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review 2020-02-23 14:30
The Shooting Party
The Shooting Party - Isabel Colegate

‘Is it really so bad?’ asked Olivia. ‘The countryside looks so beautiful and the people so happy.’

‘They’re having a hard time. We hear a lot these days about factory workers and conditions in slums. No one bothers about rural poverty – we deal with it locally of course as best we can but when there’s no money in land there’s no money for charity. No one cares about country people. All the attention goes to the towns.’

‘I should have thought that every English person’s deepest idea of England was of the country. Doesn’t England mean a village green, and smoke rising from cottage chimneys, and the rooks cawing in the elms, and the squire and the vicar and the schoolmaster and the jolly villagers and their rosy-cheeked children?’

‘It has not existed for many years now.’

‘It must exist. How could we all believe in it so if it didn’t exist?’

‘Exactly. We believe in it. That is why the idea is such a powerful one. It is a myth.’

Oh, I should have liked this book more than I did, I really should.

Isabel Colegate created a little gem of Edwardiana here. It's historical fiction, but doesn't read like it. Stylistically, The Shooting Party was fantastic. 


What turned me off was that the book is very short but tries to address so many aspects of the dying days of the world of Britain before the Great War that I thought it was all a bit crammed. When it wasn't trying to convince me that a house party would cover so many topics of conversation - while also spending a lot of time changing clothes, and getting to know each other, and conducting private affairs - I was fairly bored every time we got to the actual shooting. 


And apart from one character who haunts this book, I never got the feeling of ever getting to know the people who are coming together at this house party. Maybe this would have worked better if the book had been longer. Or maybe this was the author's intention - to keep the characters at a distance from the reader. But then, if Colegate had intended this, why give some of the characters interior lives and flesh them out? 


I really don't know. All I know is that I felt anxious about one character for the entire read: the duck.

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text 2020-02-22 01:51
Weekend Plans
C S Lewis - Colin Duriez
The Gurkha and the Lord of Tuesday - Saad Z. Hossain
The Shooting Party - Isabel Colegate
Good Behaviour - Molly Keane,Marian Keyes
All the Hidden Truths: one shocking crime: three women need answers: Winner of the McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Debut of the Year! - Claire Askew

It's Friday night after a crappy week at work, which saw a departmental restructure that can only be described as A Game of Thrones...but without dragons, and therefore just stupid. So, I have resorted to watching films (The Two Popes is excellent) for comfort since I've come home, and I am planning to make the most of the weekend before work brings another week of madness (I have some new people starting and need to travel abroad for a meeting with another colleague, while trying to keep an eye on goings on ... preparing for another new start and the company's big office move in three weeks' time). 


Anyway..... It's also Granite Noir weekend. So, I am out with friends tomorrow to see Dial M for Murder at the theatre, then have a guided walk around town which is lead by one of my favourite local historians, and lastly, I have finally managed to get a ticket to Katheryn Harkup's Poisoned Tea Party on Sunday. I've been to her Poisoned Cocktail Evenings before but have never been quick enough to get tickets for the tea party.

I am very excited.


As for reading, I really, really want to start the Kelly book, but I just can't at the moment - it's a mood thing. 

The C.S. Lewis biography has turned out to be surprisingly good so far. Nothing entirely new, but I very much enjoy that Duriez has included quotes from correspondence that gives much more insight into Lewis' life so far, and has refrained from giving meaning or interpreting events in his life against Lewis' later work and faith. This is something I very much appreciate. He is also not coming across as a "fan-boy" of Lewis', which puts Duriez at an advantage (imo) over other biographers I have read. 


And I know that I won't have much time to read anything else this weekend, but I really want to pick up something else. Something from the category of "comfort read".

And of course, I will need a book for the flights on Monday/Tuesday.

And this month's book club read is due on Wednesday.... Erm.


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text 2019-09-26 11:49
What Includes In The 50 m Rifle Competition In The Olympics

Target shooting is one of the biggest sports in the world, especially at the Olympics. With participants from 97 countries in its last edition and close to 400 participants, target shooting is a sport that requires discipline and finesse combined into one at all times during participation. A slight edge here or there can ruin a shot, not factoring in environmental factors can be the difference between a bullseye and completely missing the shot. With countless shooting ranges across the country and the world, target shooting in Florida and other places and is a commodity growing fast with more and more people picking up the sport for either fun or professional participation. Below we have listed some information regarding target shooting in the Olympics and what entails in the men’s 50m rifle event.

