Posted in books, review

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up!

She sells seashells on the seashore…….

Hello all!!  It isn’t summer without a little trip to the seaside and thankfully the rain has stayed away long enough to enjoy some sand, seashells and a cuppa or 6!! No ice-creams though this time so that’s for my next visit!  Watch it rain for the next 40 days and 40 nights now!

Hope you are all well and happy in your bookish worlds!  Been exhausted here this week so have had to take it a little easy – which is good news as resting = extra reading time!!  So another 5 books have been knocked off the TBR pile and that is always a good thing!! And even better news is that I haven’t added another 5 to take their place.. it was 3!! oooppsss!!

On to what I’ve been reading this week!  Please click on the book title if you’d like to read my GoodReads review!

BOOKS FINISHED

The Cosy Canal Boat Dream by Christie Barlow  – 4 stars

Flutter by Olivia Evans  –  3 stars

The Scandal by Fredrik Backman  –  5 stars

Yesterday by Felicia Yap  –  3 stars

Seeing Red by Lina Meruane    –  4 stars

A good week of good books! What more can a reader ask for?!  Free cake and chocolate supplies would help too I guess! 😉

BOOK POST

The urge to buy any new books has passed me by this week which has its’ good and bad points!  But I have been lucky to have received some lovely bookish post!  3 books for review and also another lovely monthly tea and book subscription parcel from the fab Bookishly which always puts a smile on my face!

I know very little of Village School by Miss Read, but it sounds utterly delightful so I’m hoping to get to this very soon! And while reading it I’m sure I’ll enjoy the ClanWilliam Rooibos Teabags that came too!

Yellow Room by Shelan Rodger

Haunted by a tragic childhood accident, Chala’s whole life has been moulded by guilt and secrets. After the death of the stepfather she adored, Chala is thrown into turmoil once again.

Volunteering in Kenya seems to offer an escape, and a way of re-evaluating her adult relationships, although violence and hardship simmer alongside its richness and beauty.

The secrets of the Yellow Room are still with her and she can’t run away forever…

Amazon UK

Set to be released in October from Dome Press and I’m on the Blog Tour so watch out for my thoughts in October!

SAVING BABY AMY BY ANNIE CLAYDON

Brought together…and bound forever!

Fiercely independent orthopaedic doctor Chloe Delancourt will do anything for her teenage sister Hannah and little niece Amy. So when Amy falls ill, and Hannah runs away, Chloe steps in, with the help of gorgeous paediatrician Jon Lambert…igniting an unexpected attraction!

Saving baby Amy brings Jon closer than he ever wanted to get to another woman after his disastrous marriage. But Chloe’s determination and unwavering loyalty remind Jon of what a real family should be…and that this could be his chance to have everything—with Chloe!

Amazon UK

I’ve recently become a Mills & Boon insider, and I remember loving reading copies of the books my Nan used to have so I’m looking forward to re-acquanting myself with Mills & Boon.

The Brazilian by Rosie Millard

Following a sensational scandal at one of London’s most desired post codes, Jane and Patrick decide to escape the gossip with a family holiday to Ibiza, their eight-year-old George in tow. Also on the island that week is a TV reality show involving an eccentric artist, a horny It Girl, a Brazilian soccer player, and a famous musician. As hapless celebrities are picked off one by one, Jane is desperate to be on the program, leaving childcare in the not so capable hands of a teenager. One lesbian escapade and an explosive row over hair removal later, the contestants of Ibiza or Bust leave the island with more than sand in places they never knew existed.

Amazon UK

Was asked to review this and I’m in desperate need of funny books right now, so this looks perfect! Looking forward to escaping into this crazy sounding world soon!

CURRENTLY READING

Still have Wesley the very cute owl on my bedside table and am enjoying his story!  Hands up who wants a pet owl?!!!  🙋

Amazon UK

Death Plays A Part by Vivian Conroy

Being drawn to a nice little cosy mystery book and am really enjoying what I’ve read so far.  And guess who now wants a pet dachsund…. 🙋  Books are a very bad influence!!

Amazon UK

And that wraps up my bookish week! I hope you have all had a fabulous week and have a fabulous weekend ahead! 

HAPPY READING!!

Posted in books, review

The Scandal by Fredrik Backman #bookreview

‘Late one evening towards the end of March, a teenager picked up a double-barrelled shotgun, walked into the forest, put the gun to someone else’s forehead and pulled the trigger. This is the story of how we got there.’ 

