About Books and Me!!

Avid Reader. Reviewer. Book hoarder. Bunny Owner. Football Fan. Gardener. M.E sufferer. Cross Stitching Addict

#BlogTour WITCH by MARK BROWNLESS #BookReview @ZooloosBT @SpellBoundBk #SHOctober #ZooloosBookTours

Are you ready?! Shocktober is with us and it’s time to get scared!! Huge thanks to the team at Spellbound books and ZooLoosBookTours for putting this all together and letting me be part of it all!!

ABOUT THE BOOK

𝐅𝐨𝐫 𝐒𝐚𝐥𝐞

We are delighted to present Ty Llun – Lake House – which is, once again, available.

A beautiful 400 year old waterfront property in an idyllic Welsh village, the property has plenty of character and comes complete with the spirit of a long dead witch.

It’s the ideal place for a couple to move to, to start again, to try and forget the heartbreak of the past.

And we are sure that, this time, 𝒔𝒉𝒆 will leave you in peace…

𝗪𝗶𝘁𝗰𝗵, 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘁𝗲𝗿𝗿𝗶𝗳𝘆𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗻𝗲𝘄 𝗵𝗼𝗿𝗿𝗼𝗿 𝗻𝗼𝘃𝗲𝗹 𝗳𝗿𝗼𝗺 𝗠𝗮𝗿𝗸 𝗕𝗿𝗼𝘄𝗻𝗹𝗲𝘀𝘀, 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗮𝘂𝘁𝗵𝗼𝗿 𝗼𝗳 𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗦𝗵𝗮𝗱𝗼𝘄 𝗠𝗮𝗻 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗛𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗼𝗳 𝗮𝗻 𝗔𝗻𝗴𝗲𝗹.

Published by  SPELLBOUND BOOKS

PURCHASE LINK

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mark Brownless lives and works in Carmarthen, West Wales, UK. He has been putting ideas on paper for some years now but only when the idea for THE HAND OF AN ANGEL came to him in the autumn of 2015 did he know he might be able to write a book. Mark likes to write about ordinary people being placed in extraordinary circumstances, is fascinated by unexplained phenomena, and enjoys merging thriller, science fiction and horror.

Mark’s new novel, The Shadow Man is a terrifying horror thriller imagining what would happen if you found out the memories of your childhood were untrue, and that something sinister was lurking behind the facade of your life. Could you face what had happened back then? Could you face The Shadow Man.

Mark is also fascinated by myths and legends such as those of Robin Hood and King Arthur. This has culminated in the release of his short story series, Locksley, a Robin Hood story.

Follow him at:

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

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJgI_jjJAyOhCtuZTH7Vx8Q 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/markbrownless


MY REVIEW

An isolated 400 year old waterfront property in a rural Welsh village… what could possibly go wrong??!!  I am so glad I read this book with all the lights on and during the daytime!!  Even now I am still wincing at weird noises around the house….. just in case the witch has decided to come and haunt me!

Victoria and Gabe are both writers, and they find themselves moving to this new property to try and help them move on from a tragedy.  But you can really tell that this grief goes deep and it’s very hard to move on.  The locals aren’t too welcoming and soon talk turns to the witch that haunts the property!!  That would see me running for the hills! But Victoria and Gabe aren’t put off by these tales….. and then the weirdness starts up at home!!

There’s noises, strange sightings, messages left on the wall….they begin by trying to be rational about it all but it soon turns much darker and Gabe is left to find out more about the past of this home in the hope he can put an end to it all, whilst Victoria seems to become more fascinated by this ghostly presence.

It was wonderfully descriptive throughout, that really helps put you at the centre of the action and leaves you with chills as the darkness that surrounds them takes hold!  I also loved the flashbacks to the past to tell the story of Morvith and could have happily read more tales of her and the goings on of the past!

It’s a book to frighten, to shock and to entertain and I loved every single minute of being scared and chilled to the core!!

★★★★

#GuestPost WRONG SORT OF GIRL by HELEN BRIDGETT #PublicationDay @ChocLituk



Hello and thanks for joining me at Books & Me today! And I’m very happy to be handing over the blog today  to the lovely Helen Bridgett to help celebrate publication day for WRONG SORT OF GIRL!!!  Go get your copy ASAP!!!

Over to you Helen….

