My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 4th February 2023

Hello and Happy Saturday!! And hello to February!! I wonder what this month has in store for us!!  I’m just ecstatic that I finally got to get a photograph of a Kingfisher this week!! I just hope I now get more opportunities as they are an amazing bird!!

The book front has not been so amazing!! In my defence we have a decorator in painting our hallway so it’s absolute chaos and definitely not putting me in a reading frame of mind!! I just hope I can get back to it properly next week!! But I have managed to finish 2 books in the chaos, there has been some lovely bookpost and no visits to Netgalley! So that is a big positive!!

Here’s my look back!!

BOOKS FINISHED

1989 by VAL McDERMID – 4 STARS


WAITING FOR OUR RAINBOW by VICTORIA CORNWALL – 5 STARS

BOOKPOST


 I have been extremely lucky to receive a copy of this in the post for review!!

THE GARNETT GIRLS by GEORGINA MOORE

published by HQ

In this brilliant debut novel full of heart and warmth, three very different sisters–and their free-spirited mother–must grapple with life, responsibilities, and family secrets.

Forbidden, passionate and all-encompassing, Margo and Richard’s love affair was the stuff of legend–but, ultimately, doomed. When Richard walked out, Margo locked herself away, leaving her three daughters, Rachel, Imogen, and Sasha, to run wild.

Years later, charismatic Margo entertains lovers and friends in her cottage on the Isle of Wight, refusing to ever speak of Richard and her painful past. But her silence is keeping each of the Garnett girls from finding true happiness.

Rachel is desperate to return to London but is held hostage by responsibility for Sandcove, their beloved but crumbling family home. Dreamy Imogen feels the pressure to marry her kind, considerate fiancé, even when life is taking an unexpected turn. Wild, passionate Sasha, trapped between her fractured family and controlling husband, is weighed down by a secret that could shake the family to its core.

The Garnett Girls, the captivating debut novel from Georgina Moore, asks whether children can ever be free of the mistakes of their parents.

CURRENTLY READING

THE SILENT HOUSE by NELL PATTISON ( audiobook)

HAPPY READING!!

Advertisement

BookReview 1989 by VAL McDERMID

ABOUT THE BOOK

In the new installment to her historical crime series that began with 1979, internationally bestselling author Val McDermid delivers a propulsive new thriller that finds journalist Allie Burns has become an editor, and as the Cold War and AIDS crisis deliver a nonstop tide of news, most of it bad, a story falls into her lap. And then there’s a murder.

Hailed as Britain’s Queen of Crime, Val McDermid’s award-winning, internationally bestselling novels have captivated readers for more than thirty years. In her Allie Burns series, she returns to the past–both ours and in some ways her own–with the story of a female journalist whose stories lead her into world of corruption, terror, and murder.

It’s 1989 and Allie Burns is back. Older and maybe wiser, she’s running the northern news operation of the Sunday Globe, chafing at losing her role in investigative journalism and at the descent into the gutter of the UK tabloid media. But there’s plenty to keep her occupied. The year begins with the memorial service for the victims of the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, but Allie has barely filed her copy when she stumbles over a story about HIV/AIDS that will shock her into a major change of direction. The world of newspapers is undergoing a revolution, there’s skullduggery in the medical research labs and there are seismic rumblings behind the Iron Curtain. When murder is added to this potent mix, Allie is forced to question all her old certainties.

Readers are having a great time time-traveling with Val, and 1989 is a seamless, riveting novel that brings us once again face to face with how very much past is prologue, and how history’s sins stay with us.


PURCHASE LINK

AMAZON

MY REVIEW

 I found this to be an absorbing thriller that really transports you back to the news and events of 1989, along with some of the vile attitudes of the time! I’ve not read the first in the series, so this can be read as a standalone, but I’m planning to read 1979 very soon!


Allie works for the Sunday Globe and looks to offer a different and relatable perspective on stories that are in the news. Shame her bosses disagree and just tow the line with sensationalising things and making stories full of prejudice. She goes from the tragic events of Pan Am 103 memorial and Hillsborough, interspersed with a developing story of worrying events with HIV trials being cancelled with no reasons given. The more she discovers about the companies involved, the more she’s drawn in to some dangerous investigations and brick walls being put in her way.

You really get the sense in this book that the life of a journalistic is never dull! Especially when you’re ready to upset the apple cart and investigate some serious dodgy goings on. I loved the character of Allie, showing the reality of her working life alongside that of her personal life, living as a lesbian and working in an atmosphere full of homophobia and misogyny. The skullduggery of the media world behind the scenes is also a part of the storyline, and really illuminates how dark and dangerous it was – and probably still is!

