TB Virtual Bookshelf

edited September 2014 in - Reading
As so many of our own TBers have written books, I thought it might be a good idea (if it's all right with Webbo) to have a thread which is purely about books written by our members so that others can see what's out there.

NB, posts will be flagged if visitors to the forum just leave a book link and do not engage in other discussion.

Please don't use this thread to chat. There is a new thread called TB Book Reviews where you can leave feedback.

If you 'favourite' each of these threads, you won't lose them.

I suggest each post should include the following information:



(Selected review quotes)

Link to book
Link to Author Page

[EDIT BY WEBBO - more than alright with me TN! I've stickied this at the top of the page and tagged the review page with "tbersbooks", like this one]


  • LizLiz
    edited September 2014
    Animal Magic
    Liz Brownlee

    Iron Press

    Poetry and...

    A book of endangered animal poems, some shape poems, some beautifully illustrated by Rose Sanderson. Each animal has a page of incredible facts about it, including its endangered status.


    "The structure of the collection is brilliant: each animal is given a double spread; on the left spread there is the animal's scientific name and an illuminating non-fiction entry which includes lifestyle facts, range and threats to its survival; on the right hand side are Liz's precise, delightful poems. Many animals are also illustrated (again by Rose Sanderson). Incidentally, Liz acknowledges the help of a huge array of species experts in her references - no wikipedia research here!" - Elen Caldecott, author

    "This is a fantastic book to be enjoyed by animal lovers of all ages. My Y6 class loved the poems and were enthralled to learn about some of the incredible creatures; there were gasps when I read the info about the Madagascan Robber Moth and its diet of tears, and the poem became the catalyst for their own writing. Liz is a wonderful weaver of words, and every poem is a cracker! She can do the glacial beauty of 'Snow Petrels' and 'Snow Leopard' but also the gentle warmth of 'Orangutan.' A thought-provoking collection that should be in every school library - and on YOUR bookshelf!" - Matt Goodfellow, Yr 6 teacher

    "A beautiful, funny and fascinating collection that combines deftly written poetry with lovely, subtle illustrations and amazing, and often thought provoking, background information on each creature - definitely a 'keeper' that I shall return to again and again and look forward to sharing with my niece and nephew." Hu-blot's wife', Amazon Verified Purchase



  • Title: Peace and Disquiet *****
    Author: Helen Laycock

    Genre: Short Stories

    A collection of twelve slightly disturbing tales which encompass mortality, mentality, brutality... and reality.

    Sleep tight…

    'the work of an accomplished writer, one with true knowledge of the craft'

    'an outstanding collection of short stories'

    'I was left open mouthed at the sinister realism and very brave and powerful writing'

    'two of the very best stories of this kind I have ever read'

    'I almost felt as if the words themselves were drawing me in and binding me to each and every syllable'

    'Helen Laycock writes with a deep understanding of her characters'

    'intriguing and is crafted with figurative, poetic language which flows beautifully'

    'each one is a masterpiece that could only have been created by the master story teller that she undoubtedly is'

    'Great short stories that send you through a host of emotions'

    'Each story is unique and well crafted'

    'a great collection of short stories that are well written and enjoyable'

    'Well worth the price'

    'I was held captive until the end'

    'she can certainly send shivers up the spine!'

    'this author writes in such a way that you can't help but turn the page'



  • Title: Light Bites *****
    Author: Helen Laycock

    Genre: Short Stories

    Take a pinch of humour, a touch of light-heartedness and a drop of whimsy and you have the perfect recipe to be savoured any time, anywhere.

    Light Bites - a collection of satisfying and uplifting tales.

    `The author writes so well, in such a 'real' way that I found myself immersed in each tale.'

    `Her characters are easy to relate to and there is lots of humour that keeps you entertained.'

    `I thoroughly enjoyed every story and would definitely recommend it.'

    `There is certainly something for everyone here.'

    `A very good read.'


  • edited October 2014
    Hi everyone,

    Thought I might as well add my efforts in.

    Title: Love Byte
    Author : David Atkinson

    Genre: Romantic Comedy

    Blurb: If your dead wife emailed you offering to find you a new girlfriend what would you do?

    Selected reviews:

    best book EVER

    I’ve now read it twice !

    And am still getting over it – one of the best books I have read for a long time – and definitely film material

    I laughed, I cried, I had goose-bumps, there are ‘jaw dropping’ moments, mushy bits, rude bits and nasty bits – its got it all

    Hurry up with the next one


    Couldn't put the book down.

    I am not a reader really but I downloaded this one., not sure why., but I couldn't stop reading., every moment I got., not sure now what to do., need another book that I can get lost in., definitely recommend x


    Tears from sadness and laughing too.

    Such a touching story that during and after was left red eyed from crying. Yes, it hit the spot on the tear factor for myself. Saying that also some funny episodes, you feel as though this could really happen and coming from a man's point of view even funnier at times.

    Was looking forward to reading this, emotional I knew it would be but also had a good feel factor to it too.

    I liked Andy and the way in which he dealt with all manner of things that came his way. Funny at times and others heartbreaking. No spoilers or going deep into the story as the blurb already gives a lot of details, just well worth reading. To me it just contained everything I like in a read of this kind.

    Would I read any more books by this author? Yes, it cheered me up whilst down with a virus.

    Forgot to add links:

    Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Love-Byte-David-Atkinson/dp/1910208019/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

    It's in bookshops too but varies from place to place who stocks it - no control over that I'm afraid!

    Link to website (needs updating but too busy writing at moment!) www.davidatkinsonnovelist.com

  • Title - Finding My Tail
    Author - Samantha Newbury

    Genre - Poetry

    Blurb - From the delectations to be found in M’sieur Automne’s Pâtisserie to the slightly sinister nature of cold fish fingers this collection takes a subtly sideways look at life, love and the world in which we live.

