• Blog

    Our Five Favourite Reads – A Writer’s Dozen blog hop


    Our Five Favourite Reads
    Time for our quarterly reading wrap-up
    Welcome to the quarterly recap of what the members of the Writers Dozen have been reading. We’re an eclectic bunch which will be reflected in our reading choices. I hope between us we point you to some good new reads.

    Dr Strange Beard – Penny Reid
    Dr Strange Beard - Cover
    I’m a big fan of Penny Reid. Her books are automatic reads for me. If you’ve not read her books they’re smart romances with quirky and complex characters. I’m half-way through this novel which just came out this week. If you’ve not read any of her books I suggest you start with her Knitting in the City series. I don’t knit, and I don’t find men with beards attractive but I enjoy hanging with her knitting and bearded characters so that probably tells you how well they’re written.

    The men in these books are kind of brooding and complicated so if that’s your thing jump on in.

    Also, don’t you love these covers? They’re just terrifically quirky and different.

    Girl Wash Your Face – Rachel Hollis
    Girl Wash Your Face - Cover
    I’m a big fan of a self-help book. (In fact more than one person has suggested I write one – as I’ve mentioned here on my blog I’m a lot of people’s go to girl and they feel my advice warrants writing down, clearly I haven’t agreed up to this point). I follow Rachel Hollis on social media and this book had a lt of hype so as I was off on a long plane flight I downloaded it and read it on the plane. I’m older than the author and in a different place in my life so I liked this book but bits of it were definitely more apt for younger moms. Having said that if I’d read this book even five years ago I would have loved it and I definitely felt inspired after reading it. There were some good pearls of advice and it was also a reminder to me that I was doing a few things right which is never a bad thing. So if you need a bit of a kick in the pants or a razz up this is a good read. (Note:There’s also a strong Christian element which isn’t really my thing – I know the author thinks she’s toning that down but if you’re not religious it is still quite a dominant theme).

    The Blue Moon Series – Lucy Score
    Blue Moon Series - No More Secrets - Cover
    I struggled to find five books this time because I read a lot of series. I’m what’s known in the business as a whale reader – once you hook me I’m the ultimate big fish because I then read all your books. I’ve done this with two or three authors this year already which means I have read ALL their books. If they have twenty books then yes I have read all of them. I stumbled upon Lucy Score’s Blue Moon Series and did just that. If you like small town romance then you’ll love this series set in a hippie town a few hours from New York, focused initially around a family of brothers. I’ve also read her other books (some of them are considerably more steamy) but this is the series I would recommend.

    (I nearly didn’t read this series because of the cover – the main character is a farmer and the cover seems to have little relevance to the story in my opinion).

    TinFoil Heart – Daisy Prescott
    Tinfoil Heart - Cover
    Daisy Prescott is another author who I’ve devoured the back Iist of in the last few months. I read her first novel back when it released and then I lost her. I was happy to rediscover her a month or so ago.
    I liked all her books but I’m recommend TinFoil Heart because it’s her latest and a stand-alone.

    This is a quirky stand alone about a character who is trying to find her long lost father, her late mother believed he was abducted by aliens, but really she’s trying to find herself and where she belongs.



    Called Up – Jen Doyle
    Called Up - Cover
    As you know I’ve recently started writing a sports romance series. There’s not much tennis romance out there but baseball romance is big in the US. I like my sports romance light on the sports and heavy on the romance. You don’t have to be a baseball fan to enjoy Jen Doyle’s Called Up. It is the first in a series but they’re stand alone stories so you don’t have to read them in order. This is sweeter romance, more like what I write so if you like my books this will likely be a good fit for you.