I found this to be an extremely readable story! It was easy to follow, full of and watching back over events of that era was fascinating and really added an interesting perspective to her experiences and what she was dealing with.

★★★★

My thanks to Laura Sherlock for the advanced reader copy, in return for a fair and honest review.

PublicationDay #PromoPost 1989 by VAL McDERMID #1989 #Books

THE INSTANT SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER


___________

1989. The world is on the brink of revolution and journalist Allie Burns is a woman on a mission. When she discovers a lead about the exploitation of society’s most vulnerable, Allie is determined to investigate and give voice to the silenced.

Elsewhere, a ticking clock begins the countdown to a murder. As Allie begins to connect the dots and edges closer to exposing the truth, it is more shocking than she ever imagined. There’s nothing like a killer story, and to tell it, Allie must risk her freedom and her life . . .

The brand new unmissable, heart-stopping thriller from number one bestseller, Val McDermid


___________

Praise for the Allie Burns series



McDermid is at her considerable best’ GUARDIAN

‘Irresistible’ PATRICIA CORNWELL

‘A brilliant novel by a supremo of the genre’ PETER JAMES

‘Outstanding’ SPECTATOR

‘Another masterpiece’ DAVID BALDACCI

‘Sensational. One of Britain’s most accomplished writers’ SUNDAY EXPRESS

‘A masterly setter of scene’ SCOTSMAN

PURCHASE LINK

Amazon

GuestPost WAITING FOR OUR RAINBOW by VICTORIA CORNWALL #PublicationDay @ChocLituk @VickieCornwall

An absolute delight to welcome the lovely VICTORIA CORNWALL to the Blog today, to share her thoughts on Publication Day of WAITING FOR OUR RAINBOW!  All the details to get hold of your copy are down below!!

Over to you Victoria….

🌈🌈🌈

PUBLICATION DAY: Waiting for Our Rainbow by Victoria Cornwall

Thank you for having me on Books & Me blog, Karen. It’s lovely to be here.

Waiting For Our Rainbow is my first WW2 romance. It was inspired by the memories of an elderly gentleman seeing American G.I.s for the first time when he was a boy. During a time of rationing, it was very exciting to see soldiers arriving in trucks and throwing sweets out the back for them to catch. ‘They were always friendly to us children,’ I remember him recalling fondly. In a time when paternal relationships were more distant due to either long working hours or war, these young men were different and often friendly. This experience left a lasting impression on the gentleman for the rest of his life.

I was always aware that an area of woodland near my home was once used to hide tanks during the war. I have always loved history and have a particular interest in WW1 and WW2, so one day I began to research this period in Cornwall’s past. Who were these young soldiers? Why were they in Cornwall? What did they do during their time here? Where did they go when they left Cornwall? And what happened to everything they left behind?

So many people have helped me with my research. American historians, written memoirs, conversations with people who were alive at the time, newsreels, archive footage of veterans being interviewed and news articles. I was also able to visit some of the places myself. Waiting For Our Rainbow wrote itself in a way, as everything the soldiers did during their preparations for D Day was well documented. Anne and Joe’s love story represents those who lived through this historic time, when people from different cultures built new relationships and even found love despite knowing they would ultimately have to say goodbye. Through my research I learnt many things about these young American men and their Cornish hosts. I came away realising that despite their differences, ultimately they realised they were stronger working together than holding on to what makes them different from one another. It’s a lesson that is as relevant today as it was back then.

Waiting For Our Rainbow will be released as an Ebook on 31st January, 2023. A paperback and audio version will follow shortly afterwards.

🌈🌈🌈

About the book

Waiting For Our Rainbow is a WW2 romance between an American soldier and a young Cornish woman during the preparations for D Day.

Would you give your heart away if you knew it could only end in goodbye?

It should have been a time of romance and excitement for Anne – but it’s 1941 and the war is raging. So instead, she spends her days repairing spitfire wings and reminding herself that the real sacrifice is going on far away from her Cornish village.

When the news breaks that America has entered the war, it brings cautious hope to Anne and her family. And eventually, as the Jeeps filled with GIs roll in, it seems their little community is to play a pivotal role in the next stage of the fight.

But the Americans don’t just bring Hollywood glamour and optimism, they also bring something more tantalising – so when Anne meets handsome Joe Mallory, she has to remind herself of exactly why he’s there; that any relationship between them could only end in goodbye.