    Selected Reviews:

    “This collection of poetry about the natural world, the surreal situation of the cancer ward, and the magic of Christmas, demonstrate Samantha Newbury's confidence as a poet and breadth of vision. Turning a page means finding a new angle, understanding more deeply, knowing you've never understood things so well before. These are poems of energy and flair. These are poems to treasure.” - Alison Chisholm

    "This is a complete collection. There’s sadness, fear, humour and happiness – I challenge anyone not to feel uplifted by the strength and breadth of the poems."

    "As soon as I opened this anthology I knew I was in for a treat, the dedication to 'hubs' says 'home is and forever will be, within the circle of your arms' Such beautiful words and this is just the dedication! (These words are actually used in the poem 'Home' on page 38), so you can see the quality of poems that are here."

    "There is nothing pompous or grandiose about Samantha Newbury's poetry. The poems are simple and delicate, while being well-observed."


  • The Water Gypsy
    Kay Seeley

    Victorian Saga/Romance

    When Tilly Thompson, a girl from the canal, is caught stealing a pie from the terrace of The Imperial Hotel, Athelstone, the intervention of Captain Charles Thackery, saves her from prison. Tilly soon finds out the real reason for the rescue.
    With the Captain Tilly sees life away from the poverty and hardships of the Waterways but his favour stirs up jealously and hatred among the hotel staff, especially Freddie, the stable boy who harbours desires of his own.
    Freddie's pursuit leads Tilly into far greater danger than she could ever have imagined. Can she escape the prejudice, persecution and hypocrisy of Victorian Society, leave her past behind and find true happiness?

    This is a story of love and loss, lust and passion, injustice and ultimate redemption.

    The plot, the characters (especially the feisty heroine Tilly) and the period setting all come together beautifully and make for an unputdownable book. I read 'The Water Gypsy' in two sittings and think it is a wonderful debut novel from a very talented writer.

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading ‘The Water Gypsy’. It deals with prejudice and poverty, injustice and exploitation but it is done in such a subtle and thoughtful way that it does not detract from a gripping story line with compelling characters. The best thing about it was that I had no idea what would happen next! I look forward to more writing from this author.

    This is the story of Tilly Thompson, a spirited and beautiful girl from the canals. The pace of the book is just right with plenty of action but there is also much time for reflection and social commentary. I was with Tilly all the way, totally on her side and wanting everything to work out well for her. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book; the author is very skilled with a lovely writing style. Highly recommended.

  • Thank you for this great opportunity to showcase my books.

    'Easy Money For Writers And Wannabes' by Maggie Cobbett (available to download from Amazon or as a print edition.)

    Your handy guide to writing ‘fillers’ for magazines and newspapers.

    "5.0 out of 5 stars Great tips, written with great humour
    I loved this book. Full of useful tips for budding filler writers. Written with humour, it had me laughing out loud in parts. Well worth reading."

    The short story collections below can be downloaded from Amazon separately or as an omnibus edition, which is also available in print.

    'Anyone For Murder?' by Maggie Cobbett

    A selection of murder mysteries to keep you guessing until the very end.

    "A quirky collection of well-edited short stories, perfect for a quick read throughout the day. Some good twists, too! I'm not usually a fan of short stories, but I enjoyed this little lot."

    'Had We But World Enough' by Maggie Cobbett

    Life in a new country sounds enticing, but...

    "It is very rarely indeed that I rate a book as worthy of 5 stars but I absolutely do with this beautiful and well-crafted anthology (based on the theme of
    migration, both willing and unwilling). It is thoroughly engaging from beginning to end, and brim-full of humanity. I found myself mulling over the stories even days later."

    'Swings And Roundabouts' by Maggie Cobbett

    In fiction, as in life, things rarely turn out as we expect

    "I love short stories like these, perfect little moments of reading pleasure with a consummate surprise in every 500 words."

    (Author page: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Maggie-Cobbett/e/B004NPCGU0/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1412585207&sr=1-2-ent)





  • edited October 2014

    Title: Minor Discord
    Author: Helen Laycock

    Genre: Short stories

    Dare to visit the dark places at the edges of the map, places where you will feel unsettled and from where characters will follow you, whether you want them to, or not. This collection of stories and flash fiction will take you into the shadows. Don’t get left behind...

    Book link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Minor-Discord-Helen-Laycock/dp/1502705176/ref=la_B006PGFVL6_1_15?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1412601958&sr=1-15

    Author Page:http://www.amazon.co.uk/Helen-Laycock/e/B006PGFVL6
  • Not my own personal books, but anthologies I’m proud to be in:

    Title: Foreign Flavours
    By: Writers Abroad

    A tantalizing collection of fiction and non-fiction, full of spice and flavour and sprinkled with mouth-watering recipes from all over the world, it shows how adaptable an ex-pat has to be to leave familiar dishes behind and venture into the culinary unknown.
    All proceeds from the sale of this ebook go the The Book Bus, a charity whose aim is to bring literacy and the joy of reading to children in the developing world.

    Interesting Mix of Expat Contributions

    An Expat anthology with a difference - produced by the Writers Abroad group and all contributions are from genuine Expats living around the world. Full of tasty morcels including lots of food related (and some drink) articles and recipes but this is more than a cook book. It will warm your heart as well as your belly.


    Title: Foreign Encounters
    By: Writers Abroad

    An encounter can be a chance meeting, a planned get-together or even a confrontation. This collection of stories, non-fiction and poems features a variety of foreign encounters: with family, friends, lovers, animals, cultures, or just with one`s own prejudices and preconceptions.
    All proceeds from the sale of Foreign Encounters will be donated to Books Abroad.


