Adieu

Dear Readers, Authors & Publicists

Life is aways changing and my life is no exception…

Book Reviews By Bobbie began as a way to help readers make informed decisions about the books they buy. Book blogging has become so much more than a hobby and over the last few years, it has turned into a full-time project. I have and always will love the written word and I am fortunate to be continuing in the same book-related field as I have been. My company, Nurture Your BOOKS™, has grown tremendously and as pleased as I am about it, it is taking up far more time than I had initially anticipated. I am of course, very excited about the growth of my company, but it also means that I have to give up my hobby for lack of time; it is bittersweet but very necessary.

I have enjoyed so many fantastic books, made some life-long friendships along the way and have enjoyed every moment. I have had the honor to communicate with authors & other book bloggers from all around the world and had the privilege to work with some wonderful publicists who pour heart and soul into their work. I’ve enjoyed all the comments and I would like to thank all of my followers for their loyalty and support.

Book Reviews By Bobbie will still be online and available for readers but there will not be any new content added from this day forward. Any remaining TBR review titles that are still sitting on my shelves will be donated to local libraries where they can be enjoyed for years to come.

I wish you all the very best & thanks again.

Happy reading & happy writing!

Bobbie





Book Review – In Quest of Theta Magic

In Quest of Theta Magic
Written by: Enid Wilson
Published by: Steamy D Publishing
Date: January 8th, 2009
Pages: 166
Format: Perfect Paperback
ISBN: 978-0980610505

In Quest of Theta Magic is a sumptuous, erotic fantasy novel with a twist!”

Book Description – From Amazon.com
“Dean Williams has no need for love, but he does needs a wife, fast, since only his quest for Theta magic can save his sister. But who could be courageous and tough enough to endure what he needs to demand from his new wife? Elana Bailey is determined to brave the ugly beast in order to save her fragile sister. But she doesn’t expect the only reason for the match is to create a daughter to help Dean with his quest. What if she bears a son instead? Will they succeed in the quest?”

Dean Williams is in need of a wife and not just any old wife will do; she must be versed in the ancient Theta crafts and help him with his quest. Elana Bailey takes matters into her own hands and plans to somehow spare her beautiful but frail sister from having to marry the ugly, brutish man named Dean. One of the first things that struck me about this story was how human and likable the characters were despite the fantasy elements. It is always a pleasure to pick up a book that grabs a reader’s attention immediately. The characters were very unique and with Dean in particular, I was taken aback when I realized how much I liked him. Throughout the story there are contrasts of good & evil, beauty & the beast and it had the requisite simmering romance that makes one blush with the explicit sensuality. So many times I’ve found that erotic stories are big on “skin” and leave a lot to be desired when it comes to plot and story development. You can imagine my delight as I read this story and I enjoyed every single page! I have to commend Enid Wilson on creating this distinctive storybook world and thank her for keeping me thoroughly entertained. I look forward to reading more books by this author and I very highly recommend that you pick up a copy of In Quest of Theta Magic for yourself or a friend!!

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ (9 out of 10 Diamonds) – Loved it!

Read more about In Quest of Theta Magic (Adults ONLY!).
Find out where to buy this book.

Author’s Website
Publisher’s Website

A special thanks to Enid Wilson for sending me a copy of this book to review.

Copyright © Book Reviews By Bobbie — Bobbie Crawford-McCoy

Author Interview with Leigh Russell

 
Leigh Russell’s debut crime thriller has been a runaway success in the UK where it has been reprinted twice in six months. It has broken sales records in many bookstores across the UK on Leigh’s promotional tour, and she has been interviewed regularly on BBC Radio stations.

Welcome, Leigh!

How long have you been writing for?

I started writing about three years ago when I began writing the story of CUT SHORT.

How long did it take to write Cut Short? 

I wrote the first draft of CUT SHORT in about six weeks. I wasn’t writing with publication in mind, and it was only when I finished that I decided to send what I’d written to a publisher. I never expected to receive a positive response, as I know how difficult it is to find a publisher, but I liked what I’d written and decided I had nothing to lose by submitting it. 

How did it feel when you got your publishing contract? 

I was amazed to receive a phone call from a wonderful lady, who is now my publisher, two weeks after I had sent off my MS. Signing the contract for a 3 book deal was very exciting!

If you could do it again, is there anything that you would change?

I would make quite a few minor changes to CUT SHORT, if I could, but it’s too late now.  When you are writing, your book is completely within your control. Once it is published, there is nothing you can do but wait and see what other people think of it. It’s nerve wracking! I’m relieved that, so far, CUT SHORT has received many excellent reviews.

Why crime fiction?