Frequency: Every four years


Last edition: Rio 2016


Next edition: Tokyo 2020


Number of shooting events in sports: 15 events across three disciplines


Athletes at the last edition: 390 athletes from 97 NOCs


The Olympic Programme includes 15 total events across three disciplines, namely Rifle, Pistol and Shotgun. Olympians compete in six men events, six women events and three mixed team events respectively.



Each event consists of a qualification phase, followed by a final round.






The 50m Rifle 3 Positions Men is an ISSF event where athletes shoot over a distance of 50 meters or 54.68 yards in kneeling, prone and standing positions. This entails them using a 5.6 millimeters or 0.22 inches caliber rifle, along with a maximum weight of 8.0 kilograms or 17.64 libbers.


The center of the target is positioned at 0.75 meters above the floor and its total diameter measures 154.4 millimeters. The diameters of the fourth ring are 106.4 millimeters, while the tenth ring measures 10.4 millimeters.


Specialized clothing and equipment have been created for this purpose to help improve stability for participants when in their shooting positions.  



Qualification round

During the qualification round, every athlete fires a fixed, 40 shots in kneeling position, 40 in the prone position and 40 in standing position all within a set time of 2 hours and 45 minutes.


The qualification score consists of integer points, Maximum score per shot is 10 points and the maximum score anyone can procure here is 1200 points.




Final round


The top eight athletes with the highest scores from the qualification round advance to the final showdown or round, where each of them can get off up to 45 final shots.


The final score consists of decimal points, where the maximum score a shot can get you is 10.9 points and the maximum score a participant can gather in the final round is 490.5 points. All finalists in this phase start the final round with zero points. The qualification points gathered are of no use here and everyone must start from scratch again.


The final starts with three series of five shots in the kneeling position: each of them has to be fired within 200 seconds, the kneeling position is followed by a changeover time of seven minutes; Three more series of five shots in the prone positions are then fired: each of them within 150 seconds; the prone position is followed by a second changeover time of nine minutes. Two series of five shots in the standing position are then fired, each of them within 250 seconds.


At the end of the second standing series, the shooters with the two lowest scores are eliminated in 8th and 7th place.


The five final single shots are fired on command and within 50 seconds each. After every single shot, the lowest ranking athlete is eliminated until the gold and silver medalists are decided by the 45th and conclusive shot.


If there is a tie for the lowest ranking athlete to be eliminated, the tie will be broken by one or more additional shoot-off shots.

This adrenaline-rushing sport is garnering admiration from one and all across the world. But this is a sport that also needs some strong safeguards and careful administration and supervision due to the nature of the sport. Places like some Florida shooting range and even any others now are being more and more vigilant because the misuse of equipment could be a major issue and they’re doing their best to curb it.

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review 2019-04-28 23:06
Monster by Christopher Pike
Monster - Christopher Pike

Angela is a relative newcomer to the small town of Point. She moved in with her grandfather after her parents went through an ugly divorce. She figures that Point will be quiet and peaceful, but she's wrong. Angela is at a party when Mary, her best friend, bursts in and starts shooting people with a shotgun. It's horrific, but Mary doesn't seem out of control - she seems to have some kind of goal. She tries to make Jim, her own boyfriend, her final victim, but Angela and a police officer manage to stop her.

After the shooting (which is pretty graphic - be aware of this if school shootings and similar situations are an issue for you), Angela tries to find out why Mary did it. All Mary will tell her is that the people she shot were monsters. She warns Angela to stay away from Jim, but Angela feels herself drawn to him. She has secretly been nursing a crush on him, holding back only because he was dating her best friend. But now that Mary is a killer, Jim is fair game, right? Except what if Mary is right? What if Jim really is a monster?

I knew going in that I had probably read this before, just because of how familiar the cover looked, but I couldn't remember anything about it. Or at least I thought I couldn't. Early on, I pulled a wild guess as to what was going on with Jim out of thin air. I was right, so maybe I retained more of this book than I realized. And I definitely remembered reading the last few pages before.

I disliked Angela. Some of what she thought and did could have been blamed on Jim's affect on her, but not all of it. Angela's taste in guys was abysmal. Jim was the kind of guy who only cared about himself. At one point, his and Angela's conversations touched on the environment, and Jim made it clear that the world only exists for the pleasure of the current generation. Who cares about future generations and what they'll have to live with? He also dipped into potential rapist territory, as he tried to push Angela into sexual behavior she wasn't 100% comfortable with. When he literally bled all over her during a make-out session, I wanted to shake her in frustration. Even Angela knew, on some level, that was he was doing was worrisome, but she waited far too long before looking into what might be going on and trying to fight it.