    Title: Foreign and Far Away
    By: Writers Abroad

    A selection of fiction, non-fiction and poetry has flowed from the pens of expats around the world to create this collection on the theme of people and places. Foreign and Far Away explores the relationship between people and the landscapes and settings they live in. An eclectic range of writing evokes the diversities, similarities, connections and misunderstandings of life in foreign places. The result is a volume to delight, intrigue and, above all, entertain. Writers Abroad has chosen Book Aid International to benefit from the proceeds of this anthology.

    Edited reviews:

    I’ve just finished the first 150 pages and am totally impressed by this world class anthology. Fiction and non come across totally real, a verbal slide show.

    Lots of lovely short stories. Perfect for the coffee table for guest and visitors - ought to be compulsory in all waiting rooms!

    I love the short stories, essays, and poetry contained here, and the international settings they bring to life. I often seek out expat stories, and I had a lot of fun reading this excellent collection that transported me all over the globe.

    What I have read I enjoyed sufficiently that I bought two further copies as Christmas presents...

    Author Amanda Hodgkinson has written the foreword. There are some wonderful examples of evocative writing exploring the relationship between people and the places in which they live.


    Author Page: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Susan-Eames/e/B00AA0INW2/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0
  • Lest anyone misconstrues that I’m not proud to be in our One Word Anthology…

    Title: One Word Anthology
    By: Talkback Writers

    What dark thoughts does the word ‘shadow’ bring to mind? Does ‘chaos’ send you into a spin? What about ‘shift’, or ‘journey’ – do these words suggest change? And does ‘bounce’ bring a smile to your face? These are just a few of the words that have inspired the contents of this anthology. Each month, members of ‘Talkback’, the online forum of Writing Magazine, produce a poem and/or a short story as a result of a one-word prompt. This anthology represents a selection of their work to date. We hope that you will find some of the writing in the One Word Anthology funny, scary or even shocking – but, above all, entertaining.

    Edited reviews:

    This book is a real dip-in-and-enjoy anthology… I thought I would just read one or two stories at a time to fill a quiet moment, but I kept on reading - they are so addictive.

    This is a little gem of a book… I also think the cover design by Marion Clarke is really stunning –
    If you write or aspire to write flash (very short) fiction you will be inspired. I really enjoyed it.

    This is a perfect example of a "mixed bag" and I mean that in a good way

    The different ways in which writers are inspired by the same word is amazing as is the wealth of talent on display in this anthology.

    'One Word' for this Talkback Writer's Anthology.......'Delightful'
    Insightful collection of stories and poems…

    A great collection to dip in and out with some fantastic pieces. Love the idea of it and the collectivism.

    First rate.

    I was drawn in by the short intense twisting storeys and amazed at the impact (pardon the pun) on me that these authors can have in only a few words, inspired only by one word. Laughing, crying, and left thoughtful by poetry, I found every one very entertaining; more please!

    very, nice light and easy stories to digest and a few good laughs


  • edited October 2014
    Title: Glass Dreams *****
    By: Helen Laycock

    Genre: Children's mystery/adventure for readers of 8+

    * * * * *

    Runaway, Jake, has no idea what adventures are in store when he meets circus performer, Khala, hiding in a ramshackle caravan.

    Should he tell her about the mysterious box he has been warned never to open? Khala also has a secret to share, but can she trust Jake?

    Fantazi’s circus is a place of danger, but with the help of Cedric the dwarf and his beloved Chihuahua, Audrey, the children unravel the truth and are utterly astounded at the biggest secret of all.

    * * * * *

    Selected quotes from Amazon/Authonomy:

    'Rich vocabulary, a nail biting plot, characters who stay with you long after you put the book down'

    'Glass Dreams has everything'

    'Helen Laycock has what all good authors have - the ability to create an extremely interesting world in which to place her characters'

    'Laycock's beautiful and imaginative descriptions of events leave you totally immersed'

    'This is a fantastic children's book! I loved it!'

    'an amazing story'

    'wonderful characters'

    'There is enough action, adventure, danger and mystery in this book to get my heart pumping, never mind a child's!'

    'Helen Laycock has written a fast paced action adventure that will keep even children with short attention spans hooked!'

    'Glass Dreams draws you in from the first sentence.'

    'Ms. Laycock is a master storyteller that takes you on an amazing journey'

    'Brilliantly vibrant and so much fun!'

    'there is a definite lump in my throat'

    'magnificent story telling'

    'perfectly done, even down the tone of his voice'

    'You have the written the voice of this sweet little boy absolutely perfectly'

    'What a wonderful, enchanting story you have woven here!'

    'What a delightful, charming story. This may be written for older children and tweens, but this elderly woman really enjoyed it'

    'an enchanting, captivating story'

    Book link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Glass-Dreams-Helen-Laycock-ebook/dp/B006Q6A2GE/ref=la_B006PGFVL6_1_13?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1412786282&sr=1-13

    Author page: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Helen-Laycock/e/B006PGFVL6
  • edited October 2014

    Title: Salt *****
    By: Helen Laycock

    Genre: Children's mystery/adventure for readers of 8+

    * * * * *
    A holiday at Pirates’ Cove with Great Aunt Win is nothing like Toby expects it to be…

    He is baffled by the mysterious beach fires and eerie singing he witnesses during the night. He is fascinated, too, by the weird and wonderful tales of the town: not only the legend of the pitiful Mary-Anne, said to row out nightly to the Blue Rock, but also of the peculiar ‘cursed’ gold plate locked in the guesthouse cabinet.

    Stranger still, why has a dead man been spotted in the town?

    With the help of intriguing local girl, Hattie, the secrets of Salt Guesthouse are unravelled… but not before the children find themselves in grave danger.

    * * * * *

    Selected quotes from reviews:

    'I'm reluctant to give five stars to anything, but Salt really nails my number one criteria, keep me interested and engaged.'

    'Gripping read, highly recommended for middle grade'

    'Salt is one of those stories that pulls the reader into the action.'

