Friday Five Challenge

#FridayFiveChallenge : ‘Shelter’ by Frances Greenslade

Welcome to the Friday Five Challenge

biscuits

Rosie Amber’s Friday Five challenge only takes five minutes, so grab a cuppa and join in!

In today’s online shopping age, readers often base their buying decisions on small postage stamp size book covers (Thumb-nails), a quick glance at the book description and the review. How much time do they really spend making that buying decision?

AUTHORS – You often only have seconds to get a reader to buy your book, is your book cover and book bio up to it?

The Friday Five Challenge is this….. IN ONLY FIVE MINUTES….

1) Go to any online book supplier,

2) Randomly choose a category,

3) Speed through the book covers, choose one which has instantly appealed to your eye,

4) Read the book Bio/ Description for this book,

5) If there are reviews, check out a couple,

6) Make an instant decision, would you BUY or PASS?

Can’t avoid the fact that Christmas is fast approaching – not that I’m complaining, I love Christmas. The staff at the company my husband is working for at the moment are buying extra Christmas presents to donate to the homeless charity Shelter. It’s awful that in this day and age we should have to do this, that people are in need like this, that children have to rely on charity for a bit of happiness this Christmas. But there it is. So I took the word Shelter as my search term this week.

Well, there are a huge amount of survival books. Lots and lots of advice and instructions on adapting your house to survive the end of the world, and building shelters in the wilderness. There are also an awful lot of romances tagged with shelter strangely enough. But I’m not a fan of (fictional) romance and I wouldn’t want to survive an apocalypse (no electricity for hair straighteners) so I scanned through until I saw this:

shelter

Amazon.co.uk   Amazon.com

Price: £4.99 (kindle) £7.99 (paperback) in the UK (380 pages), $7.55 (kindle) $15.41 (paperback) in the US.

Book Description

Maggie’s father is ‘Mr Safety’. He knows the woods of Duchess Creek in Northern Canada like the back of his hand, and he has taught his daughter how to survive, how to find and make a shelter in all weathers, in any conditions. Along with her sister, Jenny, and their mother Irene, they are safe from the outside world. But when an accident at work goes fatally wrong, Irene struggles to look after her daughters alone. Wild, imaginative and unpredictable, she billets the two girls with a family, promising to return once the summer is over and she has earned more money. But the summer turns to winter, which rolls round again and again. When the letters stop, the two sisters realise that they can rely on no one but themselves – but what kind of shelter can two young girls make for themselves?

Reviews

There are eight reviews on Amazon.co.uk, three 5-star, three 4-star and two 3-star. Forty-five reviews on Amazon.com, mostly four star and five star.

Reviewers praise the beautiful, lyrical writing and  the rich atmosphere that the author invokes. It sounds like a slow burner but is another one of those books that, it seems, if you love it you love it and if you don’t then you really don’t like it at all. But the positive reviews outweigh the negative.

Buy or pass? Yet another BUY (my TBR list can’t cope with too many more of these challenges!).

Analysis

I love the cover – it’s bright and very pretty. I have three sisters (I’m the youngest) so I like the idea of a story about the relationship between two sisters. And it’s published by Virago. When I was a teenager, discovering feminism and reading Ms, I would spend hours on a Saturday browsing through the Virago section in the local book shop (yes, I was a very weird teenager). So this is a definite buy for me.

If you want to join in the Friday Five Challenge pop over to Rosie’s blog to find out more.

And read some more Friday Five Challenges:

Cathy found some wonderful photos

Historical fantasy for Shelley

Rosie found a rather odd cover in her search for Black Friday

And if you would like to do something for the 100,000 children who will be homeless in the UK this Christmas (100,000!) then do visit Shelter’s website for more details. Thank you.

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#FridayFiveChallenge ‘Isabella: Braveheart of France’ by Colin Falconer @rosieamber1

biscuits

Welcome to the Friday Five Challenge

Rosie Amber’s Friday Five challenge only takes five minutes, so grab a cuppa and join in!

In today’s online shopping age, readers often base their buying decisions on small postage stamp size book covers (Thumb-nails), a quick glance at the book description and the review. How much time do they really spend making that buying decision?

AUTHORS – You often only have seconds to get a reader to buy your book, is your book cover and book bio up to it?