Wrong Sort of Girl by Helen Bridgett

I read across many genres so it seemed fairly natural for me to write both rom-com and crime fiction. At the end of the day, both genres are often about a woman who finds herself in a difficult situation and has to work out how to deal with it. Whether you’re reading Serenity Bay or either of my Professor Maxie Reddick novels, I hope you can relate to the main protagonist and see yourself in some of their actions.

In my crime novels – One by One and Wrong Sort of Girl – the heroine isn’t a policewoman but she does work closely with them and knows their procedures. She’s a professor of Criminology and in each case used her knowledge of that subject to help identify the culprit. I have to confess that I have loved researching all of the topics that are covered in Criminology and there are days when I forget that I actually have to get on with writing the book itself!

In Wrong Sort of Girl, I cover a subject called unconscious bias – how we all make decisions about someone purely on their appearance and how this impacts the justice system. The missing girl in this novel – Kelly – loves to party. She’s wild, tattooed, pierced and simply wouldn’t look good on the front pages of the newspapers. But she’s also a loving, successful young woman and Professor Reddick is determined to remind the general public of this and equally determined to find her. It’s set in the week before Christmas and in researching the book, I was fascinated and horrified to find out how many people actually do go missing at this time of year.

Professor Reddick has a cast of characters helping her to find Kelly including Kelly’s gorgeous but fiery Spanish boyfriend. We also see the return of DS Andrew Dawson who tries to keep Professor Reddick out of trouble – good luck with that!

Wrong Sort of Girl will get you thinking and will keep you on your toes as, alongside the professor, you try to work out what has happened to Kelly.

📚📚📚

ABOUT THE BOOK

A young woman has gone missing. It’s nearly Christmas. Why does hardly anyone seem to care?

Kelly Ingles’ case should have been one to tug on the public’s heartstrings: a young woman missing in the run-up to Christmas.

But Kelly wasn’t perfect – she liked to party, enjoyed a drink, didn’t always make the best decisions. And when evidence of her drunken antics appears online, it becomes clear that Kelly might not just have been in the wrong place at the wrong time; she might also be the wrong sort of girl to encourage public sympathy.

It’s a case that’s right up Maxie Reddick’s street. As a criminology professor, she’s made it her mission to challenge unconscious biases within the criminal justice system – the sort of biases that cause girls like Kelly to slip through the cracks.

But can she get the police and public on board before it’s too late?

Buying links: 

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wrong-Sort-Girl-completely-Professor-ebook/dp/B09FM1GC4P 

Apple Books: https://books.apple.com/us/book/wrong-sort-of-girl/id1584824924 

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/wrong-sort-of-girl

 Nook: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wrong-sort-of-girl-helen-bridgett/1140139387

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Helen Bridgett lives in the North East of England. Outside of writing feel good fiction, Helen loves the great outdoors and having a good laugh with friends over a glass of wine. Helen lives with her husband and their chocolate Labrador, Angus; all three can often be found walking the Northumberland coastline that inspired Summer at Serenity Bay.

Helen writes romantic comedies and chilling thrillers.

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#BookReview PEOPLE LIKE US by LOUISE FEIN #historicalfiction



ABOUT THE BOOK


For fans of The Nightingale and All the Light We Cannot See, a spellbinding story of impossible love set against the backdrop of the Nazi regime.

As the dutiful daughter of a high-ranking Nazi officer, Hetty Heinrich is keen to play her part in the glorious new Thousand Year Reich. But she never imagines that all she believes and knows about her world will come into stark conflict when she encounters Walter, a Jewish friend from the past, who stirs dangerous feelings in her. Confused and conflicted, Hetty doesn’t know whom she can trust and where she can turn to, especially when she discovers that someone has been watching her.

Realizing she is taking a huge risk—but unable to resist the intense attraction she has for Walter—she embarks on a secret love affair with him. Together, they dream about when the war will be over and plan for their future. But as the rising tide of anti-Semitism threatens to engulf them, Hetty and Walter will be forced to take extreme measures.

Will the steady march of dark forces destroy Hetty’s universe—or can love ultimately triumph…?

Propulsive, deeply affecting, and inspired by the author’s family history, Daughter of the Reich is a mesmerizing page-turner filled with vivid characters and a meticulously researched portrait of Nazi Germany. In this riveting story of passion, courage and morality, Louise Fein introduces a bold young woman determined to tread the treacherous path of survival and freedom, showing readers the strength in the power of love and reminding us that the past must never be forgotten.


