Saturday, 31 December 2016

Ciao from Ranulph (meet the book boys)

Ciao a tutti!
I'm sorry I'm late with my hello. TL asked me to write a Christmas post as she knows I love that time of year, but I got caught up in festivities. But I'm here now.

I don't really know what to say. This thing is a little strange. I don't like talking about myself really. I'm just a humble mechanic. Samantha says I'm good with my hands. Umm...

My name is Ranulph, and TL wrote about me in Young's Love. It was the first book she wrote, which is flattering. I think I was a bit of a guinea pig, but she told our tale well.

My sister Lottie loves horses, but I prefer my horse power in machines. I ride a Vespa and have a classic Morgan car. She is almost as beautiful as Samantha and purrs just like...well, never mind. Samantha will kill me if I talk about that sort of thing.

Samantha says I'm romantic, but I will ask you to decide. I just like to make my woman happy. She has a lovely smile, and she should show it off. She was so sad when we met. She had a pretty tough time, and she believed all the bad things people said about her.

I'm a lover not a fighter, but insult my girl and you will know about it. I will not allow people to speak badly of women. It's disrespectful.

I have dark hair and green eyes. I like going to the beach and swimming, but that makes this sound like a lonely hearts ad.

OK, I have to go and prepare for our New Year's Eve party now.

Don't forget to go to TL's Facebook page where I'll share my favourite quotes from the book.
Mikhail has already done his on there, the goody-two-shoes.

Ciao for now bella.

Thursday, 29 December 2016

Review - Murder in Absentia - Solved by a Sly Fox!

Date read: December 2016

Genre: Roman/Crime Thriller/Paranormal - so much going on!

My rating: Full marks 5*

So, I've found a book worthy of a review on my blog after a few books that weren't worthy, hence the radio silence.

I really did enjoy this book, there's certainly a lot of boxes ticked by it.

My review:

A town borrowed from Ancient Rome, magic, a murder mystery being solved by a sly Fox...what's not to like?

This book is very cleverly written.
A fictitious town which borrows influences from different parts of Roman history, and melded together to create an intriguing story.

A young man is murdered using dark magic, and Felix the Fox is hired to solve the mystery. He's a rather colourful character with just enough darkness to make him fascinating whilst still be likeable.

The reader is taken on a magical journey around beautiful islands and even into taverns and brothels. I enjoyed the hot baths especially.
The world and people Assaph Mehr creates come to life off the pages. I could almost smell the fish!

This is a really fab book.  If you like whodunnits and/or paranormal/historic novels you should read this.

Friday, 16 December 2016

Zdravstvuj (zdrah-stvooy; hello) from Mikhail (meet the book boys)


I am Mikhail. TL Clark has put me in her book True's Love (linky thing there). 
I still think she is crazy for this. I am only a humble bodyguard, but she said she liked my story and so I said OK.

So, whilst TL is busy writing about vampires (see; crazy) she told me to come here to say hello to you. Zdravstvuj Zdrah-stvooy (hello)!

Please excuse my Russian accent. Amanda says its nice. I'm not so sure. 
Oh; Amanda just pointed out you can't hear me. I'm only typing. OK, forget I said that. 

I do not really know what to say. But TL told me I'm her favourite hero.
I don't know. I think maybe we should have vote? 

If the other book boys come and say hi, would you go to Facebook page and vote for your favourite?
(Argh, more link things. Please wait. I'll ask Amanda.)
OK, she says go here for Facebook page.

The girls also say I must go on there to share some of my quote words soon.  
Oh bòzhe mòi / Oh moi boch (oh my God), these girls are crazy. 
But I love Amanda so I will obey.
TL? I tease her but she is a good person. And I owe her for being nice about me. 

OK, enough me now. I must go take a class. 
пока pah-kah (bye, see you later)!

Monday, 12 December 2016

2016 Yuletide Ponderings

I'm British (as I may have mentioned), so I still wish you all a Merry Christmas.

It's funny. Across the years I've become Buddhistish/Paganish...spritual. Yet I still utter this phrase without thought of offense. 
I realise this is not the case across the globe, and this saddens me. 

But I'm in danger of getting political, and that's not my intention.

