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Reviews from Goodreads: A Taste of Life and Love in Australia

25 Sep

As many followers are aware,  so far there are six self published books bearing my name as author, and my Sydney Opera House organ builder husband Ronald Sharp as editor. Of these, the most reviewed by far has been my second, ‘A Taste of Life and Love in Australia’.

‘A Taste…’ is a collection of heartwarming vignettes and short stories: the sort that is written to please those from early adulthood right through to mature years. Readers from twenties to nineties have been warm in their praise of this, my particular favourite in the four volume ‘Life and Love in Australia’ series.

So today, prompted by the social book network Goodreads, I offer a selection of reviews from their site. I hope you will take the time to read and consider these snippets.

By Jenny(Australia) · ★★★★★ · August 11, 2012

“A Taste of Life and Love in Australia” by Margaret Lynette Sharp is a collection of gentle, heartwarming stories that quietly reflect on life.There is an effective simplicity to Margaret’s writing that means she, as author, doesn’t get in the way of her characters connecting with readers. Lines… …more
By Shelleyrae(Taree, 02, Australia) · ★★★★☆ · July 25, 2012

While grounded in an Australian setting with descriptions of familiar antipodean landscapes, A Taste of Life and Love explores the universal themes of love, desire and marriage.While I think most of the tales within this collection are perhaps more properly vignettes or scenes rather than short… …more
By Mark(The United States) · ★★★★★ · June 09, 2012

Lovely, spare, melodic prose that simply exudes warmth, and simple, pinpoint-focussed stories, with nothing extraneous to distract from the single, clear feeling that Sharp wants to evoke — sometimes a feeling of wistful loss, at others one of ironic, happy bemusement or unexpected contentment,… …more
By Margaret(Sydney, 02, Australia) · ★★★★★ · March 18, 2012

This is my favourite volume in the series, since it contains a diverse selection of engaging, human, short stories. Written to be enjoyed by young and older adults, it sheds light on various aspects of human nature and relationships.
Not all the stories end happily, but alas! this is so in real l… …more
Jeanette
A Taste of Life and Love in Australia was a great read. I read it at night when all was quite. Story after story I felt as if I was there, especially at the beautiful beach scenes. I appreciate such a book after having to endure a busy day. Margaret Sharp did an outstanding job in describing the outdoors in Australia.
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Here it is: A Quick Guide to My Books

16 Sep

It suddenly occurred to me that no-where on this blog is a list of my self published books: each edited by my husband, organ builder Ronald Sharp. So I decided to use my initiative, and make one! Hope you find it useful!

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1. 25 Stories of Life and Love in Australia.

http://www.amazon.com/25-Stories-Life-Love-Australia/dp/1456597736

This is the first in a series of four collections of easy to read  short stories and vignettes.  Available on Kindle: just $4.99

2. A Taste of Life and Love in Australia

http://www.amazon.com/A-Taste-Life-Love-Australia/dp/1461064724

The second one, containing many personal favourites. I’m delighted by the positive reviews this has received: wonderful feedback. Thanks to all contributors!  Available on Kindle: just $4.99

3. The Essence of Life and Love in Australia

http://www.amazon.com/The-Essence-Life-Love-Australia/dp/1463567022

Number three, and praised by U.S. Goodreads member Mark.

4. Reflections of Life and Love in Australia

http://www.amazon.com/Reflections-Australia-Margaret-Lynette-Sharp/dp/1466319240

The fourth and final part of the series, continues in the same vein.