PUBLISHED BY WILLIAM MORROW & COMPANY

PURCHASE LINK


Amazon

MY REVIEW

Just brilliant!! This is one of those books that makes you feel a whole range of emotions and you get so caught up in the storyline that you forget what is going on around you!

This is the story of Hetty, a young girl growing up in Germany during the rise of Hitler. She’s the daughter of a high ranking Nazi so is well versed in the propaganda that was being circulated at that time. And why would she not believe all that her family tell her!? Life is treating them well so there’s no need for them to show concern. The cult like status Hitler has amongst the youth in particular has them turning on their own family if they dare to share an opinion against the regime….

The abuse against the jewish community is laid bare for all to see as the story unfolds – from the school teachers to people out walking their dogs, their treatment is appalling, and as Hetty starts to question why she is being taught to hate, she is forced to deal with the fact that her friend Walter is a Jew and all contact with him must be stopped.

I absolutely adored the character of Hetty. You really see her start to question her own feelings and judgements as she sees what is going on around her and the realisation that all she’s been told isn’t the truth was powerful and life changing for her.

This book took me all over the place emotionally and that’s what kept me turning the pages! Wondering how her story would play out and seeing how time and perceptions were changing around her added to the heightened tension at times. Wonderfully told – highly recommended!!


★★★★★

#BookReview THE NIGHT OF THE FLOOD by ZOE SOMERVILLE #historicalfiction



ABOUT THE BOOK


An atmospheric literary thriller set in north Norfolk in the shadow of the Cold War, in which a love triangle turns murderous.

Her heart beat hard. There was a crazed beauty to the storm. It was almost miraculous, the way it took away the mess of life, sweeping all in its path…

No-one could have foreseen the changes the summer of 1952 would bring. Cramming for her final exams on her family’s farm on the Norfolk coast, Verity Frost feels trapped between past and present: the devotion of her childhood friend Arthur, just returned from National Service, and her strange new desire to escape.

When Verity meets Jack, a charismatic American pilot, he seems to offer the glamour and adventure she so craves, and Arthur becomes determined to uncover the dirt beneath his rival’s glossy sheen.

As summer turns to winter, a devastating storm hits the coast, flooding the land and altering everything in its path. In this new, watery landscape, Verity’s tangled web of secrets, lies and passion will bring about a crime that will change all their lives forever. 


PUBLISHED BY HEAD OF ZEUS

PURCHASE LINK


Amazon

MY REVIEW


This was a wonderfully intoxicating novel, set around the real life flood that hit the East coast of England in 1953. It merges the before, during and after of the events while looking at the lives of local characters who are all dealing with their own issues and insecurities.

It’s set in Norfolk, and centres around the goings on of a family living on a farm. Verity lives there with her father and brother, Peter, and they are all still coming to terms with a loss that impacted on them dreadfully. You get the impression that they all feel trapped by past events, and seem unable to fully move on and dream of a life away from the area. Verity especially has ideas of going to University, but that dream is always squashed by her father who wants her married off to a neighbours’ son as times are tough and the financial standing of the farm is more important.

The Americans are in town due to the local airbase, and when Jack shows up in all their lives it seems to shake things up. He’s a character not short of confidence and makes them all sit up and take notice – in good and bad ways!

I loved how the story plays out – the build up to the night of the flood showing life carrying on as normal, with the characters having no idea what was just around the corner for them all and that would impact the area so devastatingly.

I found all the characters so interesting to read about – the secrets, the emotions – and the impact that a change of personality added to the mix had on them all! It was a very atmospheric read and I was totally captivated by the setting, the impending disaster awaiting them and the angst they were all feeling due to their lives not being what their hearts desired and had left them feeling unsettled and regretful, but aware of responsibilities that were holding them back.


★★★★★

#BookReview DANCING FOR STALIN by CHRISTINA EZRAHI #NonFiction #RussianHistory @SarahHarwood_



ABOUT THE BOOK


Nina Anisimova was one of Russia’s most renowned ballerinas and one of the first Soviet female choreographers. Yet few knew that her exemplary career concealed a dark secret.

