Howdy!! Hoping the past 7 days have treated you well! My cold germs are slowly on their way out so that’s a big bonus! And the weather seems to be improving too! Yay for sunshine and slightly milder days! I’ve jinxed it now haven’t I?! I’ll report back next week and we’ll be under 6 foot of snow!
On to the books!! And it has been another rather productive bookish kind of week! Been not so productive on the reviewing side though so I need to up my game on that front! And that’s why I started all this reviewing/blogging malarkey in the first place – to help me remember why I loved / hated certain books in the first place! I recently found an old notebook where I used to jot down the books I’d read but all I’d put by the side of each book was either ‘good’, ‘not so good’, ‘loved it’ …etc but looking back on those titles I have absolutely no recollection of the story!! Very helpful! Maybe I’d just made the list up to make it look like I’d been reading lots…..
So this past week I’ve managed to read 4 books, all of which I thoroughly enjoyed so that is always a good thing! And there has also been some lovely bookpost in the form of real books (we had a different postman this week so I think our normal one has quit over my bookpost!) and courtesy of NetGalley – the more I try and stay away, the more I fail! oops!
The Cottingley Secret by Hazel Gaynor – 5 stars
Adored this magical story!
THE PERSEPHONE BOOK OF SHORT STORIES – 4 stars
A great collection of 30 stories from women authors about a wide range of subjects that was great to dip in and out of.
THE SEVEN DEATHS OF EVELYN HARDCASTLE by STUART TURTON – 5 stars
LOVED IT!! A stunning and mad read that has you guessing from start to finish!
SUNSHINE AND SECRETS by DAISY JAMES – 4 stars
Perfect escapism in a stunning location
The Girl In The Photography by Kirsty Ferry
As a member of the Choc Lit Tasting Panel, it’s fun to receive a manuscript and give it the thumbs up and then get to see that story make it to ‘real life book’ status and so I received this in the post today to enjoy all over again and a lovely little mention too! The chocolate may have already gone…
What if the past was trying to teach you a lesson?
Staying alone in the shadow of an abandoned manor house in Yorkshire would be madness to some, but art enthusiast Lissy de Luca can’t wait. Lissy has her reasons for seeking isolation, and she wants to study the Staithes Group – an artists’ commune active at the turn of the twentieth century.
Lissy is fascinated by the imposing Sea Scarr Hall – but the deeper she delves, the stranger things get. A lonely figure patrols the cove at night, whilst a hidden painting leads to a chilling realisation. And then there’s the photograph of the girl; so beautiful she could be a mermaid … and so familiar.
As Lissy further immerses herself, she comes to an eerie conclusion: The occupants of Sea Scarr Hall are long gone, but they have a message for her – and they’re going to make sure she gets it.
The Kindness of Strangers by Julie Newman
Published by Urbane Publications
Publication Date 19th April 2018
Deception abounds in Julie Newman’s breath-taking new novel. Widow Helen is desperate for a perfect family life, and will do everything she can to get what she wants. A veteran of the Afghanistan conflict Martin is adrift and seemingly without hope – can he ever win back his estranged family? Pregnant teenager Charley is striking out on her own to create a new life for her unborn child, but her mother Lizzie has other ideas. When three seemingly disparate lives connect, the past and the present collide to reveal secrets, lies and how far people are willing to go to hide the truth. Following the gripping and controversial Beware the Cuckoo, Julie Newman’s thrilling new novel lifts the lid on the dark past that haunts a seemingly happy household.
Twin Truths by Shelan Rodger
Published by The Dome Press
Publication Date 15th March 2018
What is the truth? And how do you recognise it when you hear it? Jenny and Pippa are twins. Like many twins they often know what the other is thinking. They complete each other. When Pippa disappears Jenny is left to face the world alone, as she tries to find out what happened to her other half. But the truth, for Jenny, can be a slippery thing.
Bookishly Monthly Tea & Book Club
Another month, and another fab set of goodies from the Bookishly club! I’d never heard of Elephant Bill before but it sounds like a fascinating read and am looking forward to giving the tea a try very soon!
