I follow Ana on Twitter and I noticed she was releasing this book so I thought I’d check it out. Given that both Ana and I are often included in many erotica based tweets and mentions I had several expectations about this before I bought it.
Firstly I thought it would be a short story similar to those several erotica writers publish. I was wrong. I’d say it falls between a novella and a novel.
Secondly I thought the prose would be weighted towards sexual content. I was wrong again. Whilst there are some delicious sensual scenes, TBTA is more romance/chick lit.
TBTA tells the story of Marcus, a war-torn soldier, and Maddie, a nurse at a military hospital.
Marcus is badly injured in battle and wakes up in Womack Medical Centre, Fort Bragg, being cared for by head nurse Maddie.
Although their attraction to each other is immediate, they both have issues and concerns that get in the way of them coming together.
Additional tension is created with the entrance of Maddie’s ex – despicable Dan. When he comes into play the drama increases for the reader as both characters struggle to handle his interference.
Bearing in mind my lack of knowledge of such things, to my surprise the author convincingly wrote about army manoeuvres, and I found myself wondering if it was from experience or imagination.
You can’t help but like Marcus’s parents and also the loveable Tag, all of whom add depth and warmth to Marcus and Maddie’s burgeoning relationship.
All in all this is a lovely, romantic read laced with enough drama to stop it becoming overly sloppy.
I first read Sheldon’s If Tomorrow Comes (ITC) several years ago, which in itself is quite a funny story – when I say funny, I don’t mean in a hilarious way, more in a ‘oh really’ kind of way.
I was working in a famous catalogue shop and the manager used to bring her old novels in and leave them in the staff canteen, ITC being one of them. While having lunch one day I picked it up, turned to a page and started reading. Well, I got so engrossed I took the book home and started reading it from page one.
I loved it.
I love the characters.
I loved the story.
And I loved the premise.
It had me captivated from the get go. It tells the enthralling tale of Tracey Witney, an ambitious young lady with everything going for her. Tracey’s life falls apart and she finds herself convicted of a crime she didn’t commit and sentenced to life on the wrong side of a prison cell door. Tracey’s guile and character lead her to make the best of her new life and without giving anything away she eventually gains her freedom.
Next stop – revenge.
Tracey develops into one of the worlds top con artists, meeting Jeff Stevens along her way who becomes her love interest.
ITC develops into a romping tale of these two con artists as they travel the world, ripping off the ruthlessly rich and avoiding the authorities as they go.
When I found Chasing Tomorrow (CT) in my local supermarket I read the back page and saw it was a sequel to ITC. Given how much I loved ITC you can imagine my delight.
What I didn’t know at the time was that it wasn’t written by Sheldon.
I saw the name Tilly Bagshawe on the cover, which I admit did confuse me. It wasn’t until I finished the book I did a little research and found out Sheldon had died around 10 years ago. Initially I thought that perhaps Sheldon and Bagshawe had co-written the book.
But that clearly wasn’t true, Sheldon being dead and all.
Bagshawe has written several books under the Sheldon mantel, probably comissioned to keep the name going and the money flowing due to her similar writing style.
Anyway, as I say, I knew nothing of all this background when I bought Chasing Tomorrow, and I feel that worked it my favour.
I loved Chasing Tomorrow.
Granted, I was a little surprised at some of the time leaps, 10 years being quite a big jump. I kind of felt I’d missed out on so much of the character’s interim growth.
Nevertheless, I soon got used to it, and it didn’t throw me off enough to lose interest, far from it.
It allowed for the distances between characters to seem more real.
CT picks up where ITC finished and tells the ongoing story of Tracey Witney and Jeff Stevens.
There’s actually not an awful lot I can say without spoiling the story, and it’s a story I wouldn’t want to spoil, especially considering how well written it was.
This book begins quite steadily, however the end scene of part one has you wondering and almost screaming out, hoping it doesn’t go where you suspect it will.
The middle of the book is a mixture of acceptance and confusion as you start to wonder how all the developing threads will pull together.
The end, well, what I can I say. I was so gripped I read the last hundred or so pages in one shot. It’s fast paced and like a good film where you’re screaming at the screen, I found myself doing similar with the book.
Sheldon’s and by default Bagshawe’s work falls into the spectrum of ‘trashy’ novels, but I for one don’t know how or why they’re called trashy.
They’re damn good stories, written in a captivating and engaging way, and I for one am all for them.
I’m not going to post any book links for this one, simply because you can find it all over. Also, it seems unfair posting an Amazon link when I got mine in Morrison’s.
