Book Review: The Tea Rose

Book Synopsis:

East London, 1888 – a city apart. A place of shadow and light where thieves, whores, and dreamers mingle, where children play in the cobbled streets by day and a killer stalks at night, where bright hopes meet the darkest truths. Here, by the whispering waters of the Thames, Fiona Finnegan, a worker in a tea factory, hopes to own a shop one day, together with her lifelong love, Joe Bristow, a costermonger’s son. With nothing but their faith in each other to spur them on, Fiona and Joe struggle, save, and sacrifice to achieve their dreams.

But Fiona’s life is shattered when the actions of a dark and brutal man take from her nearly everything-and everyone-she holds dear. Fearing her own death, she is forced to flee London for New York. There, her indomitable spirit propels her rise from a modest West Side shop-front to the top of Manhattan’s tea trade. But Fiona’s old ghosts do not rest quietly, and to silence them, she must venture back to the London of her childhood, where a deadly confrontation with her past becomes the key to her future.

My Review:

The start of a trilogy, The Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly was definitely worth the read! I usually like quick, light reads, so I wasn’t sure when I picked this one up. I wasn’t hooked immediately, but I’m glad I stuck with it. I loved the characters, especially the ones who appeared a little later in the book. The historical aspect of it was fascinating, and I love that the main character was a woman out of her time (not literally, there is no time travel).

I definitely recommend it. All the pieces weave together to make a great read!

 

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A book review about book reviews #AtoZChallenge

As part of the A to Z Challenge, I am participating in the Book Reviews, Tour, and Blog Hop!

Writing Book Reviews As An Author Cover - Books in a circle with one in the center.

One of the areas as an author that I feel like I have failed in is writing reviews. I know how important they are to new authors and experienced authors alike, and yet I hardly ever write them. When I do write them, I tend to post them on my blog and maybe Goodreads, but that’s it. I was delighted to have the opportunity to get an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) in exchange for an honest review of J Lenni Dorner’s upcoming book, “Writing Book Reviews As An Author: Inspiration To Make It Easier” to be released March 26, 2019.

The first, and one of the most important things to me, is how easy to read the book is. I was happy to see that even though this was an ARC, it was well edited. It flowed seamlessly, was very informative, and explained things clearly. I would have read the whole thing in one sitting except it was after midnight, and I fell asleep. I was so close! I even read the author bio and the thank yous, which I often skip. (Bad author, bad. I know.) I read everything from cover to cover, starting with the excellent front cover image. It’s all books: a book floating in the center of more books. Awesome image!

I highly recommend this book to anyone who writes reviews, or who should be writing reviews, but isn’t – like me! I will absolutely be checking out more of his work now. As a typical romance and mystery reader, this was not the type of book I typically pick up, but anything that helps me hone my craft is welcome. It’s always awesome when an experienced writer shares expertise on writing reviews, as I know J Lenni Dorner writes a lot of them. It’s also great to support someone I’ve known digitally through the A to Z Challenge, but have never met. I feel like I got to know J a little more through this experience.

This book left me excited to start writing my first review and walked me through the process seamlessly. At the author’s request, I timed myself through each phase. I decided to work with an outline and then write the actual review. The outlines took me a total of 13 minutes. From there, it took me 15 minutes to write up the review, and I do think it will go faster now that I’ve done one. I have always felt like I needed questions to answer to gather my thoughts that wouldn’t contain spoilers when reviewing novels, and now I feel like that’s exactly what I have! And just in time, too, because I’ve started a book reviewing project…

5 stars for an excellent book on how to write reviews!

If you’re interested in pre-ordering the book, you can do so Amazon and Smashwords!

Quote from the book: Did your own life or mood impact how you feel about the book? For example, if you're grieving over a recent loss of a dear one, and a book you've just read has a character also wrapped up in grief, it might influence your feelings and perception of the book. This is especially important to consider when rating three stars or below.

And now… an interview with the author:

Why did this you part in the A to Z Challenge the year that your book was “given life”?   

It’s the ten year anniversary. I’m very excited to be a co-host of the A to Z Challenge. This is an incredible community.

Why did you start blogging?   

This is answered in my very first blog post.

“You may wonder why I started a blog. I may wonder that too! Actually, this blog was started because I heard about the A to Z challenge from some nanowrimo friends.”

Any other books coming out soon?   

This is my current new publication. “WRITING BOOK REVIEWS AS AN AUTHOR: INSPIRATION TO MAKE IT EASIER” I have several stories in the works though

What other books do you have available?    

“Fractions of Existence” (https://www.amazon.com/Fractions-Existence-J-Lenni-Dorner-ebook/dp/B075SG1Q3K) An urban fantasy. Free on Kindle Unlimited.

Brief tip on writing:    

A motivational quote when you feel like giving up on writing from J Lenni Dorner

Where did the idea for this book come from, other than the alphabet and the challenge?   

The idea came from interviewing so many debut authors at Operation Awesome. I noticed that some authors reviewed a lot of books, and others had never written one. I set out to inspire those who didn’t write reviews. It turned out to be long enough for a month of blog posts (this coming April). Then I noticed I had enough to make a reference book.

What writing goal do you hope to accomplish this year?   

My biggest writing goal this year is to publish two books in 2019.

As a reader, what most motivates you to buy a new book to read?

A recommendation from a trusted source, reading something interesting about the book, or the book being by an author I like.

What is one question or discussion topic which you would like the readers of this post to answer or remark on in the blog comments?   

What motivates you to write book reviews? (Or, if you don’t write them, what deters you?)

Connect with J Lenni Dorner:

A is for Lydia Adamson

(If you don’t know the process behind my new project, check it out here!)

A Cat on Jingle Bell Rock, by Lydia Adamson is the 15th in a series of mysteries surrounding an amateur sleuth. I know that this was the same author I had randomly picked up a decade ago, so I had a little bit of background on the characters. But even without that, the book was excellent. Adamson gave enough information about the characters that even jumping in the middle of the series.

I loved the cats that are featured in the novel, as in all of the series, and the characters are likeable and real. Although this novel took place around Christmas, it wasn’t featured heavily and is great for any time of the year. Excellent author, excellent novel. Highly recommended.

New Project!

Many years ago (more than a decade) I started a project where I would go to my local library and choose a random book. I started with an author whose last name started with A and worked my way up.

Unfortunately, I was in college at the time, and I don’t think I made it past B or C, but the idea stuck with me.

More recently, I have thought of attempting to do something like that for the A to Z Blog Challenge, but I don’t think I could manage to do it all in a month, or even in a year to prepare for that one month. Plus, I like to use the Blog Challenge to work on my fiction.

So, what to do… what to do… I’m going to do it on a monthly(ish) basis. I picked up the first book just before the new year, and I am going to pick up the next one tomorrow. The genres will vary wildly, but I think it will be a fun project. Stay tuned for book reviews coming your way!