But is the inevitability of ‘goodbye’ powerful enough to stop what has already begun to blossom?

🌈🌈🌈

Buying Links

 Amazon UK: https://bit.ly/3DgkIoY 

Amazon US: https://bit.ly/3XWu5lo 

Kobo: http://bit.ly/3Jp0E7L 

Nook: http://bit.ly/3Y6lSeJ

 iBooks: https://apple.co/3R7EpFb

 Google Play: https://bit.ly/3wE943a

About the Author

Victoria grew up on a farm in Cornwall and is married with two grown up children and three grandchildren. She likes to read and write historical romance with a strong background story, but at its heart is the unmistakable emotion, even pain, of loving someone.

Her books have subsequently reached the finals of the NEW TALENT AWARD at the Festival of Romantic Fiction, the RNA’s JOAN HESSAYON AWARD, the 2021 RNA’s Goldsboro Books HISTORICAL ROMANTIC NOVEL AWARD. Her books have also been twice nominated for the RONE Best Indie or Small Published Book Award by InD’tale magazine.

She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association.

Social media links

Website: www.victoriacornwall.com

Twitter: @VickieCornwall

Facebook: www.facebook.com/victoriacornwall.author

Instagram: www.instagram.com/victoria_cornwallx

YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3hTR1yuAwJUbFyj0k9P4eQ

Pinterest: uk.pinterest.com/vickiecornwall/

🌈🌈🌈

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 28th January 2023

Hello!! Happy Saturday!! We’ve almost made it to the end of January… will it ever end?!  I’m hoping the cold weather will come to an end but I have a fear February might keep us chilly for a while longer!

But that could be good for reading time!! And it’s been a good past week with 4 books finished! But then I may have been naughty and added 2 books to the Netgalley shelf and treated myself to 2 more books from the Waterstones sale….. it’s their fault!!

Here’s my look back!

BOOKS FINISHED

EMILY WILDE’S ENCYCLOPAEDIA OF FAERIES by HEATHER FAWCETT – 3.5 STARS

ASHES AND STONES by ALLYSON SHAW – 5 STARS

SLOW by BROOKE McALARY (audiobook) – 4 STARS

KATE AND CLARA’S CURIOUS CORNISH CRAFT SHOP by ALI McNAMARA – 3.5 STARS

BOOKHAUL

We shall start at Netgalley…

VITA AND THE BIRDS by POLLY CROSBY 

publication date – July 2023

A haunting mystery for fans of Eve Chase, Kate Morton and Kate Mosse.
1938: Lady Vita Goldsborough lives in the shadow of her controlling older brother, Aubrey. Trapped and isolated on the East Anglian coast, Vita takes solace in watching the birds that fly over the marshes. But then she meets local artist Dodie Blakeney. The two women form a close bond, and Vita finally glimpses a chance to escape Aubrey’s grasp and be as free as the birds she loves.

1997: Decades later and in the wake of her mother’s death, Eve Blakeney returns to the coast where she spent childhood summers with her beloved grandmother, Dodie. Eve hopes the visit will help make sense of her grief. The last thing she expects to find is a bundle of letters that hint at the heart-breaking story of Dodie’s relationship with a woman named Vita.

Eve and Vita’s stories are linked by a shattering secret that echoes through the decades, and when Eve discovers the truth, it will overturn everything she thought she knew about her family – and change her life forever.

THE FURY OF KINGS by  R.S.MOULE

publication date May 2023

No Cover Available… yet!!

In the shadow of Eryispek—a mountain said to have no summit—a dark power is stirring. Storms rage in the frozen heights. Unexplained disappearances shake the kingdom below. And old enemies are sharpening their swords…

Andrick the Barrelbreaker first led an army at sixteen.

His victories secured the throne of Erland for his brother and shattered the rebellious noble houses in the West. Decades later, a fragile peace still holds.

But when the king’s only son is murdered, Erland is plunged into crisis. The new heir will stop at nothing to secure his claim. The king, maddened by grief, stalks the halls and hidden passages of his keep, growing more unpredictable by the day.

As war and magical disaster loom, Andrick must decide between protecting his family and marching out to serve a brother he barely recognizes.

His children must also choose their destinies.

Training in the practice yard every day, Orsian dreams of fighting beside his father. Now, for the first time, he faces the brutal reality of battle.

