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Yes, I have been absent from my blog. I confess that I grabbed a few days away with Hubby in France for some much needed R & R.

I also used the opportunity to catch up on my formidable TBR pile of books which has accumulated to such towering proportions that I have had to move three boxes of books out, into the garage in a large white plastic box, until I have time to read them.

As you know, I’m a writer, not a reviewer but I enjoyed so many of the books I read while I was away, that I decided to share them with you. After all, us writers need to be seen and talked about to sell books. I’ve put links in case you fancy a copy too.

Top of my list (in no specific order):

TDDTriple Dog Dare by Stephen Hise and K.S Brooks.

I wanted to start my holiday with something light-hearted and my goodness, this fitted the bill more than adequately.

Highly entertaining romance comedy.

Triple Dog Dare is not only an easy read it is an addictive read. Once I began it, I found I couldn’t put it down. The plot is fairly simple…boy loves girl…girl loves cheating buffoon…boy has to win girl’s heart even though he is a true gentleman and doesn’t want to cause problems. Throw in three delightful Westies, some highly colourful characters such as the overbearing, yet charming, Colonel and feisty but warm hearted Terri, along with adorable gay Andrew and you have a superb novel that pounds along at a fast past. There is much comedy in Triple Dog Dare but some of the best, involves Lars, the ‘bad’ boyfriend whose efforts to capture Lo-Lou, his girlfriend’s pet dog and inspiration for several successful books, will have you in stitches. Think Monty Python meets Benny Hill!

Hise and Brooks have produced a highly entertaining romp that will put a smile on your face and make you feel good about life.

Purchase your copy at AMAZON UK, AMAZON US

MartinFor the writers among you, I cannot recommend Martin Crosbie’s How I Sold 30,000 eBooks on Amazon’s Kindle-An-Easy-To-Follow Self-Publishing Guidebook highly enough.

In February 2012 Martin Crosbie’s self-published eBook My Temporary Life hit Amazon’s top ten overall bestseller list. The next month Amazon posted a press release revealing that Crosbie had made $46,000 in one month, with one book. Previously to this, his novel was rejected one hundred and thirty times by traditional publishers and agents.

How I Sold 30,000 eBooks on Amazon’s Kindle-An Easy-To-Follow Self-Publishing Guidebook tells the story of how he became a full-time writer, detailing the specific steps he took to find and connect with his readers. Plus, it describes how to adjust and tweak your strategy as Amazon changes their systems.

I am sure you have been drawn to this type of book before, but this is without doubt one of the best, most sensibly written and comprehensive books on the subject, that you will find.

Martin is open and candid. His suggestions and advice are sound. Before long you find you are eagerly nodding along and making notes on how to improve your own strategies. His philosophy and approach to writing is to be applauded and should be emulated. The book contains not only excellent advice for first time writers but for those of us who have dipped out toes into the waters, there are suggestions that might never have crossed your mind.

If you only ever buy one self-help book on this subject choose this one. It will make all the difference.

Purchase from AMAZON UK, AMAZON US

SatchfieldSatchfield Hall by Pauline Barclay has been in my possession for some time now. Generally, I don’t read historical fiction. My mother is a huge fan of it and I read all of her collection when I was younger. Somehow I strayed form it, probably to be different to my mother.

Satchfield Hall was a surprise for me.  It is a compelling drama of love, power, lies and revenge.

Henry Bryant-Smythe is the selfish Squire of Satchfield Hall who cares about no one but himself. His treatment of those he should love is  abhorrent. You find you can’t turn pages quickly enough in an effort to discover if he really will get his comeuppance.

The story is filled with sorrow and poignancy. You are drawn into the lives of these characters effortlessly. Hats off to Pauline for keeping me glued to the book. It would make an excellent period drama on BBC television.

Buy your copy from AMAZON UK, AMAZON US

Other top reads include:

cocoThe Not So Secret Emails of Coco Pinchard by Robert Bryndza

This has to be my favourite read of the holiday. What a hoot this book is!

Coco Pinchard is a struggling writer whose book about Princess Diana bombs after it is launched. Her story is told in a series of emails shared with her best friends, one of whom is gay and very drole.

I can honestly say I honked loudly at several points in this story. I shall definitely be getting the sequel.

AMAZON UK, AMAZON US

bad gamesPsychological thriller Bad Games by Jeff Menapace…. had my heart thudding. A family is terrorized by two brothers while on holiday. Their intent is to play a drawn out cruel game with them then murder them. Gritty, gory and stacked with suspense, this well-written thriller scared the living daylights out of me. One criticism–the ending drags on a bit. I think the author was aiming for a cinematic scare ending where you are shocked into watching Part Two (Think Carrie, The Omen etc.)

AMAZON UK, AMAZON US

sibelSibel Hodge is one of those authors I intended to read ages ago. I finally got around to reading Fourteen Days Later. Imagine My Greek Wedding meets Bridget Jones and you have it. This book comes highly recommended, especially as it boasts several prestigious awards.

The plot is fairly predictable however, that does not detract from the fun read that it is. After six months, accident-prone Helen is still struggling to come to terms with a break up and a cheating ex-boyfriend. Her best friend, Ayshe encourages her to change her life in fourteen days, as suggested in a magazine, and the fun begins. If you enjoy easy reads and a few laughs, this is the book for you.

AMAZON UK, AMAZON US

My final read is not yet available. I was given a copy of Sliding Past Vertical by the fabulous Laurie E. Boris. You will be able to read my review soon. In the meantime, all I’ll say is…look out for it at the end of the month and if you can’t wait then read Drawing Breath which is brilliant!

That’s it for the moment. I have others to recommend but I don’t want to overwhelm you. I’ll be back soon with some more recommendations.

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