 I think there are a number of reasons. Crime fiction is tense and dramatic, full of suspense. It can also be quite cathartic, we live in such fearful times… You’re alone in the house at night, and you hear footsteps on the stairs…. That isn’t a scene I’ve used in a book, but it’s the kind of situation I explore in my writing. It’s a relief to step out of the story and return to reality.

How do you go about ensuring the accuracy of the policing in your books?  If it came to a choice between accuracy and story, which would win?

I write about worlds I have never inhabited so I do quite a lot of research. The internet is a fantastic resource, but there is no substitute for personal contacts. Since I started writing, I have received guidance from experts in many areas of life:  police officers, medical practitioners, firemen, market traders, social workers, IT professionals, a professor of forensic medicine… and  I have been bowled over by how helpful people are. 

I think the story is more important than accuracy, because I write fiction. My intention is to write a good story. Authenticity is important to me, not only out of respect to my readers – many of whom are police officers or medically trained – but because there is nothing worse (in this context) than reading a detail that you know could never happen. It breaks the illusion and, as a story teller, I have to create an illusion of reality. There is a tension, however, between realism and drama. 

Do you plan in advance or go with the flow?

I would like to write a murder story where I don’t know who committed the crime until the denouement, so that I would experience the story in the same way that the reader does, uncertain whether a character is the villain or a red herring, until the last page! But as a writer, you are taking your readers on a journey. You have to know your final destination so you can guide your reader in the right direction, or lead them astray. If you don’t know where you are heading, it would be impossible to work towards the denouement. So I always have a vision of the final dramatic climax I am leading up to.

With CUT SHORT I ‘went with the flow’. I wasn’t writing for a reader, but purely for myself. Once I found a publisher, I had to do quite a lot of work on the MS so that it made sense! Now I try hard to plan, but I’m not very organised. I find writing easy, but planning is a challenge.

Do you write full time, or around other commitments?

I work full-time as a teacher and only started writing when my children left home and I stepped down from running a busy department at school. Before that, I wouldn’t have had time to write. I write constantly during the school holidays and in the evenings, when I can.  

A lot of people say that the second book is often far harder to write than the first – was this the case for you?

No. I can’t imagine finding writing hard, I love it so much! I am nervous about the publication of my second book as I’m no longer a ‘debut’ novelist, with its connotations of inexperience and naivete. People are going to expect me to know what I’m doing…

Can you tell us about how you got an agent?

Other authors I know have been telling me for a while that I really ought to find an agent. An author whose work I know, and whose judgement I trust, recommended his agent. I contacted the agent, we corresponded, met, and agreed to work together. I have had interest from other agents, now that my first book has been successful, but I went with a personal recommendation and am very pleased with my choice.

What are you working on now?

ROAD CLOSED is the second in my series, and it will be published in June. I am now writing the third in the series, DEAD END, and beginning to think about the next one. My publisher has already asked me to write a fourth book in the Geraldine Steel series so I will be continuing the series  – with a new twist and hopefully a few unexpected turns to come…

And finally, can you sum up a key piece of advice for aspiring writers in one sentence?

Work hard, be brave… and be lucky.

Thank you again for your questions.

Thank you very much for requesting an interview. I’m thrilled to be featured on your blog, sharing something of my experience in writing CUT SHORT.

CUT SHORT is available  from amazon and many other online suppliers. It is also available as an e-book.

You can read more about my writing, and find my contact details, on my author blog at http://leighrussell.blogspot.com

You can see Leigh Russel reading an extract from CUT SHORT on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wW3Ixmq3OyA

Thank you for the wonderful interview, Leigh!

Copyright © Book Reviews By Bobbie — Bobbie Crawford-McCoy

Book Review – In the Land of Cotton

In the Land of Cotton
Written by: Martha A. Taylor
Published by: Outskirts Press
Date: April 6, 2009
Pages: 270
Format: Perfect Paperback
ISBN: 978-1432734718

In the Land of Cotton will open your eyes, educate you and touch your heart; a story of civil rights, racial intolerance and a life long love.”

Book Description – From Amazon.com
“SLAVERY IS MORE THAN CHAINS AND SHACKLES
SLAVERY IS A STATE OF MIND
Immerse yourself in this highly anticipated political docu-drama set in the Deep South amidst the backdrop of the Civil Rights Movement.
Martha was a young white girl living in the Deep South, inundated with the racist sentiments of the times. But Martha’s natural curiosity and generous heart led her to question this racial divide. When she discovered a primitive Negro family living deep in the woods near her house, everyone’s life changed forever.
Take the journey of a lifetime alongside Martha as she forges relationships that lead to self discovery and a clearer understanding of the world around her. In the Land of Cotton provides an outstanding snapshot of life in the South during those troubled times – a snapshot everyone should take a close look at, regardless of era or color.
The year was 1956.”