And Pherri is haunted by very different dreams—of figures struggling up the mountain, of a voice more chilling than the wind, of blood on the snow. Only she can resist the darkness that waits on the slopes above…

Race through the pages of an epic new series and enter a world of intrigue, battles and destiny that will leave you breathless. The Erland Saga is a classic fantasy adventure, perfect for fans of George R.R. Martin, John Gwynne and Raymond E. Feist.

And then Waterstones led me astray… again!!

ANTHEM by NOAH HAWLEY (signed copy)

From the visionary bestselling author of Before the Fall and The Good Father, an epic literary thriller set where America is right now . . . and the world will be tomorrow.

America spins into chaos as the last remnants of political consensus break apart. Against a background of environmental disaster and opioid addiction, debate descends into violence and militias roam the streets – while teenagers across the world seem driven to self-destruction, communicating by memes only they can understand.

Yet the markets still tick up and the super-rich, like Ty Oliver, fly above the flames in private jets.

After the death of his daughter, Ty dispatches his son Simon to an Anxiety Abatement Center. There he encounters another boy called the Prophet. And the Prophet wants him to join a quest.

Before long, Simon is on the road with a crew of new comrades on a rescue mission as urgent as it is enigmatic. Suddenly heroes of their own story, they are crossing the country in search of a young woman held in a billionaire’s retreat – and, just possibly, the only hope of escape from the apocalypse bequeathed to them by their parents’ generation.

Noah Hawley’s epic literary thriller, full of unforgettably vivid characters, finds unquenchable lights in the darkest corners. Uncannily topical and yet as timeless as a Grimm’s fairy tale, this is a novel of excoriating power, raw emotion and narrative verve, confirming Hawley as one of the most essential writers of our time.

AMY & LAN by SADIE JONES

This is the story of how we came to Frith. And we’re never, ever, ever leaving.’

Amy Connell and Lan Honey are having the best childhood, growing up on a West Country farm – three families, a couple of lodgers, goats, dogs and an orphaned calf called Gabriella Christmas.

The parents are best friends too. Originally from the city, they’re learning about farming: growing their own vegetables, milking the goats, slaughtering chickens and scything the hay–

‘Mind your eyes! Don’t break your neck! Careful!’

The adults are far too busy to keep an eye on Amy and Lan, and Amy and Lan would never tell them about climbing on the high barn roof, or what happened with the axe that time, any more than their parents would tell them the things they get up to – adult things, like betrayal – that threaten to bring the whole fragile idyll tumbling down…

And then there is this months’ book from Goldsboro Books.. and it looks beautiful!


THE THINGS WE DO TO OUR FRIENDS by HEATHER DARWENT

She’s an outsider desperate to belong, but the cost of entry might be her darkest secret in this intoxicating debut of literary suspense following a clique of dangerously ambitious students at the University of Edinburgh.

Edinburgh, Scotland: a moody city of labyrinthine alleyways, oppressive fog, and buried history; the ultimate destination for someone with something to hide. Perfect for Clare, then, who arrives utterly alone and yearning to reinvent herself. And what better place to conceal the dark secrets in her past than at the university in the heart of the fabled, cobblestoned Old Town?

When Clare meets Tabitha, a charismatic, beautiful, and intimidatingly rich girl from her art history class, she knows she’s destined to be friends with her and her exclusive circle: raffish Samuel; shrewd Ava; and pragmatic Imogen. Clare is immediately drawn into their libertine world of sophisticated dinner parties and summers in France. The new life she always envisioned for herself has seemingly begun.

And then Tabitha reveals a little project she’s been working on, one that she needs Clare’s help with. Even though it goes against everything Clare has tried to repent for. Even though their intimacy begins to darken into codependence. But as Clare starts to realize just what her friends are capable of, it’s already too late. Because they’ve taken the plunge. They’re so close to attaining the things they want. And there’s no going back.

What is the cost of an extraordinary life if others have to pay? Reimagining the classic themes of obsession and striving with an original and sinister edge, The Things We Do to Our Friends is a seductive thriller about the toxic battle between those who have, and those who covet–between the desire to truly belong, and the danger of being truly known.

CURRENTLY READING

A MARRIAGE OF FORTUNE by ANNE O’BRIEN


HAPPY READING!!

GuestPost CAPTURED BY A SCOTTISH LORD by MARIE LAVAL #PublicationDay @ChocLituk @MarieLaval1

Hello and welcome along to my Blog!! A real pleasure today to have Marie Laval here to help celebrate Publication Day for the fabulous CAPTURED BY A SCOTTISH LORD! She’ll let you know where she gets the inspiration from for the story!Links to go grab your copy are down below so treat yourself!! You will not be disappointed!
Over to you Marie…..

