This is the last in my book choices for 2020. I could have included a whole lot more, as I enjoyed many amazing stories this year. But I also have to admit I’ve also battled through some really badly written books in the last 12 months. It can often be easy to tell those that are traditionally published, most are slick, fast moving and clever. However, and I’m not the only one who has remarked on this, several of the older long-time writers, often co-authoring are not quite as attention-holding as their earlier books. Maybe writers have a sell-by-date and become too formulaic and too repetitive? Might make for an interesting discussion.

On with my final choice.  

The Husband’s Secret   by Liane Moriarty

This is a bestseller and despite the easy read, with the everyday activities of three housewives – brought back memories – there is an underlying problem which permeates the book. I can see why it has been so popular, although I might not have even been aware of it except it was on my Book Club list. I enjoyed it and shall look for more by Moriarty, especially as the genre I’m currently writing is also along similar lines.

Exits and Entrances   by Leslie Hayes

If you are looking for a good quality, thought-provoking literary book to read you won’t go far wrong with any of Leslie Hayes’ works. They are so well written, flow beautifully and tell a story that moves along at a satisfying pace. I’ve enjoyed all this author’s books and this one is the first in a trilogy and I had to buy the next two immediately. Three schoolgirls whose friendship lasts decades, reminded me of the world events of the time, and mirrored the changing relationships we have all experienced as events and lifestyles pull us farther apart and yet bring us closer together.

Red Notice    by Bill Browder

A non fiction book that blew my mind. Bill Browder was a hedge fund manager who set up business in Russia in the early days as the oligarchs were beginning to flex their muscles. The behind the scenes of the trading and back handing of the movers and shakers of the time were vividly brought to life, all fact from Browder’s point of view. The story takes us up to present times, and if you read this book, and I highly recommend it, you will never think of Russia or it’s government in quite the same way ever again.

I hope you will find some great reading among my top choices and will have lots of time to bury into a good book over the festive season. I have no idea what is currently PC or woke but I’m wishing all my readers a Merry Christmas, or celebration in your faith, plus a peaceful New Year and here’s hoping that 2021 will be a happy new beginning for all of us.

Stay safe, keep distance and remain kind and loving.


Oh, forgot my links AGAIN!!! You may even like one of my books, or, check out my website and sign up for my newsletter as each month there are books to win and free books to grab.

Happy Hallmark Covid Christmas–2020 style #humor #pandemic

Loved this. Trust Barb to nail it.

Barb Taub

Baby it’s covid outside…

I’ve made my Covid-Christmas To-Do list and checked it twice.

  1. Covid-correct the words to my favorite holiday songs.
  2. Cyber-stalk purely by chance happen to find on social media a person I went out with briefly in high school (and congratulate myself because the unfortunate soul he ended up with is obviously less intelligentsuccessfulcutecoolfunnygood sense of humor tall than me).
  3. Tell the grandkids Santa is self-isolating because at age 1750 he’s been designated as vulnerable.
  4. Set up our ironic-elf-on-the-shelf-hoarding-loo-rolls scene.

There’s only one thing left to do.

Christmas movies!

Hmmm… Notice any patterns to this ACTUAL recommended shows screenshot? You’re absolutely right. No masks.

Now I know it would be hard to make a typical Hallmark Christmas movie during lockdown. But imagine if they did…

My Secret Christmas Prince Saves The Christmas Tree Farm During the Pandemic

Holly-Mary-Eve-Joy is a successful kickass…

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Welcome to the third in my best books series.  

I’m very disappointed that I am not able yet, to make this post look exciting and artistic. I’ve still not found my way around the new WordPress, plus the geeks that be have also changed Facebook, my g.mail, my Mailchimp, and any other programmes I had downloaded. How they expect little non-techie people like me to write, publish, market, and cook and clean the house and read wonderful books is quite beyond me! On with the next three amazing books.

MOONSHADOW   by Joy Lynn Goddard 

I can do no better than repeat what I put in my review under the heading “WRITTEN WITH LOVE”.

I was curious about this book as I remembered my visit to a First Nation reservation when I went to Canada. Not since watching the film ‘Rabbit-Proof Fences’ have I been so moved. Only now the truth is spreading across the globe of the indignities fostered on young children by groups that decided how they should live and how they should behave. This book, tells in fiction, the horrors of the residential schools where First Nation children were sent to ‘civilize’ them. It should be prescribed reading in every school, and not just in Canada. I should also mention that the characters leap off the page, the settings are beautifully described, the story kept me on the edge of my seat and the words flowed seamlessly from beginning to end. A book I can highly recommend. Quite brilliant. 

HIGH RISK      by Adrian O’Donnell

I have a sneaky curiosity about jails and what goes on behind those high walls.

The beginning of this book is quite violent and I wondered if I was going to enjoy it. Having read on a little I discovered it was one of those ‘ignore the dirty dishes in the sink’ books. I was riveted to my Kindle and swiped the screen as fast as I could. It’s easy to tell the author worked in the prison system and he found that delicate balance between realism and excitement without overstepping the boundaries. Great book I shall be buying the next one the moment it comes out.