Drift Stumble Fall by M.Jonathon Lee
Published by Hideaway Fall Ltd
Publication Date 12th April 2018
The author of five novels, M Jonathan Lee is a tireless mental health awareness campaigner, working closely with organisations including Mind, Time to Change and Rethink and blogs regularly for Huffington Post. Having personally experienced anxiety and depression during his life, Jonathan draws on his experiences to inform his writing.
Richard feels trapped in his hectic life of commitment and responsibility. From the daily mayhem of having young children, an exhausted wife and pushy in-laws who frequently outstay their welcome, Richards existence fills him with panic and resentment. The only place he can escape the dark cloud descending upon him is the bathroom, where he hides for hours on end, door locked, wondering how on earth he can escape.
Often staring out of his window, Richard enviously observes the tranquil life of Bill, his neighbour living in the bungalow across the road. From the outside, Bills world appears filled with comfort and peace. Yet underneath the apparent domestic bliss of both lives are lies, secrets, imperfections, sadness and suffering far greater than either could have imagined. Beneath the surface, a family tragedy has left Bill frozen in time and unable to move on. As he waits for a daughter who may never return, Bill watches Richards bustling family life and yearns for the joy it brings. As the two men watch each other from afar, it soon becomes apparent that other peoples lives are not always what they seem.
It’s Always The Husband by Michele Campbell – via NetGalley
Kate, Aubrey, and Jenny. They first met as college roommates and soon became inseparable, even though they are as different as three women can be. Twenty years later, one of them is standing at the edge of a bridge . . and someone else is urging her to jump.
How did things come to this?
As the novel cuts back and forth between their college years and their adult years, you see the exact reasons why these women love and hate each other—but can feelings that strong lead to murder? Or will everyone assume, as is often the case, that it’s always the husband?
The Cafe at Seashell Cove by Karen Clarke – via NetGalley
Publication Date 15th March 2018
Welcome to the Café at Seashell Cove, where you’ll find irresistible home-baked cakes, smiling friendly faces – and maybe even a second chance at love…
When Cassie Maitland needs a holiday from her glamorous but stressful job in event management, she escapes home to gorgeous Seashell Cove, where her family’s cosy café sits perched on the cliffs above sparkling waves and golden sand.
But a lot has changed while Cassie’s been away: her parents have transformed their tired café into a welcoming haven, her friends Meg and Tilly have whole new lives, and old flame Danny’s twinkling eyes and winning smile make Cassie feel even more flustered than they used to.
Keen to throw herself back into local life, Cassie starts to run themed events – including a not entirely successful cat-café day, complete with dozens of felines. Luckily Danny is always around to lend a helping hand, and Cassie soon begins to wonder if her life in London was really all she made it out to be…
Could a new start in Seashell Cove be exactly what Cassie needs?
Two on my reading pile at the moment but need to pick up the pace ahead of some Blog Tours coming up over the coming weeks!
THE LAST WILDERNESS by Neil Ansell
Loving this so far! A beautifully written memoir that just makes you want to go out walking and soak up nature!
Neil Ansell’s The Last Wilderness is a mesmerising book on nature and solitude by a writer who has spent his lifetime taking solitary ventures into the wild. For any readers of the author’s previous book, Deep Country, Robert Macfarlane’s The Old Ways or William Atkins The Moor.
The experience of being in nature alone is here set within the context of a series of walks that Neil Ansell takes into the most remote parts of Britain, the rough bounds in the Scottish Highlands. He illustrates the impact of being alone as part of nature, rather than outside it.
As a counterpoint, Neil Ansell also writes of the changes in the landscape, and how his hearing loss affects his relationship with nature as the calls of the birds he knows so well become silent to him.
Operation Heartbreak by Duff Cooper
Continuing my year of Persephone reading challenge, this is the latest little grey book I’ve plucked off my bookshelves!
Willie Maryngton always wanted to go to war. But he was born just too late to see action in the first world war, and it was a long wait until the second. Would he ever have his chance to be a hero?
And we are done! You may now all go and get on with you own reading pile – or review catch ups as I’ll be doing!! Hope your week ahead is full of bookish loveliness!!