Publication Day Post: Captured by a Scottish Lord by Marie Laval

People often ask me where I get my ideas from. Well, all I had to do for Captured by a Scottish Lord, my latest historical romance published by Choc Lit, was to look at a beautiful book about the Highlands of Scotland my children had given me for Christmas. Not only was it filled with photos of incredible castles and dreamy landscapes, but there was also a detailed map of the area and the moment I saw the name ‘Wrath’ right at the top, I knew this would be the setting of my story.

Like by magic I started to write and the characters took a life of their own – Rose Saintclair, the Desert Rose sailing from her hot, sunny Algeria and shipwrecked in a winter storm, and Bruce McGunn, Laird of Wrath, haunted by the fear of madness and dark memories of his time in the Punjab wars…

Captured by a Scottish Lord is the third novel featuring a member of the Saintclair family. Rose is a wonderful, warm and fun character, and she comes up with the most outrageous and inappropriate comments – some of them I borrowed from my own mother, who, like Rose, grew up in Algeria. I must say that Rose made me laugh a lot when I was writing! The first time he sees her Bruce compares her to a ray of sunshine and a summer morning filled with light and life, with the scent of wild flowers, and the promise of sweetness, life and love. And the man really does need love and sunshine…

ABOUT THE BOOK

Can a Desert Rose survive a Scottish winter?

 The wild Scottish landscape is a far cry from Rose Saintclair’s Saharan oasis, although she’ll endure it for Lord Cameron McRae, the man she married after a whirlwind romance in Algiers. But when stormy weather leads to Rose’s Scotland-bound ship docking on Cape Wrath – the land of Cameron’s enemy, Bruce McGunn – could her new life already be in jeopardy? 

Lord McGunn was a fearless soldier, but his experiences have made him as unforgiving as the land he presides over. He knows McRae won’t rest until he owns Wrath, and the man is willing to use brutal tactics. Bruce decides that he’ll play McRae at his own game, take the ship and its precious occupant, and hold them hostage. Rose is determined to escape, but whilst captured she learns that there’s another side to her new husband – and could her supposedly cold and ruthless kidnapper also be concealing hidden depths?

Captured by a Scottish Lord is available on Amazon and Kobo and other platforms.

About the author


Originally from Lyon in France, Marie now lives in Lancashire and writes historical and contemporary romance. Best-selling Little Pink Taxi was her debut romantic comedy novel with Choc Lit. A Paris Fairy Tale was published in July 2019, followed by Bluebell’s Christmas Magic in November 2019 and bestselling romantic suspense Escape to the Little Chateau which was shortlisted for the 2021 RNA Jackie Collins Romantic Suspense Award. Marie’s historical romances, Angel of the Lost Treasure, Queen of the Desert and Captured by a Scottish Lord, all feature members of the Saintclair family and her short stories are published in the bestselling Miss Moonshine anthologies. Marie is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and the Society of Authors, and her novels are available as paperbacks, ebooks and audiobooks on AMAZON and various other platforms.

Follow Marie on Twitter: https://twitter.com/MarieLaval1 

Like Marie’s page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marielavalauthor

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 20th January 2023

Hello! Happy Saturday!!  Been a rather chilly week here, lots of frosty days but beautiful sunshine! And no snow for us! We missed out on the fun again! AT least it beats the grey, rainy weather!

And on the book front it’s been a very good week!! Managed to finish 6 books this week which pleased me greatly!!  Just 1 new addition to the Netgalley shelves too, along with 1 physical book for review!

Here’s my look back!

BOOKS FINISHED

ONCE UPON A TOME by OLIVER DARKSHIRE – 4 STARS

HORTUS CURIOUS by MICHAEL PERRY – 4 STARS

RECIPE FOR MR PERFECT by ANNI ROSE -5 STARS

THE TOLL HOUSE by CARLY REAGON – 4 STARS

THE DARLINGS OF THE ASYLUM by NOEL O’REILLY – 4 STARS


NEW BEGINNING FOR THE SURPLUS GIRLS by POLLY HERON – 5 STARS



BOOKHAUL

One temptation at Netgalley this week….