Beartown is a small town in a large Swedish forest.

For most of the year it is under a thick blanket of snow, experiencing the kind of cold and dark that brings people closer together – or pulls them apart.

Its isolation means that Beartown has been slowly shrinking with each passing year. But now the town is on the verge of an astonishing revival. Everyone can feel the excitement. Change is in the air and a bright new future is just around the corner.

Until the day it is all put in jeopardy by a single, brutal act. It divides the town into those who think it should be hushed up and forgotten, and those who’ll risk the future to see justice done. At last, it falls to one young man to find the courage to speak the truth that it seems no one else wants to hear.

No one can stand by or stay silent. You’re on one side or another.

Which side will you find yourself on?

Amazon UK

Hive.co.uk – buy online and support your local bookstore

MY REVIEW

I love how sometimes the simplest of ideas make for the best kind of stories, if they’re written well. And this is an astonishing piece of storytelling and one that I am struggling to get out of my head!

‘Late one evening, toward the end of March, a teenager picked up a double-barreled shotgun, walked into the forest, put the gun to someone else’s forehead, and pulled the trigger.

This is the story of how we got there.’

This is the quote that lured me into this book! That and knowing it is from the author who charmed my world with A Man Called Ove. But this is nothing like that book and just proves what a wonderful storyteller Fredrik Backman is.

The story is simple and revolves around a town that is obsessed with hockey. Every aspect of the town and its’ inhabitants are governed by the success of the hockey team. It is what brings the small town in a large swedish forest together – and how it can also tear them apart when sides have to be chosen.

It is difficult to review the story without adding spoilers so i won’t focus too much on the plot of which I knew very little about, and I think that is the best way to enjoy this book. The less you know beforehand, the better! So I will focus on the storytelling which starts off slowly and flits from character to character, telling you snippets of how they fit into Beartown – from the teenagers on the hockey team, to the coach, to the sponsors,to the parents – and this helps slowly build up a picture of just how much Hockey is at the heart of the town. So you can’t help but be drawn in as a reader so that you become a fly on the wall of every house, training pitch, garden etc while the author puts the pieces together to lead up to the events of ‘that day’.

I just couldn’t put this book down once I had started reading it as I didn’t want to miss anything – from the simplicity of everyday life, to the harrowing consequences of a night gone wrong and I found it to be so powerful and absorbing. It is a wonderful insight on family and community dynamics, and it is often not an easy read because of some of the subject matter where it pulls no punches and that just adds to the impact it had on me as a reader.

One of my books of 2017 – a MUST read!!

Thankyou to Netgalley and the publishers for the copy in return for a fair and honest review

HAPPY READING!!

Posted in books

Down the TBR Hole #4

Greetings!! Back today with another little Down the TBR Hole excursion!  I’m really aware now I’m doing this and finding it is stopping me adding so many ‘random’ books to the TBR pile so it is already paying dividends.. .whether I can keep up this good behaviour is another matter! But it’s fun being a good girl for a while at least!!  

Very grateful to Lia @ Lost In A Story for thinking this little exercise up to help us all keep our growing TBR lists in some kind of order and under control!!  Let’s see what I find that I’d forgotten about this week…


Here is how it all works….

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

Click on the title if you’d like to read the blurb for each book via GoodReads…

Ready? Steady? GO!!!

The First 15 Lives of Harry August by Claire North

I bought the hardback of this book as I remember hearing good things to begin with and it sounds like a really intriguing plot

Verdict – KEEP!

The Three by Sarah Lotz

According to my GoodReads record I have this in hardback form… ok then so where have I hidden it around the house?! LOL!!  This had me intrigued from the blurb as it sounds like a real mystery although reading through some of the reviews has me a little worried!  This might be a ‘read for a few chapters and see what I think’ kind of book

Verdict – KEEP …for now, if I can find it!

The Watchers by Neil Spring

This book is based on actual events and I’ve always been fascinated by UFO’s so this is what got me interested in reading this book in the first place

Verdict – KEEP!

The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton

I got this after I read The Muse, which I loved, and not sure why I’ve not found time to read it yet as it did seem to receive a lot of hype when it was first released..

Verdict – KEEP!

13 Minutes by Sarah Pinborough

I’ve read a number of this authors’ books and am a fan, although I was slightly annoyed at the ending of ‘Behind Her Eyes’ which has just got me mad again just thinking about it! So that is slightly putting me off starting this one in case it’s another book that makes me mad.

