Monday, 16 December 2019

Poetry For Christmas by Orna Ross - Blog Tour Review

Something a little festive on Life Of A Nerdish Mum today, my review of Poetry For Christmas by Orna Ross. Big thanks as usual to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for having me along.

Poetry For Christmas And Other Beginnings

This poetry book makes a perfect holiday gift or stocking filler. 

Whether you’re marking the Christian Christmas, the Chinese Dongzhi, the Jewish Hannukah, the Hindi Makaraa Sankrānti, the Irish Meán Geimhridh, or any other mid-winter festival, the hibernal solstice is a celebration of rebirth and renewal. 

The ever-present potential for beginning anew, as signified by the return of light, is the theme of this chapbook. In it, you'll find a poem for each of the twelve days of this season when the days start to get longer again, that will encourage you to rejoice, reflect and recharge.  

Reconnect with the wonder of the world through the powerful pleasure of inspirational poetry.

My Review

I don't often read something christmassy, so when I do, I choose wisely to make sure it's something I know I'm going to enjoy and Poetry For Christmas sounded just my cup of tea.

I loved how there are a few ways to read this collection. You can read it the whole way through like I did. You can dip in and out, reading one poem at a time. Or you can read it in the four separate sections that the collection is split up into.

Each poem is wonderfully written and the tone fits lovely for each one. Each subject fits the time of the year, from the more poignant to ones of hope.

I really enjoyed this collection and will be pulling it out each year to read and enjoy again.

I gave this book 5 stars.

About The Author

ORNA ROSS is an award-winning writer, an advocate for independent authors and other creative entrepreneurs, and “one of the 100 most influential people in publishing” [The Bookseller]. She writes novels, poems and nonfiction guides for creatives, and is Founder-Director of two popular online communities, the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi) and The Creativist Club. She lives in London and writes, publishes and teaches around the globe. When not writing, you'll probably find her reading.

Twitter : @ornaross
Author Page on Facebook
Instagram @ornaross

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When Stars Will Shine - Blog Tour Review

Today Life Of A Nerdish Mum is extremely proud to be part of the blog tour for When Stars Will Shine, compiled by Emma Mitchell. Thank you so much to Emma for having me along.

When Stars Will Shine

When Stars Will Shine is a collection of short stories from your favourite authors who have come together to deliver you a Christmas read with a twist.

With true war tales that will break your heart, gritty Christmas crimes that will shake you to your core, and heart-warming tales of love lost and found, this anthology has something for everyone. And, with every penny made being sent to support our troops, you can rest assured that you’re helping our heroes, one page at a time.

From authors such as Louise Jensen, Graham Smith, Malcolm Hollingdrake, Lucy Cameron, Val Portelli, and Alex Kane, you are in for one heck of a ride!

When Stars Will Shine is the perfect Christmas gift for the bookworms in your life!

My Review

I wasn't sure how to review When Stars Will Shine as each and every story is as good as the last and there isn't a single weaker story throughout. Emma Mitchell had done an amazing job of picking stories that fit both the reason for anthology and the tone and time of the year. That being said this could easily be read all year round. 

So anyway, back to how I decided to review the book! I couldn't choose  a favourite so I decided to write just a few word review for each and every story! There's no surprise though that they're all 5 star reads. 
Megan's poem
Beautiful and emotive. Brilliantly written
Frederick Snellgrove, Private 23208 by Rob Ashman
Omgoodness I cried.  I hadn't noticed it was a true story before I read it so took me by surprise. Excellent writing.
Four Seasons by Robert Scragg
The story sucks you right in. It wasn't at all what I expected. Brilliantly woven tale.
The Close Encounter by Gordon Bickerstaff
Oooh made me think one thing, then another and then hit me with what actually happened! Really good.
Believe by Mark Brownless
This story was both suspenseful and terrifying and went places I hadn't dreamed of! 
What can possibly Go Wrong by Lucy Cameron
Light hearted and funny. I can just picture Geoffrey and his escapades. He was a loveable oaf.
Mountain Dew by Paul T Campbell
This story was very quiet with lovely characters and contained some good advice. 
The Art Of War And Peace by John Carson
This felt almost like a cosy mystery, which I love. I liked the are they/aren't they relationship between the two main characters, it added an extra element to the story. 
A Gift For Christmas by Kris Egleton
Such a lovely story. Shows how kind people can be no matter how little they have.
Free Time by Stewart Giles
This was very intense, it shows the real outcome of rolling the dice with your life or someone else's.
Died Of Wounds by Malcolm Hollingdrake
Beautiful, poignant, well written. Made me cry a lot in public.
The Christmas Killer by Louise Jensen
Really good, loved the twist. Getting a twist into such a short story is masterful writing. 
The Village Hotel by Alex Kane
Really, good, wanted more and wish it was longer. Just enough information was given to keep you wanting to know more.