    To see what the other members of the Writers Dozen have been reading follow these links:
    Laura Boon-Russell
    Rae Cairns
    Pamela Cook
    Terri Green

  • Blog

    Our Five Favourite Reads – A Writer’s Dozen blog hop


    Our Five Favourite Reads - Writers Dozen Banner
    Welcome to The Writers’ Dozen Top 5 Reads Blog Hop. I’ve been a member of this fabulous writing group for 14 years. We’re an eclectic bunch of writers penning novels across a diverse range of genres including crime, women’s fiction, rural romance, romantic comedy, chic lit, historical fiction, literary fiction and short stories. This year we’ve decided to join forces and do some blog hops so readers can see what we’re all about, starting with our Top 5 Reads (so far) for 2018.

    When we were on a writing retreat in January my writers group and I decided to share your favourite books for 2018 so far, we’ll be doing a quarterly blog post so make sure you come back to see what else.

    We’d love to hear about what books you’ve been enjoying so don’t forget to leave your comments and recommendations.


    My five favourite reads

    Two Minute Moves
    1. Two Minute Exercises
    ​I am aware this is not fiction but this book has been amazing for me. I sit at my day job, I sit to write and I have a bad neck so I need to move but I’m time poor. I’ve been doing these at work, between writing sessions and before and after work. I don’t look like a super-model but I feel better for doing them. There is even a set of 2 minute exercises you can do while reading in bed. What’s not to love?

    I’ve done quite a few of the exercises and if I do two or three sets a day I definitely do feel better. I haven’t tried any of the recipes or meditations yet but I will I promise.


    Diamonds and Dirt Roads2. Diamonds and Dirt Roads by Erin Nicholas
    I’m a big Erin Nicholas fan, I especially love her Sapphire Falls series and I think at this point I’ve read most of her romance books. This is the first book in a new series and so naturally I had to give it a go. I really enjoyed it while I was reading it and I will definitely read the next book in the series. It’s not a book that stayed with me, I haven’t thought a lot about it or the characters – three billionaire sisters who must all move to a small-town and fulfill the terms of their father’s will in order for any or them to inherit – but I read it in one sitting staying up until well after midnight to do so which makes it a good book in my eyes.


    Complicated3. Complicated, Kristin Ashley
    The first thing I loved about this book was the cover. I hadn’t read anything by this author before. I was heading off for a few days on a boat and I needed to load my kindle. I like to read romantic comedy but now every romance adds this tag, whether its funny or not, and they range from inspirational to erotica so its hard to find what you want as a reader (and get found as an author). So a cover that didn’t have a bare chested man drew my attention. (Side not these covers seem to be a new direction for the author – I would never have even glanced at her old ones so that’s always interesting to me) Now there bits of this book I didn’t love (there’s a lot of sex and I’s not behind closed doors so be warned) but I really liked the characters and I liked it enough to download another of her books.




    Jamie Oliver 5 Ingredients4. 5 Ingredient Meals Jamie Oliver
    I’m not going to lie I watch cooking shows to relax. I’m a pretty good cook and I find cooking to be both meditative and creative. (Not every night by the way, I am also very happy when my husband makes dinner). We also made a decision about five years ago that we wouldn’t eat take-out so I like to have a few quick and easy meals up my sleeve. My daughter gave me this book for Christmas because she knew I wanted it. I’ve made a few things already and I don’t always stick to the recipe because sometimes you just want something extra but the few things we’ve made have been tasty and with the day job and the writing fast food is good food.


    Mastering Amazon Ads5. Mastering Amazon Ads by Brian D Meeks
    I’ve been in this writing business for a while now and if anything tips me over the edge it won’t be the deadlines or the story ideas of writers block, it will be all the technology I need to master to promote my books. Amazon advertising is the latest thing I’m working to get my mind around and this book is not for creative types like me. At work I joke with my colleagues that I’d rather we put our plans in mind maps and Venn diagrams not excel spreadsheets and this book is very data driven so we’re not in my comfort zone here. However, at the half way point I’m finding it super helpful so I will persist because everyone who has read it says it is a game changer.


    Want to see what the other members of the Writer’s Dozen have been reading? Stop by their blogs.

    Laura Boon
    Rae Cairns
    Pamela Cook
    ​Terri Green
    Angella Whtton

    Let me know what your favourite reads are?