Verdict – GO!

The Christmas Cafe by Amanda Prowse

Getting quite seasonal with a few festive books beginning to appear!  One of those books that appealed to me at the time but doesn’t seem to be a big enough of a pull to make me pick it up!

Verdict – GO!!

Finding the Snowdon Lily by Heather Pardoe

This is a short little novella by Endeavour Press and I was attracted to it because of the stunning cover and the blurb so hoping to get to read this very soon!

Verdict – KEEP!

183 Times a Year by Eva Jordan

Heard nothing but good things about this one and have a copy thanks to Urbane Publications Book Club so this is on my pile to read this year… hopefully!

Verdict – KEEP!

The Sentinel by Holly Martin

I have loved reading all of Holly Martins’ books so am intrigued to read this one as it sounds like a good mix of YA, sci-fi and mystery!

Verdict – KEEP!!

My So Called (Love) Life by A.L. Michael

I read Goodbye Ruby Tuesday from this author and really enjoyed it so that is when I added this one to the pile!  Sounds like an entertaining read so could be perfect for a sunny afternoon in the garden, or a rainy night indoors!

Verdict – KEEP!!

And that is another 10 books all sorted and organised!!  Don’t think I’ve got rid of as many as I would have liked but maybe the next 10 I go through will turn up some likelier candidates! Or maybe I just need to get tougher on my choices!!

HAPPY READING!!

Posted in books, review

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up!!

Happy Friday to you all!! And a happy sunny one here in Essex too after some epic rainfall this week! I hope the sun is shining on you all and continues to do so over the weekend!!

Feeling slightly frazzled here today but that could have something to do with the fact that my nephew and niece visited for the day yesterday which meant we had a trip to Southend seafront as they love the arcades and crazy golf! Came a very respectable third in the crazy golf tournament between 5 of us – more work needed on perfecting my angles and weight of shot lol!!  So time to play catch up now and that includes helping my brain sort out what I’ve been doing bookwise all week so here’s a little peek into my bookish week!

BOOKS READ

Had a slower reading week than normal as had a few other things going on that needed more attention!  So I managed to finish 4 books off – 3 of which were fabulous reads – so it was still quite productive!  Maybe me adding to the TBR pile just makes it feel like a less productive week!!  I only have myself to blame….. 😉😂

So these are the books I finished – click on the book title if you’d like to read my GoodReads reviews!

Cutting Back by Leslie Buck  –  4 stars

This Beautiful Life by Katie Marsh  –  4 stars

Living Dangerously by Katie Fforde –  2 stars

Handcuffs, Truncheon and a Polyester Thong  –   5 stars

BOOK POST

And it has been another busy week for the poor old postman with a few new additions making their way home to me!

The first of which was a book that I won via a giveaway on Twitter courtesy of 4th Estate Books and is a signed first edition of their shortlisted Man Booker Prize 2017 entry!

 

And then I received 3 books from publishers to read and review so hoping to get to these very soon!!…. famous last words!!

HIGH SPIRITS BY ROB KEELEY

“Millions of people will die in the war, Ellie. And it’s our job to make sure it happens. That’s why our work isn’t easy.”

It’s been two years since Ellie last spoke to Edward. She thinks she’s left the spirit world behind. But the spirits won’t take no for an answer… When Ellie’s Mum returns to Inchwood Manor, Ellie finds herself going too… and is transported back to the 1930s, discovering a plot to impersonate the King of England.

With the Second World War coming, and the first evil spirits starting to escape into the mortal world, Ellie is fighting alongside some unexpected allies…

Rob Keeley is back with High Spirits, the fourth instalment in his multi-award-listed Spirits series. The series allows young people to learn more about other times, as well as the time in which they live.

Release Date 28th October 2017 by Troubador Publishing

Amazon UK

MY MOTHER’S SHADOW BY NIKOLA SCOTT

It is the year 1958 and Elizabeth Holloway has been sent away from her London home to spend the summer at Hartland, a beautiful, rambling country estate by the Sussex coast. To lovely, innocent Elizabeth, the Shaws are the height of sophistication and they treat her as one of their own, but when she falls in love, no one warns her that her dreams are dangerously naïve.

Forty years later, Elizabeth’s daughter Addie finds a stranger on her doorstep, a woman claiming to be her twin sister. At first, Addie refuses to believe it — until her beloved father admits that the circumstances surrounding her birth were not what she’d been led to believe.