In 1938, at the height of Stalin’s Great Terror, Nina was arrested by the secret police, accused of being a Nazi spy and sentenced to forced labour in a camp in Kazakhstan. Trapped without hope – and without winter clothes in temperatures of minus 40 degrees – her art was her salvation, giving her a reason to fight for her life.

As Nina struggled to survive in the Gulag, her husband fought for her release in Leningrad. Against all odds, she was ultimately freed and astonishingly managed to return to her former life, just as war broke out. Despite wartime deprivation and the suffocating grip of Stalin’s totalitarian state, Nina’s irrepressible determination set her on the path to become an icon of the Kirov Ballet.

Dancing for Stalin is a remarkable true story of suffering and injustice, of courage, resilience and triumph.

PUBLISHED BY ELLIOT & THOMPSON

PURCHASE LINK

Amazon

MY REVIEW

Wow! If you’re looking for a story about an inspirational woman then look no further! I knew nothing of Nina Anisimova before picking this book up, and was just interested in finding out more about Russian history and I’ve been left gobsmacked by the story of this woman who found herself arrested during the purge of Stalin in 1938, and was sentenced to forced labour in Kazakhstan.

Her story is horrific and inspiring in equal measures as you read what was she was forced to endure under this brutal regime and it really brings home the horrors of life under Stalin. Her husband fought relentlessly on the outside for her release, and their story is made even clearer by the letters they shared and that is where the author found her inspiration. She only came across their story by mistake – what a story to uncover!

Her life before her arrest makes for astonishing reading too, as she rose to the top of the ballet world, and that love for ballet is what kept her going through the toughest times in the labour camps. She would dream of returning to the stage and choreography and you are left in no doubt with her attitude that she was going to achieve that aim, no matter what she was facing on a daily basis.

The background into Russian history was also absolutely fascinating, and seeing how the propoganda and paranoia whipped up by Stalin would make the population so fearful. The treatment of prisoners was horrific and the author pulls no punches in sharing what those locked up had to go through.

The love of her husband was equally powerful – their letters were so touching but always spoke of hope, and he just wouldn’t give up on getting her back. A truly amazing and courageous couple!

An astonishing story that needs to be read to be believed! Powerful!

★★★★★

My thanks to Sarah Harwood for the review copy in return for a fair and honest review.

#BookReview LUCKY by ED JACKSON #nonfiction #sports



ABOUT THE BOOK


From tragedy to triumph, one step at a time – an inspirational story of triumph over adversity against the odds

At just 28 years old, Ed Jackson was told he would never walk again. After a miscalculated dive into a pool, he suffered multiple cardiac arrests, a broken neck and a partially severed spinal cord. Lying paralysed in intensive care, the former rugby player knew his life would never be the same. But he wasn’t ready to give up hope.

Driven by relentless determination, Ed embarked on an incredible journey to independence. Millimetre by millimetre, he began to regain movement in his fingers and toes. Defying the expectations of even the most optimistic doctors, step by step, Ed began to walk again.

Fuelled by a renewed appreciation for life and a determination to help others suffering similar injuries to his own, Ed set his sights on a new challenge: mountaineering. Embarking on a gruelling climb to raise funds for a spinal unit in Kathmandu, Ed realises that, once again, the odds are stacked against him. Will he be able to overcome his own life-changing injury and transform others’ lives for the better?

Lucky is the story of how Ed faced the impossible when it seemed all hope was lost, and shows how you, too, can overcome the biggest challenges that life sends your way.


PUBLISHED BY HQ

PURCHASE LINK

Amazon

MY REVIEW

In this book Ed Jackson shares an astonishingly powerful message and I’m in total awe of him and the impact of the positive mental attitude that has helped him come to terms with his accident and not let it stop him! The bravery and determination he shows throughout is inspiring!

As he looks back over the accident that changed his life, he shares important messages about the power of the mind and how being supported by equally positive friends and family, gave him the fight within to look for new opportunities and challenges. It shows how quickly life can change in the blink of an eye and I was left in total admiration as he shared those moments as they unfolded. He would keep setting himself little challenges to inspire himself to keep moving forward mentally and physically and also looked to others who had suffered spinal injuries before him to keep pushing himself.

A brilliant read and an inspirational man!!

