#ThrowbackThursday #BookReview The Grayson Trilogy by Georgia Rose @GeorgiaRoseBook

For several years I wrote a book blog and accumulated reviews of some really good reads. I saw on Twitter that Renee at It’s Book Talk started using the #ThrowbackThursday meme as a way to share books that are old favourites or have been waiting to be read for a long time. I decided to visit my old book reviews and re-post my favourites here on 3sixtyfiveblog for #ThrowbackThursday.

So far I’ve included:

An Englishwoman’s Guide to the Cowboy by June Kearns

Kings and Queens by TerryTyler

Blood-Tied by Wendy Percival

Make a Joyful Noise by Jenny Worstall

Everybody Lies by Julia Hughes

Boot Camp Bride by Lizzie Lamb

The Heartfelt Series by Adrienne Vaughan

and Accursed Women by Luciana Cavallaro.

This week it’s The Grayson Trilogy by Georgia Rose

The Grayson Trilogy is a very readable set of romances with thriller overtones.

From the Amazon book description

Meet Emma Grayson, heroine of The Grayson Trilogy, a series of mysterious and romantic adventure stories. ‘The gun continued to be levelled at me. “Answer it…but don’t tell him I’m here or he’ll get to listen to you die.” That concentrated my mind considerably, and as I reached for my phone I came up with a plan…’ Emma Grayson was left devastated when her life was torn apart by tragedy and betrayal. Now someone believes it’s time for her to start again and puts an advert for a job through her door which leads her to the Melton Estate. Despite her desire for a solitary existence she finds herself discovering a life she could never have imagined, challenging her independence, her fears and her resistance to love. ‘An entertaining romance with a fascinating twist. Highly recommended and a RED RIBBON winner.’ The Wishing Shelf Awards.

My Review from Indie Bookworm

The Grayson Trilogy by Georgia Rose comprises
Book 1: A Single Step
Book 2: Before the Dawn
Book 3: Thicker Than Water

I read each book in The Grayson Trilogy one after the other as I was enjoying the series so much.

Emma Grayson is a complex personality. Her back story is very emotional and poignant and the author explores this with great sensitivity.

Author Georgia Rose has created in Emma an interesting character whose love life across all three books has so many wonderful ups and downs.

Her romantic attachment is enhanced by the exciting thriller into which her love story is woven. Trent, the leading man, is a complex character too. He has as many hang-ups as Emma and the author takes her time over all three novels to reveal the explanations for his behaviours.

Emma and Trent dominate the novels but there is a large supporting cast too.
The main characters and all the subsidiary characters develop well as the series progresses.

It’s easy to keep track of who’s who and what’s what as the three books evolve.
The author references back to previous main story points so that a reader who picks up one of the books out of sequence will know what’s going on. However, this is done with a light touch and doesn’t get in the way for readers who are following through sequentially.

I liked the horsey setting which I found unusual and interesting and life on “The Manor” is certainly different and filled with surprises.

Although there is the predictability about the ending associated with this genre there are some plot developments and revelations about key characters which are completely unexpected and these bring the series to a very satisfying conclusion.

Click the Free Preview button below to start reading the Grayson Trilogy straightaway!

#ThrowbackThursday #BookReview Accursed Women by Luciana Cavallaro @ClucianaLuciana

For several years I wrote a book blog and accumulated reviews of some really good reads. I saw on Twitter that Renee at It’s Book Talk started using the #ThrowbackThursday meme as a way to share books that are old favourites or have been waiting to be read for a long time. I decided to visit my old book reviews and re-post my favourites here on 3sixtyfiveblog for #ThrowbackThursday.

So far I’ve included:

An Englishwoman’s Guide to the Cowboy by June Kearns

Kings and Queens by TerryTyler

Blood-Tied by Wendy Percival

Make a Joyful Noise by Jenny Worstall

Everybody Lies by Julia Hughes

Boot Camp Bride by Lizzie Lamb

and The Heartfelt Series by Adrienne Vaughan.

This week it’s Accursed Women by Luciana Cavallaro.

Accursed Women is a fascinating collection of classical short stories told with originality and imagination.

From the Amazon book description

Five stories, five women, five legends.

Phaedra, a Minoan princess, marries out of duty and to safeguard her precious home. She falls in love with Hippolytos, her husband’s son and asks the Goddess Aphrodite for help. He spurns her affections.

The Trojan War, one of history’s greatest stories ever told. What if the legend as told is wrong? History is told by the victors, and facts changed to twist the truth. Is it possible Helen of Sparta never went to Troy?

Hera, Queen of the Gods, is the most powerful goddess on Mount Olympos. For the first time ever in a candid interview, Hera shares what it’s like to be a goddess and wife to Zeus, the King of the Gods.

