one the same day, or is she simply seeking to restore some balance?

We’ll never know, that’s for sure.

Regardless, these ratings – while much nicer to see 4 or 5 stars – still don’t attract new readers, If you’re anything like me, seeing a whole swarm of ratings without any comments doesn’t sway the decision to read that book one iota. Comments (or reviews, whatever you want to call them) don’t have to be long and no-one expects glowing reviews every time – so if you enjoyed a book,  tell everyone why. Conversely, if you didn’t enjoy it, feel free to say why also. You never know, your review might just be the one that helps a reader find a new favourite author – or you just might highlight something that helps a reader to avoid buying a book they most likely won’t enjoy. Either way it’s a service to the book-loving community. Not every book suits every reader and not every reader suits every book.

In the meantime, thank you to the Book Fairy for prompting me to write this post. I feel another swig of cough syrup coming on …and maybe it’s time to curl up with a good book too.

Thank you for reading 🙂

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Book Review – Cosy Mystery

The Iron Dog

by Liz Graham

Carmel McAlistair has a new job at the local archives, a blossoming relationship with Inspector Darrow of the RNC and a growing sense of home in St. Jude Without, Newfoundland. What could possibly go wrong?
When a skeleton clutching a partial treasure map is unearthed below a city street, Carmel finds out how tenuous her grip on happiness is. Her neighbors believe the pirate loot is their inheritance. Her archivist boss guards the secret jealously until she is found murdered – with Carmel, covered in her blood and standing over her, the chief suspect.
It doesn’t look good for Carmel and, to make matters worse, Inspector Darrow is forced to recuse himself from her case because of conflict of interests, leaving her to the mercy of the local constabulary’s most notoriously vicious investigator. Meanwhile, the safest place for her might be to remain in jail….
Pirates, murder, jealousies and tested loyalties swirl in The Iron Dog, the third volume in the Carmel McAlistair series, set on Canada’s most easterly coast.

***

My thoughts: With treasure maps, pirates, ghosts and fairies this is a story to fuel your imagination and keep you turning those pages. Carmel McAlistair has a knack for finding trouble, and can frequently be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Helping her out of her dilemmas is a strong – and very original – cast of characters. I hadn’t read any of the previous books in the series, but I will go back and catch up for sure.

This is a well-written story with fully-developed personalities whose interactions are novel, funny, bizarre and intriguing. It reminded me of the Murder She Wrote stories, where the characters of a small cove are all talking about a murder in their neighbourhood. This book has the same cosy feel to it, although adding a Scottish detective and a rusty-coloured dog named after Irn Bru was a masterstroke in my eyes. I did guess the murderer early on, but I enjoyed the misdirection and began to doubt my own sleuthing skills for a while.

I must add that the cover is stunning – it’s one thing I generally take little notice of as a Kindle reader, but every so often a great cover will catch my eye. This is one of those times when it’s worth getting the paperback version too.

A most entertaining book for those who enjoy a good mystery in a great setting. Available now on Amazon, click here for details.

I asked: You answered

I have a feeling my reading slump is over. 

After asking for your recommendations, I’m excited to hide my nose in a good book again. I’ve even ordered real books – the ones with paper and everything!!

While I love my Kindle, maybe my reading practice was just getting too regimental. Having a physical book will – hopefully – rekindle (pun intended) my love for reading.

And, I’ll be asking for more recommendations from you all again.

These little darlings are winging there way to me right now – some as ebooks but a couple by post:

Thank you to all who replied with a recommendation.

 

In a reading funk: please help

If I don’t have a book at my side, then you can be sure I’m not well.

This month I surpassed my reading goal for the year. Yay, go me! (okay, so I probably underestimated how many books I’d read – 60 seemed like a good starting point at first)

But as the month went on, I struggled to enjoy—and sometimes, even finish—books that I’d been looking forward to reading.
Don’t ask me why? Had I burned out? Possibly. Maybe my reading matter had simply become repetitive; always the same types of story.
Had I become a formulaic reader? Eek, now there’s a thought—a scary one at that.


Maybe I need to explore new genres, or return to some old favourites.

Whatever happens, I can’t let this go on.
I’m going to ask my writing buddies to help out.

So, I’m asking for recommendations—any genre except horror or romance or paranormal.
Message me on Facebook, send me a tweet (the links are on the sidebar) or leave a comment here.

I’ll be forever in your debt if you can help me out of this big, black hole.

Thank you

Z is for … Zilch

Today’s the last day of the AtoZChallenge, and I’m all blogged out – I’ve got zilch left to add.

Other than to say, if you’ve read / liked / shared any of these posts, left a comment, joined my mailing list or even bought a book of mine, then from the bottom of my heart, I send you my greatest

Courting Danger has been well and truly exposed, in readiness for its cover reveal in the summer and book launch soon after.

If you have any space on your bookshelf or reading device, then you can always check out my other books

 Lacey’s Law, The Fifth Wheel or Magic O’Clock

Thank you for joining me during this month of blogging – it’s been fun, exhausting, thought-provoking, tiring and wonderful to be engaging and interacting with you all.

See you soon 🙂 x

 

Q is for … Quiet time

I knew I’d get stuck on Q. Happens every time, and yeah I know X & Z are still to come and I can’t take a pass on those too.

So, I’m having some quiet time – reading for pleasure, maybe squeezing in the odd chapter or two of a beta read I’m working through, I might even write up a book review too. But, nothing today is related to my theme directly – but reading is important. As is some downtime. I’ve learnt to take my time when it comes to writing or revising my stories. I’ll still meet my deadlines, but some days are just not meant to be writing days.

So, hope you all get some breathing space too.

And I promise not to pull the same stunt on X & Z 🙂

Tainted Tokay – A Book Review

Tainted Tokay – by Jean-Pierre Alaux & NoĂ«l Balencaptura

As always, beautifully descriptive – both of the scenic locations and the wines enjoyed by the characters. I enjoyed the mysteries, particularly how the two ran parallel -the attack on the lab researcher in Paris and the ongoing mysteries throughout the Danube cruise.
The series never fails to disappoint with oodles of intrigue and endless plot twists. However, this time, I felt as though some parts were rushed through (Claude’s return to France was made out to be more mysterious than it actually was – or maybe it was just me. But the ‘hat on the hook’ and then later ‘off the hook’ with no other mention of him, made me think another unfortunate mishap had befallen him.)
On the plus side, I loved the increased character development of Virgile, seeing him stand on his own two feet.
A refreshing, fun and easy read – perfect light entertainment.

 

4 stars