"It is never too late to become the person you are meant to be." — and I couldn't agree more!
Life's a challenge — Marquita's collection of inspiration"It is never too late to become the person you are meant to be." — and I couldn't agree more!
Life's a challenge — Marquita's collection of inspirational quotes and life lessons provides encouragement and reminds us that we're not alone in facing these challenges. These words of wisdom are grouped into relevant chapters; so if you're looking for guidance to a particular problem, it's easy to navigate and discover a myriad of quotations that are certain to help you engage a positive mindset. I only meant to read the first chapter; "Life's Crossroads"; but continued until way past my bedtime, then couldn't wait to pick up again the next evening. These quotations really bring you up and encourage you to think … As expected there's the great philosophers, and my favourite woman of substance, Eleanor Roosevelt; but there's also contemporary advisors; Actor Michael J Fox; Author Neil Gaiman, Songster Jason Mraz et al providing real down to earth advice, not forgetting the lovely Marquita Herald herself, who so wisely says: "Challenge yourself. Dare to risk, to fail and succeed, above all to achieve your full potential. Don't settle for a life that is mediocre or good enough. Believe with all your heart that you are not only capable of achieving your dreams, but that you deserve to." I've found my new best friend, and this one is staying on my kindle for invaluable daily reference!
An original, unforgettable heroine is determined to find her missing child, and nothing's going to get in her way — not even the darling of the FormulAn original, unforgettable heroine is determined to find her missing child, and nothing's going to get in her way — not even the darling of the Formula One circuit, and certainly not fame and fortune.
Told in first person narrative and set in the millionaires' playground of Monte Carlo, this story gripped me from the start. Why was Desire so anxious to disguise her beauty, and settle for the monotony of shop-work, when she so clearly had a unique talent for creating exquisite perfume? And when she literally bumps into a world famous Formula One driver, a man whose career she has followed avidly, why does she resolutely push away his advances? Mysteries unfurl as the story races along at break-neck speed. This is one of those books that you want to devour in one sitting, but you don't want to end. A confident debut, highly recommended, I hope to read more from this author. ...more
This is the second 'Lionel' adventure I've read. As before, the quality is outstanding. A fun entertaining read, beautifully complemented by full coloThis is the second 'Lionel' adventure I've read. As before, the quality is outstanding. A fun entertaining read, beautifully complemented by full colour illustrations.
Lionel's an engaging character with loveable traits. There's a vulnerability about him that many children will emphasise with; he's not always certain that he's doing the right thing, but he tries … and that's when the fun starts.
As a parent, I liked how the author has ensured that most chapters are self contained; so a chapter or two at night at bedtime will satisfy younger readers; while the main adventure continues to build throughout the story.
The descriptions of Lionel at home and at camp are excellent, creating good solid images of Lionel's different environments. Bullying rears its ugly head; but the author deals with this subject in a manner certain to reassure. There's a bully, Lionel's a little scared of him, but together with his friends, copes well. But then the bully tells a lie that lands Lionel in trouble. However, matters are quickly resolved without too much angst. There's potential here for parents/carers and children to discuss Lionel's actions and reactions, in a what did he do right, what did he do wrong, what would you have done differently frame work. But there's also a great little adventure that is certain to appeal to children; and especially suitable as a read-aloud story, or for novice/beginner readers....more
Monica La Porta's "Immortals" are taking the paranormal romantic adventure genre to a next level. The ancient city of Rome in all its beauty gives theMonica La Porta's "Immortals" are taking the paranormal romantic adventure genre to a next level. The ancient city of Rome in all its beauty gives the story authenticity and an extra dimension.
The well grounded background breathes life into Raphael; a young werewolf, portrayed as devil-may-care with a wild sweetness and an artistic talent. After his own traumatised childhood he has an especial empathy with other mistreated youngsters, and instinctively strives to help. His luck changes when he finds employment with an alpha wolf, yet his deep mistrust of adults remains. With a job and a place to call his own, he continues to be concerned for the welfare of others, in particular a gang of urchins known as the Rejects. He also continues to scour Rome in search of the girl who has captured his heart. When he discovers she's being held captive by a gang feared throughout Rome, armed with only the filmiest of plans and the brashness of youth, Raphael places himself in the gravest danger, intent on rescuing his soulmate.
