Books and yet more to read

The Lending Library Book Cover The Lending Library
Aliza Fogelson
Lake Union Publishing

A heartwarming debut novel about a daydreamer who gives her town, and herself, an amazing gift: a lending library in her sunroom. When the Chatsworth library closes indefinitely, Dodie Fairisle loses her sanctuary. How is a small-town art teacher supposed to cope without the never-ending life advice and enjoyment that books give her? Well, when she's as resourceful and generous as Dodie, she turns her sunroom into her very own little lending library. At first just a hobby, this lit lovers' haven opens up her world in incredible ways. She knows books are powerful, and soon enough they help her forge friendships between her zany neighbors--and attract an exciting new romance. But when the chance to adopt an orphaned child brings Dodie's secret dream of motherhood within reach, everything else suddenly seems less important. Finding herself at a crossroads, Dodie must figure out what it means to live a full, happy life. If only there were a book that could tell her what to do...

A novel written by my soul sister – a bibliophile and eclectic reader. So many new authors and books for me to check out – and for my husband too. From classics to books with recipes in – and I love the idea of a reading group with recipes to try out from the book.

My fantasy bookshop would be run alongside a café and deli. Every week we would choose a recipe from a book – cookery or not just as her reading group did – and showcase it in the café, then sell the ingredients and book in the deli, ready packaged in the correct amounts. The recipes might be exotic or just simple like an apple pie with interesting spicing, it doesn’t matter – everything would support the other elements of the store.

A book group would sample the recipe and discuss the book – and the knitting group would attempt to knit a representation perhaps? But that needs really experienced knitters. There is an artist who does make amazing  knitted foods items.

And there are lots of knitting patterns to make food too.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book – it followed the romance trope but it was the library and descriptions of books and the book-marks that sold it for me. By the way, what did happen to her library when the real one opened?

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Calla and Pixie Land…. Christine talks

Calla Book Cover Calla
(Pixieland Diaries #2)
Christina Bauer
Genres: Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult
Monster House books
Publication date: July 28th 2020

Book 2 of the Pixieland Diaries Big news in Pixieland! The Blue Fairy is sending our fave pixie, Calla, and her crush, Dare, on a mini-quest. Unfortunately it’s an adventure that requires a lot of togetherness. We’re talking tons of touching, people. Blue believes that since Calla and Dare are just friends, this situation shouldn’t be awkward. It’s totally awkward. ***A 30,000+ word diary written by Calla***

(Almost) Turning My Work Into A TV Series – My Story

By Christina Bauer

As part of the launch tour for my new book, CALLA (Pixieland Dairies #2), the lovely folks at the Bouncing Tigger Reads asked me to share my experience with turning my work into a TV series. Here goes!

Getting “The Call”

I’ve had a number of folks reach out to me about turning my stuff into a movie or TV show. The closest I got was when a producer wanted to turn my novels, The Fairy Tales of the Magicorum, into a streaming series. The producers and I had some calls, we met for lunch, and then they asked me to write a script on spec (which means for free.) I have no track record in Hollywood, so that’s what I did.

Sales Process

Before becoming a full-time author, I worked in sales and marketing in many different industries. No matter what the area, it all comes down to a matter of numbers. Only a small percentage of opportunities turn into anything. So I didn’t want to get too cranked up about this. Still, the fact that I was asked for a script was a good sign. Also, we got into some details, too. The producer talked about my joining the writing team if the series got picked up. So I started to do some research.

And I fxxking panicked.

What Worried Me

One. Writing TEAM. TEAM!!! That means creating in committee. I hate this.

Two. Right now, I have control over my business. When I want to write a book, I just do it. When you’re a writer in Hollywood, you’re dependent on a ton of other people for your work to reach the public. And you must shepherd your writing through lots of edits that you (let’s face it) probably don’t agree with.

Three. You can make a lot of money. This shouldn’t seem like a negative, but it kind of is. The cash distracts from items number one and two. I’m a self sufficient writer. I pay my bills and run my own show. What do I really get out of more money and hassle? How much is enough?

Four. If I lose control over my work, I could start to suck. Not good.

Overall, I wasn’t crying in my soup when the producer told me that the streaming service took a pass. I sighed, filed the script in a folder deep in my MacBook, and focused on my next novel. Hope my experience helps to illuminate what you may (or may not) want to do with your own writing!