The Friday Five Challenge is this….. IN ONLY FIVE MINUTES….

1) Go to any online book supplier,

2) Randomly choose a category,

3) Speed through the book covers, choose one which has instantly appealed to your eye,

4) Read the book Bio/ Description for this book,

5) If there are reviews, check out a couple,

6) Make an instant decision, would you BUY or PASS?

This week it’s all things French. The weather has been miserable but I’m keeping my spirits up because I’m off to France in eight days (can you tell I’m counting the days off!). And I’ve just finished reading a book set in France (the wonderful ‘The Undertaker’s Son’ by Bev Spicer), have started reading another book set in France (‘a La Mod’, that I bought as a result of reading a Friday Five Challenge post) and I’ve been watching the last week of ‘My Kitchen Rules’ with bated breath (though not at the excitement of the final cook off, but just at the sight of wonderful French chef Manu Feildel). So, my Friday Five Challenge search naturally led to France.

There were lots of books about living in France, but as I’m reading one at the moment, I don’t really need another one. I scrolled and scrolled for ages; some of the books that came up seemed to have very little to do with France but this one looked just my kind of thing.

isabella

Amazon.co.uk  Amazon.com

Price: £3.49 (Kindle) and £8.99 (paperback) in the UK and $5.43 (Kindle) and $9.89 (paperback) in the US. Maybe a little pricey for a kindle book, but it is 299 pages long.

Book description:

She was taught to obey. Now she has learned to rebel.

When Princess Isabella is offered as bride to King Edward of England, for her it’s love at first sight. But her dashing husband has a secret, one that threatens to tear their marriage—and England—apart. As Isabella navigates the deadly maelstrom of Edward’s court, her cleverness and grace allow her to subvert Edward’s ill-advised plans and gain influence. But soon the young queen is faced with an impossible choice, taking a breathtaking gamble that will forever change the course of history.

In the tradition of Philippa Gregory and Elizabeth Chadwick, Isabella is the story of a queen who took control of her destiny—and the throne.

Reviews

Nineteen in the UK, mostly four star, but one 1 star. The one star review says that the reviewer liked the book, but that there were duplicate pages in their copy. Hardly the author’s fault and rather unfair. The other reviews are solid – the writer appears to have done his research. There are 336 reviews on Amazon.com, most four and five star. The lower starred reviews do cite typos and sloppy formatting, but the book description states that the current version has been changed.

Would I buy or pass? BUY

Analysis

I love historical fiction that’s a bit more history than fiction, and I’m a sucker for stories about strong historical women, so this is right up my street. I’ll be taking it to France – and hopefully the sun will be shining. Meanwhile – I’ve got the lovely Manu to keep me going!

manu

If you want to join in the Friday Five Challenge pop over to Rosie’s blog to find out more. See what Rosie choose when she searched for Nightdress!

And have a look at some more Friday Five picks:

Barb’s enjoying the sunshine in Spain and reading about dogs!

Cathy’s already thinking about Christmas.

Liz has chosen a mystery set in the Algarve:

Shelley is looking back on previous Friday Five books from the comfort of a deck chair in Italy (I’m not jealous at all!).

Terry’s looking at beauty tips for those of a certain age.

Friday Five Challenge: Sunshine State by Rosemary Whittaker #FridayFiveChallenge @rosieamber1

Welcome to the Friday Five Challenge

Rosie Amber’s Friday Five challenge only takes five minutes, so grab a cuppa and join in!

biscuits

In today’s online shopping age, readers often base their buying decisions on small postage stamp size book covers (Thumb-nails), a quick glance at the book description and the review. How much time do they really spend making that buying decision?

AUTHORS – You often only have seconds to get a reader to buy your book, is your book cover and book bio up to it?

The Friday Five Challenge is this….. IN ONLY FIVE MINUTES….

1) Go to any online book supplier,

2) Randomly choose a category,

3) Speed through the book covers, choose one which has instantly appealed to your eye,

4) Read the book Bio/ Description for this book,

5) If there are reviews, check out a couple,

6) Make an instant decision, would you BUY or PASS?