As always, Monica's prose is beautiful, and though her characters are always engaging, it's particularly easy to fall in love with Raphael. Highly recommended. ...more
I'm a massive fan of the author's previous series set in the dystopian world of Pax, but in her Immortal series, Miss La Porta skillfully blends demonI'm a massive fan of the author's previous series set in the dystopian world of Pax, but in her Immortal series, Miss La Porta skillfully blends demons, angels, vampires and other immortals with our own world, creating original romances that are a breath of fresh air. Vivid character descriptions kept me turning pages long into the night as this beautifully written novella took me on a roller coaster ride of emotions. Highly recommended, cannot wait for the next in series. ...more
From the engrossing opening scene in Milan, where a beautiful young woman is blackmailed into a contract at her sister's death bed, to the final nerv From the engrossing opening scene in Milan, where a beautiful young woman is blackmailed into a contract at her sister's death bed, to the final nerve jangling battle of wits over a chess board on which the lives and souls of an island nation depend, The Devil You Say is a roller coaster ride of intrigue and adventure.
With the Paul D Mallory series, the author has created characters so lifelike, you actually see their shadows forming, and imagine their home life and background. For example, I'm convinced that if you shake Paul's family tree, his distant relative (maybe third cousin twice removed) James Bond will fall out. Central to this series is the relationship between Paul (journalist) and his boss Bentley, who makes offers you can't refuse. Work with him, and you won't find a more generous person. However, you cross him at your own peril.
As in `It's Always Darkest' action taking place `elsewhere' is told in third person point of view, while Paul's perspective is that of first person point of view. Despite his modest manner, he's a personable bloke; being a one woman man doesn't stop his appreciation of beautiful ladies, he knows how to hold his drink, enjoys a day at the races and is extremely entertaining company. You begin to understand why Bentley, who doesn't suffer fools lightly, employed him at an astronomical wage to scour the media for `anything odd' or newsworthy happening in Central America and the Caribbean Islands.
In this episode, several plot lines run: Bentley's millionaire subscribers are being assassinated. Deadly inexplicable incidents are occurring on the paradise island of San Esteban The National Hurricane Centre warns of a depression that builds in intensity throughout the story.
From third person point of view, we learn of several seemingly random assassinations and deaths.
Cut to Paul's world: He learns some startling facts from Bentley. (The reader also learns a very interesting fact about Mr Bentley Cramer.) This is what Paul discovers: l. That Bentley has a mere 300 subscribers to his `papers' each of whom pay a million dollars a year to read `News of the Weird.' 2. Bentley is extremely hacked off that someone appears intent on diminishing his readership by killing said subscribers. 3. Paul's predecessor was mutilated before being murdered.
Having dropped these bombshells, Cramer mystifies and intrigues Paul by showing him the photo and dossier of the beautiful, talented Terri Vincent, owner of several tabloid sensationalist newspapers, one of which is a weekly San Esteban journal. According to Bentley, Vincent is the person who compromised his predecessor, and she now has her hooks in Pete Rivera, an ex-employee of Bentley's, who also runs a weekly paper serving the tropical island of San Esteban, which is everything Vincent's paper isn't.
Paul is ordered to pack his bags and take a couple of weeks semi-vacation on San Esteban. When he questions why, Bentley responds: To save Pete Rivera's marriage. Hands up all those who think Bentley has ulterior motives. But the game is on, they're under starters' orders - and they're off! Personally, I only read reviews to discover what others thought of books I've already enjoyed. But if you're reading this as a guide to help you make up your mind, all I can say is please download a sample from Amazon. Simply because I enjoyed this book so much, I want others to experience the pleasure of sharing Paul's adventures. Stephen Spencer serves up just the right mixture of entertainment, mystery and danger, with a dash of humour sprinkled with one or two facts that astounded me. A winning formula; I understand there is another Paul D Mallory escapade in the pipelines, due for release on 25th December, and for the first time in ages, I'm awaiting Christmas as eagerly as a kid.