Created by the gods as a gift to humanity, Pandora is the first woman on Earth. Did she know what Zeus intended when he presented an urn as a wedding dowry to her husband? Neither she nor Epimetheus knew what it contained, but they were told never to open it.

All Medousa wanted was a life of love and acceptance but one fateful night it changed. While she’s alone in the Temple of Athene tending to the sacred fire, Poseidon pays a visit. No human can stop an immortal from taking what they want.

My Review from Indie Bookworm

Luciana Cavallaro is the author of a series of short stories about the lives of five amazing women from Ancient Greek History. I read the first one, Aphrodite’s Curse, several weeks ago and enjoyed it so much I downloaded the complete series, Accursed Women.

I’ve just finished reading the collection and re-read Aphrodite’s Curse, which is the death-bed memoir of princess Phaedra in which she reflects on her own life and describes the events of the day. I think I enjoyed it even more than on the first reading especially for its detailed background.

The second story is the life of Helen as told to a self-styled professional historian who visits Helen towards the end of her life and records a whole new version of events leading up to the wooden horse of Troy saga. Helen comes over as a really strong character who is determined to tell her story to posterity and set the record straight about what she regards as a distorted reality. Whether the author is making this up or not I don’t know but it makes for a very readable and engaging story.

The style for the third story, A Goddess’ Curse, is a complete contrast and a big surprise. It combines the ancient and the modern, the mythical with reality and works really well. I think this is my favourite story in the collection: it’s informative and insightful but entertaining and amusing. The goddess Hera gives a candid interview to daytime chat show host, Drake Drabbler. She shares what it’s like to be a goddess and wife to Zeus, the King of the Gods. Drabbler thinks that his exclusive interview with Queen Hera is a cert for a daytime TV award but he gets a lot more than he bargains for!

Boxed in a Curse is a fresh take on the well-known story of Pandora’s Box. When two precocious children ask their grandfather for a story he’s got a good one up his sleeve which seems to have more than a little relevance to their own lives.

Everyone must have heard of Medousa, the hideous Gorgon with the human face and snakes instead of hair who will turn you into stone if you look into her eyes. In the final story, Cursed by Treachery, Luciana Cavallaro explains how Medousa becomes this terrifying monster and by the end of the story, amazingly, the reader is full of sympathy for Medousa’s plight.

All the stories are well written and packed with information. They are highly readable and entertaining. I’m sure if school Classics lessons had been this interesting I would have paid more attention. Well done author Luciana Cavallaro for bringing such originality to some very ancient tales.

Click the Free Preview button below to start reading Accursed Women straightaway!

Crime pays!

Recent articles in The Guardian and The Telegraph reported that for the first time crime novels and psychological thrillers are outselling other types of fiction.

According to figures unveiled in April at the London Book Fair by Nielsen BookScan, 18.7 million crime and thriller books were sold in 2017. This was almost a 20% increase from 2015. The large number of TV crime dramas is credited with fuelling this upsurge. For example, The Telegraph identifies Louise Doughty’s Apple Tree Yard among the books topping the best-seller lists last year. The novel was first published in 2013 but re-issued to tie in with a BBC adaptation starring Emily Watson.

Popular crime writer Sophie Hannah explains  in The Guardian that it’s no mystery that crime is the biggest-selling genre in books. Crime, writes Hannah, is the only genre that puts puzzle-solving – making sense of what the hell’s going on – at the centre of everything. It’s closest to our core motivation, as we blindly stumble through life, needing but never being given all the answers.

Of all the books Michael and I have published, his crime novel A Single To Filey has been far and away our best selling title. Published in 2015, the novel was an Amazon Number 1 Best Seller in British Detectives and for two consecutive months received a Kindle Allstars award for its huge popularity with readers.

In case you like reading crime fiction and haven’t read A Single To Filey, here’s an introduction.

Body found (3)

Detective Chief Inspector Tony Forward’s hobby is directing amateur theatricals. His latest production for the Sandleton-on-Sea Players is “The Cherry Orchard”. It’s nearly midnight and he still hasn’t completed the dress rehearsal. Then duty calls: a man with fatal head injuries has been discovered in a remote bay on the East Yorkshire coast.

The man’s name is Mark Coulson and he’s the Headteacher of a local primary school. But no-one seems able to explain why this respectable, professional man was at such an isolated spot so late at night. His wife is the most mystified of all.

Why were Mr Coulson’s pockets empty? Sergeant Wilmott believes robbery was the motive. But if the killer had stolen Coulson’s car keys why is his car still parked nearby?Was Mr Coulson murdered by a jealous boyfriend or husband? That’s what DC Diane Griffiths thinks. But Mr Coulson’s Chair of Governors says he was a boring man whose only interest was his work.