It’s pouring with rain. In July. I’m wearing two layers. I need something cheerful. So I decided to use the word ‘sunshine’ as a search term in Amazon. Not surprisingly, most of the titles looked a bit ‘romancy’ which isn’t really my cup of tea. But this caught my eye, and the brightness really stood out.

sunshine state

Amazon.co.uk   Amazon.com

Price: £3.59 (Kindle) and £6.99 (paperback) in the UK and $5.65 (Kindle) and $10.99 (paperback) in the US.

Book description:

Emily Martin has spent the past six months putting her life back together after her bitter divorce from Jack. Seeing him every day at work doesn’t help, especially as he seems to be trying to date every one of her colleagues.

When she is offered the opportunity to work in Florida for a year, she sees it as her much-needed chance to escape. A year away ought to be enough time to find someone who is different from Jack in every way. That way, he will see that she is the one who has moved on. Nothing could be easier…

Reviews

Only 2 in the UK, one 5 star and one 4 star. The 4 star is from someone who has reviewed several other books, the 5 star reviewer has only reviewed books by Ms Whittaker. Four 5 star and one 4 star review in the US.

Would I buy or pass? PASS

Analysis

The reviews didn’t really give me enough to go on, so I had a look inside. It looks ok. The blurb is ok. The cover is nice. But I’m not grabbed. I don’t think -‘ Wow, I really must read this’, or even, ‘I’d quite like to give it a go’.  I don’t hate it, but I don’t feel like spending £3.59 on it either. I think the blurb could be a lot more exciting – a lot more enticing. Ms Whittaker has written a few other books and the covers for those are all very eye-catching too, and they fit together very nicely. I think that if this is your thing, then you might be tempted and you might want to read the other books too. But if it’s not really your genre, then the blurb needs to pull you in a bit more, and the price has to be enticing enough to tempt you. But hey, there are probably enough romance fans out there as it is.

Looking for a book? Take a look at these other FridayFiveChallenges:

Shelley goes for chicklit

Rosie Amber chooses YA

Cathy’s looking for that elusive summer too

And Terry’s looking for lions!

If you want to join in the Friday Five Challenge pop over to Rosie’s blog to find out more.

#FridayFiveChallenge @rosieamber1 ‘Tenderling’ by Amy Cross

Welcome to the Friday Five Challenge

Rosie Amber’s Friday Five challenge only takes five minutes, so grab a cuppa and join in!

biscuits

In today’s online shopping age, readers often base their buying decisions on small postage stamp size book covers (Thumb-nails), a quick glance at the book description and the review. How much time do they really spend making that buying decision?

AUTHORS – You often only have seconds to get a reader to buy your book, is your book cover and book bio up to it?

The Friday Five Challenge is this….. IN ONLY FIVE MINUTES….

1) Go to any online book supplier,

2) Randomly choose a category,

3) Speed through the book covers, choose one which has instantly appealed to your eye,

4) Read the book Bio/ Description for this book,

5) If there are reviews, check out a couple,

6) Make an instant decision, would you BUY or PASS?

I’ve been reading some great short stories this week courtesy of the latest copy of Mslexia, so thought I would have a browse of the short stories available on Amazon. I’m keen to step out of my comfort zone, and horror isn’t a genre I usually go for (unless it’s Stephen King) so I decided to see what gory tales were around. This cover caught my eye -its simplicity stood out and I like the stark image. The title doesn’t give much away.

Tenderling

Amazon.co.uk  Amazon.com

Price: 0.99 in the UK and $1.50 in the US

Book description:

When Cally Taylor and her parents moved into their new house, they assumed the previous occupants had left. 
At first, Cally is the only one who notices the strange sounds in the middle of the night, and the tell-tale hints of another presence. No matter how hard she tries to convince her parents, they simply tell her to stop being so scared. Slowly, however, the presence starts to make itself known in other ways.
After a horrific experience with her mother, Cally learns that the creature hiding in the house is a Tenderling. Unfortunately, she also learns that the previous owners of the house were killed by the Tenderling, which already seems hungry for more victims.
Tenderling is a horror story about a little girl who realizes that she’s the only one who can save her family from a terrifying fate.

Reviews

Eight in the UK – four 5 star, three 4 star and a 3 star, so not bad. Seven in the US, four 5 star, two 4 star and a 2 star. The majority of the reviews are really positive. The two star review gives no details as to why the reviewer doesn’t like the book so is no help at all.