The Chainmaker’s Daughter   by Rebecca Brynn

I’m not sure if I should choose this book over the second in the series, The Chainmaker’s Wife, as both are really excellent. There was so much I didn’t know about the deprivations in the Black Country (the industrial English Midlands area) and what I learned shocked me. Any fight for the emancipation of women in whatever form has my vote. I became very involved with the characters and although it is a fictional story, it includes a lot of historically accurate information.  I loved both books.

One more post to go. As before, here are the links to my own books, and no, I can’t find a way to make them look neat and tidy – sorry!

Until next time, do take care and thank you for reading.



Welcome to part 2 of the books I’ve loved this past year. Unfortunately, you will not find any erotica, fantasy, sci-fi or children’s books in my list as these are not genres I typically enjoy. With the lockdown, which was very strict in Spain, I had time to write and publish 2 books and a novella and read – and I read a lot – so it was difficult to choose only 12 of my favourites.

YOU BENEATH YOUR SKIN  by  Damyanti Biswas

I downloaded this book from a promo but it wasn’t until I began reading it, I discovered it was set in Delhi. We had landed in Delhi only the day before. I was entranced by the author’s accurate descriptions of the city and the insight she gave into the Indian family in the story (not so surprising, although I believe she lives in Singapore now). It’s a meeting of two worlds, as the main character returns to India after living in the US and the contrasts in ideas, expectations and lifestyle are highlighted. I loved this book, it entertained me, educated me and kept me turning the pages long after my bedtime. I did hear that it has been picked up for a film option.

FATE IS A HUNTER    by Susan Wuthrich

I really enjoyed this book. An intriguing story, South African scenes that are familiar and characters I cared about. A scenario that might happen to any ordinary mother and wife which turns her life upside down. What can you do when your estranged husband takes your children out for the day and does not return them? And what if you found out everything he had ever told you was a lie?  It had me asking questions all the way through. Recommended.

METROPOLIS 1 & 2   by Ellie Midwood

I couldn’t decide between books 1 & 2 so I’m including both. This author has established herself as a name in historical fiction set during World War II. This book is set in Berlin in the years between the two World Wars, the background is photography and film making. I loved the characters, the descriptions and the accurate portrayal of movie production. It shows how in the last days of the bohemian lifestyle in the doomed city, it was impossible to stay neutral. I read both books in this series one after the other, which is unusual for me.

I’m quite hopeless at marketing as I much prefer to shout out about other authors. But, just in case you’d like to check my scribbles, here are the links. I’ve got a smart new web site and all my books, memoirs, action adventure and psychological thrillers are there and on my Amazon author page.

Stay safe and take care



My Goodreads list will tell you I have not met my challenge this year, but I have exceeded it and read well over 100 books. Those I review for Readers Favorite are not listed there and I have also beta and alpha read more books than I can remember.

The list below includes the first three books of those I’ve enjoyed and remembered long after I have read them – because they had an impact on me. They educated me, entertained me, shocked me, while some made me laugh and others made me cry. All of them were memorable for one reason or another.

I’m publishing the list in no particular order, other than when I read them. I hope you take a moment to explore a few and share my love of books. At the age of 7 I was threatened with eye surgery from all the hours I spent under the bedclothes reading with a torch. But I never had any regrets!

HOW DARE THE BIRDS SING – by Marina Osipova


Ken Follett is one of my favourite authors and his earlier books are the best. This one was published in Kindle in 2008, and is set in late 19th century England. The story had me glued to the pages as a drowning of a young lad at a public (ie expensive private) school has terrible repercussions that continue for years. I also loved the peep behind the scenes of the banking world. I also enjoyed the way he tied up all the threads in the ending.  

FALSE IMPRESSION   by Jeffrey Archer

Another of my favourite authors of all time. Again, this book has been out for well over a decade but it is as fresh as the day it was published. It combines the 9/11 disaster with the art world as Anna Petrescu escapes across the world to uncover a cruel murder. Another page turner when the dishes pile up in the sink. It kept me guessing and reaffirmed my love of the books this author has written. He is a master of his craft.

These are the first three. Look out for more in a day or so.

In case you’d like to check out my books, these are the links to my Amazon author page, and my brand new web page. Several of my books have been translated into Spanish and Portuguese and a couple into Mandarin!

Stay safe and take care


For all the ladies to remember and men to understand

Such true words.

Phoenix Rainez

When God created woman he was working late on the 6th day…….
An angel came by and asked.” Why spend so much time on her?”
The lord answered. “Have you seen all the specifications I have to meet to shape her?”
She must function on all kinds of situations,
She must be able to embrace several kids at the same time,
Have a hug that can heal anything from a bruised knee to a broken heart,
She must do all this with only two hands,”She cures herself when sick and can work 18 hours a day”
THE ANGEL was impressed “Just two hands…..impossible!
And this is the standard model?”
The Angel came closer and touched the woman
“But you have made her so soft, Lord”.
“She is soft”, said the Lord,
“But I have made her strong. You can’t imagine what she can endure and overcome.”
“Can she think?” The…

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November Self-Promotion Party!