The discovery challenges everything Addie thought she knew about the brilliant, difficult woman that was her mother. And as their journey takes them back to Elizabeth’s past, Addie and her new sister Phoebe uncover the extraordinary story of a lost child, a mother’s secret, and one golden summer that changed a woman’s life forever.

EXPECTED PUBLICATION 21ST SEPTEMBER 2017 by Headline Review

Amazon UK

THE BRAZILIAN by Rosie Millard

Following a sensational scandal at one of London’s most desired post codes, Jane and Patrick decide to escape the gossip with a family holiday to Ibiza, their eight-year-old George in tow. Also on the island that week is a TV reality show involving an eccentric artist, a horny It Girl, a Brazilian soccer player, and a famous musician. As hapless celebrities are picked off one by one, Jane is desperate to be on the program, leaving childcare in the not so capable hands of a teenager. One lesbian escapade and an explosive row over hair removal later, the contestants of Ibiza or Bust leave the island with more than sand in places they never knew existed.

Out now!

Amazon UK

CURRENTLY READING

Just one on the go at the moment as I’m currently in the process of sorting out my NetGalley shelf and deciding what needs to be read the most urgently!! And of course that means a visit to the NetGalley site itself… and we all know how that ends when we just go to ‘organise’!!  I must resist the urge to request more!!

So there we have it!  Loving the variety of books I’m getting to read nowadays and I think the blogging community is a big help on that front as I see so many different books mentioned by people now on their blogs or Twitter pages that I’d otherwise never hear about!  So if you have a ‘must read’ that I need to know about then please feel free to share with me in the comments! I can moan at you later if you add too many to my TBR mountain!

Off now to shuffle some books around on my bookshelves to try and create a little gap or two for the new arrivals!!

HAPPY READING!!

Posted in books, review

Handcuffs, Truncheon and a Polyester Thong by Gina Kirkham – my review!

Meet Mavis Upton.

As mummy to 7-year old Ella, surrogate to far too many pets and with a failed marriage under her belt, Mavis knows she needs to make some life-changing decisions. It’s time to strike out into the world, to stand on her own two feet … to pursue a lifelong ambition to become a Police Officer. I mean, what could go wrong?

Supported by her quirky, malapropism-suffering mum, Mavis throws herself headlong into a world of uncertainty, self-discovery, fearless escapades, laughter and extra-large knickers. And using her newly discovered investigative skills, she reluctantly embarks on a search to find her errant dad who was last seen years before, making off with her mum’s much needed coupon for a fabulous foam cup bra all the way from America.

Follow Mavis as she tackles everything life can throw at her, and revel in Gina Kirkham’s humorous, poignant and moving story of an everyday girl who one day followed a dream. 

Amazon UK

Urbane Publications

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Gina was born during the not-so-swinging 50’s to a mum who frequently abandoned her in a pram outside Woolworths and a dad who, after two pints of beer, could play a mean Boogie Woogie on the piano in the front room of their 3-bed semi on the Wirral.  Being the less adventurous of three children, she remains there to this day – apart from a long weekend in Bognor Regis in 1982.

Her teenage years were filled with angst, a CSE in Arithmetic, pimples, PLJ juice, Barry White and rather large knickers until she suddenly and mysteriously slimmed down in her twenties.  Marriage and motherhood ensued, quickly followed by divorce in her early thirties and a desperate need for a career and some form of financial support for herself and her daughter.  Trundling a bicycle along a leafy path one wintry day, a lifelong passion to be a police officer gave her simultaneously an epiphany and fond memories of her favourite author Enid Blyton and moments of solving mysteries.

And thus began an enjoyable and fulfilling career with Merseyside Police.

On reaching an age most women lie about, she quickly adapted to retirement by utilising her policing skills to chase after two granddaughters, two dogs and one previously used, but still in excellent condition, husband.  Having said goodbye to what had been a huge part of her life, she suddenly had another wonderful epiphany. This time it was to put pen to paper to write a book based on her experiences as a police officer.

Lying in bed one night staring at the ceiling and contemplating life as she knew it, Gina’s alter-ego, Mavis Upton was born, ready to star in a humorous and sometimes poignant look at the life, loves and career of an everyday girl who followed a dream and embarked upon a search for the missing piece of her childhood. You can follow ‘Mavis’ on twitter @MAVISUPTON

MY REVIEW

If you are looking for a book to make you laugh out loud then look no further!! Mavis Upton is a wonderfully real character and her exploits as a single mum and as a rookie police officer will keep you entertained throughout!  I was in need of a lighter book after some recent darker reads, and this was the perfect antidote!  The world needs more funny books!!