    'many twists and turns'

    'an enchanting read'

    'Vivid imagery and nicely flowing prose add to the strengths of the narrative'

    'Having recently read and reviewed another of Helen Laycock's books, "Mandrake's Plot," I can once again assert that this is another gem amidst the many children's books'

    'Your heart will be beating as you go along with Toby and his new friend Hattie as they piece together clues and encounter dangerous obstacles.'

    'Helen Laycock has woven a whimsical tale'

    'Salt is not what I expected, but it was so wonderfully well written that the characters truly came alive.'

    'The characters are very believable and realistic'

    'The narrative flows well and the focus on the main characters keeps the storyline easy to follow.'

    'The author is very precise in setting the scene and providing rich descriptions of places and people'

    'Strange happenings after dark, secret tunnels, a new friendship with a mysterious girl, what else would any kid want from a summer vacation in a seaside village. How about getting the chance to solve a baffling mystery? The main character, Toby, gets it all, and so will the reader.'

    'What could be better than reclaiming a man from the dead, cursed booty and outwitting many a menacing foe?'

    'The plot is well thought out and as the adventure begins, the story unfolds, coming to a swift resolution by the end'

    'It is exciting and once again I am reminded of the work of Enid Blyton.'

    'Both girls and boys will be attracted to this high-adventure story'

    'Helen Laycock's books are most definitely recommended'

    Book link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Salt-Helen-Laycock-ebook/dp/B006P194FA/ref=la_B006PGFVL6_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1412786282&sr=1-6

    Author page: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Helen-Laycock/e/B006PGFVL6
  • edited October 2014

    Title: Mandrake's Plot *****
    By: Helen Laycock

    Genre: Children's mystery/adventure for readers of 8+

    * * * * *
    Evie and Mia meet on a train on their way to St. Agatha's Boarding School for Girls. Dropped at a deserted station, with no one to meet them, they trek through the pelting rain and darkness for miles until they find a sign to St.Agatha's which points to an unlikely overgrown track leading up a mountain path.

    A foreboding place, St. Agatha's School is surrounded by a sea of mist, and overlooks a loch. Coming face to face with the grotesque caretaker, Mandrake, is not the only thing to unsettle them.
    What is the significance of the strange rings worn by Miss Blackthorn, the head teacher - and why does everyone behave so oddly?

    The girls stumble across a forgotten burial chamber. Inside, lies the crumbling skeleton of Sister Beatrice, clutching a note which tells of a curse. Locked in the chamber as a punishment, the friends discover an old book within which is the antidote to the curse... but it is hidden in code.

    * * * * *

    Selected review quotes:
    'a well crafted story filled with mystery and suspense'

    'truly an original and unique story'

    'a fabulous tale with an air of intrigue and mystery at its heart'

    'I enjoyed Mandrake's Plot very much! The setting, the characters, and the plot line were well done. All in all, a very satisfying read!'

    'a lot crammed in. Good plot, great characters, excellent read.'

    Book link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mandrakes-Plot-Helen-Laycock/dp/1497430054/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1412839181&sr=1-5

    Author page: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Helen-Laycock/e/B006PGFVL6
  • edited October 2014

    Title: The Secret of Pooks Wood *****
    By: Helen Laycock

    Genre: Children's Time-Shift Adventure, for readers 8+

    * * * * *

    When twins, Lily and Ollie, are stranded over Christmas at Great Hawkesden Manor with their mother, Stella, they have no idea what will happen when they find an old glass snow globe. Inside it, not only is there a miniature model of the manor house… there is magic.

    * * * * *
    Review quote:
    'Kids absolutely loved it!'

    Book link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Secret-Pooks-Wood-Helen-Laycock/dp/1499525591/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1412839181&sr=1-12

    Author page: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Helen-Laycock/e/B006PGFVL6
  • edited October 2014

    Title: Martha and Mitch ****
    By: Helen Laycock:

    Genre: Children's Mystery/Adventure for readers of 8+

    * * * * *

    Martha is humble and unspoilt, despite living a life of utter luxury at Lottery Lodge with her (mostly absent) father and stepmother, Penelope.
    Mitch lives at the boys’ orphanage, a dilapidated mansion run by Ariadne Scattypants.

    Neither child has any idea about the life the other is leading.

    Between Lottery Lodge and the orphanage is a dense wood and it is here that a band of wild boys live. Mitch finds himself at their mercy, but somehow manages to scrabble his way out of the woods, emerging at Martha’s wonderful home.

    However, here, too, things are taking a sinister turn.

    * * * * *

    Review quote:
    'I thought this was an exciting story. I had to keep reading right to the end.'

    Book link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Martha-Mitch-Helen-Laycock/dp/1500197076/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1412839181&sr=1-10

    Author page: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Helen-Laycock/e/B006PGFVL6
  • edited October 2014

    Title: Song of the Moon ****
    By: Helen Laycock

    Genre: Children's Mystery/Adventure for readers of 8+

    * * * * *

    Isadora Wellington, known as Izzy, befriends Titania Moonsong, a wheelchair-bound old lady who lives at 13 Arnison Avenue.

    Rumour has it that Mrs Moonsong is a witch, which is hardly surprising: she has a black cat, Macbeth, her favourite piece of music is The Sorcerer’s Apprentice and she makes peculiar concoctions from the herbs she grows in her garden.

    When Mrs Moonsong disappears and a strange hippy moves into her house, Izzy and her cousin, Joe, are concerned. It seems he is the one intent on casting spells and Mrs Moonsong is not the only one in danger.