HOMECOMING by KATE MORTON

publication date – April 2023

Adelaide Hills, Christmas Eve, 1959. At the end of a scorching hot day, beside a creek in the grounds of a grand and mysterious mansion, a local delivery man makes a terrible discovery. A police investigation is called and the small town of Tumbeela becomes embroiled in one of the most shocking and perplexing murder cases in the history of South Australia.

Sixty years later, Jess is a journalist in search of a story. Having lived and worked in London for almost twenty years, she now finds herself laid off from her full-time job and struggling to make ends meet. A phone call out of nowhere summons her back to Sydney, where her beloved grandmother, Stella, who raised Jess when her mother could not, has suffered a fall and been raced to the hospital.

Stella has always been a vibrant and strong presence: decisive, encouraging, young beyond her years. When Jess visits her in the hospital she is alarmed to find her grandmother frail and confused; it’s even more alarming to hear from Stella’s housekeeper that Stella had been distracted in the weeks before her accident, and that she fell on the steps to the attic – the one place Jess was forbidden from playing when she was small.

At a loose end in Stella’s house, Jess does some digging of her own. In Stella’s bedroom, she discovers a true crime book, chronicling the police investigation into a long-buried tragedy: the Turner Family Tragedy of Christmas Eve, 1959. It is only when Jess skims through the book that she finds a shocking connection between her own family and this once-infamous crime – a crime that has never been resolved satisfactorily. And for a journalist without a story, a cold case might be the best distraction she can find . . .

An epic novel that spans generations, Homecoming asks what we would do for those we love, and how we protect the lies we tell. It explores the power of motherhood, the corrosive effects of tightly held secrets, and the healing nature of truth. Above all, it is a beguiling and immensely satisfying novel from one of the finest writers working today.

And in the post I was very thankful to receive this book for review…

1989 by VAL McDERMAID

publication date – February 2nd 2023

It’s 1989 and Allie Burns is back.Older and maybe wiser, she’s running the northern news operation of the Sunday Globe, chafing at losing her role in investigative journalism and at the descent into the gutter of the UK tabloid media.But there’s plenty to keep her occupied. The year begins with the memorial service to the victims of the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, but Allie has barely filed her copy when she stumbles over a story about HIV/AIDS that will shock her into a major change of direction.The world of newspapers is undergoing a revolution, there’s skulduggery in the medical research labs and there are seismic rumblings behind the Iron Curtain. When kidnap and murder are added to this potent mix, Allie is forced to question all her old certainties.



CURRENTLY READING

EMILY WILDE’S ENCYCLOPAEDIA OF FAERIES by HEATHER FAWCETT



HAPPY READING!!

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 14th January 2023

 Hello! Happy Saturday!!  Another mostly wet and blustery week here…. I really hope some better weather is on the way! I have a very soggy garden!!

But the crappy weather has meant it’s been another steady week on the book front! 4 books finished, 1 newbie to read on Netgalley, and 1 from a publisher!  Let’s hope this keeps up!!

Here’s my look back!

BOOKS FINISHED

THE IT GIRL by RUTH WARE (audiobook) – 4 STARS

WINTER FLOWERS by ANGELIQUE VILLENEUVE – 5 STARS



THE ENGLISH FUHRER by RORY CLEMENTS – 5 STARS

DAISY’S VINTAGE CORNISH CAMPER VAN by ALI MCNAMARA – 4 STARS



BOOKHAUL

I was invited to read this one via Netgalley… so it’s not my fault! 😉

THE LADY OF THE LOCH  by ELENA COLLINS

publication date – February 2023


‘Although I believe I will die here in this castle, my spirit will never be silent.’

Ravenscraig Castle, Scotland. 1307

When the castle she works in is sacked by the army of Prince Edward of England, kitchen maid Agnes Fitzgerald manages to escape north of Inverness to throw herself at the mercy of the Lord and Lady at Ravenscraig Castle. Although safe for now, the people of Scotland are fighting hard for their independence, and the threat of the English hangs heavy over the land.  But when Agnes spies Cam Buchanan swimming in the loch, her mind turns away from war and towards love.  Agnes even dares to dream of a happy future, until she learns that Cam must go and fight alongside Robert de Brus.

Present day

Twins Leah and Zoe need a change, so caretaking at Ravenscraig Castle is the perfect opportunity to get away from it all. Surrounded by rugged Highland countryside, and bordered by a loch, the picturesque setting is everything they dreamed of. But the locals are reluctant to visit Ravenscraig, and there are whispers of ghosts and lost souls. The sisters quickly dismiss such superstition, but soon the overwhelming sadness they feel coming from the tower grows too hard to ignore.