2016 has been a turbulent year.
There have been some pretty major shocks in the political and celebrity worlds.
There's been some bumps in my personal life; the latest being that I just quit my day job after a long period of illness. 

However, many of my friends have been posting their Facebook 2016 videos. 
What I saw was many many happy memories. 

It struck me that when times get crazy we tend to forget to count our blessings. It's all too easy to do. I myself am guilty of this.

So take a moment now. Can you tick off any on this list...?
  • You have a roof over your head
  • You have food in your belly
  • You have clean running water
  • You have clothes on your back
  • You were able to attend school
  • You have joy

These are fairly fundamental basics in life, but so many across our little planet don't have these.
So if you do you're doing pretty great actually.

I send extra love & light to all those in need of any/all on this list.
And at this time of year especially I send peaceful wishes across the globe.

So, whatever you're celebrating at this time, may your days be merry and bright.
Eat and be merry.
And give thanks for your many blessings.

Love & light,

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Review - Steal Me; steal yourself for this

Steal Me (Haunted Roads #1)

My rating; 4 (almost 5) *
Category; romance and tragedy (with laughter)

Date read: Oct 2016

Oh noes! You can't leave it there!!!

Wow; what a gripping story! Stories really, I suppose.
There's a whole group of misfits with horrific pasts who all come together in their very own special dysfunctional way.

Great characters! I love Maverick especially. ;P

Halfway through there's a big perspective shift, and we get to see the story through someone else's eyes. This was really effective.

I only reserve one of the stars as the boys seem to have very adult/counsellor type insights a lot, despite being full of hormones. It could just be my sceptical mind, but sometimes these were just a bit too profound.

Other than that, I loved it.

There's serious issues such as abuse and death covered in this book.
They are extremely well handled, and done with compassion and understanding.

There's so much humour in these pages that the bad stuff is much easier to read.

I felt like I was in the little American town.

Definite recommend to a friend material.

Monday, 10 October 2016

Blessings of the Animals - here here!

by Katrina Kittle
Image result for blessings of the animals
So, I just read this book. I give it 5*
I would classify this as Contemporary Romance, Animal-y
My review:
It took me an embarrassingly long time to get around to reading this book. But I'm glad I did.

I've long been an advocate of the healing power of animals, and this author really captures this. 
The animals in this story echo the divorcee vet's own trials, and seem to reflect her pain. 
But in mirroring her pain she comes to understand it through them.

This is a lovely story. There's not strictly a HEA, but there's a real growth as a person. A woman learning to regain her true independence, or at least recognise what was really there all the time.

And a horse made me cry!! 
But Muriel the goat made me laugh the most, I think. 
And I love the headless St Francis ;p 

Monday, 26 September 2016

Indie Author Day - it's a thing!

Hello my online friendlies,

So, exciting news...
On 8th October 2016 the world is celebrating indie authors. Hoorah!
About time we celebrated our total awsomeness!

So, there's a totally crazy group of us who have clubbed together (y'know, the good kind of crazy).
We're all romance authors, of different shapes and varieties.
On the 8th October we're offering our books free or at least discounted.

Here's the event page:

Come follow our event, save the date in your diaries, grab a bargain and get some great romance reads.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

I'm Done (*mops brow*)

OK, apologies for the onslaught. I had a lot of reviews to catch up on.
So, you now have book reviews that have stuck with me. They are quite eclectic, but they're all very good.
I hope you manage to take some time out to read each review.

Good news; I won't have to do such a major blog dump again. I'll just post reviews of books I like as and when I read/review them.

Exciting thing; have you noticed I now have a newsletter signup on this page?
If you want just a few emails per year, notifying you of my important announcements please do sign up.
It really won't be lots of emails, I promise.

If you do want regular updates please follow me on social media.
I'm on TwitterFacebook and now also on Instagram (TLClarkAuthor)

OK, tired now. I go nap. :)

Love & light,

Review - One (cliffhanger coming up)

Rating: 4*
Read: September 2016
Reckon it's: Romanctic Suspense

This book is a really good suspense/romance.
It's very well written, for a start.

We begin this tale with a very bloody murder, and the plot thickens as hunky Xavier (detective) has to find who the murderer is.
He doesn't expect to find love along the way.

Both the hero and heroine of this book have a traumatic past, which they have to try to overcome, at the same time as dealing with a rather nasty 'present'.