    * * * * *

    Selected review quotes:

    'a satisfying plot and is very tidily linked together'

    'exciting climax to the story'

    Book link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Song-Moon-Helen-Laycock/dp/1502426323/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1412839181&sr=1-14

    Author page: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Helen-Laycock/e/B006PGFVL6

  • Title: Mr Charlie Chumpkins and The Further Mishaps of Charlie Chumpkins
    By: Helen Laycock

    Genre: Light-hearted, children's adventure, for readers 7+

    * * * * *

    Imagine Sam’s shock when he discovers that a tiny, old-fashioned gentleman, Charlie Chumpkins, has been living under his bed for some time— and imagine, too, the pressure of keeping his little friend a secret.

    Enjoy a double dose of trouble in this bumper edition of Mr Charlie Chumpkins and its sequel, The Further Mishaps of Charlie Chumpkins as Charlie gets himself caught up in calamity after calamity…

    * * * * *

    Book link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Charlie-Chumpkins-The-Further-Mishaps/dp/1500458449/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1412839181&sr=1-8

    Author page: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Helen-Laycock/e/B006PGFVL6
  • edited October 2014

    Title: A Mouthful of Chuckles *****
    By Helen Laycock

    Genre: Children's Poetry, illustrated in colour

    * * * * *
    Health Warning!

    Kids, don’t read this with your mouth full… You may choke on a chipolata!

    This is a rib-tickling book of rhyming children’s poetry with illustrations, to be enjoyed over and over again by school children, teachers, parents and grandparents.

    And your pets if they’re interested!

    * * * * *
    Selected review quote:
    'sits well alongside those of Roger McGough'

    Book Link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/A-Mouthful-Chuckles-Helen-Laycock/dp/1495483711/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1412839181&sr=1-3

    Author page: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Helen-Laycock/e/B006PGFVL6
  • I have books under two names.
    My Egyptian cookery book is under my married name Elmokadem.
    A Taste of Egyptian Cookery


    In this book you will find instructions on how to make some delicious Egyptian recipes, like Koshari, (ideal for vegetarians), Kofta and Bamya. These are dishes served every day in our house as my husband is Egyptian.
    If you haven't tried Egyptian food you don't know what you are missing.
    Cooking doesn't get tastier than this!


    'Felt really hungry after looking at this book. Some fabulous recipes and fascinating snippets about Egyptian culture. I almost felt like I was on a holiday in Egypt. Ms Elmokadem's recipes are clearly laid, really simple to follow and produce gorgeous tasting results. Educate your friends to some new tastes and surprise them with the recipes from this book. '


    Book for YA The Snake Princess.

    Ancient Egypt. Thirteen-year-old Shahira lives with her adoptive mother, Halima and Meret, Halima’s jealous daughter.
    Shahira is wrongly accused of stealing and suspects that Meret has set her up. Shahira is sent to work in Commander Nebamon’s house.
    One day in the herb garden a cobra is about to strike, but Shahira sings to the snake and sends it away.
    She remembers a similar occurrence when she was a child and is mystified by the power she seems to have over snakes. There is also the strange serpentine birthmark on the sole of her foot.
    What does it all mean? Who are her real parents?
    Halima’s death-bed revelations shock and confuse her and she is given a quest to fulfil.
    When Ahmose, the handsome apprentice boy she has befriended, asks her to help him she is further caught up in world of danger and intrigue.
    ( This book is for ages 12 plus)

    I have read several earlier books by Shirley Harber and they have all been very good, but this one has to be my favourite. I was drawn in from the start by the excitement of the story and the well-drawn, convincing characters. The historical detail was just right - beautifully described and exactly the right amount of it to bring the story alive without the reader being overwhelmed. The glossary was a great idea. The book is full of vivid descriptions and captivating dialogue. Shirley Harber's love of Egypt shines through, and she has clearly done some very thorough research. She is an excellent writer and her work deserves to be better known. As other reviewers have said - it would be good to have a sequel and find out what happens next. Highly recommended - to the target age-group and to older readers too!

  • Fancy publishing your own Kindle e-book to list on this thread?

    'Kindle Direct Publishing for Absolute Beginners' will show you how to go about it.

    Amazon link (will take you to your 'local' Amazon store wherever you are in the world):


    Genre: Fun poetry for adults

    Life getting you down? Cheer yourself up with this collection of endorphin-inducing, some may say, hilarious poetry. Some may not. Warning: those with a weak heart should refrain from indulging in such frivolity.

    (I lost my reviews when I 'unpublished' the Kindle version!)

    Book link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bellyful-Laughs-Helen-Laycock/dp/1502775409/ref=la_B006PGFVL6_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1413961822&sr=1-2

    Author Page: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Helen-Laycock/e/B006PGFVL6

  • Title Not a Drop to Drink
    Author Patsy Collins

    Genre Short stories
    They' say the human body is around 70% water. It's not true.

    We could drink straight H20 of course. Usually we don't. More likely it's vitamin rich juice or teeth rotting cola. We like a nice cup of tea to calm us down or cheer us up. Perhaps a nice glass of wine to celebrate or drown our sorrows. Two glasses. Too many glasses.

    Our bodies do contain liquid of course. Never just water though. What's in yours; acid and bile or the milk of human kindness? Blood, sweat and tears of joy or sorrow?

    It's these waters I hope you'll find running through my stories. Cheers!

    (Selected review quotes)

    Link to book http://www.amazon.co.uk/Not-Drop-Drink-Patsy-Collins-ebook/dp/B009RX5MGS/ref=la_B004O08LRQ_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1416425002&sr=1-3

    Link to Author Page https://www.facebook.com/PatsyCollins.writer

    This collection is currently FREE

    I'd love it if you could leave a review on Amazon ... but then all authors appreciate reviews.
  • Title: Never Let Me Down
    Author: Graham W Gordon
    Genre: Popular Fiction

    Domesticity kills all known ambitions DEAD!!

    That’s what Richard Dawson told his best mate Warren Jordan.

    But is the grass always greener on the other side?