Christina Bauer knows how to tell stories about kick-ass women. In her best selling Angelbound series, the heroine is a part-demon girl who loves to fight in Purgatory’s Arena and falls in love with a part-angel prince. This young adult best seller has driven more than 500,000 ebook downloads and 9,000 reviews on Goodreads and retailers. The first three books in the series are now available as audiobooks on Audible and iTunes.

Bauer has also told the story of the Women’s March on Washington by leading PR efforts for the Massachusetts Chapter. Her pre-event press release—the only one sent out on a major wire service—resulted in more than 19,000 global impressions and redistribution by over 350 different media entities including the Associated Press. 

Christina graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School with BA’s in English along with Television, Radio, and Film Production. She lives in Newton, MA with her husband, son, and semi-insane golden retriever, Ruby.

Stalk Christina On Social Media – She Loves It!

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Hard? Or Easy? You Choose.

Hard Knox
(Perfect Stats, #2)
Amber Malloy
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication date: June 16th 2020

Superstar Gavin Knox wins at everything. However, once he scores the girl of his dreams, he’s suddenly in danger of losing the one thing he has always needed. Before she can slip through his fingers, he offers her a deal she can’t refuse—marry him for Canadian citizenship, which will protect her, and after five years, they can divorce. Knox is positive that she will fall head over heels in love with him, but it doesn’t happen. After six years of marriage, two playoff titles and a third on the way, Knox is forced to contend with a successful wife almost more famous than he is. 

Determined to get exactly what he wants, which includes having Remy and a family, he devises a stupid scheme that puts everything he’s worked so hard for in jeopardy..

Everything comes easy to quarterback Gavin Knox—women, football, even money. However, the only thing he truly wants but can’t win is the beauty of his dreams, Remy Bell.

A simple favor to save the girl turns into the quarterback losing his heart.

As beautiful as she is fun, Remy Bell has only one problem—a psychotic killer with political power wants her dead. Always a ‘two steps ahead’ type of gal, she plans to outrun the maniac. Marriage and a sweet life in the football star’s hometown in Canada would give her the cover she needs, but Remy doesn’t stick around long enough to find out. She travels all over the world, photographing the most beautiful and devastating events, but her now-husband’s tabloid activities lead her to the one place she should avoid…back home.


I began to find Remy’s double life and her secrets just too annoying in the end to give this book he final star it should have had.

The general trope of the football star and the not-groupie wife worked for me, for a while, but he came across as ‘thick’ despite the degree – in that he knew her problem and yet hadn’t set up the stashes of cash and IDs for her, that any good spy/terrorist etc has. ok, maybe bank accounts would not work, but why was she taking money out of her accounts and not his? He should have set up boltholes all over Canada, apart from his family farmhouse, and other French speaking countries friendly to Canada! and where were the disguises? The wigs?

So for me, this story failed on the plot but not on the writing style. I liked the style but …





Amber Malloy dreamed of being a double agent but couldn’t pass the psyche evaluation. Crushed by despair that she couldn’t legally shoot things, Amber pursued her second career choice as pastry chef. When she’s not writing or whipping up a mean Snickers Cheesecake, she occasionally spies on her sommelier. Amber is convinced he’s faking his French accent.

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Not so much a holiday…

A Goan Holiday: Contemporary Fiction With A Romantic Bent. Book Cover A Goan Holiday: Contemporary Fiction With A Romantic Bent.
Anitha Perinchery
Fiction, Contemporary Romance
Anitha Perinchery
November 25, 2019

Have you ever looked through faded, old photographs and wondered what if? Has your heart ever brought to you the memory of a lost love, the bittersweet remembrances of a college romance? Have you even once yearned to return to a time less complicated? A Goan Holiday is that story of second chances. Meet Rishi, Joe, and Anjali. There are other friends in their group--a total of seven. The gang met as medical students in Delhi. The whole universe was ahead of them until one terrible week in November 2008 changed everything. One of them disappeared, leaving the others confused and devastated. Eleven years later, they meet again by chance in Goa. Will Joe finally tell them what happened to make him walk away? Will Rishi discover who's blackmailing him over a mistake from so long ago? Will Anjali find the strength to be the person she wants and not what's expected of her? Read A Goan Holiday to find out. _________________________________________ Mysterious Exes, Nosy Neighbours, the Cops at Her Door, and a Job She Never Asked For... Anjali"s Life Is One Hot Mess. From the INTERPOL database: Target 1: Anjali Joshi. Doctor; manages a rundown charity clinic in a Goan town which may or may not be a front for criminal operations. Target 2: Rishabh Rastogi, the sizzling ex-husband whose name somehow keeps popping up in connection with the investigation into the clinic. Target 3: Joe D'Acosta, the brooding former boyfriend who resurfaces after vanishing without a trace eleven years ago following a visit to the clinic. Complication: Ha! As in just one complication? Let's start with the fact both the exes want Anjali back. Then, there's the nosy neighbour who thinks Anjali is keeping a male harem and is trying to drive her out of town. Operation: (going down the drain... kidding... maybe...) A Goan Holiday.