I love how the relationship develops.

Watch out; there's a lot of blood in these murders. A lot!!

I was hooked almost from the very first page.

If you like romantic suspense and/or murder mysteries go for it!

Review - Hart Broken - unbreak my heart

Rating: 5*
Read: September 2016
Reckoned category: Contempoarary Romance

I actually love this book. Just wow!
The author tells this tale well.

Mickey (a girl Mickey), is damaged emotionally. She doesn't do one night stands, she's a good girl, but has commitment problems.

Cale is damaged physically. And kudos to the author for writing about a wheelchair-bound hero who isn't magically cured.
His challenges and frustrations are real. He has such solid determination that is almost becomes arrogance, but stays on the healthy side of that. His independence is just important to him.
Of course, he's really yummy. He's rich, but not obnoxiously so. He's actually quite humble about it. Yay!

They both help to heal each other's wounds from their past, and it's beautiful to read.
I actually "aww"ed out loud, and occasionally gasped too (not something I do normally).

A great book, and I can't wait to read the next one.

Review - Call of Kythshire - I'd answer

Rating: 4*
Read: September 2016
Reckon it's: YA/Fantasy/Sweet Romance

I love this book (and I'm a lady over 21). 
I love the illustrations (even on my old 4th gen Kindle).
And the story is really strong.

Azaeli is an awesome young lady; one to watch in the role model stakes.
She's a squire and all round good person.
But she becomes embroiled in a fierce battle of good vs evil (sorcerers vs fairies).

Excitement and intrigue are maintained throughout, in language suitable for the age bracket.
There's a clean romance involved along the line, but the main story remains focussed on Kythshire.

Exciting and lovely.

Review - Going Home - I think I'm lost

Rating: 4*
Read: August 2016
Reckon this is: Aliens?/Dystopian

Ummm...what?? So, I've just finished this book, and I have a couple of theories, but I don't really know what's going on. But I know I like it! :-)

So there's Sam, Yileen and Rousso, who live in Australia, and get sucked into an extremely odd existence, thanks to The Anomaly (which is worshipped by a cult sect and everything!).

And then there's Keats. And maybe Spiggy and Mook. Maybe not. Maybe there's some weird monsters.
I'm really really not sure what's going on there. Or what's even real any more!? ;)

The two stories are very well interwoven whilst never meeting.
There's a very nice use of the English language here, and the stories flow and pull you in.

I'm intrigued and can't wait for book 2!

Definitely recommend to people who like adventure/scifi/aliens/conspiracy theories/weird stuff! 

Review - Fogged Up is clearly a good book

Fogged Up Fairy Tale
by Denise Baer

Rating: 4*
Read: June 2016
Real category: Contempoarary Romance

What an interesting concept.

As I read this book I was discovering the life of the main character right along with her.
Brand is an odd, wild, fiery and great character. She is by no means perfect, so I was fond of her from the start.

Easton however is stand offish, and I never totally warmed to him.
Although he did sound yummy, so I forgave him lots.

What Brand remembers is no mundane life. It's a life that's a bit messed up, and involves hunting criminals.

Sometimes it was a bit confusing. I wasn't always sure if I was reading current day or the past. But given Brand had amnesia, this confusion leant itself to the story. And to be fair, there is a little date and place at the top of each chapter.

Very nicely written, a different spin on a romance.
Definitely worth a read.

Review - Breakers of the Code - it's a bit...broken

Rating: 4*
Read: April 2016
Category all of its own: Elfrotica

Wow! How on Earth or in Gentalia do I review this??

It is totally different from anything I've ever read, and trust me, I've read some weird s#!t in my time!

Welcome to the world’s best (only) elfrotica!

So, we join Anders, a night ranger elf avatar who is making his way through a computer world which becomes weird.
He soon realises if you can't kill them shag them is the way forward in this game.
He gets a ‘sawesome bubble butt’ to help him cope with ginormous monsters.
It's not so much m/m but m/mm action (male/male monster).

This book is pretty niche; it really helps if you like video games (which I do) and seriously, don't even touch this book if you're sensitive to m/m activity or explicit sex scenes.