There was another character, Kevin, who I suspect readers were supposed to interpret as the "nice guy" right under Angela's nose, who she'd have been better off choosing. Unfortunately, I didn't think Kevin was much better. When readers first met him, he and Angela did some kind of roleplaying inside joke where she pretended he was the "other man" sneaking into her and her husband's house for a quickie. WTF? They were teens. They weren't in a relationship - Kevin was interested, and Angela wasn't. And yet she still did this weird adultery roleplay with him? Who does that?

If you like weird Christopher Pike books, this definitely has weirdness. There are dreams of an alien world, one where blood rains from the sky. There's a so-brief-you-might-miss-it mention of a technologically advanced ancient civilization (humans!), with space travel and ray guns. And bat-like things.

Pike included something I don't see much in current YA: an adult POV character. Nguyen was a local cop and Vietnam War vet. I appreciated that he wasn't an idiot and knew enough to keep an eye on Angela - this was not one of those books where teens repeatedly outsmart supposedly experienced cops (genuine monsters were another issue entirely). I think Nguyen was the only on-page adult in the entire book, however. I still think it's odd that Angela's grandfather never had an on-page moment, not even right after the shooting. Even though he didn't seem to be very much into parenting, you'd think he'd still have been at least the tiniest bit worried about his granddaughter.

I can't say that I liked this, but I didn't dislike it either. Angela was frustrating, and I really could have done without the book's sexual aspects (Angela literally got turned on by oil wells, OMG), but I enjoyed the weirdness and wanted to see how everything was going to turn out. And hey, there's a standoffish collie named Plastic! Who survives, in case I have now worried you.


(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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review 2019-04-18 23:47
Book Review for Defiant The WASP Team Book 2 by Leah Ashton
Defiant (WASP Team #2) - Leah Ashton
Title: Defiant
Series: WASP Team Book 2
Author: Leah Ashton
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: April 18, 2019
  • File Size: 1877 KB
  • Print Length: 179 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Leah Ashton (April 18, 2019)
  • Publication Date: April 18, 2019
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B07PPT679D
  • Reviewed by Angels With Attitude Book Reviews
  • arc copy provided for honest review 
  • 5 stars
This is a universal buy link for Amazon Kindle Reader


Wrong Place. Wrong Time. Wrong Man – yet he made her feel so right.


A prim and proper high school teacher


Recently divorced Bethwyn Banfield just wanted one out-of-character night on the town, and the tall, dark, tattooed stranger she meets is not what she was looking for. But their instant, electric attraction is undeniable.

The cop with a bad boy past
WASP Team Undercover cop Damon Nyhuis has spent two years infiltrating the notorious Notechi Motorcycle Club, doing whatever it takes to remain in deep cover. But when he sees his high school calculus teacher in a bar looking as hot as she did thirteen years ago, the last thing he is thinking about is his job. And that turns out to be the biggest mistake of his life.
A race through the desert
Kidnapped and dragged to the middle of nowhere, Beth and Damon must escape the murderous Notechi – but to do so is only the beginning of their ordeal. The desert is vast, desolate and unforgiving, and the Notechi are right on their heels.
Their passion as hot as the sun
In the cool of the desert night they run, but in the lethal heat of the day they must rest – and quickly, lust becomes so much more.
First, they must make it home. But then – can there really be a future for the teacher who wants her own family, and the cop who makes certain he’s always alone?