I think this is a blog share, but lots of interesting books to check out.

charles french words reading and writing

Hello to all the writers out there and reading this blog!

It is well into the month of November, so it is time for a shameless self-promotion party; please do not be shy about your work.

Writers need to be their own best publicists, and we should also help each other!

Let the world know about your book(s)!

Promote them as much as you can!

Shout to the world about your writing!

Tell us about your book(s), and leave an image and a link if you can.

Here is my shameless self-promotion: my latest nonfiction book can help writers who have issues with finishing first drafts of their books. If that is you, I offer direct, practical advice on how to Get The Draft Done! Helping Writers Finish Their First Draft by Charles F. French.

In order for as many people to see your work as possible, please Tweet, and…

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My guest this week is an author who I’ve been online friends with for like ages – possibly one of the first I met when I started on social media. Like me she has written in a variety of genres – some may surprise you. But over to Sarah to tell her own story.

“Aunt Sarah, why  won’t Mum let me read your books?” Thanks, Sis… “they’re too sexy”. You can hear the next question! “The characters do things they shouldn’t.” Does my niece ask what sort of things? Nothing so simple… relatively. “How will I know what I shouldn’t do?” “Err…” Thankfully, the conversation was interrupted by her brother, but it left me thinking. Youngsters don’t respond well to “thou shalt not”, doing whatever to find out for themselves why not, but could I leave sizzling-hot sex out and feature a young teenager facing problems?

(I suspect this earlier reference was to Sarah’s series featuring rock stars and the behind the scenes behaviour they get up to! You can find out in the Royal Family Saga – So, Sarah’s next series is very suitable for younger readers.)

Richard appeared on the scene in his own awful mess. Made redundant by a bank closure, and consequently poorer, his fiancée ditches him. His ex-wife dumps fourteen-year-old Maria on his doorstep. Oops! A girl trusting a strange man… she has no choice, though she doubts he wants her and runs away several times.

Meanwhile, my huge Weimaraner fusses, yet again, because she thought she was alone. They are a clingy breed and should be taught from puppies to be left in a comfy pen for gradually extended periods. She was eight when I got her from a rescue centre and a fully-fledged bag of nerves plus the shock of rejection. Enter stage left, Ben the Jack Russell, with all my dog’s insecurities and a few more from past rescue dogs.

So, Three Against the World was conceived and launched with my niece as Maria, both on the cover and acting in a short promotional video.

While she is heading towards sixteen and reading the book, I completed a trilogy entitled “Richard and Maria”.

Two Face the World tackles the problems that beset a couple separated by twenty-one years. Will enemies from the past draw them closer or split them apart?

One Alone in the World features their daughter, Eleanor, at seven, as a rebellious teenager, and grown-up and in love. Ben couldn’t live forever, but Eleanor has Annie. Another dog based on one of my rescues.

Sarah’s books would not be complete without the animals, something very close to her heart,

Sadly, being valuable pedigree bitches like these two is no guarantee of a permanent home, any more than some humans can be trusted not to put the kudos of “a good bag” of birds or the head of an endangered tiger before the creatures that should live safely in the wild. All royalties from my books go to support animal welfare worldwide.

That is something so special about Sarah’s books that every single sale goes to help animals.

All books on promotion for only $/£ 0.99 on the following dates. Free Saturday, November 14th     99 cents Thursday, November 12th – Wednesday 18th  Ditto

Thank you so much Sarah for being my guest this week.

(Apologies for the untidy presentation, I’m still getting to grips – or rather not getting to grips – with the new format, but always happy to promote other authors.

Is it just me…?

Food for thought. Do you agree?

Maxpower's Blog

If you’ve ever been to Ireland and somehow wound your way to the beautiful part of Ireland that is county Kerry, you may have wandered into the lovely little town of Dingle. If you did, then you will of course be familiar with Fungie.  For the unfamiliar, Fungie is a dolphin that has been swimming around the waters of Dingle for the past thirty odd years and a whole tourist industry has, in typical rural Ireland fashion, been developed around him. He has it would appear, long outlived your average bottlenose dolphin.

You can go out in any number of boats to photograph Fungie as he swims alongside, or indeed if you are so inclined and lucky enough, you can get a chance to swim with him. This week, as if tourism isn’t already on its knees due to Covid-19, Fungie has disappeared! So important is he to the local…

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Power Politics and Emptying an Entire Dog out of my Vacuum Cleaner.

Reblogged on Lucinda E Clarke

Rebecca Bryn

I’ve just typed THE END to my latest novel, The Chainmaker’s Wife – a sequel to The Chainmakers’ Daughter. There’s still a lot of work to be done applying my latest research findings, editing, beta reading, etc, but I hope to be able to publish it before Christmas.

I was asked to write this sequel by a reader who wanted to know what happened to Jack and Rosie after the landmark strike for a minimum wage by women chainmakers in 1910. What happened to them, he wanted to know from 1910 to the end of the First World War.

So I obliged. Had I known the difficulty of the research, I might have baulked at the task, but fortunately, ignorance is bliss, and I jumped in with both feet. Despite the research constantly contradicting itself and having to dig deeper and deeper, it’s been the fastest book I’ve ever written…

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