From her challenges in motherhood, to dealing with her own mother, dating colleagues and going for a career change as a police officer this book takes you through such a range of emotions! I was in fits of laughter one minute, and then shedding tears the next! Every aspect of her police training is explored and many moments had you thinking they were more like the keystone cops! She isn’t the only quirky character featured and this adds to the fun, but the author even explores the darker side of police work with the reality of the sights they are often called out too that are tough for them to deal with – and then you understand why they need their often twisted sense of humour to get them through!

Mavis is such a delightful character – full of flaws but so determined, plucky and real! The humour mixes well with the more tender, emotional moments and I’m delighted to hear the author is already working on another book featuring this character! I can’t wait!!!

Thoroughly recommended!!

HAPPY READING!!

Posted in books

Guest Post by Kathryn Freeman – an extract from Before You

It is my absolute delight to share my Blog today with the fabulous Kathryn Freeman – author of the equally fabulous ‘Before You’!  Over to you, Kathryn……

before

Thank you so much for hosting me on the wonderful Books and Me. I thought I would use the opportunity to share an extract of my new paperback, Before You. I’ve chosen this passage for several reasons. I hope you enjoy it!

  1. My heroine, Mel, is a press officer for the Delta racing team; a woman working in the male dominated world of Formula One. This extract shows the side of her character I really love. A woman unfazed by the driving stars she works for. A tough cookie, funny and sharp, able to give as good as she gets. There’s another side to her, one that’s still hurting from a love affair gone wrong, uncertain of her appeal as a woman. This is a side we see later in the book.
  2. Aiden Foster is my racing driver hero who’s just joined the Delta racing team. He’s sex on legs and this extract gives a feel for the effect his gorgeous looks, racing persona and wicked sense of humour have on women, not just on Mel. He’s used to having women throw themselves at him. What he isn’t used to is women like Mel, who push back at him, make him think. Who peel back his cocky layers to expose his vulnerable underbelly.
  3. Lastly, I chose this extract because it comes at the beginning of the book, so doesn’t give too much away!

Mel found her stomach flipping as she watched amusement flare in Aiden’s clear grey eyes. She’d like to bet the bunny boiler had every intention of finding out about the subject of sex in motorsport by doing her own personal, in-depth analysis. 

‘It’s good to know women’s magazines aren’t dumbing down the sport, or their readers, in any way.’ 

He quirked an eyebrow. ‘Touchy.’ 

Realising he was right, she sighed. ‘A little, sorry. But sometimes … doesn’t it piss you off, the assumption that you’re stupid enough to fall for every pneumatic bosomed, bleached blonde with laser enhanced white teeth that pouts in your direction?’ 

‘Err …’ 

‘And that the sport seems to think the only place for women is smiling emptily behind the sponsors logo, dressed in a skimpy skirt and low plunging top?’ 

‘Personally I don’t have any objections to women wearing a skimpy skirt and low plunging top.’ 

His flashing grin told her he was teasing. At least she thought he was, though she found Aiden pretty hard to read. 

‘Sorry, you’ve caught me on a bad day. I usually try to keep off the soapbox during daylight hours. So, this cutting edge interview that’s going to get to the very heart of motor racing. Do you want to do it?’ 

‘You mean do I want to have sex with a cute blonde in a pink boudoir? Or do I want to get embroiled in a fight to the death with a bunny boiler?’ 

A laugh bubbled out of her. Aiden in full flow, like he had been earlier in front of the press, was sharp and funny. ‘I mean, do you want to give up a few hours of your valuable time to help produce an article that bored housewives in the southern counties will spill their lattes over?’ 

He regarded her quizzically. ‘I’m getting the sense you don’t want me to do it.’ 

‘Put it this way, there are far better, more serious, professional platforms we can, and will, use to raise your profile in Delta. So the only reason for you to do this article …’ 

‘Is if I fancy the sometime bunny boiler.’ 

‘And even then, I’m pretty sure you can get what you want out of the meeting, without actually having to open your mouth.’ 

Once again he chuckled and, just as she had earlier, Mel found she daren’t look at him. If she did her tongue might hang out and she’d lose any professional respect she might have earned in the month since he’d joined Delta. But because she was still a woman first, and a press officer second, she allowed her eyes to briefly rest on the grooves at the side of his wide, laughing mouth. To flicker over the straight white teeth and up to his brilliant silver grey eyes. Then she forced her attention back to her phone. 