Some books really hit the spot you’re aiming to hit, and for me this one was right on target.
As I’ve mentioned in a couple of previous reviews (LeMont, Morgan) I’d been looking to improve my Twitter following and my Blog engagement, and consequently I’ve been buying and reading related books.
LeMont’s book has helped me boost my Twitter following and I’m starting to apply some of Scott’s strategies from this book in my blog work.
If you like lists then this book will bang your gong.
It’s basically several lists of approaches with explanations and examples given for each approach.
It hits the target.
If you’re an experienced blogger you may well be familiar with much of what is written in here, however I’m guessing you might also find some new ideas, or at worst, some reasons to review ones you might previously have discounted.
Scott also includes some useful strategies, which I personally will probably not adopt at least at the moment – nevertheless, they made sense and I reckon many will find them useful.
This book did inspire me to take my own blogging more seriously and after reading it I upgraded my account.
I thought this was a great read, great value and I highly recommend it.
To be quite frank, the best thing I found about this book is the title, and I say that because it was the title that made me buy it.
However I can’t say I learned anything that’s improved what I’m doing, whereas the next book I’m going to review did.
This book contains a lot of what-to-do, but very little how-to-do knowledge, and that’s what I was looking for. I was looking for some how-to-do knowledge that would fester in my mind and begin to influence what I was doing.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad book at all. It’s well written, easy to read, and based on Morgan’s experience rather than unapplied knowledge. Nevertheless, I did feel that the experience was more fortuitous than formulaic, and I was looking for a more formulaic approach.
It’s just that nothing stood out for me, which might be because I was already quite a way down my own blog writing path. And even though I can’t profess to having had anywhere near 1 million visits, I didn’t feel anything in this book would help me influence that outcome.
Reading this review back I appreciate I’m not exactly glowing about it.
Maybe I’m being unfair. I’m not sure.
What I do know is that the book is very reasonably priced and I strongly suspect that other bloggers, especially newbies, may well benefit from it.
As a practicing erotica writer I find myself wondering if too much sex is a bad thing. Well, sometimes I do, especially with one particular book that I’ve had on the go for over a year, and still haven’t finished.
Thankfully Licking Lessons doesn’t fall into that category.
Licking Lessons is book 3 in a series by erotica writer CJ Douglas. I haven’t read the previous 2 having jumped straight in with this one. If you’re wondering why I started here – it’s because CJ and I chat on Twitter. I noticed she was promoting this and I wanted to give her work a read, so I dived in – lame pun intended…
This is a short story which took me less than an hour to read. However I did have to read it over 2 nights because while reading the first scene my imagination started tickling my nethers 😉
The book tells the story about a class of young ladies at a Miss Havisham’s Girls College undergoing their cunnilingus class and consequent exam, all under the expert tutelage of Professor Regina Greenwood.
The first scene has some intriguing tension between some of the students and also hints at other fetishes other readers might like to explore. In this scene Regina instructs the girls on the art of orally pleasuring another girl. I thought the sex in this scene was well written and indeed it was this that fired up my imagination and my nethers.
The next scene has Regina and her teaching assistant getting frisky at her place, and introduces pegging. This all seems a little out of place because it bears no relevance to the rest of the story. I wondered if this was part of an ongoing development from previous and upcoming books.
The final scene has all the students taking their cunnilingus practical exam with Professor Regina being their test subject. For me this scene felt a little ‘clipped’. I guess it’s a difficult one to do because the subject is really quite repetitive, i.e. it’s one girl after another giving someone oral pleasure and as such it would be easy to create a really tedious scene. And it’s not tedious, if anything I felt it was a little too short – others may feel differently.
All in all this is an engaging and stimulating little read.
I liked the characters and enjoyed their interactions.
The prose flows well and having never read any of CJ’s work before I was impressed with her style.
Give it a go, and if that first scene doesn’t give you a tingle I’ll be very surprised :p
Okay okay… I know it’s not a book review… but bear with me…
If you’ve read my Richest Man in Babylon, or Shag Yourself Slim reviews, you’ll know I’d been looking for something educational to listen to while I was working. In my search I scrolled through various podcast lists on Spotify when I stumbled across the Self-Helpless Podcast.
The precis below seduced me enough to give the first episode ago.
As featured on Conan and The Tonight Show, Self-Helpless dives into all things self-improvement with comedians Delanie Fischer, Kelsey Cook, and Taylor Tomlinson. Completely uncensored and special guests!
