Mandy Eve-Barnett's Blog for Readers & Writers

My Book News & Advocate for the Writing Community ©

Bibliophile’s Collective Tuesday – A New Year’s Reading Challenge

January 4, 2022
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I use the Goodreads annual reading challenge to track the books I read and review each year. Sometimes I hit the target, other times I exceed it. This year I began with a novella, To Rome, With Love by D.P. Rosano, which was a Christmas gift. I am now onto my next read The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker.

I have set my challenge for 20 books this year.

Do you set a target for your books?

What are you currently reading?

What was your favorite book of 2021?

I enjoyed If It Bleeds and Billy Summers both by Stephen King – as you all know I love his story telling expertise. These books were very different in genre, but both equally compelling. The other book that rates on my long list is The Library of Lost and Found by Phaedra Patrick. It was a delightful tale of self discovery and mystery.

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Bibliophile’s Collective Tuesday – My Winter Poem and a Book Review

December 21, 2021
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Winter Forest

The wind whistles around the pine trees

Scattering fallen snow into festoon veils

The eagle flies on high

Its wings like sails.

Creatures huddled together in burrows

Sleeping the winter away in hibernation

Others braving the weather conditions

As hunger requires them to be brazen.

The forest lays quiet in winter’s grip

Sounds are dulled, its inhabitants scarce

Branches bare or thickly covered in white

The conditions make life adverse.

Fur changed from brown to white

Camouflage a lifesaving trait

Blending into the white landscape

With no option to migrate.

Footprint trails the evidence of life

Hooves and fluffy feet, both large and small

An outline of outspread feathers

The scene of a life and death brawl.

The forest sleeps until spring’s return

Life hidden, silent and encased

Patiently waiting for animation

And life once again chased.

I really enjoyed this story. A mystery, a realization of self and re-connecting with family. The author immersed me in her main character’s world and kept me turning the pages. My take away – be true to yourself.

Do you have a favorite winter time book you read?

Bibliophile’s Collective Tuesday – Book Choice, Reviews and Racing Towards a Writing Goal

November 23, 2021
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Ferney by James Long.

The great thing about re-reading a book many times is you are immediately transported back to the imagery you have of the characters and their location. It is like visiting an old friend. I will never tire of this story.

Which book do you return to and why?

What I’m reading now: The Midnight Library by Matt Haig.

From this description you can probably tell why I chose it. Between life and death there is a library, and within that library, the shelves go on forever. Every book provides a chance to try another life you could have lived. To see how things would be if you had made other choices . . . Would you have done anything different, if you had the chance to undo your regrets?

What are you currently reading?
Why did you choose it?

I am continuing to write the second book in The Delphic Murders trilogy – The Tainted Search through November’s National Novel Writing month and have past 41,000 words so should succeed by 30th November and reach 50,000 words! There have been a couple of surprising twists already from my characters and a solution to one plot point I was struggling with, so in all a good process.

As always I am open to question s about what I’m reading and writing. Take care.

Bibliophile’s Collective Tuesday – Favorite Books

October 19, 2021
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Do you have a favorite book?

Which is the book you regularly return to? Why?

The Book of Lost Names by Kristin Harmel

My review: A powerful story of chance, decisions, love and loss for a woman caught in an impossible position, trying to survive and finding courage where others fled. Beautifully constructed and written.

I am returning to a favorite book, Ferney by James Long. No matter how many times I read it, I am always transported to the world of Ferney and Gally, their connection across time, their love spanning decades in different guises. For me it is the consummate reincarnation story. It was decades before I began writing after reading it and more years before I wrote my own reincarnation novel, The Twesome Loop. It is homage to Mr. Long’s perfect story and my own decades long interest in reincarnation and life after death.

I wondered what famous authors chose as their favorite book, and found these.

‘Ship of Fools’ by Katherine Ann Porter, Chosen by Stephen King

‘Love Medicine’ by Louise Erdrich, Chosen by Tana French

‘The Mill on the Floss’ by George Eliot, Chosen by Ken Follett

Victory by Joseph Conrad, Chosen by Joan Didion

Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury, Chosen by R.L. Stine

 Emma by Jane Austen, Chosen by J.K. Rowling

 

Bibliophile’s Collective Tuesday – A New Book Cover, Book Memories and a Wonderful Review

October 5, 2021
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I’m so excited to share the new cover for my speculative fiction novel, Life in Slake Patch. Isn’t it beautiful? This is how I see Evan and Kate in the story. I love her expression of strength and determination. You can see how much Evan adores her by his gaze. Thanks to Wren Taylor Cover Design and my publisher, Dream Write Publishing for updating the front cover and revising the back cover too.

The link is here:

Please let me know what you think of the cover.

I was reminded of a book I read in school last week, as the star of the movie, Kes, a close adaptation of the book, turned 68 years old. In the movie he is a young boy! Yep, that was a shock!

I read the book in school and was devastated with how the boy and his pet were treated. It left an everlasting impression. Although, I knew the ending I did go and watch the movie when it came out. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0064541/

I asked several friends, which book had an impact on them and several books were named. Watership Down, The Diary of a Young Girl – Anne Frank, and Lord of the Flies. These narratives affected us emotionally and that is why they stay with us many years later. It is something every author hopes to do with their stories.

Do you have a book you read in school that had a profound effect on you?

I was humbled and delighted to receive a wonderful review of The Commodore’s Gift last week, so forgive me for indulging as I share it once more.

Review by thereadera

Sometimes you stumble across a book, and, for whatever reason, your expectations are low. Could be an amazing cover, could be a previous book by the same author you were wholly uninterested in, could be a billion different things that individually are insignificant, but cumulatively . . . You turn up you nose. O, gentle friends . . . Do not do unto yourselves the same disservice I almost did unto mine. The Commodore’s Gift by Mandy Eve-Barnett is . . . exquisite. I almost didn’t read it. Indeed, the release date sneaked up on me, tapped me on the shoulder, and waved hello on Monday afternoon, and I joked to friend that I should at least update my status on Goodreads and pretend to be reading it . . . Six hours later, it was ten pm, and I was 40% in. I could not put this one down and finished the entire book in less than two days. Many novels tend to be repetitive and get bogged down in over-explaining everything. This novel, however, was a breath of fresh air. The author of this book did an amazing job of making this book completely addictive. I was enthralled with the Character the entire time. So far, The Commodore’s Gift by Mandy Eve-Barnett has taken me by surprise and kept it interesting the whole way through, to where I desired more and he continued to deliver. The lands are amazing, the characters interesting. They play a great role in shaping the world. There are many positives, but overall I’d say this is a good book held higher than most because Mandy Eve-Barnett is actually a good writer. She is creative and descriptive, and tells a story clearly and with a layer of her own action woven in. But I don’t think it’s half as good as many here make it out to be. End of the day, it’s another tale we haven’t seen elsewhere many times before. Highly Recommended!

Link here:

Happy reading everyone.

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