I've awarded three, because I was disappointed. I know Karin can write better than this. It wasn't up to her usual standard. Having said that, the ganI've awarded three, because I was disappointed. I know Karin can write better than this. It wasn't up to her usual standard. Having said that, the gang's all here (apart from Ethan who was killed in a one liner a book or two back - felt a slight sympathy with the guy, as the author hinted on more than one occasion he was a victim of his upbringing and trying to turn his life around). Still a good, though formulatic read, but up to her earlier novels. ...more
I can’t believe I haven’t discovered Carol Rivers before now. Writing in the tradition of Catherine Cookson and LIn the Bleak Midwinter – Carol Rivers
I can’t believe I haven’t discovered Carol Rivers before now. Writing in the tradition of Catherine Cookson and Lena Kennedy, she re-creates for her readers the London of yesteryear, populating her story with characters that are larger than life and resonate long after the last page is turned.
Set just after WW1 has ended, Birdie is a real life heroine, looking forward to being a good wife to her intended Donald Thorne, who has visions of expanding his grocery shop. Birdie Connor is a loving daughter, and both sister and substitute mother to young Pat, on the cusp of adulthood. Like many young girls she has an eye for fashion, she also has a talent for dressmaking. There is sorrow in her life though. Her eldest brother Frank has brought shame on the family, breaking his father’s heart, having been accused and convicted of desertion. And Birdie can’t understand why Donald can make time to walk out with his brother’s widow, yet insists the only way Birdie and he can be alone together is if Birdie works long hours in his shop. When Frank breaks out of jail, and gets involved with Russian ‘white’ terrorists tension mounts and it’s down to young Pat and Harry, the Connor’s lodger, to pit their wits against desperate people and the police to salvage the Connor’s honour and Birdie’s happiness.
All through the book, I longed for Birdie to tell Donald where to stuck his rotten fruit and veg, and take a better look at Harry, a man quietly supporting Birdie while nurturing a growing building company. Carol Rivers keeps her readers entertained with the sights and smells of old London (you’ll learn a little Cockney Rhyming Slang) and creates characters so vivid, you’ll live through their struggles and triumphs, good times and bad as they battle with day to day living on the Isle of Dogs.
Reading this book is like a long leisurely stroll down memory lane, back to good old London Town where a pint of cockles was the only fast food, when family was everything, and the world was the street where you lived. Mix in a story of faith, desertion, and desperate refugees to add spice and intrigue, and you have a book impossible to put down until the very last drop has been savoured.
This book is a searing satire on the world of reality tv, but not as engaging as Elton's other foray into this world of crazy wannabes & neverwillThis book is a searing satire on the world of reality tv, but not as engaging as Elton's other foray into this world of crazy wannabes & neverwillbes 'Dead Famous' which had at least a couple of likeable characters.
There are no even remotely likeable characters in this novel. Some you feel dreadfully sorry for, or at least you would if they weren't charicatures of the type of person you can see every week when shows like 'x factor' etc are on telly.
All here! The creator, a meglomaniac in love with himself with an uncanny sense for public taste and opinion. Just in case you didn't instantly recognise this guy, at one stage he is mistakenly called 'Simon Cowell.' and gently corrects the old dear 'No, I'm the other, more successful one.'
The Louis Walsh character is there too, enduring even more humiliation than in real life (if that were possible)
As for the woman with the dysfunctional family whose dogs shit everywhere, we have Beryl, once a man, who is now more woman than I could ever be because 'she knows what it's like to be a man, yearning to be a woman.' Like the Osbornes, her family's every nosepick and fart has been recorded for consumption by those who have no life of their own. Oh, and she has house pigs that shit.
One by one, we meet the no-hopers dreaming of becoming this year's pop throbs. One by one their hopes are dashed and they are humiliated publicly.
This book isn't subtle. Ben Elton clearly despises not only the crowd who make this type of reality show, he also has scant respect for those who provide both the audience and the freak show. The real pity is that I recognised every one of the charicaturised characters. The singing cleaner, the tart with the heart of gold in last chance saloon, the single dad, the kid who couldn't read, the young couple so in love it hurts, the anorexia teenager called back for a second chance only to be blown out, the woman with the hearty infectious laugh - it is almost as though the makers of X factor read this book to pick up tips on the best way to create shocks and increase audiences. The extra factor is that in this year's show, in order to increase his popularity Prince Charles has entered and is intent on strutting his funky stuff. This would be a lot funnier if it wasn't so true.