I can’t believe it’s that time again! And yet again, the choice wasn’t easy. It’s been a good reading/listening year with lots of fabulous books, and so, after much deliberation and in no particular order, here are my top reads/listens for this year.
Clicking on the book cover takes you to Amazon UK. Other links are included in the full review.
The Chalk Pit ~ Elly Griffiths
The Chalk Pit finds Ruth investigating the discovery of bones in the chalk tunnels below Norwich, excavating and testing the bones to calculate their age. They appears to more recent than anticipated and DCI Nelson is called into the investigation. Running concurrently is the police investigation into the disappearance and murders of rough sleepers in the Kings Lynn area. The plight of the homeless, the unpredictable nature of their situation, how they are viewed by others is a main focus of the storyline and was approached objectively, with thoughtfulness. The concept of an underground community and history of the Norwich tunnels is sad and fascinating at the same time and the combination of social and criminal issues, plus historical facts works well.
***** Continue reading
- Author: Georgia Rose
- Published: 12th October 2017
- Category: Romance, Crime, Mystery, Thriller, Book Review, Books, Reading
‘My name is Madeleine, Madeleine Ross. It is a name chosen with thought and because it is classy, and that is what is needed here…’
Madeleine Ross has life exactly as she planned it.
Cosy cottage, friendly village, satisfying job.
Company… when she wants it.
It’s an enviable existence for an independent young woman, and one she’s keen to protect.
Twenty-four years old and single, Madeleine Ross has lived on the edge of Crowbridge village for the last four years. Although she’s part of the village community, supports local events and has friendly relationships with people, she doesn’t talk about her life before moving to the village. Her closest friend, Diane (a great character who relishes the local suspicions that she’s a witch) lives next door, and after initially renting the cottage she owned to Madeleine, eventually gave her the option to buy. Continue reading
I’m very pleased to welcome Georgia Rose, author of The Grayson Trilogy, to BetweenTheLines today with a guest post and extract from her new book Parallel Lies, due for release on 12th September but available for pre-order now!
Don’t miss the link for a fabulous giveaway further down the post.
Over to you, Georgia…..
The Brilliance of Small Characters
I’m using the word brilliance here to mean vividness and wanted to clarify that before there’s any assumption that my characters have any special talents. They don’t. They are just normal people, like you and me. The main characters of a book are easy to write as you have the whole book to flesh them out, to add in the detail, the traits and flaws. But I particularly love writing the smaller characters. You might only have a few paragraphs in which to bring them alive, sometimes only a couple of lines.
We all live our lives with many people around us. Even if we try and live as hermit like as possible there are still those we interact with, if only briefly. I love people watching and particularly enjoy imagining the lives of those that cross my path, in waiting rooms, around town, I’m never bored. As some kind of amateur detective I pass the time when waiting in the queue at the supermarket by building a story line around someone else’s shopping basket – but then I imagine everyone does that, don’t they? Continue reading
- Author: Georgia Rose
- Published: April 2016 by Three Shires Publishing
- Category: Contemporary Fiction
A tale of the morning after the night before, this story gives you a delicious glimpse into the background of a character who has proven to be a favourite for readers of the Grayson Trilogy. However, you do not need to have read that to enjoy this.
A short story looking closely at one of the supporting characters depicted in The Grayson Trilogy, Will Carlton, and getting an insight into what has made him who he is. Georgia Rose is very skilled at getting to the heart of a character, showcased by this well crafted story. I love the way it’s written, without speech marks, so it appears entirely from Will’s mind. Continue reading
It’s all on twelve months since I first wrote about my favourite opening lines, so I reckon I’ve read enough books to warrant another selection. So in no particular order, here they are. Clicking on the book title will take you to my review if you’d like more info.
Mabel had known there would be silence. That was the point, after all. No infants cooing or wailing. No neighbour children playfully hollering down the lane. No pad of small feet on wooden stairs worn smooth by generations, or clackety-clack of toys along the kitchen floor. All those sounds of her failure and regret would be left behind, and in their place there would be silence.
Lowcountry Punch by Boo Walker
The Miami I knew wasn’t all G-strings and mojitos. We were undercover, working our way up the stairs of a parking garage in the Latin Quarter, minutes from a cocaine exchange, with no backup. We’d been trying to get to whoever was up there for two weeks and needed to make arrests. I’d be damned if we were going to let them walk away just because there hadn’t been a chance to call it in. Continue reading
A tough choice, I’ve read lots a great books this year and, in no particular order (as they say) here are my top 20 reads. They are all rated either 4.5 or 5 stars. Clicking on the cover links to Amazon UK.
As Mark finds out, many people including himself, carry Neanderthal genes although he’ll never know for sure the exact circumstances that brought about this occurrence. But it signifies that Early Modern Man didn’t take the place of extinct Neanderthals but rather the races mixed and interbred, which is proved by the presence of Neanderthal DNA in present day man. It’s such an interesting approach to how life might have been all those years ago, and even more so because it’s a very credible scenario.
A wonderfully researched, dramatic and detailed narrative sets the scene for forthcoming instalments of The Replacement Chronicles, which I look forward to following.
This is a very well crafted story with perfect pacing, the drama unfolds with consistency to keep the narrative flowing effortlessly. The characters are well-developed and real, Lane especially, but all the personalities are drawn brilliantly, whether you love or loathe them. I think this story covers every eventuality with action, of which there is plenty, greed, deception, horror and sadness. Balancing out the negatives are loyalty, a touch of romance and truthfulness. And the promise of satisfactory karma for the villain of the piece. It’s graphic, gruesome, gritty….and great!