‘Actually,’ he said as she pretended to check her messages, ‘I think you’ll find that in order to get the absolute most out of any such meeting, I really do need to open my mouth.’ 

About the Book: 

When life in the fast lane threatens to implode … Melanie Hunt’s job working for the Delta racing team means she is constantly rubbing shoulders with Formula One superstars in glamorous locations like Monte Carlo. But she has already learned that keeping a professional distance is crucial if she doesn’t want to get hurt.  New Delta team driver Aiden Foster lives his life like he drives his cars – fast and hard. But, no matter how successful he is, it seems he always falls short of his championship-winning father’s legacy. If he could just stay focused, he could finally make that win.  Resolve begins to slip as Melanie and Aiden find themselves drawn to each other –with nowhere to hide as racing season begins. But when a troubled young boy goes missing, everything is thrown into turmoil, including Aiden’s championship dream.

Before You is now available to purchase as an eBook and paperback. Visit our website for buying options or type the title into your chosen book supplier’s website or eBook provider of choice: http://www.choc-lit.com/dd-product/before-you/

About the Author:  

freeman

Kathryn started her working life as a retail pharmacist but soon realised trying to decipher doctor’s handwriting wasn’t for her. Next she joined the pharmaceutical industry where she spent twenty happy years working in medical communications, doing a lot of writing – about medicines. What she really wanted to write about though, was romance.  In 2011, backed by her family, she left the world of pharmaceutical science to begin life as a self employed writer, juggling the two disciplines of medical writing and romance. Some days a racing heart is a medical condition, others it’s the reaction to a hunky hero…   She lives with two teenage boys and a husband who asks every Valentine’s Day whether he has to bother buying a card again this year (yes, he does) so the romance in her life is all in her head. Then again, her husband’s unstinting support of her career change goes to prove that love isn’t always about hearts and flowers – and heroes can come in many disguises.

Author contact details: 

Website:  http://kathrynfreeman.co.uk

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/kathrynfreeman

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/KathrynFreeman1

Posted in books

Cover Reveal Tuesday – Deadly Intent by Sheryl Browne

My absolute pleasure to be involved in this cover reveal today thanks to the publishers Choc Lit.  

So without delaying proceedings any longer – here is your first look at another stunning cover to get you excited before the September release!

 Deadly Intent by Sheryl Browne – Book 3 in the DI Matthew Adams Series 

 

deadly

 

Tormented to the edge of sanity … 

 

Just when DI Matthew Adams thinks he’s left the past behind him, it comes back to haunt him once again; this time in the form of the Conner family. 

 

Like Matthew, the Conners have lost a child in tragic circumstances – and they’ve also found themselves in the hands of one of the most depraved criminals to walk the streets: ‘Dead-eyed’ Charlie Roberts, a drug addicted low-life with a penchant for extreme violence. 

 

Matthew’s greatest affinity lies with Daniel Conner, the brooding father who still blames himself for his youngest child’s death. But when Daniel’s wife and daughter are tortured and tormented by Roberts, can Matthew prevent him from completely ruining his own life for an act of revenge particularly when, once upon a time, that’s exactly what Matthew would have done too? 

 

Deadly Intent is the third book in Sheryl Browne’s DI Matthew Adams Series but can be read as a standalone. It will be available to purchase as an eBook on September 5th 2017.  

 

Book 1 – After She’s Gone 

Book 2 – Sins of the Father 

Posted in books, review

The Silk Weaver’s Wife by Debbie Rix – book review

silk

‘On the way back down the grand staircase to the hall, her eye was caught by a portrait, hanging in a particularly dark corner of a landing. It was of a young woman, seated at an easel; she was painting a silk moth, its eggs nestling on a mulberry leaf.’

1704: Anastasia is desperate to escape her controlling and volatile father and plans to marry in secret. But instead of the life she has dreamed of, she finds herself trapped in Venice, the unwilling wife of a silk weaver.

Despite her circumstances, Anastasia is determined to change her fate…

2017: Millie wants more from her relationship and more from her life. So when her boss Max abruptly ends their affair, she takes the opportunity to write a feature in Italy.

Staying in a gorgeous villa, Millie unexpectedly falls in love with the owner, Lorenzo. Together they begin to unravel an incredible story, threaded through generations of silk weavers.