With such a baffling case to solve how can DCI Forward find time for “The Cherry Orchard”?

Body found (7)

A Single To Filey has received well over two hundred reader reviews on Amazon. These are copied from the sidebar on the bookpage.

stephen sheppard
5.0 out of 5 starsGood Stuff
Excellent read…couldn’t put it down now…watch out for this author and Tony Forward. settings, characters timings all v.good
10/10 +
Published 7 months ago

5.0 out of 5 starsFive Stars
Hope there are some more in this series soon
Published 9 months ago

Discerning reader.
5.0 out of 5 starsA great read!
I really enjoyed this book, and hope that there will be another Tony Foreward novel before long. It was very hard to put down!
Published 1 year ago

Heather B39
5.0 out of 5 starsLots of twists
Never guessed the outcome at all! Really enjoyed the story look forward to reading more of authors books. Great read.
Published 1 year ago

Body found (11)

You can read lots more reviews and a good sized free sample on the Amazon bookpage for A Single To Filey. And it’s only £1.99 and available in Kindle Unlimited too.

You don’t need a Kindle to read Kindle books.

Thanks for reading my blog today.

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Do you read ebooks or paper?

Do you still read fiction?

Literary Chocolate!



7 Favourite Howards End Quotes

We loved the BBC adaptation of Howards End which concluded on Sunday evening.

First published in 1910, E.M. Forster’s literary masterpiece is bursting with quotables.

I hope you enjoy these:

While her lips talked culture, her heart was planning to invite him to tea.

cup of tea
image credit: https://pixabay.com/en/tea-cup-vintage-tea-cup-tea-coffee-2107599/

To trust people is a luxury in which only the wealthy can indulge; the poor cannot afford it.

guitar case
image credit: https://pixabay.com/en/guitar-case-street-musicians-donate-485112/

All men are equal – all men, that is, who possess umbrellas.

image credit: https://pixabay.com/en/umbrella-landscape-red-winter-2418413/

She must be assured that it is not a criminal offence to love at first sight.

image credit: https://pixabay.com/en/heart-card-pastels-figure-762564/

What is the good of your stars and trees, your sunrise and the wind, if they do not enter into our daily lives?

image credit:https://pixabay.com/en/winter-wintry-snow-snow-landscape-2896970/
image credit: https://pixabay.com/en/grass-grasses-back-light-sunrise-1685605/

Do they care about Literature and Art? That is the most important when you come to think of it. Literature and Art. Most important.

image credit: https://pixabay.com/en/book-reader-learning-culture-2644166/

A funeral is not death, any more than baptism is birth or marriage union. All three are the clumsy devices, coming now too late, now too early, by which Society would register the quick motions of man.

image credit: https://pixabay.com/en/roses-rose-flower-flowers-pink-1420719/

Thanks for reading my blog today.

You might also like Stately Homes in Fiction and Films on Cabbage and Semolina Blog.

Please check out my Book of the Day at http://www.spurwing-ebooks.com/


What’s the most popular fruit in book titles?

Writing about my new top fruits started me thinking of books I’d read with fruit in the title.

I could only think of six:

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekov

Oranges are not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson

Each Peach Pear Plum by Janet Ahlberg

James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

Looks like Oranges and Peaches are the most popular fruits on my bookshelf.

What about yours?

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April Bookshelf

Here’s my reading list for April.

Mothering Sunday by Graham Swift

The plot of this rather short novel takes place on March 30th 1924. This is Mother’s Day or Mothering Sunday as it was known then.

Jane Fairchild is an orphan and a housemaid. Like all other housemaids in that age of large scale domestic service, Jane is given the day off to go and visit her mother. How will she occupy her time when she has no mother to visit?

Beginning with an intimate assignation but with broad hints of what the future holds for Jane, this is the story of her life encapsulated on that fateful day in March.

I found the novel slow to start and had to re-read the first chapter to get into it. But once started, I didn’t put it down again until it was finished. The writing is so succinct and vivid. Remarkably  good and very moving, particularly the subtle exploration of the emotional  impact of bereavement in WW1.

Long Spoon by Kath Middleton

I’ve read nearly all Kath Middleton’s books and was delighted to find she’d released a new title. Long Spoon takes the reader into student life and the desire of two friends, Ed and Paul, to make loads of money. Their plan is to sell a home-made legal high to their friends and other students for a grossly inflated price. Ed becomes carried away with what they might accomplish although Paul is the person in the firing line when things get out of hand.

There are some underlying serious aspects to the novel but these are explored without dragging the book down. I particularly enjoyed the way the author leads the reader to think the novel is heading in one direction then suddenly throws a spanner in the works and goes off in another. This keeps the book light and lively and makes for a most entertaining read.