In the Land of Cotton is absolutely fantastic! From page one I was hooked! When I first read the synopsis for In the Land of Cotton I was really intrigued but I hadn’t realized that it was based on Martha A. Taylor’s life as she grew up in the Deep Southern United States, in the 1950′s and 1960′s. Here I am, trying to write the review and I am somewhat at a loss for words; it is really difficult to express how much this story moved me and educated me. So much more than a memoir, this story grabs the reader and shares, through Martha’s experiences, what was going on, in and around her small world (politics, civil rights, war, wages, etc.) while she was growing up. The reader may well feel like they’ve opened a time capsule. Thoroughly researched and well documented, In the Land of Cotton will open your eyes, make you ask questions and captivate you with its honesty and humanity. I was really amazed and saddened by how little I knew about the civil rights movement and the civil unrest that was the cause of so much hardship, death, fear and hate in the 1950′s - 1960′s. Martha had a very close and taboo relationship (because of race) with the Boyd family; the reader will see the world through her eyes. I fell in love with Martha and Silas’ love story and I felt so torn for them — living in a society that would not tolerate them being together because they had different skin colours; Martha - white and Silas - black. This is Martha’s story and the story of a nation as it struggles with racial intolerance and discrimination.
The foreword is written by Clifton Dobbins the 3rd and the prologue summarizes & concludes many of the topics covered in the course of the story. Thank you Martha, from the bottom of my heart, for sharing your story with us!
I can not recommend this book highly enough; everyone should read this story! I smiled, I laughed and I sobbed my eyes out and…I can’t really say much more without ruining the story, other than to say that I absolutely LOVED this book!!!

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ (10 out of 10 Diamonds) – Absolutely LOVED it!!

Find out where to buy this book.

Publisher’s Website

A special thanks to Martha A. Taylor for sending me a copy of this book to review.

Copyright ©  Book Reviews By Bobbie — Bobbie Crawford-McCoy

New TBR Review Copy – Arrivals

Each review copy is like a precious gift; a treasure just waiting for me to discover, read and review it. :) 

Every book that I review on Book Reviews By Bobbie has been sent to me specifically for review. 


Did you find anything here that you’re going to add to your TBR list? :)

Book Review – A Year in Lucy’s Kitchen

A Year in Lucy’s Kitchen,
Seasonal Recipes and Memorable Meals
Written by: Lucy Waverman
Published by: Random House Canada
Date: October 13, 2009
Pages: 304
Format: Softcover
ISBN: 978-0679314585

A Year in Lucy’s Kitchen is a lovely cookbook with easy to follow recipes, carefully organized by the months of the year. You can pick any month and find mouth-watering recipes — from appetizers and main course dishes to delicious desserts! Lucy incorporates seasonal ingredients into her traditional recipes and also includes them in a bunch of fresh, newly inspired dishes. Flavourful and unique, you’ll be the toast of the evening when you prepare these dishes for your guests.

A sample of the recipes inside:

Leek and Chicken Soup
Spiced Fruit Salad
Aromatic Mediterranean Shortribs
Apple Caramel Tarts
Chive Potato Cakes
White Chocolate Raspberry Tart
Asian Pear and Cabbage Slaw
Pumpkin Squares
Apple Strudel
Chicken Burger Stuffed with Portobello Mushrooms
Traditional Fried Fish
Triple Chocolate Attack
…and a whole lot more!

Lucy Waverman is a Cordon Bleu–trained food columnist with the Globe and Mail and Food Editor of the Liquor Control Board of Ontario’s Food & Drink. She is the author of eight cookbooks, including the James Beard–nominated and Cuisine Canada Gold Medal–winner A Matter of Taste (with James Chatto).

This softcover cookbook is well-bound and sure to put up with a lot of usage in the kitchen. There are some beautiful, full colour photographs that accompany some of the recipes. I would like to have seen more recipes that had pictures to accent them; as a visual learner, images help me to decide upon a particular dish. There is a table of contents at the beginning of the book and a detailed index at the back of the cookbook — both very helpful. All in all, a really great cookbook for someone who is looking to expand upon their basic cooking repertoire; you’ll find many distinctive, unique dishes from this cookbook! Many of the recipes remind me of some very tasteful, expensive restaurants and their signature creations!

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ (8 out of 10 Diamonds) – Thoroughly enjoyed it

Read more about A Year in Lucy’s Kitchen.
Find out where to buy this book.

Author’s Website
Publisher’s Website

A special thanks to Random House Canada for sending me a copy of this book to review.

Copyright ©  Book Reviews By Bobbie — Bobbie Crawford-McCoy