This is a universal buy link for Amazon Kindle Reader
Let's start to say this is a brand new author for us and we really enjoyed our first read by them.The story had great characters's and the story started off with a bang and right from the onset had you enmeshed right into the suspenseful plot. 
Beth a school teacher is feeling a little bit lonely after learning her ex is moving on decides its time for her to move on as well and decides she is due for a night out.
Damon has a crush on Beth for years and see's her out in a bar and decided to make his move and play out  all those fantasies he has had of her for years but, Damon has secrets and without willing draws her into his tangled web secrets. 
This couple had some major chemistry and they sizzled together for sure but, things are complicated and they are trying to save their lives but,can't seem to keep their hands off one another just making the situation even more complicated but, a whole lot of fun. lol
I always pick a favorite character and for me it is going to be Beth. I loved Beth from the onset of the story just because she surprised us at every turn with her actions and deeds because she is nothing like we expected.I found her to be sexy, smart,level headed and easy to love because she was full of so much kindness and love.
Damon we found him to be broken and someone who never has been able to move on from his past and even though he has risen above it he feels he is no good for anyone let alone an angel like Beth.We will say that we liked how Beth got him to start examining his life up to this point and perhaps he could be capable of more life changes because he has been surrounded by such utter chaos for sometime now as well as being surround by such filth of humanity that it is starting to effect his personal life where he decides he is not deserving of more.
Overall the plot was filled with tons of suspense and drama and an undercover operation that goes a rhy but, two people find love where neither expected under the most horrendous circumstances.And the saying holds true for this couple that you can find love in the most usual places.The story had the perfect mix of romance and suspense and drama and the story did keep you on a bit of and edge the entire time to keep you glued to the pages to the very end.
The story did not end with a cliffhanger but, the story is not over yet because there are a lot of unanswered questions  and a mystery to be solved and a mole to undercover.
As a first time reader I would definitely read more in this series to see what happens next.
His gaze flicked back to her. Again, it did all those things to her insides that a man like this wasn’t supposed to do.
“Well,” Beth said, irritated – with herself, mostly. And unfairly, at him, for not being the man she’d needed to meet tonight. “What do you want then?”
Something shifted in the man’s gaze, and there was a hint – a hint – of a curve to his lips. Nothing more – she couldn’t imagine this man being the type to smile easily.
Immediately she realised her mistake.
“That’s easy, honey,” he said and stepped closer.
Which was actually really close, because they were both standing in the space between two bar stools. If she took a deep breath, her breasts would touch the cotton of his shirt.
Beth held her breath. To avoid touching him? Or in anticipation of what he was going to say?
“I want you,” he said, his voice a pitch lower now. Rough and intimate. “I want you, and I think you might want me too.” Another pause. “Do you?”
How had he known to ask that?
How had he known if he’d told her she wanted him, she would’ve been out the door and into an Uber before he could blink?
But he hadn’t told her anything. He’d asked.
She was falling into his gaze again. His sexy, confident gaze. Oh, he knew. He did. He was cocky, and he had swagger. He had all of that, and he possibly – probably – used this line on a new girl each week. Maybe each night.
But did it matter?
He’d asked and given her control, and damn if that didn’t make this even sexier.
Because it was sexy, to stand here beneath the appreciative gaze of this man. To feel his heat so close. To be drawn to him by the zing of physical attraction, and to just know deep down inside her that he wanted her. More than that, he wanted her bad. His gaze had moved from her eyes now to explore her face, then down, down, to explore what he could see of her body, given how close they stood together.
Which was pretty much just her breasts, although only now did she realise how conservative her outfit actually was. Would it have killed her to have popped open a few more buttons? To flash a bit of cleavage?
Not that this man seemed to care.
She didn’t even care that he didn’t want her for her intellect, or her personality, or all those things that should matter – did matter – most of the time. All of the time, actually, for Beth. Except tonight. Except now.
She didn’t even know his name, he didn’t know hers, and she honestly didn’t care. He was all wrong in every possible way, but then all of tonight had turned out wrong – and the way this man was making her feel felt so good. Felt so right.
Like despite what she’d told herself, he was exactly what she needed.
But, she realised, it was still hard to actually say the words she needed to say.
She swallowed, then licked her lips.
That snapped his attention back to her face, specifically to her mouth.
Oh, wow. The way he was looking at her, the way he wanted her, it was impossible to resist.
She leant forward, deliberately letting her body brush against his, her nipples tight and hard behind the lace of her bra. She stood on tiptoes so she could murmur in his ear.
“Yes,” she said.
He turned his head, and now they were so close they were practically kissing – their lips almost perfectly aligned. “Yes, what?” he prompted, as if he had to be sure.
She closed her eyes. She needed to be sure, too.
Did he know that? How could he?
“I want you,” she said, barely more than a whisper.
But clearly, it was enough. It was all he needed.
This is a universal buy link for Amazon Kindle Reader

RITA® Award-winning author Leah Ashton writes fast-paced romantic suspense and smart, modern contemporary romance. All her books feature strong heroines, deliciously heroic heroes and swoon worthy happily ever afters.


Leah lives in Perth, Western Australia with her gorgeous husband, two amazing daughters and the best intentions to meal plan and have an effortlessly tidy home. When she’s not writing, Leah loves all day breakfast, rambling conversations and laughing until she cries. She really hates cucumber. And scary movies.


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