★★★★★

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 9th October 2021



hello and happy Saturday!!  If anyone has seen my get up and go, could they please return it?!  I feel like I need a rocket up my butt again at the moment to get caught up with everything! Except the book front – I always seem to be fairly well motivated on that front (other than the reviews that need writing!!).
And on the book front it’s been a rather good week! 5 books finished, 1 newbie on the Netgalley shelf, and 4 new bookish additions to my bookshelf that I just HAD to treat myself to this week!
Here’s my look back…

BOOKS FINISHED

CHRISTMAS WITH THE SURPLUS GIRLS by POLLY HERON – 5 STARS

THE OTHER BENNET SISTER by JANICE HADLOW (audiobook) – 4 STARS

PEOPLE LIKE US by LOUISE FEIN – 5 STARS

THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE by SHIRLEY JACKSON – 3 STARS

THE NIGHT OF THE FLOOD by ZOE SOMERVILLE – 5 STARS

BOOKHAUL


Starting at Netgalley..


THE WOMAN IN THE WOODS by LISA HALL

publication date – 14th October 2021

She’s out there. Waiting for you.

From the bestselling author comes a haunting read about witchcraft and superstition that will have you gripped…

When Allie moves to a quaint old cottage with her husband, it’s their dream home. Nestled in the village of Pluckley, it seems a perfect haven in which to raise their two children. But Pluckley has a reputation. It’s known as England’s most haunted village. And not long after the birth of their new son, Allie begins to notice strange things…   

What’s the flash of white she sees moving quickly through the woods to the back of their house? And what’s the strange scratching noise from the chimney?

As Allie discovers more about the history of their new home, she uncovers a story of witchcraft and superstition, which casts a long shadow into the present day. And not everything is as it seems. Her family might well be in danger, but it’s a danger none of them could have foreseen…

Bestseller Lisa Hall’s The Woman in the Woods is full of creeping unease and nerve-wracking tension, and will have readers on the edge of their seats…

And then I bought the following books….

SIX CRIMSON CRANES by ELIZABETH LIM

 the cover seduced me!! 😍

Shiori, the only princess of Kiata, has a secret. Forbidden magic runs through her veins. Normally she conceals it well, but on the morning of her betrothal ceremony, Shiori loses control. At first, her mistake seems like a stroke of luck, forestalling the wedding she never wanted, but it also catches the attention of Raikama, her stepmother.

Raikama has dark magic of her own, and she banishes the young princess, turning her brothers into cranes, and warning Shiori that she must speak of it to no one: for with every word that escapes her lips, one of her brothers will die.

Peniless, voiceless, and alone, Shiori searches for her brothers, and, on her journey, uncovers a conspiracy to overtake the throne—a conspiracy more twisted and deceitful, more cunning and complex, than even Raikama’s betrayal. Only Shiori can set the kingdom to rights, but to do so she must place her trust in the very boy she fought so hard not to marry. And she must embrace the magic she’s been taught all her life to contain—no matter what it costs her. 

CHRISTMAS ON THE ISLE OF SKYE by KIRSTY FERRY

How far would you go to be with the one you love at Christmas?

The Isle of Skye is a magical place, especially at Christmas, and there’s no place Zac Fallon would rather be. But whilst Zac has everything he needs on Skye, there’s still something missing – and that something is a somebody called Ivy McFarlane.

Ivy used to work with Zac but then spread her wings and moved to Glastonbury. He’s missed her ever since. Now it’s almost Christmas and Zac realises that the Ivy shaped hole in his life is too big to bear. So starts his festive mission to the mainland – but will he back in time to spend Christmas in Skye? And, more importantly, will Ivy be with him?


THE BORROW A BOOKSHOP HOLIDAY by KILEY DUNBAR

The Borrow-a-Bookshop Bookshop Café invites literature lovers to run their very own bookshop … for a fortnight.

Spend your days talking books with customers in your own charming bookshop and serving up delicious cream teas in the cosy café.

Bookworms, what are you waiting for? Your holiday is going to be LIT(erary).

Apply to: The Borrow-a-Bookshop Bookshop Café, Down-a-long, Clove Lore, Devon.

Jude Crawley should be on top of the world. She’s just graduated as a mature student, so can finally go public about her relationship with Philosophy professor, Mack.

Until she sees Mack kissing another girl, and her dreams crumble. And worse, their dream holiday – running a tiny bookshop in the harbour village of Clove Lore for two weeks – is non-refundable.