Would I buy or pass? BUY

Analysis

To be honest, the blurb didn’t grab me. It’s a bit clumsy and that made me worry about the writing. But the reviews were good. So I decided to have a look inside. As the clock ticked to the end of the five minutes, I was still reading. And now I want to know what happens.  And at 99p for 112 pages (so a long short story) it’s worth a go.

If you want to join in the Friday Five Challenge, pop over to Rosie’s blog to find out more.

#FRIDAYFIVECHALLENGE @ROSIEAMBER1 ‘Love by Deception’ by K C Barnard

Welcome to the Friday Five Challenge

Rosie Amber’s Friday Five challenge only takes five minutes, so grab a cuppa and join in!

biscuits

In today’s online shopping age, readers often base their buying decisions on small postage stamp size book covers (Thumb-nails), a quick glance at the book description and the review. How much time do they really spend making that buying decision?

AUTHORS – You often only have seconds to get a reader to buy your book, is your book cover and book bio up to it?

The Friday Five Challenge is this….. IN ONLY FIVE MINUTES….

1) Go to any online book supplier,

2) Randomly choose a category,

3) Speed through the book covers, choose one which has instantly appealed to your eye,

4) Read the book Bio/ Description for this book,

5) If there are reviews, check out a couple,

6) Make an instant decision, would you BUY or PASS?

This week I went for ‘Biography and True Accounts’ and clicked on ‘Women’. So many dreadful ‘celebrity’ biographies. Then I saw this:

love by deception

Amazon.co.uk  Amazon.com

A beautiful cover, looks very professional and definitely caught my eye. The title doesn’t give much away, although I was a little put off by ‘A harrowing true story of love and betrayal’, but the cover had me intrigued enough to investigate further.

Price: 0.99 in the UK and $1.51 in the US

Book description:

***WARNING*** Contains graphic details of sexual violence and strong language. Some readers may find Love by Deception disturbing, discretion is strongly advised!

Love by Deception shares a compelling true story of how meeting the wrong men can bring not only heartache, but real devastation in the most brutal of ways. K.C. is a successful woman in her thirties, thriving in every part of her life, yet failing miserably with matters of the heart.

We follow her turmoil as we unravel K.C.’s disastrous relationships covering a seven year period when time and time again, she becomes the unwitting, and unwilling victim to four extremely deceptive men. Whilst each man was different in his own way, they were all cruel and conniving . Therefore, she has been given the insight into the effects of verbal, mental, physical and sexual abuse.

Although she has the world at her feet, and a jet-setting career working in the prestigious world of international VIP Aviation, for a Middle Eastern Prince, her ability to find a decent man seems impossible. During the most harrowing times she highlights the importance of life-saving friendships and her determination to never give up hope. Amidst all the drama, K.C. is determined to never allow any man to break her humorous spirit, and to continue her quest to find love with an open and tender heart.

Reviews

Ninety-nine in the UK – pretty impressive for a self-published book. A whopping 177 in the US – 64% 4 and 5 star, but 14% are 1 star. The positive reviews are all very positive – many point to the honesty of the author and her bravery and the fact that she wants to share her experiences in order to warn other women about how easy it is to become embroiled in an abusive relationship. Disappointingly, many of the negative reviews criticise the author for the fact that she goes through a series of abusive relationships, and for her ‘naivety’ at getting herself into these situations. One reviewer calls her ‘nuts’.

Would I buy or pass? PASS

Analysis

I was tempted, just because the negative reviews annoyed me so much. It’s very easy to judge other people when you’ve not been in their situation. And I applaud the writer for sharing her story and for her good intentions and do think it’s really important that women who suffer abuse tell their stories if they can. But I honestly don’t think I could bear to read it – I’d find it far too upsetting. Do really love that cover though.

If you want to join in the Friday Five Challenge pop over to Rosie’s blog to find out more.

#FridayFiveChallenge @rosieamber1 ‘The Asylum for Fairy-Tale Creatures’ by Sebastian Gregory

Welcome to the Friday Five Challenge

Rosie Amber’s Friday Five challenge only takes five minutes, so grab a cuppa and join in!

biscuits

In today’s online shopping age, readers often base their buying decisions from small postage stamp size book covers (Thumb-nails), a quick glance at the book description and the review. How much time do they really spend making that buying decision?