    Life on the road versus life in a bank surely no comparison?

    Would following Ricky D’s lead end in disaster? Or will Warren eventually realise just what he’s got all along?

    Link to book below


    All reviews welcomed

  • Title: The Cappuccino Collection
    Author: Kay Seeley
    Genre: Short Stories
    Blurb: All the stories in The Cappuccino Collection, except one, have been previously published in magazines, anthologies or on the internet. They are romantic, humorous and thought provoking stories that reflect real life, love in all its guises and the ties that bind. Enjoy them in small bites.

    If this collection were a cake it would be a deeply satisfying chocolate gateau.
    Having thoroughly enjoyed ‘The Water Gypsy’ I was looking forward to reading more from this author, and as soon as I started ‘The Cappuccino Collection’ I knew I wasn’t going to be disappointed. Once again, this was unputdownable. As before, I had no idea what would happen next, with gripping storylines and memorable characters. The stories in this collection are all completely different, some funny, some romantic ... and each time I finished one I couldn’t wait to find out what the next one would be about. Highly recommended.

    An interesting assortment of different stories that would entertain many readers. Very enjoyable.


    Author page: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Kay-Seeley/e/B00JVQDEY8/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

    All Reviews welcome
  • Hello Everyone,
    I hope my books of writing prompts will be useful to some of the writers here.

    Title: 1001 Writing Prompts for Generating Ideas
    Genre: Non-fiction (writing)

    Blurb: A book that does exactly what it says on the cover. Writers who need a little inspiration, or who just like to complete writing exercises to flex their creative muscles every so often, will find this volume invaluable.
    You will find eleven different types of writing prompts inside which can all be used in different ways and lend themselves to exercises of different lengths of time. There is no need to work through the prompts in order, dip in and out and find prompts that speak to you, maybe even help you with your current project.
    A word of warning, the pictures inside are designed to be used as writing prompts and not to appreciate their artistic value. Most are from free-to-use stock photo websites and as such are not high-quality prints and may have retained the watermark. They still serve a purpose as writing prompts.

    Reviews: "This book is very useful in that it's 77 pence and when downloaded you have lots of writing prompts on your phone, which is very handy. With so many prompts there may well be some that don't inspire you but I'd like to look at it the other way; with so many prompts you'll certainly find enough that do. There are lots of different starting points such as pictures and quotes (and more) and they can be used as writing exercises or the start of a story. Some might help you develop a backstory or a sense of place if you're writing a novel. In summary, a useful book and very good value for money. "

    "A lot of lovely, lovely prompts that should be more than enough to help you inundate yourself with ideas for a long time to come! "

  • Paint Me a Picture
    by Patsy Collins

    Mavis Forthright carefully rehearses her jump from Portsmouth's Round Tower. She's existed for over five decades. Lived hardly at all. Will end her misery with a few second's fall into the cold sea. Except she's not quite ready to die. A half day's delay to try a bacon sandwich from the cafe won't matter. Mother's no longer there to disapprove.

    She delays another day to lend Janice a book. Then a week to use her new paints. A month. Until the end of term. Mavis makes new plans; to create paintings full of emotion, to live, perhaps even make friends.

    As if to balance her survival a number of people connected to Mavis die. At first that doesn't matter. They're people she dislikes. Mavis continues painting, tending her garden, feeding the birds and keeping her home properly clean, without additional concern. Then people who've been kind to Mavis are killed or injured. That shouldn't happen.

    Why are people dying? Is it because of charming Norman who's back from her past, or is that strange boy Jake her mistaken guardian angel? Perhaps Mavis herself is to blame. She must learn the truth, stop the deaths and protect those she's learned to care about before she can enjoy the new life she's making for herself.
  • The Best of Cafelit 3
    Anthology featuring several talkbackers including me

    Each story in this little volume is the right length and quality for enjoying as you sip the assigned drink in your favourite Creative Café. You need never feel alone again in a café. So what's the mood today? Espresso? Earl Grey tea? Hot chocolate with marshmallows? You'll find most drinks in our drinks index.

    No reviews yet

  • Well my book is finally out and on sale from 30th Jan. hope it sells well as it does not have too many to compete against.
  • Title: The Museum of Fractured Lives Omnibus Edition
    Author Sally Jenkins

    Genre Women's short fiction
    Blurb A compelling collection of four emotive long stories. Each one is perfect for filling a lunch break, coffee break or commute to work. Dip into this collection and escape into someone else’s life, experience their ups and downs, joys and sorrows. All set around the fictional Museum of Fractured Lives in London.

    Selected review quotes
    "The idea of a Museum for Fractured Lives is original and catching.
    I could not stop reading this book and felt drawn into the lives of all the characters."
    "All the stories interact cleverly that you forget they are all tales of very different lives. It was a great read and I didn't want it to end."
    There are more 5* reviews on the Amazon UK page.

    Link to book http://www.amazon.co.uk/Museum-Fractured-Lives-Omnibus-ebook/dp/B00L2X8O66/

    Link to Author Page http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sally-Jenkins/e/B00B5DEMHI/

  • Title - Escape to the Country
    Author - Patsy Collins

    Leah is accused of a crime she didn't commit. Dumped by Adam, the man she planned to marry, she escapes to Aunt Jayne's smallholding in the Kent village of Winkleigh Marsh. Heartbroken and homeless, she strives to clear her name and deal with her emotions.

    Jayne treats Leah's unhappiness with herbal remedies, cowslip wine and common sense in equal measure. In return Leah works hard for the delicious home-cooked meals they share. She wrestles with sheep, breaks nails and gets stuck in the mud - learning as much about herself as she does about farming. Soon Leah is happy milking cows, mucking out pigs and falling halfway in love with Duncan, a dishy tractor driver.