Throwing caution to the winds, Jude heads down to Devon, eager to immerse herself in literature and heal her broken heart.

But there’s one problem – six foot tall, brooding (but gorgeous) Elliot, who’s also reserved the bookshop holiday for two weeks…

As Jude and Elliot put their differences aside to run the bookshop, it seems that Jude might be falling in love with more than just words. Until she discovers what Elliot is running from – and why he’s hiding out in Clove Lore.

Can Jude find her own happy ending in a tiny, tumbledown bookshop? Or is she about to find out that her bookish holiday might have an unexpected twist in the tale…


CHRISTMAS IN LITTLE PENHAVEN by ANGELA BRITNELL

Have yourself a little Cornish Christmas …

Wannabe author Jane Solomon is expecting an uneventful Christmas in her Cornish village of Little Penhaven.
But then super fit American gym owner Hal Muir comes to town, and suddenly the holiday season looks set to be far more interesting. Hal is keen on embracing every British tradition on offer, from mince pies to Christmas pub quizzes – and perhaps some festive romance too …

CURRENTLY READING


LUCKY by ED JACKSON

HAPPY READING!

#BookReview ON GALLOWS DOWN by NICOLA CHESTER #NonFiction @chelseagreen



ABOUT THE BOOK


Part nature writing, part memoir, On Gallows Down is an essential, unforgettable read for fans of Helen Macdonald, Melissa Harrison and Isabella Tree.

Nicola Chester won the BBC Wildlife Magazine’s Nature Writer of the Year Award – this is her first book.

The story of a life shaped by landscape; of an enduring love of nature and the fierce desire to protect it – living as part of the rural working class in a ‘tied cottage’ on a country estate – and what it takes to feel like you belong.

On Gallows Down is a book about hope – from the rewilding of Greenham Common after the missiles left to how, as a new mother, Nicola walked the chalk hills to give her children roots, teaching them names and waymarks to find their way home. It is about the songs of the nightingale and cuckoo – whose return she waits for – the red kites, fieldfares, skylarks and lapwings that accompany her, the badger cubs she watches at night and the velvety mole she finds in her garden.

And it is also the story of how Nicola came to write and to protest – unearthing the seam of resistance that ran through Newbury’s past, from the Civil Wars to the Swing Riots and the women of the Greenham Common Peace Camps and to the fight against the Newbury bypass. A resistance that continues today against the destruction of hedgerows, trees and wildlife through modern farm estate management.

On Gallows Down is perfect for fans of H is for HawkThe Salt Path and Featherhood.

‘It is impossible to write with integrity about nature without protesting and resisting and waving a desperate red flag.

Isn’t it?’


PUBLISHED BY CHELSEA GREEN PUBLISHING


PUBLICATION DATE – 7TH OCTOBER 2021

PRE-ORDER LINKS


Publisher Website

Amazon


MY REVIEW


This is a book that inspires you to appreciate the nature around us as the author does a wonderful job of combining her personal experiences over the years, amidst the backdrop of the ever changing world we find ourselves living in.


This is a memoir of Nicola Chester, who has found herself protesting over the years to protect the environment in various locations whilst bringing up her family, and doing what she can to pass on the knowledge and love of wildlife and nature to her children and those around her. I have nothing but admiration for this woman after reading about her life experiences, and how she writes so passionately about the natural world. Her enthusiasm is infectious and I share the same anticipation as her awaiting wildlife sightings whilst you’re out for a walk.


I knew very little about some of the areas she talks about, but she brings them to life with her writing style and I also found myself googling pictures of the area to get more of a feel for the areas that meant so much to her over the years, and those areas that she fought so passionately to save and protect.


With her husband, she moved around the country over the years due to various job changes and there’s always that connection to nature and the outside world that allowed her to cope with change – the nature around always seemed to give her hope and it was lovely to see her passing that interest on to her children as she had them exploring local areas with her.


There’s lots of fascinating information about the wildlife she sees and how the changes in areas has impacted on the animals and their habitats, as well as the history of places she lived in, that it made for an absorbing read, and one that has made me more determined to do what I can for local areas and wildlife so that more can be protected and saved for future generations.

★★★★★


Thank you to the publisher, Chelsea Green Publishing, for the advanced reader copy in return for a fair and honest review.