A present Of Presence by H.R. Kemp
Another one to make you cry. Everyone deals with grief differently and it can be isolating.
The Invitation by Billy McLaughlin
A good story to remind you not to waste time and speak to the people you want and tell people you love them. It's never too late for forgiveness either, even for yourself.
Brothers Forever by Paul Moore
A good story about how your chosen family look out for you no matter what. It shows how close people become when they been in such terrible conditions together such as war zones.
Girl In A Red Shirt by Owen Mullen
This showed how the horrors of war bring out the best and worst in people and everyone reacts differently to what they did. One decision can change your life.
Pivotal Moments by Anna Franklin Osborne
When I saw Anna Franklin Osborne was one of the contributors I was very excited. I loved Walking Wounded! She didn't disappoint, another one that had me crying. Beautiful. Talk to people about how you're feeling as it'll help you see the whole picture not just what you're imagining.
Uncle Christmas by Val Portelli
Beautiful story about how one good deed can change a person's life right around. Made me cry (apparently I cry at least once every other story). 
Time For A Barbecue by Carmen Radtke
This showed perfectly how kids can get things muddled up and their imaginations run wild...or do they?!   
Christmas Present by Lexi Rees
This really showed how you should take chances, live your life. Also look before you cross the road!!
Inside out by KA Richardson
Everyone is broken in their own way. Take chances. Do what helps you heal. And yes I cried.
Penance by Jane Risdon
A warning about getting your priorities right. A very moving story.
New Year's resolution by Robert Scragg
There's always another way and another day. Sometimes it takes someone else's troubles to put yours in perspective.
Family time by Graham Smith
Brilliant, didn't go where I expected. Shows what people will do to make people they love happy.

And that's it! Now go buy it and come back and talk to me about what you loved.
Full Contents List And Authors

Fredrick Snellgrove, Private 23208 by Rob Ashman
Four Seasons by Robert Scragg
The Close Encounter by Gordon Bickerstaff
Believe by Mark Brownless
What Can Possibly Go Wrong? by Lucy Cameron
Mountain Dew by Paul T. Campbell
The Art of War and Peace by John Carson
A Gift for Christmas by Kris Egleton
Free Time by Stewart Giles
Died of Wounds by Malcolm Hollingdrake
The Christmas Killer by Louise Jensen
The Village Hotel by Alex Kane 
A Present of Presence by HR Kemp
The Invitation by Billy McLaughlin
Brothers Forever by Paul Moore
Girl in a Red Shirt by Owen Mullen
Pivotal Moments by Anna Franklin Osborne
Uncle Christmas by Val Portelli
Time for a Barbeque by Carmen Radtke
Christmas Present by Lexi Rees
Inside Out by KA Richardson
Penance by Jane Risdon
New Year’s Resolution by Robert Scragg
Family Time by Graham Smith

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Wednesday, 4 December 2019

The Poker Game Mystery by Peter Bartram - Blog Tour Review

Today on Life Of A Nerdish Mum I am happy to be sharing my review of The Poker Game Mystery by Peter Bartram as part of the blog tour. With big thanks to Anne Cater as usual for being an amazing blog tour organiser and Peter Bartram for having me along.

The Poker Game Mystery

Poker is a game for the dead lucky…

Crime reporter Colin Crampton discovers nightclub bouncer Steve Telford murdered. Colin can’t understand why five cards of a poker hand are laid out next to the body.As Colin investigates, he becomes entangled with three former special forces soldiers from the Second World War. All have motives to kill Telford. But Colin’s probe is derailed when a shock change at the Evening Chronicle puts the paper’s – and Colin’s - future in peril.The tension ratchets higher when the life of a young girl is on the line. Colin is forced to go head-to-head in a poker game with sinister newspaper owner Quentin Pell to save her.There are laughs alongside the action as Colin and his feisty girlfriend Shirley shuffle the cards and play the most dangerous game of all – with their own lives at stake.

My Review

It's been far too long since I last read a Colin Crampton book and as soon as I started reading The Poker Game Mystery I realised how much I missed these characters and Brighton in the 60's.

Fast paced and brilliantly written, I thoroughly enjoyed joining Colin on his escapades. There is always a good balance between suspense and quirky quips to keep the story moving.

I still enjoy Colin's relationship with Shirley, I wanted them to get together the minute they met. There did seem to be a lot more "Australia- isms" in this book than previous books, it wasn't an issue, just something I noticed. It fits with the time and style of writing though.

The story was complex and well planned out and I was kept on the edge of my seat throughout.

Another cracking read from Peter Bartram and I'm already looking forward to the next installment.

I gave this book 5 stars.

About The Author

Peter Bartram brings years of experience as a journalist to his Crampton of the Chronicle crime mystery series. His novels are fast-paced and humorous - the action is matched by the laughs. The books feature a host of colourful characters as befits stories set in Brighton, one of Britain's most trend-setting towns.

You can download Murder in Capital Letters, a free book in the series, for your Kindle from

Peter began his career as a reporter on a local weekly newspaper before editing newspapers and magazines in London, England and, finally, becoming freelance. He has done most things in journalism from door-stepping for quotes to writing serious editorials. He’s pursued stories in locations as diverse as 700-feet down a coal mine and a courtier’s chambers at Buckingham Palace. Peter is a member of the Society of Authors and the Crime Writers' Association.

Follow Peter on Facebook at
Twitter @PeterFBartram

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