Fur Coat and No Knickers by Adrienne Vaughan

This collection of short stories has so many twists on the notion of a love story: an older couple meet while a beautifully described solitary swan reflects their emerging romance; a one-sided telephone conversation is amusing and edgy; so much emotion packed into one lemon bag; a woman meets a man in a bar and her ultimate ruination; a so-called married man sends poor Eva to a tragic end; a theatrical agent is stitched up by his best friend; a lonely woman is helped to find something positive in her marriage by an ageing father; and a young woman finds out that all was not as it seemed in her early life.

My favourites were:
A Seed of Doubt
A man whose wife has died goes on a weekend bereavement course. He is struggling to come to terms with his loss as he believes his wife was unfaithful. Help and a solution come from an unexpected source and the moral of the story is one from which many might benefit.
A Visit at Christmas
I mean it: I had tears in my eyes at the end of this story.
Fur Coat and No Knickers
Just so much fun! A woman who is a snob and a traditionalist turns out to be living a life of pretence.

There’s such a great variety and depth of feeling in these short stories which makes the whole collection a pleasure to read.

Pattern of Shadows by Judith Barrow

Pattern of Shadows is a wonderful story set in the latter days of World War Two somewhere in the north of England. Mary Howarth is a nurse who is part of a medical team given the unenviable task of caring for sick and injured prisoners of war at the prison camp hospital.

Mary starts a relationship with one of the guards at the camp, Frank Shuttleworth. The relationship proves difficult for Mary but Frank is persistent. Meanwhile, Mary’s home life is far from easy and she finds solace in her work. As the novel evolves Mary’s life becomes increasingly fraught and complicated. To say more would be to give away an extremely well constructed plot which explores some challenging issues of the day.

The novel is well researched and the sense of time and place is established securely. The author has created a group of characters who are very real and the dialogue and interactions between them are a strength of the writing. The romance element of the novel has a degree of predictability but when the concluding chapter is reached there is a sense of relief that what was anticipated has occurred.

Pattern of Shadows is the first part of a trilogy and it’s going to be fascinating to see what happens next.

The Prime Suspect Cases by Lynda La Plante

We enjoyed the recent TV drama series Prime Suspect 1973 and I downloaded the three original Prime Suspect cases onto my Kindle for a bargain price of 99p. I’ve only had time to read the opening of the first case but as the price for the collection has returned to £9.99, I’m glad I downloaded it when I did.

The Britain I Want by Emanuel Shinwell

As the 2017 General Election approaches, I’ve been dipping again into The Britain I Want by Emanuel Shinwell first published in 1943. The book is now out of print but I inherited a copy from my dad many years ago and read it twice. Unfortunately, it was stored in our garage and we were plagued by a mice infestation and the book had to be thrown away. Eventually, I tracked down a second hand copy complete with war-time economy compliance accreditation and now keep it on a very safe bookshelf.

Here’s a flavour of the book:

We pride ourselves in being the highest products of the biological scheme. We stand in something not far removed from awe at the achievements of our kind in science, philosophy, the arts, high moral conduct and sublime courage. Yet, so far, it has apparently been impossible for us to devise a method of living based on social justice and the right of everyone who does useful work in the community to something more than a drab scale of living, chaotic movements of the crazy barometer of employment and souring insecurity.

If you liked Ken Loach’s Spirit of 45 you’ll find this book fascinating but it might take some tracking down.

Saturday Night and Sunday Morning by Alan Sillitoe

Alan Sillitoe, who died in 2010, left school at fourteen and worked in various factories until becoming an air traffic control assistant with the Ministry of Aircraft Production in 1945. After leaving the RAF he went to live in France and in 1958 Saturday Night and Sunday Morning was published. I read the book for the first time in 1966 and I’ve read it several times since.

The book has become a cult classic of working class life in post-war Nottingham. It’s the story of rebellious factory worker Arthur Seaton who works all day at a lathe leaving him with energy to spare in the evenings. Arthur is a hard-drinking, hard-fighting hooligan who knows what he wants and is determined to get it.

His affairs with a couple of married women are the stuff of local gossip but then one evening he meets a young woman and things start to get complicated.

Saturday Night and Sunday Morning is such a readable book and the 1960 film, starring Albert Finney, captures its spirit completely. But as Sillitoe wrote the screenplay that’s hardly surprising. This never-to-be-forgotten clip shows a few minutes from the opening scenes of the film.

Thanks for visiting my blog today.

Hope your Saturday night was enjoyable and your Sunday morning is going well!

Today’s book promo
#London #1970s #newspapers #love
When a romance becomes too serious,
Julia poses an all important question.