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 2nd October 2021



hello all and happy October! How the flip are we here already?!  I’m sure it was January only last week!!  And the Christmas goodies are already in the shops….proper scary!!
On to a non scary subject, and that is books! Been another good bookish week – managed to finish 3 books, added only 1 to my Netgalley shelf and went a bit nuts on the library Borrowbox app and borrowed 3 e-books and 2 audiobooks… now to find time to read them all before I have to return them!!
Here’s my look back…


BOOKS FINISHED


DANCING FOR STALIN by CHRISTINA EZRAHI – 5 STARS

LUCKY by ED JACKSON – 5 STARS

THE RIVER BETWEEN US by LIZ FENWICK – 4 STARS

BOOKHAUL


Over to Netgalley first…


THE KEY IN THE LOCK by BETH UNDERDOWN

publication date – January 2022

I still dream, every night, of Polneath on fire. Smoke unfurling out of an upper window and a hectic orange light cascading across the terrace.

By day, Ivy Boscawen mourns the loss of her son Tim in the Great War. But by night she mourns another boy – one whose death decades ago haunts her still.

For Ivy is sure that there is more to what happened all those years ago: the fire at the Great House, and the terrible events that came after. A truth she must uncover, if she is ever to be free.

Brimming with secrets, this lyrical, haunting historical thriller is perfect for fans of Elizabeth Macneal, Sarah Waters and Diane Setterfield.

And then from the library app I borrowed….


THE NIGHT OF THE FLOOD by ZOE SOMERVILLE

An atmospheric literary thriller set in north Norfolk in the shadow of the Cold War, in which a love triangle turns murderous.

Her heart beat hard. There was a crazed beauty to the storm. It was almost miraculous, the way it took away the mess of life, sweeping all in its path…

No-one could have foreseen the changes the summer of 1952 would bring. Cramming for her final exams on her family’s farm on the Norfolk coast, Verity Frost feels trapped between past and present: the devotion of her childhood friend Arthur, just returned from National Service, and her strange new desire to escape.

When Verity meets Jack, a charismatic American pilot, he seems to offer the glamour and adventure she so craves, and Arthur becomes determined to uncover the dirt beneath his rival’s glossy sheen.

As summer turns to winter, a devastating storm hits the coast, flooding the land and altering everything in its path. In this new, watery landscape, Verity’s tangled web of secrets, lies and passion will bring about a crime that will change all their lives forever.


THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE by SHIRLEY JACKSON

Four seekers have arrived at the rambling old pile known as Hill House: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of psychic phenomena; Theodora, his lovely and lighthearted assistant; Luke, the adventurous future inheritor of the estate; and Eleanor, a friendless, fragile young woman with a dark past. As they begin to cope with chilling, even horrifying occurrences beyond their control or understanding, they cannot possibly know what lies ahead. For Hill House is gathering its powers – and soon it will choose one of them to make its own.


PEOPLE LIKE US by LOUISE FEIN

For fans of The Nightingale and All the Light We Cannot See, a spellbinding story of impossible love set against the backdrop of the Nazi regime.

As the dutiful daughter of a high-ranking Nazi officer, Hetty Heinrich is keen to play her part in the glorious new Thousand Year Reich. But she never imagines that all she believes and knows about her world will come into stark conflict when she encounters Walter, a Jewish friend from the past, who stirs dangerous feelings in her. Confused and conflicted, Hetty doesn’t know whom she can trust and where she can turn to, especially when she discovers that someone has been watching her.

Realizing she is taking a huge risk—but unable to resist the intense attraction she has for Walter—she embarks on a secret love affair with him. Together, they dream about when the war will be over and plan for their future. But as the rising tide of anti-Semitism threatens to engulf them, Hetty and Walter will be forced to take extreme measures.

Will the steady march of dark forces destroy Hetty’s universe—or can love ultimately triumph…?


THE OTHER BENNET SISTER by JANICE HADLOW (audiobook)

In Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Mary is the middle of the five Bennet girls and the plainest of them all, so what hope does she have? Prim and pious, with no redeeming features, she is unloved and seemingly unlovable.

The Other Bennet Sister, though, shows another side to Mary. An introvert in a family of extroverts; a constant disappointment to her mother who values beauty above all else; fearful of her father’s sharp tongue; with little in common with her siblings – is it any wonder she turns to books for both company and guidance? And, if she finds her life lonely or lacking, that she determines to try harder at the one thing she can be: right.