AUTHORS – You often only have seconds to get a reader to buy your book, is your book cover and book bio up to it?

My Friday Five Challenge is this….. IN ONLY FIVE MINUTES….

1) Go to any online book supplier,

2) Randomly choose a category,

3) Speed through the book covers, choose one which has instantly appealed to your eye,

4) Read the book Bio/ Description for this book,

5) If there are reviews, check out a couple,

6) Make an instant decision, would you BUY or PASS?

Determined to leave my comfort zone this week I went for Mythology and Folk Tales, and then clicked on fairy tales.

Another very mixed and eclectic bag – but this caught my eye:

 asylum

Amazon.co.uk  Amazon.com

And it’s only £1.89 for the kindle edition ($2.87 in the US).

Book description:

Once upon a nightmare…

Long ago, in a land where imagination meets the darkest nightmares, they built the asylum. Surrounded by a forest of thorns, it holds the most twisted minds in the fairy tale kingdom: a terrible collection of evil creatures and forgotten souls. Imprisoned within its walls, they are doomed to spend forever after telling their tales… and serving as a warning to others.

Now, you are invited to accompany Blood Red Riding Hood into the depths of this strange place – where you will meet its even stranger inhabitants. But be warned: walls this thick were built to withstand the darkest magic… so once you’re inside, you might just find yourself living horribly ever after… and wishing you were indeed in a land far, far away.

Reviews

Nineteen in the UK, mostly favourable. The one and two stars flag up poor writing and editing, which, considering it’s published by Carina (Harlequin’s digital imprint) is a bit worrying. Twenty-four on Amazon.com, again, mostly favourable.  One reviewer points out numerous typos and mistakes.

Would I buy or pass? PASS

Analysis

I’ve always thought that fairy tales are weird. And of course, they’re supposed to be. Hans Christian Anderson’s story of the little girl who couldn’t take off her red dancing shoes and who danced and danced until she begged the executioner to cut off her feet absolutely terrified me as a child.  When I think of the story now, I’m struck by just how gruesome and cruel it is. So this book does appeal – promising as it does a glimpse into the minds of those much-loved fairy-tale characters. The reviews concern me though – I don’t want to spend money on a book full of typos. So, getting very close to the end of my five minutes, I downloaded a sample. Even in this small sample there are typos and the writing is really awkward and overdone in places. It’s a shame, because this should be a good book, but it seems the editing process has let it down. Which just goes to show that having a publisher doesn’t necessarily guarantee quality. If I was Mr Gregory, I’d be rather cross.

If you want to join in the Friday Five Challenge pop over to Rosie’s blog to find out more.

#FridayFiveChallenge @rosieamber1 ‘Demons’ by Wayne Macauley

Welcome to my Friday Five Challenge

Rosie Amber’s Friday Five Challenge only takes five minutes, so grab a cuppa and join in!

biscuits

In today’s online shopping age, readers often base their buying decisions on small postage stamp size book covers (Thumb-nails), a quick glance at the book description and the review. How much time do they really spend making that buying decision?

AUTHORS – You often only have seconds to get a reader to buy your book, is your book cover and book bio up to it?

My Friday Five Challenge is this….. IN ONLY FIVE MINUTES….

1) Go to any online book supplier,

2) Randomly choose a category,

3) Speed through the book covers, choose one which has instantly appealed to your eye,

4) Read the book Bio/ Description for this book,

5) If there are reviews, check out a couple,

6) Make an instant decision, would you BUY or PASS?

I thought I’d be a bit daring this week and go for a genre that I’ve never browsed before. So, rather naively it seems, I went for contemporary fiction and clicked on ‘urban’. Well, what a strange experience. It seems that ‘urban’ covers many topics, but I really won’t ever get over seeing Salman Rushdie’s ‘Fury’ alongside such classics as ‘Cuckolded by my Boss! Office Cuckold Humiliation Erotica’ and ‘Professor MILF’ which is apparently a ‘Mature Mother Older Woman Younger Man Erotic Romance Taboo Cougar Tale’.  Needless to say, none of these were my choice (even the Rushdie) and, once I’d stopped choking on my digestive, I settled for ‘Demons’ by Wayne Macauley.

demons

Amazon.co.uk   Amazon.com

Then I saw the price: £7.12 for the Kindle edition, $9.99 in the US.