    Back in London, steps are being taken to investigate what's happened to the missing money. It looks as though the real embezzler must soon be unmasked and Leah will have to choose between resuming her old life or starting a new one.

    That's when her problems really start.

    31 reviews including 17 5 star

  • Title: The British Police and Crime Directory for Writers and Researchers
    Author: Kevin Robinson

    The British Police and Crime Directory for Writers and Researchers is the police adviser on your tablet/computer/phone. It is an easy-to-use launch pad for learning more about the police, policing methods and crime investigation.

    The five parts of the book look at:
    • How to make contact with a particular UK police force, agency or associated government department.
    • What information can be provided to the writer/researcher, how and by whom?
    • Where to locate (free of charge) some of the very same practice guides the police use to investigate serious and serial crime as well as over 200 other manuals and documents that examine and describe how the police should work in the following categories:
    o Recruitment and Training
    o Crime and Investigation
    o Custody and Detention Matters
    o Firearms and Public Order Policing
    o Forensics
    o Incidents and the Police National Computer and Database
    o Intelligence Matters
    o Interviewing
    o Legislation
    o Missing Persons and Children
    o Other Law Enforcement Agencies
    o Overseas Matters
    o Personal Protective Equipment
    o Publications about the Police

    • Which 100 websites every writer and researcher should know about?
    • Where to find 37 authentic video clips describing ways in which the police really work, including following a murder investigation from start to finish and finally
    • Which 58 books about the police, policing, crime and writing crime fiction may the writer and researcher find useful?

    In a nutshell, you’ll be able to learn about how to become a police officer: what the application process consists of: what the role entails: what training courses officers can undertake: what technology is available to aid investigations: how an arrest is carried out along with what powers the police have: the procedures they should follow and how they should conduct their investigations and interviews.

    You will find who within a police force or associated agency can help you: how you can legally obtain information from them: explanations of some of the terminology used: You can also discover how public order and firearms incidents should be policed as well as how missing persons’ investigations should be conducted.

    The book will prove indispensable to those wishing to bring authenticity and realism to their writing to create a convincing, believable story.

    With the aid of this comprehensive directory, your readers will not be questioning your facts or research methods but will focus on the heart of the matter – “whodunnit”?

    Want to see a sample or download your very own copy of this unique book, just go to http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00TBAY150
  • Minor Discord
    By Helen Laycock
    (finally available as a kindle version!)

    Genre: Short story/flash fiction collection

    Dare to visit the dark places at the edges of the map, places where you will feel unsettled and from where characters will follow you, whether you want them to, or not.

    This collection of stories and flash fiction will take you into the shadows. Don’t get left behind...

    Book link:

    Author Page:
  • Once Bitten
    by Steven Chapman (and 14 others)

    Horror anthology

    'While the bright light of day banishes lesser horrors, it only makes love gone wrong stand out all the more. When that love is driven by the demented, the unnatural and the straight-out evil, the bright light of day might be the last thing you need. Or see. In Once Bitten, 15 authors show us that the sweetest of emotions, mixed with a touch of darkness and more than a hint of the supernatural, can be a bitter, bitter cup from which to drink.'


    Kindle version

    Author page
  • Title : Famous Animals Volume 1
    Author & Illustrator: Katie W. Stewart

    Genre : Children’s Non-Fiction (humour)
    Blurb: What happens when you combine a love of art, animals and history with a sense of humour? You get a book that is delightfully different. Famous Animals is an alternative history, an artistic peek at the world of such remarkable animals as Felix Mendelswann, Joan Aardvark and Luciano Pavaratti. At the same time, it takes a biographical look at some equally noteworthy humans. A book that will appeal to young and old alike.

    (Selected review quotes):
    “A real delight of a book whether as a coffee table book for everyone to enjoy or to get children interested in both famous people and animals.”

    “I expected to find it amusing but did not expect to find myself laughing out loud.”

    “An absolute gem of a book! The illustrations are exquisitely drawn with an eye for detail that took my breath away.”

    “If you have a young person with a sense of humour and a thirst for knowledge in your life, you really need this book. I ordered two copies. My nearly -11 year-old grand-daughter will really appreciate it, but I wanted one for myself. Why should the youngsters get all the fun?”

    Link to book: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Famous-Animals-Katie-W-Stewart/dp/0994350503
    Link to Author Page : http://www.amazon.co.uk/Katie-W.-Stewart/e/B004XFRBOG
  • edited October 2015

    imagepatsycollins53Patsy's  album on Photobucket


    Firestarter. Romantic comedy with a hot fireman and a few flames.

    Alice has a fantasy. It starts with being rescued by a hunky fireman, involves the kiss of life and ends in him not needing his uniform. At the New Forest Show, Alice is offered an innocent version of her dream. Reluctantly she turns down fireman Hamish's invitation.

    Despite Alice's blameless behaviour, boyfriend Tony's obsessive jealousy kicks in. Hamish wants to take Tony's place, but a hoaxer ensures Alice already sees far too much of Hampshire Fire Service. The threat of an explosive sprout surprise, her mum's baking, sister Kate's mind boggling pep talks and the peculiar behaviour of Alice's boss Miles provide distractions.

    Is Alice really in danger? What is Kate up to? Can Hamish possibly be as perfect as he seems? It takes Alice masses of wonderful food, disgusting wine, smelly mud, red footed crows and steamy Welsh passion, but she finds the answers. And rethinks her fantasy.
  • http://www.amazon.co.uk/Adventures-Flossy-Karl-Bradshaw-White/dp/1784559717/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1448891624&sr=1-1-catcorr&keywords=the+adventures+of+flossy

    Available from December 16th.