And Millie finds herself compelled to discover the identity of a mysterious woman in a portrait…

A gorgeously written, richly evocative story, The Silk Weaver’s Wife is perfect for readers who love Kate Morton and Gill Paul.

What everyone is saying about Debbie Rix:

A spellbinding, epic journey spanning centuries, across countries, continents and vast perilous oceans… The past is vividly brought back to life in great detail and in full colour, from the food they ate to the clothes they wore… I really enjoyed reading this magnificent story.’ Relax and Read Books

Perfect historical fiction mixed with present day. I can’t say enough how much I enjoyed this book. I gobbled it up over the afternoon and night. Definitely want to read this author again.’ Nik Book Lover

‘The book is beautifully written and the Italian setting is perfectly drawn in both modern and historical settings, with sufficient detail to bring Pisa vividly to life, clearly by someone who loves it and knows it well… this is a wonderful story.’ Being Anne Reading

An amazing book rich in detail and filled with characters you are rooting for… Now having read two books from Debbie Rix she has proven to me just what a storyteller she is as she takes her readers on a journey through the past to a time that should not be forgotten. This book is a beautifully crafted novel full of secrets, love, friendship and family bonds… Definitely one not to be missed.’ Shaz’s Book Blog

A wonderfully written novel… definitely a book to add to your library. Not only was it highly informative, but immensely entertaining.’ Historical Novel Review

An enchanting, engaging tale that I recommend to anyone interested in Italian history and architecture, or just a good novel.’ History and Other Thoughts

‘Debbie manages to evoke the sights, sounds and smells as though you are standing right there. A truly lovely novel.’ Reading Room with a View

‘Debbie had me completely transported back to 12th Century Pisa, and I loved every second of it.

Kindle Edition, 400 pages
Published July 19th 2017 by Bookouture

MY REVIEW

This is my first Debbie Rix novel that I’ve read but it won’t be the last!  The author has a wonderful writing style that really transports you to the places she writes about, and the level of detail to historical facts was also really impressive.

It is set over 2 periods in time – now and back in 1704.  In 2017, Millie has a successful career but doesn’t seem as successful in love as she’s having an affair with her married boss.  She knows it is wrong, especially as he has children, but she thinks she’s in love.  When the chance to travel to Italy arises for her to write a piece in Italy she jumps at the chance and is soon in love with more than the country!  But Max is still in the background – and this is where I got quite shouty at the character as she couldn’t see what was right for her!!

In 1704 we follow the story of Anastasia and her family. Her father is an evil brute and makes them all live in fear.  Anastasia plans to run away to marry her love, but soon finds out she is promised to another – and one brute gets replaced by another.  Despite the glorious setting of Venice, she is put through an awful time after her wedding and her only thoughts are those of escape.

I loved the two timeline settings – both characters had so much going on in their lives that there was always something happening.  The silk weaving/farm side of the story was also fascinating and I loved the mystery of the painting that linked the 2 timelines.

Happily recommend this book to anyone who loves historical fiction.

Posted in books, review

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up!!

Hello lovely bookish folk!  I trust we are all well and had another week full of bookish fun!!  Seems to have been another productive one for me on the book front – if only the rest of my life was as productive!!  

Been busy here book reading, book receiving, book buying, book blogging and book decluttering!!  The ever changing weather has helped I think on the reading front as I’ve not been able to potter much in the garden thanks to the wind and rain – the dahlias are blooming well though!

Right, on we go with the wrap up! Click on the book titles for links to GoodReads blurbs and reviews!

BOOKS FINISHED

How to Stop Time by Matt Haig  –  3 stars

The Butterfly Storm by Kate Frost   –  2 stars

 

Only True in Fairy Tales by Christine Stovell   –  4 stars

Too Damn Nice by Kathryn Freeman   –  5 stars

Nice little mix of genres as normal, and a mix of reading experiences this week too! 

BOOK HAUL

I’Ve kept the postman busy this week with a few arrivals! Most have been kindly sent my way from the publishers but 2 may have been treats to myself – and why not!!! 😉

The two I treated myself to ;

I really enjoyed Eleanor Oliphant by Gail Honeyman and was lucky to read and review it through NetGalley, so had to treat myself to the hardback copy so I can enjoy it all over again!

