Twitter and Facebook

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Twitter for Writers by Rayne Hall

Essential Reading for Twitter Users                                       My Rating5 out of 5
(Writers and non-Writers)

This books shows you how to get the best out of Twitter, with recommendations on what to do and what not to do, plus useful time saving hints.

Chapters are divided into easy to use sections, such as "The Basics"and "Advanced Strategies".  There is plenty of space within the pages to jot down notes, and the typeface is quite large which makes it very user-friendly, especially if you are using it as a guide whilst implementing the suggestions online. 

NB:   A marker pen is essential, if reading a paper format of this book, to highlight all the useful information that you will want to refer to again.  There is a lot of it!   There is no index at the back (though there is a useful glossary of terms).

Using Twitter over the last 5 months has significantly increased my blog viewings, ,  but I needed  some better understanding of how Twitter really works.  I am not a "Writer", but nearly every chapter in this book is full of information and suggestions  which I have found really relevant and useful to me - sites to help speed up the Tweeting process, how to spot fake Twitter accounts, staying safe and so much more is all included.  There are a couple of chapters specific to book writers which I skipped.    

In the week since I have bought this book I have taken up loads of Rayne Hall's suggestions, and now have a list of others great ideas to look into.  Fantastic!  Thank you Rayne. 

I strongly recommend this book if you are a Twitter user, or thinking of using Twitter (and the price is fantastic!).  I wish I had read it before now.  Come and say hello to me on Twitter @EmmabBooks

Friday, 17 June 2016

Fire in My Eyes by Brad Snyder and Tom Sileo

(I received the Kindle version of this book, free of charge, from Netgalley in return for an honest independent review.)

Overcoming adversity and living life to the full                My rating:  5 out of 5
Publication Date 9 August 2016

This motivational memoir is about Brad Snyder's life from approximately 5 years old through to his 30s, during which time he experienced enormous life changing events, including losing his eyesight.

The US Naval Academy and explosives disarming training was riveting. The emotions of being out in Iraq and Afghanistan really showed through.  The narrative - all from Brad's perspective - focuses on what he feels is important (his family features often), so does not dwell on the downbeat parts of his life, but rather uses them as a time of learning to enable him to move on.  There are times of heart racing drama, times of deep sorrow as friends and team members are lost and poignant moments that brought tears to my eyes. 

The first half of the book follows Brad's fascinating life before the moment when he loses his eyesight in an explosion.  The second half is about getting to grips with being blind, like how to do the washing up, and working out a strategy to overcome these problems instead of just getting frustrated and despondent about them.  The books takes the reader up to Brad's hopes of competing in Rio de Janeiro in the 2016 Paralympics. 

The message of the book (to my mind) is about learning to live with what you have, not what you don't have, and Brad uses his life experiences to illustrate this.  This is not a book about how awful life can be, but about how to overcome life's problems one tiny step at a time.

At the end of the book Brad sums up his philosophy on life.  This is a section I shall read again and again to put my world back into perspective,  and learn from his motivational attitude. 

Buy this book, immerse yourself in the story, and wonder at the moral and mental strength of Brad.  Then re-read it.

Thank you Brad (and Tom) for your wonderful story.  

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Ruby Flynn by Nadine Dorries

(Book received from, and review written for,
Drama and secrets in Ireland and Liverpool                My rating:  5 out of 5

Set mainly near Doohoma Head, County Mayo, but also with visits to Liverpool, this wonderful story sweeps the reader through Ruby Flynn's early life in the 1950s.

Ruby Flynn is a feisty (for her time) girl who,  following the loss of her family, is brought up in a convent, and then sent off to a service role at the local castle.  This engaging story follows her through her making of friends (and a few enemies) at the convent, and how she makes a pact with those friends that one day they will be free to live as they want to in their beautiful Ireland.   In the meantime she is sent to work at the castle, where she makes some shocking revelations, wonders at the story behind the ancient curse and finds new friends and foes. 

Set mostly in rural Ireland, where the rainy days are as integral part of this story as the seemingly fewer beautiful sunny days, most of the transport is by horse and cart, with the occasional motor vehicle and bicycle - and this speed of transport is also repeated in the story.  There are many wonderful chapters at the pace and loveliness of the horse and cart.  Sometimes there is the drama of the motor car speed, and then there is the exhilaration of a  bicycle flying through the beautiful Irish scenery.

Each chapter ends neatly (no cliff hangers here), so this book is perfect for reading in short chunks.  However within the chapters treachery and secrets abound with loyalty, love and loss also playing their parts.  The poverty of rural Ireland at this time is well described, together with the friendliness of the people and their willingness to share and help each other - whilst telling a story or two. 

In contrast to the life and surroundings of the castle are the chapters based in Liverpool, where the Lord of the castle is starting up his shipping business.  The hustle, bustle and excitement of Liverpool in the 1950s is great reading, and the differences and similarities of his two worlds (life at the castle and in Liverpool) make great reading, and  give plenty to think about if you are that sort of reader.   Lots of information about both locations to interest any reader.

For me this was a book written in the style of the Bronte sisters, but with a modern approach.  I was swept away into the story from the start, and absolutely loved every moment of it. 

Apart from one mild sex scene near the end, there is no sex, violence or bad language.  Just wonderful page-turning story. 

Buy it, read it and keep it on your bookshelves for ever!

Friday, 3 June 2016

A Single Step by Georgia Rose

Romance and Mystery                                                                  My rating:  4 out of 5

Emma Grayson finds a job advert mysteriously left in her letterbox, and after an interview is offered  what seems to be the perfect job of looking after the stables of a manor house.  However very soon the reader (and Emma) is wondering why the Estate Manager is so against her, and gradually begins to wonder if  everything is quite as it appears.

The first page throws the reader straight into the intrigue, and the story builds up gently and steadily, until mid-way through the book there is a sudden twist and drama.  Skilfully woven into the story are events from Emma's past, and the question as to whether she can ever move on , or indeed whether she wants to. 

The main characters are well written, with plenty of interest and great personalities; it is easy to keep track of who is who, and become involved in their varied roles within the estate and in the story.   There is a lot of feel good  and camaraderie  in the book, but also some very moving parts and a few heart racing moments.

I found this was a book that acted like a treat.  It kept drawing me back to see how  Emma was getting on, and was an easy comfortable read.

The book's ending means it can be read as a stand-alone book, or the enjoyment  can be extended by moving onto the other two books in this trilogy.