A Shiny Coin for Carol Prentice by Mark Barry @GreenWizard62 #TuesdayBookBlog #RBRT #Drama

  • Author: Mark Barry
  • Published: March 2017 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Category: Contemporary, Fiction, Drama, Crime, Book Review, Reading

“I swore that I would never go home, 

but in the end, I had no choice. 

I had to confront what happened. 

And them too. 

It was going be icky. And totally scary.”

When Carol Prentice left her home town of Wheatley Fields for Manchester University she had no plans to return. Her father’s death precipitates a change in her and the subsequent return to Wheatley Fields, along with the resolve to address those intimated demons which have blighted her life and made her believe herself to be less than. She had A Plan.

After successfully applying for a job at a local bookstore, Carol and Steve, the manager, become firm friends. It’s an unlikely friendship, but they are both compelling characters, well defined with depth and relatability, even as we see their flaws. Steve, despite his previous failures and tendency to drink too much, becomes Carol’s source of strength, the foundation on which she can build, her rock. 

However, it’s not very long before Carol’s demons appear and  events are set in motion which spiral into disaster. Whatever happened to Carol prior to her leaving Wheatley Fields has defined her life up to date and is the catalyst that drives everything towards a riveting, and touching, conclusion.

The war started eight months after I started work at the bookshop. It came from nowhere and like a lightening storm, its origins were impossible to see in the distance or to predict up close. Though I began my Plan at Uni, the ideas and the formation, the war made the plan in my head inevitable. I might not have ever carried it out were it not for the declaration.

War changes everything and from the very moment you hear the sound of the guns in the distance, the wail of the air raid sirens, nothing is ever the same again.

Carol is a complex character, hiding behind a Goth exterior, emotionally damaged and with her feelings under such strict control, she perceives and registers rather than feels. The narrative is written informally in the first person from Carol’s point of view, giving a comprehensive insight into her psyche, and how deeply past events impacted on her. Although her subjective views could cast doubt on her credibility as a narrator, it doesn’t detract from believability and the vividness of her observations. Carol is real, fully developed, so much so that I felt like a spectator and completely forgot this was a man writing from a young woman’s perspective, it was so convincing.

This is the totally unpredictable and powerful story of a dramatic revenge planned down to the last detail. As more of the story is revealed, the more intriguing it becomes. How does Toby fit into Carol’s story and why is he so antagonistic? The disclosure, and learning the meaning behind the shiny coin, is appalling. 

Mark Barry is a gifted storyteller with a knack for making this reader feel she’s been put though an emotional wringer (in a good way) every time. The writing is real, gritty and sometimes violent, but always eminently readable. Engaging characters are vividly portrayed and display a realistic range of emotions and reactions. Loved the Carla reference and the small but significant cameo of the author.

I chose to read and review A Shiny Coin for Carol Prentice based on a copy of the book supplied by the author/publisher and in conjunction with Rosie Amber’s book review team.

Book links ~ Amazon UK | Amazon US

About Mark Barry

Mark Barry is a multi-genre writer and novelist. His work includes the minor cult hit Ultra Violence about football hooligans at a small Midlands football club and Carla, a quirky, dark, acclaimed romance with shades of Wuthering Heights.

He is the co-designer of the innovative Brilliant Books project aimed at engaging the many, many reluctant readers amongst young people.

He has one son, Matt, on the brink of University, with whom he shares a passion for Notts County Football Club. Fast food, comics, music, reading, his friends on the Independent scene, and horse racing keep him interested and he detests the English Premier League, selfish, narcissistic people and bullies of all kinds.

He is based in Nottingham and Southwell, UK, the scene of most of his fiction.

Author links ~ Website, Twitter

Bum Luck by Paul Levine #Audiobook Legal #Thriller @Jake_Lassiter #TuesdayBookBlog

  • Author: Paul Levine
  • Performed by Luke Daniels
  • Released: March 2017 by Brilliance Audio
  • Category: Legal Thriller, Crime, Contemporary, Book Review

Second-string linebacker turned trial lawyer Jake Lassiter squares off against his toughest, most unpredictable adversary yet: himself.

Jake Lassiter, criminal defence lawyer and ex linebacker for the Miami Dolphins, feels like killing his client after he won the case. He was not expecting to win as the evidence seemed unquestionable, but Thunder Thurston, high profile football star, has been found not guilty of murdering his wife. Jake is angry at himself, for doing his job too well, and Thunder. He’s certain Thunder is guilty and is completely disillusioned about the justice system, fantasising about taking matters into his own hands. To add to his problems Jake learns the District Attorney is attempting to charge him with jury tampering and bribing a witness. Continue reading

Clay Tongue: A Novelette by Nicholas Conley #RBRT @NicholasConley1 #TuesdayBookBlog #Fantasy

  • Author: Nicholas Conley
  • Published: November 2016 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Category: Fantasy, Contemporary, Book Review

Katie Mirowitz is a small little girl with an even smaller little voice. She possesses a deep love for her grandfather, who suffers from aphasia after a bad stroke cuts loose the part of his brain that processes verbal language.

Clay Tongue is a moving story of a little girl’s belief, determination and courage. Young Katie Mirowitz is a quiet, shy child, except when she’s with her Grandfather. Katie loves talking to him, even now when he can’t form coherent words anymore after his stroke, they always manage to communicate one way or another. But Grandfather is keeping a secret, Katie saw him trying to hide his journal. The knowledge gives her an unfamiliar, and not altogether comfortable, feeling in her heart.  Continue reading

Strawberry Sky (Midnight Sky #3) by @JanRuthAuthor Contemporary #Drama #TuesdayBookBlog

  • Author: Jan Ruth
  • Published: April 2017 by Celtic Connections
  • Category: Contemporary, Drama, Fiction

A rosy future seems certain but Laura has some tough decisions to make.