- Author: Georgia Rose
- Published: September 2015 by Three Shires Publishing
- Category: Romantic Suspense, Drama
‘Vaguely aware of the tremor in my hand I ran my fingers up through the thick locks of his dark hair. Fear clutched at my heart as I sensed the icy tendrils of grief reaching for me once more.’
As the overseas action steps up a gear for Trent, Emma has her own challenges to face. Loyalties are tested and vengeance sought when she attracts interest from an unwelcome source.
Because someone is coming. Someone who has Emma in their sights.
Someone who will turn her life upside down… forever.
Emma Grayson has come on in leaps and bounds since we were first introduced to her in A Single Step, book 1 of the Grayson Trilogy, as a damaged woman who suffered significant personal losses, the death of her child and the resulting breakdown of her marriage. From the beginning tantalising questions have been dropped into the narrative. For instance, who anonymously delivered the advert for the position at Melton Manor estate to Emma? As turned out, it was the perfect job for her and relocation was exactly what she needed for a fresh start. Emma has reserves of strength which even she doesn’t yet realise. Continue reading
- Author: Georgia Rose
- Published: September 2014 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
- Category: Contemporary Fiction, Drama, Romance
…he moved closer and slowly ran the point of his blade along my jaw line as he spoke softly, intimately, to me. “So, you are Trent’s woman. Now that is very…appealing.” I glared back at him silently.
There’s a marked increase in the action and pacing in the second of The Grayson Trilogy and I was hooked into the story from the beginning. Emma Grayson has survived the traumas life hurled at her in A Single Step and has gained in confidence and strength. She and Trent are learning to trust in each other as their relationship deepens although Trent, by Emma’s reckoning, is still overly protective and possessive. Her emotions are complicated but the dawning acceptance of her feelings is more apparent.
To all outside appearances Melton Manor is an agricultural farm, but the people who live and work there are involved in supporting Cavendish and Trent in their undercover operations for MI6. When Cavendish is targeted after he and Trent help to break up a Russian criminal organisation everyone is put on high alert. Circumstances, however , are about to throw them and the residents of Melton Manor into a perilous situation. When danger materializes Emma, Grace and the children are caught in the cross fire and Emma needs all her resources to protect those she holds dear.
Trent looked around the room again before he went on. “This is only an initial briefing, and I’m going to hand back to Cavendish shortly, but before I do, I want to be very clear. This type of situation is the reason why we’ve all been brought together. This is what we’ve planned for, this is what we’ve trained for and it is our expectation that you will support us in the actions we’re gong to be taking.”
The suspense and tension begin to build almost immediately with the impending threat, and increase as events unfold, escalating into a totally action packed sequence which paints vivid (and scary) images. Emma really shows what she’s made of and the huge leaps she’s made in personality and spirit. I love the way Emma and Trent’s characters are evolving, he trying to lessen his vigilance where Emma is concerned, while she is becoming less focused on being self-reliant and stubborn and is therefore able to accept more from Trent. She’s faced and come to terms with past losses which has made her stronger and able to commit to another relationship.
There are hints that all wasn’t quite as straight forward as first supposed with Emma’s childhood and adoptive parents, and an intriguing part of the attack on the manor is left unanswered, to be resolved in the third instalment of the trilogy. I can’t wait to see how it all plays out.
- Author: Georgia Rose
- Published: February 2014 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
- Category: Romantic Drama, Contemporary
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.
Emma Grayson desperately needs a fresh start after a devastating personal trauma compounded by a betrayal she couldn’t comprehend. She secures a job with Lord Cavendish of Melton Manor Estate, managing the stables and looking after the horses, after the advert for the job had been posted to her anonymously. Hurt beyond measure and disillusioned, she is wary of getting close to anyone again and just wants to get on with her job and be left alone. The community on the Estate is a tight knit one though and Emma soon finds herself, almost against her will, being drawn in and actually enjoying making new friends.
I’d also mulled over who had put this through my letterbox in the first place, dismissing most of the names I came up with and leaving me with one suspect. My still viciously raw feelings towards her and the thought of her motivation for doing this was to get me to move away almost made me tear it up. In the end, however, so as not to spite myself, I’d written a curriculum vitae, attached it to an email as requested, and sent it together with a covering letter.
The story is told in the first person by Emma, which gives the tragedy she suffered even more poignancy and engenders a deep sympathy and understanding for her. Despite her initial contrary attitude with people, it’s easy to like her and very obvious she loves the horses and her dog, Susie.
The suspense builds slowly and, with little hints dropped about Emma’s self-defense abilities, you know something is looming, and Emma’s skills are displayed unexpectedly during a night out. And as the sparks begin between Emma and Trent, it becomes apparent he has secrets of his own which he’s unwilling to talk about.
Really good, strong portrayals of Trent, enigmatic and aloof, and Emma, stubborn and edgy, and their personalities develop as the story progresses. The other characters, although likeable, were slightly less well-rounded but hopefully will come into their own as the series moves forward. The setting and atmosphere of the estate is created in such detail it’s easy to have a mental picture running with the narrative. And, although I’m not a horsey person, I found the descriptions of work at the stables and the horses interesting to read.
There are a lot of surprises revealed along the way, character wise, and even the estate isn’t quite what it seems. Melton Manor has an air of mystery about it as Lord Cavendish and his right hand man, Trent, disappear on business trips several times in the Estate’s helicopter and the male staff all belong, in some capacity, to the military.
Well written and entertaining, I enjoyed the storyline and look forward to following on with the series.