There's really cool text boxes to show when the characters are talking to each other.
This actually made me feel like I was an avatar in the game.
I found myself wondering what my colour accents would be, and whether I'd choose an elf class avatar, and what my special (s) power would be. ;-p

However, these text boxes do limit the devices you can read this book on.
My poor old 4th gen Kindle couldn't download it. But as I have an android phone I was able to read it on the Kindle app on that, so really not a problem.
Actually, reading it on my phone, flicking the screen added to the feel of gameplay which may well have enhanced my reading experience on this occasion.

The book is well written and is wonderfully unique.
The characters leap out of the pages, and are all really well endowed...err...developed.

High scores for fun and creativity.

Review - Broken Pieces - it might break your heart

Rating: 4*
Read: February 2016
Real category: Memoir

Wow; Rachel Thompson is one courageous lady! It must have taken a great deal of effort to write so openly about her abuse.

There are trigger warnings deservedly in place for this book.
It covers child molestation as well as the abuse Rachel endured as she grew older.

I personally found it quite confusing; the timeline jumps around a fait bit and it's not always clear which moment she's writing about. But then that didn't feel important.

Rachel has clearly shared her painful experiences to help create a greater awareness of abuse.

There is no happily ever after; there is just one lady living her life dealing with the aftermath of trauma as best she can. Guess what; not all survivors have fully healed yet. This book is totally honest and open. I would have scored it far less stars if the author had tried to 'pretty it up'!

The style is unusual; it mixes essays with prose/poetry/journal style entries.
It was written the only way the author could write it imho. And kudos to her for doing so.

Review - Flight Instructions - a real journey

Rating: 4*
Read: November 2015
Category: Memoir

I don't normally read memoirs, but I am very glad I read this one.

Wow; what a journey!
OK, so there's not so much in the way of instructions as I was expecting/hoping for, but I'll gloss over that.

What this book is is a remarkable story of a lady intent on beating herself up for merely following her life's path.

I don't think it's a spoiler to say that the author left her husband and young children.
Her path of recovery from this is contained in the book. And she certainly took the harder path.

It also shows a great insight into what it feels like to be born to an alcoholic parent.

I recommend this book to anyone needing to feel comfort from a shared experience. 

Review - I'm in love with - Evelina

Rating: 5* (I'd give more if I had them)
Read: November 2015
Category: Historical Romance/Original founder 

Oh, the folly of modesty and reserve; how much confusion is caused falsely in thy name?

I absolutely adore this book! I can't believe I've only just discovered it.
It is one of the first romance novels, so do beware of ye olde language. But you do get used to it.

I found it amusing at how much chaos was caused by Evelina's purity and innocence.
How short this novel would have been if she lived today and was at once able to speak her mind.
But this is what makes the book so lovely.

There is absolutely no requirement for sex in this romance. I blush at even associating such an act with this work of refinement!

Evelina attends balls and gatherings of all sorts, and her eyes are opened to the horrors and wonders of this world.

Every romance reader (or indeed author) should read this book.
I feel myself greatly affected by its contents. And I thank and honour Fanny for her bravery as it must have taken great courage to write this way at the time. And in so doing she paved the way for many romance novels ever since.

Incidentally, in today's terms; one J Austen 'crowd funded' this book's publication (before she herself was published).
Oh, how much do we owe to this book? 

Review - Northern Heights - heightened romance

Rating: 4*
Read: September 2015
Reckon the category is: Contempoarary Romance

We start this story with a young girl named Barbara, and the awful bullying she suffers. Then the trail goes cold and we switch to Nicola. But stick with it; you may be surprised when Barbara does re-surface!

Nicola gets bullied by her boss at work; I really sympathised with her through this. It’s amazing what a slight change in perspective can do for people.

We come across a lot of bullies, but the tales are shown in a positive light.
We learn about coping strategies and how to overcome difficulties. We also engage with Nicola’s wonderful friends, and share her joyous romance.

Because bullying clearly wasn’t enough of a challenge, we are also guided through the ups and downs of lesbian relationships. And it is all wrapped up with a good dose of humour, so it never feels depressing.

This book is really lovely. It’s really well written, and it feels like it’s done straight from the heart. I was completely hooked and really had to find out what happened to the characters.

The author really settles into her stride as the book progresses. An excellent first novel. May there be more!

Definitely recommend to a friend material.