Hmmm.

Book description:

Demons is an extraordinary social satire whose ending will leave you reeling.

It is the middle of winter. Seven friends travel to a remote coastal beach house for the weekend.

Without phones, internet or television, they sit around the fireplace, telling stories, each exposing the foibles of humankind.

But as a storm rolls in and torrential rain cuts the party off from the outside world, it soon becomes clear that some secrets are best kept hidden.

Demons is an extraordinary novel by one of Australia’s great writers.

Wayne Macauley is the author of three highly acclaimed novels: Blueprints for a Barbed-Wire Canoe, Caravan Story and, most recently, The Cook, which was shortlisted for the Western Australian Premier’s Book Award, a Victorian Premier’s Literary Award and the Melbourne Prize Best Writing Award. He lives in Melbourne.

Number of pages – 150. Wait, 150 pages for £7.12?

Reviews:

Two on Amazon.co.uk: 1 four star, 1 three star. Very long reviews that I didn’t have time to read thoroughly so I went over to Amazon.com. Here there are seven reviews – 2 four star, 1 three star and 4 two star. Most people just don’t seem that keen.

Would I buy or pass? PASS

Analysis

I really like the idea of this novel, but to be honest, the book description left me feeling a bit ‘meh’. It’s difficult to explain, but it just seems a little lacklustre, as if whoever wrote the blurb wasn’t that excited by it. It’s formulaic.The price is also a sticking point. Ok, so Macauley is apparently well-regarded. But does that justify more than seven pounds for 150 page book? If it had been cheaper, I‘d have given it a chance, despite the reviews, but, on balance, I’ll pass. I have over forty books on my TBR list and although I’d probably buy almost any book going if I could (although definitely not ‘Professor MILF’ or anything with ‘Cuckold’ in the title unless it was genuinely written hundreds of years ago), with a mountain of books to get through, I’ve got to say ‘no’ to this one.

If you want to join in the Friday Five Challenge pop over to Rosie’s blog to find out more.

#FridayFiveChallenge: ‘The Half-Hanged Man’ by David Pilling

Welcome to my Friday Five Challenge

Rosie Amber’s Friday Five Challenge only takes five minutes, so grab a cuppa and join in!

biscuits

In today’s online shopping age, readers often base their buying decisions from small postage stamp size book covers (Thumb-nails), a quick glance at the book description and the review. How much time do they really spend making that buying decision?

AUTHORS – You often only have seconds to get a reader to buy your book, is your book cover and book bio up to it?

My Friday Five Challenge is this….. IN ONLY FIVE MINUTES….

1) Go to any online book supplier,

2) Randomly choose a category,

3) Speed through the book covers, choose one which has instantly appealed to your eye,

4) Read the book Bio/ Description for this book,

5) If there are reviews, check out a couple,

6) Make an instant decision, would you BUY or PASS?

This week I went straight for historical and then chose medieval as that’s not a time I often choose to read about. After flicking through a few pages I saw this:

half-hanged

Amazon.co.uk   Amazon.com

To be honest the cover of ‘The Half Hanged Man’ by David Pilling isn’t that eye-catching as a thumbnail, and the white block with the title across it looks rather amateur but the title really grabbed me.

The kindle edition is only 99p, $0.99 in the US – bargain!

Book description:

In the year 1395 the famous French chronicler, Jean Froissart, comes to England in search of tales of chivalry and warfare to complete his life’s work, the Great Chronicle of England, France, Spain and Adjoining Countries. Disappointed by the decayed state of England under Richard II, he visits a tavern inside Eastcheap, where a beggar comes to his table and claims to be Thomas Page, the famous soldier of fortune. Thought to be long-dead, Page was otherwise known as the Half-Hanged Man or The Wolf of Burgundy.

Froissart challenges the beggar to recite a convincing version of Page’s life, with money and food as a reward if his tale rings true. So begins a tale that encompasses the Hundred Years War in England and France, the Free Companies as they rampaged throughout Western Christendom, and the deeds and sins of the great mercenary captains of the late 14th century…

Number of pages – 326.