And then there is Soot by Andrew Martin which I’ve seen good things about and it looks a fascinating read so hoping to read that soon!  It also fitted in nicely with my Mono Book Buying Spree! 😉

And for reviewing I’ve been lucky to receive the following books;

What She Left by Rosie Fiore   –   out August 17th 2017

Helen Cooper has a charmed life. She’s beautiful, accomplished, organised – the star parent at the school. Until she disappears.

But Helen wasn’t abducted or murdered. She’s chosen to walk away, abandoning her family, husband Sam, and her home.

Where has Helen gone, and why? What has driven her from her seemingly perfect life? What is she looking for? Sam is tormented by these questions, and gradually begins to lose his grip on work and his family life.

He sees Helen everywhere in the faces of strangers. He’s losing control.

But then one day, it really is Helen’s face he sees..

The Death of Her by Debbie Howells – out August 24th 2017

The Death of Her is a haunting psychological thriller from Debbie Howells, author of the bestselling Richard and Judy Book Club success The Bones of You.

A woman’s body is discovered on a Cornish farm, battered and left for dead in a maize field. Airlifted to hospital, her life hanging in the balance, no one’s sure who she is. Three days later she comes round, but her memory is damaged. She knows her name – Evie – but no more, until she remembers another name. Angel – her three-year-old daughter.

As the police circulate Evie’s photo, someone recognizes her. Charlotte knew her years ago, at school, when another child went missing. Leah Danning, who vanished whilst in Evie’s care.

When the police search Evie’s home, there’s no sign of Angel. More disturbingly, there’s no evidence that she ever lived there, forcing the police to question whether Evie’s having some kind of breakdown.

But even from the darkest place she’s ever known, Evie believes her daughter is alive. The police remain unconvinced – unaware that on the fringes of Evie’s life, there’s someone else. Someone hidden, watching her every move, with their own agenda and their own twisted version of reality.

Which to read first??!! Never gets any easier choosing does it!

CURRENTLY READING

I’m a little bit all over the place at the moment with my current reads! I’m trying to make dents in a couple of reading challenges I’m taking part in, have just set up to take part in ARC August and am also trying to get my NetGalley shelf to look a little less full!  So that has thrown me a little in trying to decide what books to read so I have a number started when really i probably should just be focusing on one or two!

The Silk Weaver’s Wife by Debbie Rix

Started this yesterday and loving what I’ve read so far! Hoping to finish this either today or tomorrow!

Living Dangerously by Katie Fforde

This was a recent purchase at the local church fete.  Have loved other books by this author but this one is taking me a little time to get into! Just hoping it improves soon!

An Unlikely Agent by Jane Menczer

A purchase from Nudge Books and I’m really enjoying the writing style and whole set up behind this one!

And there we have it!  All wrapped up nicely! I do like this way of doing things as it keeps things clear in my mind – whether you enjoy reading it or not is another matter LOL!! It helps my poor little foggy brain keep track of things… well, for a few hours anyway!!

HAPPY READING!!

Posted in books

#ARCAugust Reading Challenge

Always looking for new and fun challenges to take part in, and I spotted today on the fabulous The Secret Library page that she was joining in with ARC August!  This was set up 5 years ago over at Read.Sleep.Repeat and was started to help reduce those Arc mountains – whether in physical form or e book! – and I need a bit of help on that front at the moment so am hoping it will help spur me on!  

The rules are pretty simple;

  • Any Advanced Reading Copy counts as part of this reading challenge; your backlist books count
  • No blog necessary to participate, but you’ll need to include some form of social media as part of your sign up
  • Use the #ARCAugust on social media to check-in
 
 
See, what could be easier!!  So i’ve gone for a pile of physical ARCs that have been threatening to topple over! I’ve gone for 10 but doubt I’ll get through that many – although with the start of August being a rainy one, then maybe there’ll be plenty of reading opportunities indoors!!
 
 
 

 
 
 

2.  See You In September by Charity Norman

3.  The Hidden Keys by Andre Alexis

4.  The Floating Theatre by Martha Conway

5.  What She Left by Rosie Fiore

6.  The Death of Her by Debbie Howells

7. Don’t Close Your Eyes by Holly Seddon

8.  The Chalk Artist by Allegra Goodman

9.  This Beautiful Life by Katie Marsh

10. Spellslinger by Sebastien De Castell

And there we have it! Extremely ambitious and extremely unlikely that I will even get to half of them! But now they are all piled up by the side of me I won’t be able to ignore them!  That’s the plan anyway!!  Looking forward to seeing other updates via Blogs and Twitter!

 

HAPPY READING!!