One by one, her sisters marry – Jane and Lizzy for love; Lydia for some semblance of respectability – but Mary, it seems, is destined to remain single and live out her life at Longbourn, at least until her father dies and the house is bequeathed to the reviled Mr Collins.

But when that fateful day finally comes, she slowly discovers that perhaps there is hope for her, after all.

Simultaneously a wonderfully warm homage to Jane Austen and a delightful new story in its own right, Janice Hadlow’s The Other Bennet Sister is, at its heart, a life-affirming tale of a young woman finding her place in the world. Witty and uplifting, it will make you feel – and cheer – for Mary as you never have before.


MOON OVER SOHO by BEN AARONOVITCH (audiobook)

The song. That’s what London constable and sorcerer’s apprentice Peter Grant first notices when he examines the corpse of Cyrus Wilkins, part-time jazz drummer and full-time accountant, who dropped dead of a heart attack while playing a gig at Soho’s 606 Club. The notes of the old jazz standard are rising from the body—a sure sign that something about the man’s death was not at all natural but instead supernatural.

Body and soul. They’re also what Peter will risk as he investigates a pattern of similar deaths in and around Soho. With the help of his superior officer, Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale, the last registered wizard in England, and the assistance of beautiful jazz aficionado Simone Fitzwilliam, Peter will uncover a deadly magical menace—one that leads right to his own doorstep and to the squandered promise of a young jazz musician: a talented trumpet player named Richard “Lord” Grant—otherwise known as Peter’s dear old dad.



CURRENTLY READING


RIVERS OF LONDON by BEN AARONOVITCH (audiobook)


CHRISTMAS WITH THE SURPLUS GIRLS by POLLY HERON




HAPPY READING!!

#Audiobookreview THE END OF MEN by CHRISTINA SWEENEY-BAIRD #BookReview



ABOUT THE BOOK


Set in a world where a virus stalks our male population, The End of Men is an electrifying and unforgettable debut from a remarkable new talent that asks: what would life truly look like without men?

Only men are affected by the virus; only women have the power to save us all.

The year is 2025, and a mysterious virus has broken out in Scotland–a lethal illness that seems to affect only men. When Dr. Amanda MacLean reports this phenomenon, she is dismissed as hysterical. By the time her warning is heeded, it is too late. The virus becomes a global pandemic–and a political one. The victims are all men. The world becomes alien–a women’s world.

What follows is the immersive account of the women who have been left to deal with the virus’s consequences, told through first-person narratives. Dr. MacLean; Catherine, a social historian determined to document the human stories behind the male plague; intelligence analyst Dawn, tasked with helping the government forge a new society; and Elizabeth, one of many scientists desperately working to develop a vaccine. Through these women and others, we see the uncountable ways the absence of men has changed society, from the personal–the loss of husbands and sons–to the political–the changes in the workforce, fertility and the meaning of family.

In The End of Men, Christina Sweeney-Baird creates an unforgettable tale of loss, resilience and hope.

PUBLISHED BY HARPER COLLINS


PURCHASE LINK

THE END OF MEN by CHRISTINA SWEENEY-BAIRD

MY REVIEW

I listened to the audioversion of this book – brilliantly read!


This is one of those timely reads, made even more relevant and relatable after our recent experiences! The amount of times you felt so connected to the story and the fear portrayed by the characters because of what we’ve all been through with this pandemic!


In this book, set in 2025, there’s a virus that comes out of nowhere and only seems to affect men. And they drop like flies pretty quickly. While in the early stages, the seriousness is trying to be flagged up, there are those who dismiss the concerns… we all know how that works out in reality! But this is a story cleverly told from the point of view of a variety of women looking on with different hats on, so to speak! Those working in the medical industry, those reporting on it, those looking for a cure/vaccine – and those seeing their loved ones becoming poorly and wanting to do all they can to not lose those closest to them.


The author really captures the uncertainty and the panic with each character and it did feel like a race against time thriller at times with the urgency needed to do what needed to protect people. And how women were stepping up to fill the positions normally inhabited by the men and how that impacted on day to day life. And the emotional aspects of becoming pregnant, and then being told your baby was a boy was really stark and bought home the harsh reality of it all.


A gripping read.


★★★★