5. 60 Questions, Insights and Reminiscences

http://www.amazon.com/Questions-Insights-Reminiscences-Margaret-Lynette/dp/1466393742

A light-hearted look at life through the eyes of an Australian female baby boomer. Available on Kindle: just $4.99

6. Long and Short Australian Stories

http://www.amazon.com/Short-Australian-Stories-Margaret-Lynette/dp/1475122349

Also reviewed by Mark, and accepted for review by one of Australia’s most respected book bloggers, Shelleyrae at Book’d out, this is a selection of both longer short stories and vignettes, mostly romances. Available on Kindle: just $4.99

So, there it is: a summary of my works so far.
Their chief virtues are, I believe, their consistent ease of reading,  engagement and evocation. But as my late mother often said, self praise is no recommendation. The answer? Why not peruse some sample pages yourself, and see what you think! You never know: you may well be in for a pleasant surprise.:)

Shelleyrae @ Book’d Out’s Review: A Taste of Life and Love in Australia

26 Jul

Oh: Happy day!

Early this morning, Shelleyrae at Book’d Out published a beautifully presented Guest Post featuring me, my family, and my writing.  Not surprisingly, she has set it out in a lovely and professional manner.

Late this  afternoon, Shelleyrae revealed her insightful and well-expressed review of my second book, ‘A Taste of Life and Love in Australia.’ In it, she speaks of each story as a ‘window into the nature of relationships’, and describes each as ‘thoughtful and charming’.

Pointing out quite correctly that the tales are often vignettes rather than Short Stories, she states that ‘the writing is evocative, inspiring emotion with well-crafted prose and natural dialogue.’

So, all in all, I’m absolutely delighted! As a self-published author, the road is proving to be uphill. Thank goodness that dedicated people like Shelleyrae are there to help smooth the way.

http://bookdout.wordpress.com/

’25 Stories…’ and ‘A Taste..’: Both Kindle Best Sellers Ranked

1 Jul

Here’s an update: two  or three days in, both ’25 Stories of Life and Love in Australia’ and ‘A Taste of Life and Love in Australia’ are both to be found on the Amazon Kindle best sellers list!

Okay, they’re in the #170,000’s : but a start’s a start!

Maybe there’s a resurgence in the popularity of Short Stories and vignettes, particularly those with happy endings. With time at a premium, maybe reading a little and often, with satisfaction at each sitting, is the way of the future. I can only conjecture.

July is the month that Shelleyrae at Book’d out has  graciously listed ‘A Taste of Life and Love in Australia’ for review. Who knows the degree of interest this will engender?

As a newcomer to all this, I can’t draw on any previous experience. All I can do is hope: and cross my fingers!

Another Review: A Taste of Life and Love in Australia

10 Jun

Oh happy day! ‘A Taste of Life and Love in Australia’ has been reviewed for the second time.

Today’s reviewer spoke of its “Lovely, spare, melodic prose that simply exuded warmth”,  and “quietly satisfying” outcomes.

I hope you will not think me egotistical by quoting: “Sharp is delicately poetic yet linguistically precise”, and  “crafts her sentences with meticulous attention to metric contour that reflects a mood.”

My previous review, furnished by Australian author Jenny Schwartz, pointed to the book’s humanity and compassion.

Both reviewers gave ‘A Taste of Life and Love in Australia’  a 5 star out of 5 rating. It’s available on Amazon and through other internet sellers.

Overwhelmed as I am by all these heartening words, sadly I need even more to make this book known and accepted by society. I need people :people like you, my blog readers: to spread the word.

Will those of you looking for a gentle volume of vignettes, either for yourself or for others, please take a look at ‘A Taste of Life and Love in Australia’? In the process, you’ll be helping me along, an Australian women writer, and will hopefully find this book to be all that you believed it would be.

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Review Schedule

4 Jun

Review Schedule.

‘A Taste of Life and Love in Australia’ by Margaret Lynette Sharp, that’s me, is scheduled for review in late July at Shelleyrae at Book’dout.

Thanks so much to Shelleyrae for accepting it! A wonderful opportunity!

Here’s hoping for a favourable review!

‘A Song for Ellie’ : from ‘A Taste of Life and Love in Australia’

3 Jun

 

‘Did she notice me in the crowd?  Was I just another face, beaming my approval, my adulation?  Or was her smile, in my direction,  truly meant for me?’