Can the sisters finally right the wrongs of seven hundred years of heartbreak, seven hundred years of betrayal…

And I received this from Gallic Press for review…

BIRTHRIGHT by CHARLES LAMBERT
publication date – March 2023

A sublime psychological thriller from Polari Prize-shortlisted Charles Lambert.

Sixteen-year-old Fiona inhabits a privileged world of English affluence, though her relationship with her widowed mother is strained. When she discovers an old newspaper clipping of a woman and her daughter – the little girl a mirror image of her own younger self – she becomes convinced she has a true family elsewhere. Four years later, with the help of charming fraudster Patrick, Fiona drops everything to seek out her doppelgänger in Italy.

Fiona arrives in Rome to find Maddy living hand to mouth with her alcoholic mother. Spooked by the appearance of this strange girl wearing her face and stalking her every move, Maddy wants nothing to do with her. Caught in a surreal push-and-pull, the two are both fascinated and repulsed by the oddly familiar other, each coveting a different life. But they aren’t the only ones trying to control their fate, and the two women will soon learn that people aren’t always what they seem – though blood may still prove thicker than water.

Birthright is a dark, gripping literary thriller for fans of Ian McEwan, Rupert Thomson and Edward St Aubyn

CURRENTLY READING

LAPVONA by OTTESSA MOSHFEGH (audiobook)

HAPPY READING!!

BookReview WINTER FLOWERS by ANGELIQUE VILLENEUVE

ABOUT THE BOOK

It’s October 1918 and the war is drawing to a close.

Toussaint Caillet returns home to his wife, Jeanne, and the young daughter he hasn’t seen growing up. He is not coming back from the front line but from the department for facial injuries at Val-de-Grâce military hospital, where he has spent the last two years.

For Jeanne, who has struggled to endure his absence and the hardships of wartime, her husband’s return marks the beginning of a new battle. With the promise of peace now in sight, the family must try to stitch together a new life from the tatters of what they had before.

PUBLISHED BY PEIRENE PRESS

PURCHASE LINK

PUBLISHER WEBSITE

MY REVIEW

 Early contender for one of my books of 2023!! That’s the effect this book has had on me! It’s quiet but extremely powerful in the subject matter, and the exploration of how the impact of war continues long after the war has ended.
It looks at a family where the husband has been away fighting, and the wife has been left back home to raise their child not knowing what is happening on the front line, and trying her best to deal with the consequences. When her husband returns home, she’s ecstatic to have him back but instantly sees he’s not the same man that left and coping with that change in personality is tough for them all.

You sense the husband, Touissant, has been through the extremes and finds it very difficult to go back to ‘normal’ life. But he won’t share with his wife what he’s been through – whether to protect them or himself – and it is just brilliantly written and explored through their interactions and the reactions of others the full impact.

The wife, Jeanne, has done all she can over the time he’s been away to protect her child, to keep normality in their life and she longed for, and dreaded, his return. Must be so harrowing to watch someone you love almost shutting themselves off from you and your life in a form of self preservation. The emotional toll on the whole family is harrowing and as you discover more about his life and experiences during the war, your heart just breaks – for them all.

A stunning book which is short in length but will stay long in the mind.

★★★★★

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 7th January 2023

Hello and Happy New Year!!  A whole new year of reading adventures ahead of us all, with all the fun that entails!! Bring it on!!  

And it’s been a promising start to the year book wise!!  Managed to finish off 5 books and avoided Netgalley completely!  Some new books have arrived from the Waterstones sale as well – those vouchers needed spending haha! – and I’ve also received a book to review from the author!

Here’s my look back!

BOOKS FINISHED

THE JOURNEY by JAMES NORBURY – 5 STARS

A GOOD CATCH by FERN BRITTON – 3 STARS

THE THIRD MAN & FALLEN IDOL by GRAHAM GREENE (audiobook) – 4 STARS

SHIVER by JUNJI ITO – 4 STARS

BIRDS by JIM MOIR – 4 STARS


BOOKHAUL

I had vouchers to spend…. there was still a sale on…..

I, MONA LISA by NATASHA SOLOMONS

Listen to my history. My adventures are worth hearing. I have lived many lifetimes and been loved by emperors, kings and thieves. I have survived kidnap and assault. Revolution and two world wars. But this is also a love story. And the story of what we will do for those we love.