Maggie is devastated by her daughter’s plans, but Jess is determined to remove the past from her life no matter the upset it will cause. James is no longer running from his past, but a multitude of unresolved issues are set to catch up with Laura.

Although the Carneddau ponies have shared ancestry with the Welsh Section A pony, they exhibit genetic signatures demonstrating that the population has been isolated for at least several hundred years…

The third in the Midnight Sky trilogy, Strawberry Sky continues James and Laura’s story. Despite the terrible life changing accident James suffered several months previously, things are at last looking up for the two of them, despite Laura’s overwhelming desire to be a mother. Work is progressing on the house and the business is expanding, with the addition of a  young, orphaned Carneddau strawberry roan and a newcomer to the team with whom Laura develops an affinity. Continue reading

First Light by Bill Rancic & Barbara Keel #AudiobookReview A Story of Survival @BillRancic #SundayBlogShare

A father from Chicago takes a road trip to the city of Whitehorse, in Yukon Territory, with his wife and son. During the car ride, they reveal to the boy their harrowing experience surviving a horrific plane crash in the wilderness ten years before, which is how the boy, in fact, came to be born.

When the invitation arrived to attend a ceremony about to be held in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, honouring the victims and survivors of the plane crash that almost cost the lives of his family, he decided it was time. His son deserved to know what happened to his parents. The trip will take several days by car, neither he nor Kerry would get on a plane again. They can use the time to tell Jackson the whole story. Continue reading

The Hollow Heart (The Heartfelt Series #1) by Adrienne Vaughan @adrienneauthor #Drama #Romance

  • 16301205Author: Adrienne Vaughan
  • Published: October 2012 by Adrienne Vaughn
  • Category: Romance, Drama, Contemporary
  • four-half-stars

Marianne Coltrane is a feisty, award-winning journalist who is far from lucky in love. Taking herself off to the wilds of the west of Ireland to recuperate, she literally runs into Ryan O’Gorman, the most conceited, infuriating man in the world. 

We first meet Marianne Coltrane, investigative journalist for the Chesterfield Chronicle, as she confronts Sister Mary May about the illegal sale and adoption of children from the women’s refuge she runs. Marianne’s work and resulting article earns her a nomination for Journalist of the Year. Continue reading

Guest Post from #author Pasha Adam @ThePashaAdam #Humour #MondayBlogs

I’m delighted to welcome Pasha Adam with his guest post….

A 12 Step Guide for Turning a Bad Day into a Bouncing Baby Book (or Screenplay)

By Pasha Adam

For reasons I don’t fully understand but have always explained away with a God complex, I’ve always wanted to be a writer. Since I was fifteen, I’ve attended screenwriting expos, read writing books, listened to writers’ commentaries and podcasts. But I was never really happy with the stuff I was writing. 

And then, two years ago, that all changed. I started approaching writing in a way specific to me. The ideas started to flow and I began churning things out. Since then, I’ve completed two novels, a handful of screenplays, and am in the process of redrafting another two manuscripts.  Continue reading

Battle of Wills by Anne Fine ~ Contemporary #Fiction #Sisters @CEndeavourPress

  • 32327349Author: Anne Fine
  • Published: October 2016 by Endeavour Press
  • Category: Contemporary Fiction
  • four-stars

Fair’s fair. Or is it…?

Megan and Tory have never seen eye to eye.

They may be born of the same mother, but that’s where the common ground ends.

Sisters Megan and Tory are polar opposites. Megan, the elder, and her husband are successful business owners, live in an immaculate house and have two ideal daughters in private school. Megan chases perfection in all things, unlike her sister who has a very laid back attitude to life and bringing up her own children. Tory and Barry’s house leaves a lot to be desired, in Megan’s view. As far as Tory is concerned yoga, pilates and pampering are way ahead of housekeeping. Continue reading

Echoes of Time (Guernsey Novels #5) by Anne Allen ~ Family #Drama #Historical @AnneAllen21

  • 31321800Author: Anne Allen
  • Published: August 2016 by Sarnia Press
  • Category: Family Drama, Romance, Paranormal
  • four-half-stars

1940. Olive marries farmer Bill Falla. The Germans occupy Guernsey. 

All too soon Olive realises she’s made a mistake. 

Her life changes when she meets Wolfgang, a German officer – but there’s a price to pay. . . 

The story weaves between the WWII years in Guernsey and the island in the present day. Olive married Bill Falla in the spring of 1940. Although not in love with him she looks forward to the security of having her own house. She soon finds out marriage doesn’t come close to anything she hoped for. Bill is a brute and a bully, and Olive’s life is miserable, made even more so by the occupation of the island by German forces.  Continue reading

#FridayBookShare ~ A Boy Named Rabbit by @marciameara ~ Wake Robin Ridge Book 2 @ShelleyWilson72

#FridayBookShare ~ an excellent idea created by Shelley Wilson

With the weekend approaching it’s the perfect time to seek out new books to read, so Shelley created a Friday Book Share game to help search for that ideal read.

FridayBookShare

Anyone can join in. Just answer the following F.R.I.D.A.Y. questions based on the book you’re either currently reading (or listening to, in my case) or have just finished reading. Use the hashtag #FridayBookShare and remember to tag Shelley (@ShelleyWilson72)  Continue reading