    'The Adventures Of Flossy'
    Flossy the dragonfly spends the day flying about, saying
    hello to lots of different animals, including the very loud
    bullfrog Morris, the beautiful but ever-so-busy kingfisher,
    some not so bright sheep and Horrace the pig.
    What unpleasant eating habbits they have! Flossy flies
    far so far from home she loses her way; on her perrilous
    way home she meets Spartan the eagle and a group of
    fireflies, both of whom prove particulary helpful.
    Later she will encounter a pair of rather irritable magpies.
    During her adventures she learns many things, in particular
    that she should not steal from others! This is an ideal bedtime
    story, or an adventure series for children to follow. There are
    six colourful illustrations of the characters in the book
    By Kay Seeley

    Spirited and beautiful Annie Flanagan’s reckless ambition takes her from the Hackney watercress beds to dancing at the Folies-Bergère in Paris. She returns to work in an establishment catering to the needs of wealthy and influential gentlemen. When she disappears, leaving her illegitimate son behind, her friend Hettie Bundy sets out to find her. Hettie’s search leads her from the East End of London, where opium dens and street gangs rule, to uncover the corruption and depravity in Victorian society. Secrets are revealed that put both girls lives in danger. Can Hettie find Annie in time? What does the future hold for the watercress girls? A Victorian Mystery

    5* Reviews 'A fabulous book I couldn't put it down'
    'Well written with excellent storyline'

    Amazon link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Watercress-Girls-Kay-Seeley/dp/0993339441/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1449652767&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Watercress+Girls

    Author page: www.kayseeleyauthor.com
  • The Best of Cafelit 4

    Anthology featuring several Talkbackers including me.

    Each story in this little volume is the right length and quality for enjoying as you sip the assigned drink in your favourite Creative Café. You need never feel alone again in a café. So what's the mood today? Espresso? Earl Grey tea? Hot chocolate with marshmallows? You'll find most drinks in our drinks index.


  • My short booklet about breast cancer has been kicking around since earlier in the month. All royalties are being donated to Macmillan (£1.80 for the paperback and at least £2.00 for the e-book).

  • As so many of our own TBers have written books, I thought it might be a good idea (if it's all right with Webbo) to have a thread which is purely about books written by our members so that others can see what's out there.

    NB, posts will be flagged if visitors to the forum just leave a book link and do not engage in other discussion.

    Please don't use this thread to chat. There is a new thread called TB Book Reviews where you can leave feedback.

    If you 'favourite' each of these threads, you won't lose them.

    I suggest each post should include the following information:



    (Selected review quotes)

    Link to book
    Link to Author Page

    [EDIT BY WEBBO - more than alright with me TN! I've stickied this at the top of the page and tagged the review page with "tbersbooks", like this one]
  • Title: “Sunbeams from the Heart – A Collection of Twelve Romantic Short Stories”

    Author: Fay Knowles

    Genre: Romance/Short Stories/Literary Fiction

    Blurb: "Hugely popular … Charming and surprising": "The Lady" magazine, London, England, wrote about Fay Knowles’ short story “Love at Sunset” which appears in "Sunbeams from the Heart". Love themes in this delightful collection of romantic short stories tell of nostalgia, bright new beginnings, homecoming, second chances, and the unexpected.

    Selected review quotes:

    “This collection of short, romantic stories is heart-warming and beautiful. Stories such as these brighten your day and leave you wanting more of what the author has written.”

    “Page after page, Knowles artfully describes native landscapes, to the point the reader can almost inhale the scent of flowers.”

    “I read the book in one sitting today. I found the book to be so delightful because Short stories you can read and not have to wait until you have time to finish the book, you can go back and start a new one.”

    “A delightful collection of romantic stories, ideal for holiday reading or any time you want your heart warmed. So good to find a collection of stories that end on a satisfying note.”

    “Twelve well-crafted stories from Fay Knowles. Her warm-hearted characters are immediately sympathetic and their predicaments straight from the pages of our own lives.”

    “Fay Knowles's skill is to keep a short story short. She sticks to the bones of the story and includes no superfluous details, but simply enough for us to get to know the characters.”

    “You have an audience with us younger readers! I can see myself with "Sunbeams from the Heart", curled up in a comforter on a window seat while it pours outside, sipping coffee.”

    Links to book:

    Link to Author Page: http://www.fayknowles.com
  • My latest short story collection Through The Garden Gate is out now. It's on sale at 99p until 19th April. http://getbook.at/GardenGate

    Shirley can't see the beauty Hugh pictures in the patch of bare earth, but is happy to help him bury the flower bulbs as deep as she keeps her secret. The Adkins always put on a brave face, something Iris is determined to do, even if she doesn't know why it's needed.

    Julie and her cousin are twigs from the same branch, so why does she feel like a sapling in the shade of his mighty oak? Ryan knows he's good at nurturing plants – can he learn to do the same with the family he longs for? Like snowdrops underground, Ollie waits throughout the winter of Jasmine's life, until she's ready to accept the warmth of spring and his love.

    Jamie feels safe in the garden. If he's really good, maybe they'll let him stay. 'The lad' hasn't been seen on the allotments for days and Bert has a horrible feeling he's responsible. Everyone says Peace Cottage is a wonderful house, surrounded by a lovely garden, so why won't anyone live there?

    Gardens, plants and people all have their stories. Step through the garden gate and I'll tell you a few.
  • The Best of Cafelit 5

    Anthology featuring several Talkbackers, including me.

    Each story in this little volume is the right length and quality for enjoying as you sip the assigned drink in your favourite Creative Café. You need never feel alone again in a café. So what's the mood today? Espresso? Earl Grey tea? Hot chocolate with marshmallows? You'll find most drinks in our drinks index.

  • Professor McQuark and the Oojamaflip (picture book 0-7)
    The Snowflake Mistake (picture book 0-7)
    Letter to Pluto (junior fiction 6-10)

    all published by Maverick Arts Publishing
  • http://getbook.at/NFS

    No Family Secrets. 25 short stories with the theme of 'family'.
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