In Leonardo da Vinci’s studio, bursting with genius imagination, towering commissions and needling patrons, as well as discontented muses, friends and rivals, sits the painting of the Mona Lisa. For five hundred tumultuous years, amid a whirlwind of power, money, intrigue, the portrait of Lisa del Giocondo is sought after and stolen. Over the centuries, few could hear her voice, but now she is ready to tell her own story, in her own words – a tale of rivalry, murder and heartbreak. Weaving through the years, she takes us from the dazzling world of Florentine studios to the French courts at Fontainebleau and Versailles, and into the Twentieth Century.

I, Mona Lisa is a deliciously vivid, compulsive and illuminating story about the lost and forgotten women throughout history.

THE WEATHER WOMAN by SALLY GARDNER

Neva Friezland is born into a world of trickery and illusion, where fortunes can be won and lost on the turn of a card.

She is also born with an extraordinary gift. She can predict the weather. In Regency England, where the proper goal for a gentlewoman is marriage and only God knows the weather, this is dangerous. It is also potentially very lucrative.

In order to debate with the men of science and move about freely, Neva adopts a sophisticated male disguise. She foretells the weather from inside an automaton created by her brilliant clockmaker father.

But what will happen when the disguised Neva falls in love with a charismatic young man?

It can be very dangerous to be ahead of your time. Especially as a woman.


THE SEVEN MOONS OF MAALI ALMEIDA by SHEHAN KARUNATILAKA

Colombo, 1990. Maali Almeida—war photographer, gambler, and closet queen—has woken up dead in what seems like a celestial visa office. His dismembered body is sinking in the serene Beira Lake and he has no idea who killed him. In a country where scores are settled by death squads, suicide bombers, and hired goons, the list of suspects is depressingly long, as the ghouls and ghosts with grudges who cluster round can attest. But even in the afterlife, time is running out for Maali. He has seven moons to contact the man and woman he loves most and lead them to the photos that will rock Sri Lanka.Ten years after his prize-winning novel Chinaman established him as one of Sri Lanka’s foremost authors, Shehan Karunatilaka is back with a “thrilling satire” (Economist) and rip-roaring state-of-the-nation epic that offers equal parts mordant wit and disturbing, profound truths.

SMALL ANGELS by LAUREN OWEN

A wedding in a small English village attracts a malicious spirit, forcing deep secrets to surface–a hypnotic tale of sisterhood, first love, and hauntings.

As a teenager, Kate found a safe harbor from her parents’ constant fighting in the company of the four Gonne sisters, who lived with their strict grandparents next to Small Angels, a church on the edge of dense green woods. The first outsider to ever get close to the sisters, Kate eventually learned the family’s secret: The woods are home to a capricious, menacing ghost whom generations of Gonnes had been charged with stopping from venturing into the village itself. But as the sisters grew older, braver, and more independent, bucking against the family’s burden, the bulwark began to crack, culminating in a horrifying act of violence that drove a terrible wedge between the sisters and Kate.

Chloe has been planning her dream wedding for months. She has the dress, the flowers, and the perfect venue: Small Angels, a charming old church in the village where her fiancé, Sam, and his sister, Kate, grew up. But days before the ceremony, Chloe starts to hear unsettling stories about Small Angels–and worse, she begins to see, smell, and hear things that couldn’t possibly be real.

Now Kate is returning home for the first time in years, for Sam and Chloe’s wedding. But the woods are coming alive again, and Kate must reconnect with Lucia, the most troubled of the sisters and her first love, to protect Chloe, the village, and herself. An unforgettable novel about the memories that hold us back and those that show us the way forward–this is storytelling at its most magical. Enter Small Angels, if you dare.


And then I was very lucky to receive this copy from the author in return for a fair and honest review…

NEW BEGINNINGS FOR THE SURPLUS GIRLS by POLLY HERON

Manchester, 1923: Jess Mason is determined to make her own way in the world. When she’s appointed manager for Holly Lodge, a new home for old soldiers, she must convince the owner that she can run things just as well as any man – if not better.

To everyone around him, Tom Watson seems a cheerful and sociable man, but he has secretly vowed to go through life alone. However, when he takes on the renovation of Holly Lodge and meets Jess, the walls he has built around himself start to crumble.

As the opening of the new soldiers’ home proves to be less than straightforward, Jess must fight tooth and nail to hold on to her precious new role. And with her affections for Tom growing stronger by each day, she can’t help but wonder if there is room in her life for both love and the career she’s always dreamt of.

CURRENTLY READING

THE IT GIRL by RUTH WARE (audiobook)


HAPPY READING!!