 

Thus begins ‘A Song for Ellie’, one of the twenty-eight stories in ‘A Taste of Life and Love in Australia’: my one and only book to receive a professional review by Australian writer Jenny Schwartz. To say the truth: my one and only book to be seriously appraised.

 

‘A Song for Ellie’ tells the story of a smitten, genuine young man who uses his initiative in an attempt at wooing a young, naive singer. It’s one of my favourite stories in the ‘Life and Love’ series.

 

I don’t know what Jenny thought of it: she didn’t specify any particular likes: but I’m delighted to say she seems to have strongly approved of the book in its entirety. She rated it 5 Stars!

 

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More thoughts on ‘A Taste of Life and Love in Australia’

8 May

Ever since I read fellow Australian author Jenny Schwartz’s review of our second publication, ‘A Taste of Life and Love in Australia’, I’ve been mulling the book over.

I’m tempted to say that this volume could be viewed in a slightly different way to a collection of Short Stories. Why not see it in the light of a series of scenarios involving Australian people and their lives, encased between a linking story at each end of the book?

In support of this idea, I suggest that the style of writing somehow bonds the whole thing together, even as we progress from one theme, situation and group of people to another.

Well, that’s my current theory, right or wrong.

Given the books small readership at present, we may have to wait some time, perhaps forever, for anyone to comment on this thread.

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‘A Taste of Life and Love in Australia’: My First Review

30 Apr

Last Saturday seemed set to unfold like any other day. I’d sat down at the computer, checking the e-mails, Googling a few items:  the normal things I’d done countless times before. But then I saw it:  ‘A Taste of Life and Love in Australia’ had been reviewed by an Australian author!

Before my startled, disbelieving eyes I read her review. I should say, I tried to read it, because before I was half way through I lost my focus. I was, in a word, stunned.

The reviewer, Jenny Schwartz, has a string of published titles to her credit, including a play. She writes an informative, professional-looking blog that focuses on books. In her eyes, ‘A Taste…’ had made the grade!

Let me quote:’  ‘ A Taste of Life and Love in Australia’ by Margaret Lynette Sharp is a collection of gentle, heartwarming stories… ‘  ‘:  ‘draw you into a personal experience’ :  ‘easy rhythm of the dialogue’:  ‘these stories feel distinctly Australian to me’ : ‘compassionate, entertaining humanity’.

Jenny has rated this book five stars out of five. Her review is linked to the Australian Women Writers Challenge, as well as other sites.

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Impressions of a Booklover

25 Apr

What books you’ve read have really left their mark: imprinted themselves on your memory?

I’m talking here about fiction, though I guess on reflection, without that qualification, this type of book is more likely to stand out anyway, due to its strong likelihood of emotional impact.

Today, I asked my husband Ron, the creator of the Sydney Opera House Grand Organ, this question. His answer: detective novels, particularly Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s  ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’, which he described as ‘terrifying’.

Looking back over my own life, my first tight connection with a character, and hence her fortunes, was  Beth March from ‘Little Women’. I guess the reason  identified with her so well because she had similar interests and characteristics to me, particularly her love of music and her perseverance.  Her life events,  particularly her misfortunes, touched me as though she were a real person, a best friend or closer.

For different reasons entirely, I remember Arthur Miller’s ‘The Crucible’. The plot and the characters enthralled me, though the events described were more than disturbing.

The volumes of James Herriot are well imprinted on me.  Although some  stories were sad, even quite disturbing, those with ‘happy endings’ or of very humorous flavour blended together to make the entire volume an enjoyable one.

In my own writing, I empathize with Bob, the central character in ‘First Impressions’, a tale from the short story collection entitled ‘A Taste of Life and Love in Australia’. His struggle between his desire for peer acceptance goes up against an even greater goal: to find love.

I could go on and on, but I hope I’ve made my point, and have got you thinking.

What books have stuck with you for years and years?

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