Reviews:

Nine on Amazon.co.uk: 5 five star, 2 four star, 1 three star and 1 two star. On further investigation – the people who like this really like it and the one who doesn’t, really doesn’t.

Twenty-eight on Amazon.com: mostly positive. Those who don’t like it all mainly seem to have a problem with the second half, but the consensus is that the writing itself is good.

Would I buy or pass? This is a tricky one, but the clock’s ticking and I need to make a decision so – BUY

Analysis

Although the cover left me a bit cold, the title is great – really intriguing. I’m not 100% convinced by the book description, so I had a quick look at the ‘Look Inside’ feature and was impressed by the quality of the writing. I like it when a book arouses passion, either for or against, so I think I’ll give this one a go – at only 99p it’s worth the risk.

If you want to join in the Friday Five Challenge pop over to Rosie’s blog to find out more.

Friday Five Challenge: The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon

Welcome to my Friday Five Challenge – a new challenge courtesy of Rosie Amber’s blog.

biscuits

Get yourself a cuppa and give yourself 5 minutes.

In today’s online shopping age, readers often base their buying decisions from small postage stamp size book covers (Thumb-nails), a quick glance at the book description and the review. How much time do they really spend making that buying decision?

AUTHORS – You often only have seconds to get a reader to buy your book, is your book cover and book bio up to it?

My Friday Five Challenge is this….. IN ONLY FIVE MINUTES….

1) Go to any online book supplier,

2) Randomly choose a category,

3) Speed through the book covers, choose one which has instantly appealed to your eye,

4) Read the book Bio/ Description for this book,

5) If there are reviews, check out a couple,

6) Make an instant decision, would you BUY or PASS?

I decided to look at Women’s Fiction on the Amazon Kindle store because I’m not really sure what that actually means! I then selected ‘historical’.

‘The Winter People’ by Jennifer McMahon caught my eye.

winter people

Amazon.co.uk       Amazon.com

The title is great and I like unfussy covers – this one is beautifully done.

Then I saw the price – £7.36! For a Kindle edition! It had better be really good.

Book description:

The New York Times bestselling author of Promise Not to Tell returns with a simmering literary thriller about ghostly secrets, dark choices, and the unbreakable bond between mothers and daughters . . . sometimes too unbreakable.
West Hall, Vermont, has always been a town of strange disappearances and old legends. The most mysterious is that of Sara Harrison Shea, who, in 1908, was found dead in the field behind her house just months after the tragic death of her daughter, Gertie. Now, in present day, nineteen-year-old Ruthie lives in Sara’s farmhouse with her mother, Alice, and her younger sister, Fawn. Alice has always insisted that they live off the grid, a decision that suddenly proves perilous when Ruthie wakes up one morning to find that Alice has vanished without a trace. Searching for clues, she is startled to find a copy of Sara Harrison Shea’s diary hidden beneath the floorboards of her mother’s bedroom. As Ruthie gets sucked deeper into the mystery of Sara’s fate, she discovers that she’s not the only person who’s desperately looking for someone that they’ve lost. But she may be the only one who can stop history from repeating itself.

Number of pages – 336.

Reviews – 6: 1 five star, 4 four star, 1 three star, but it’s only been out since February. The reviews are generally positive but don’t exactly recommend it whole-heartedly.

Would I buy or pass?  (surprisingly) Buy

Analysis

I love the cover of this book and I love the book description (although I don’t set much store by ‘The New York Times bestselling author’ bit as almost everyone seems to be that these days). The story sounds intriguing, spooky and intelligent. The reviews are ok, not great but not terrible. However, reviews are so subjective and, unless all the reviewers are pointing out the same faults, then I prefer to go by my gut feeling. After all, reviews aren’t exactly reliable – I’ve lost count of the amount of terrible books I’ve read with glowing five star reviews. The price is off-putting – it seems way too high for a kindle edition, and the paperback is £11.99. I know that writers should be recompensed fairly and maybe we’ve all got too used to expecting to pay peanuts, but I do think this is far too much. Having said that, I probably spend twice that amount on coffee every week and books are far more important, so I am going to buy this one. But for that money, it had better be really good! Watch this space for my review.

There’ll be another Friday Five Challenge next week – please feel free to join in! Pop along to Rosie’s blog to see her Friday Five Challenge.