I started with the very first episode and I was immediately hooked.
Day after day I ploughed through episode after episode, listening to these funny ladies talking about quotables, treat yo-selfs, tha fucks, and book reviews. They had special guests on who shared their perspectives and, more importantly, the 3 ladies relate their own personal experiences.
I’m not one to gush, but I absolutely love this podcast.
In fact I was both gutted and delighted when a week ago I’d listened to all the episodes and I’m now up to date.
Gutted because I now had to wait for a new episode each week.
Delighted because the girls were now talking in real-time which gives it much more immediacy.
I feel like I’ve been on a journey with each of them, especially Delanie who underwent a most impressive realisation and consequently has changed and is changing her life to fit. I especially relate because over the last couple of years I too have been making major changes, venturing into self-employment, then testing my skills writing a blog. I’m working on some book ideas I’d like to publish too. So I listen to Delanie’s adventures with a hopeful heart.
Being a writer I’ve loved listening to all of them talk about their creative processes, and I’ve found it fascinating listening to Kelsey and Taylor developing their careers in comedy and realising where their limits are.
They all feel like friends.
Oh, and I have a proper lady boner for Taylor 😮
But I digress… if you love self-help and trying to improve yourself, then I reckon you’ll love this.
I’ve always loved self-help books and I do find them useful. I’d already read The War on Art, so I had a head start on that one and I bought The Artist’s Way as a result of listening. I’m going to listen to an audio version of You Are a Badass at Making Money, and I will be getting the Life Changing Magic of Tidying.
I read this book a few years ago and I found it really helpful for getting me out of a sticky debt situation at the time.
More recently I found myself thinking that as I spend so much time on my own working in people’s houses, maybe I could listen to some audiobooks or podcasts so I could learn things while I work.
I found this title on Google Books and as it was reasonably priced I thought I’d give it another go.
I’m glad I did.
My financial situation is much better these days, and yet it could be even better. Ironically, if I’d carried on following the principles contained in this book after I’d resolved my previous sticky situation several years ago, I’d be in a wonderful position today.
We live and learn… or not.
The book is a collection of parables allegedly gathered from some translated tablets from the ancient and very wealthy city of Babylon. The parables tell the story of several poor people who desire to be rich. Consequently they seek the advice of richer, wiser folk in the city in order to learn how they too can become wealthy.
The style of the writing can be a little hard going as much of it is has an air of pigeon English. However it’s something I soon got used to.
The principles are brilliant.
I firmly believe everyone could benefit from reading this book. In fact I believe it really ought to be part of the school curriculum.
You may well have heard of some, if not all of the principles related in these stories, however , put the way they’re put together makes you feel a bit daft that you didn’t piece them all together yourself in the same way.
I read this book few years ago however I found myself feeling the need to read it again.
You see I recently read, and reviewed Out Of Bounds, which was proclaimed as the latest Karen Pirie novel. Checking inside the book it said the that The Distant Echo was the first Pirie novel, and yet I had no recollection of even seeing Pirie’s name, let alone her featuring in the book. I even began to question whether or not I’d actually read the book at all.
Had I just read the sleeve overview and thought I’d read it?!?
So as you can see, I had to read it again.
As I got into it I began to realise I had indeed read it, but that didn’t stop me continuing because it didn’t take long before I found myself fully absorbed with the story.
The Distant Echo begins with 4 long-term friends, all university students at St Andrews, stumbling across a young bar lassie called Rosie who’d been raped, stabbed, and left to die in a graveyard on a freezing cold winters night. The friends, Gilly, Ziggy, Weird and Mondo become the prime suspects and their lives change irrevocably as a result of finding poor Rosie.
25 years later and Rosie’s case is revisited by the Cold Case Review team. Finally, with the development of DNA technology the 4 friends, now men, might be proved innocent, however things don’t work out that way. Vital evidence carrying DNA that could exonerate the 4 men goes missing. On top of that our 4 friends find their lives in mortal danger as a new foe comes out of the woodwork.
McDermid once again weaves her story telling magic. The Distant Echo is one of those books that grabs you by the guts, and before you realise what’s going on, you’ve done that, I’ll just read another chapter routine several times on the trot, when really you should have gone to sleep an hour or two ago.
So – my advice – don’t read this book before bed.
Not because it’s scary… more because the damn thing won’t let you put it down.
You can find the book on Amazon here. It will probably have this newer cover-
You can find more about Val McDermid at her website here.