This is a love story with a difference – and what a difference. Yes we have the usual rich girl meets poor boy – there are problems – they get separated – she gets married to someone else – and then he comes back no longer poor, but there it stops. And there is no holiday involved – so title is weird.

In between we have all the issues that India faces culturally, socially and economically. Not to mention marriage between people of different races and religions and sexuality.

This book covers all the above, plus! And the plus is what makes this story stand out – the plus being organ smuggling – although we don’t know that at the start – corruption of politicians, police and medical staff at all levels.

We move across cultures as we go from Goa – just before and after the Portuguese leave their colony and the inter-racial and inter-religions marriages that led to, including skin colour – remembering that pale is ‘better’, and Goa’s reincarnation as a hippie destination for free love and drugs; to Mumbai which is not quite as liberal but is rich and urbane; to Delhi, which is neither rich nor urbane but very conservative in its values and mores. Delhi being the place where we recently heard of the terrible case where a girl on a bus was gang raped – girls on their own we/a/re seen as fair game – and we have that reflected here in the story with other women believing that a woman living alone, and having male visitors, is clearly running a brothel! Little things like this enhance the truth of the culture clashes between older India and modern India.

India has many well educated women – and many Indian women here in the UK keep on taking degrees as, was confided to me once, their bridal value increases with a degree – and also it puts off the wedding! Which is still often arranged.

I remember the bombing in Mumbai well. The Taj hotel that was bombed was one I had stayed at the previous year and a colleague of mine was caught up in the incident – he got shot but the bullet passed vital organs as it was deflected by his wife’s glasses case he had gone back to get!

This is a true saga of India and its wide ranging problems that only got richer as the story progressed. So many issues covered in one book – almost too many but so well woven into the storyline that until you pondered the story you almost didn’t realise they had been addressed. However, a little editing of some sections would have helped as the book is long – (and for some readers too long), and it would have been sharper in its textual surfacing and elucidation.

If you’ve been to India you will recognise the things you have encountered, if you haven’t, you will be educated.

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Grimy Manchester and Murder

Where the Innocent Die Book Cover Where the Innocent Die
DI Ridpath Book Four
M J Lee
March 23, 2020

Nowhere is safe. No one can be trusted. A bloodied body is found in a Manchester Immigrant Removal Centre. The investigating officer and the pathologist seem certain: a suicide. But for DI Ridpath something doesn’t add up. As the evidence starts to unravel, and with few leads, the pressure is on to find answers before the Inquest is closed. Caught between the police, the coroner and a system that doesn’t care, Ridpath isn’t making any friends. And at the centre of the case Ridpath will find a heart of darkness. Innocent people are suffering. How many more will die before Ridpath discovers the truth? The fourth instalment of the unputdownable DI Ridpath series is perfect fans of Mark Billingham and Patricia Gibney.

So this is Detective Ridpath again in the Coroner’s Office and there is a death in a Detainee Centre and he is asked to investigate it and confirm the findings as the Inquest was due – the parents had flown over from China to take their daughter’s body home. The Coroner did not want to postpone the inquest because of this.

The pathologist had identified the death as suicide but there was one factor that confused Ridpath. Despite all the doors to the rooms being locked by 9.15pm and the inmates being unable to unlock them, the girl’s door was unlocked – which was why her death had been discovered in the wee hours of the morning as the ‘officer’ made his rounds. And then the camera outside her room had been disabled – as had 5 others in the facility.

 Ridpath has to work fast to discover the truth of the death which turns out, as one could expect, to be rather more complicated than the initial findings.

The story proceeds – and Manchester is portrayed in its grimy, grey self accurately – and yes, people retiring wanted to get away to somewhere warmer – it drove our daughter, once she had lived there a few months, to Australia!

 I like these stories and hope Ridpath stays with the Coroner’s Office as it makes a definite change of storyline from the usual major incident squads.

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