My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 27th November 2021



Hello and Happy Saturday – once again! Not many Saturdays left in 2021!!! So scary! And the festive spirit still hasn’t got me! Full Grinch mode continues!!
On to books!! It’s been a fairly quiet bookish week for me – things on Youtube keep distracting me and taking me away from reading time!! But I did manage to finish 3 books, including 1 audiobook.  Just 1 newbie on the NetGalley shelf and 1 lovely book in the post to review!

Here’s my look back!

BOOKS FINISHED

BIRD, BATH AND BEYOND by E.J.COPPERMAN – 3 STARS

BAGGAGE by ALAN CUMMING – (AUDIOBOOK) – 4 STARS

THE BOOK OF FORM AND EMPTINESS by RUTH OZEKI – 4 STARS

BOOKHAUL


Just the one to tempt me at Netgalley this week

THE WINTER GUEST by W.C.RYAN

publication date – January 2022

Winter 1920. Though the war has been over for two years, many are still struggling to pick up their lives again when so much has been lost. In Ireland too, other terrible troubles are taking hold.

Then Tom Harkin, a former officer, arrives in the dead of night at a deserted railway platform. He has been summoned to Kilcolgan House, a grand old estate, to work as a tutor.

When Tom reaches the house it gradually becomes clear that this is not the imposing residence it once was. Half abandoned and filled with ghosts – both real and imagined – the noble family within co-exist only as the balance of their secrets is kept.

For there are mysteries at the heart of this family. And Tom’s arrival will set into motion a series of events that may become deadly . . .

A gripping mystery packed with twists and turns, The Winter Guest is the perfect chilling read this winter. 


And in the post I was lucky to receive this lovely parcel from the author..


CHRISTMAS WITH THE RAILWAY GIRLS by MAISIE THOMAS


Manchester, 1941

Christmas is the season for family and friends, and this year the railway girls will need each other more than ever.

Cordelia appears to have the perfect life. When her daughter Emily arrives home unexpectedly, she can’t wait to introduce her to her friends. But when things don’t go to plan, Cordelia must decide where her loyalty lies.

Things aren’t going too smoothly for Alison either. Her beloved boyfriend has yet to propose, but there’s a charity fundraiser dance and she’s dressed up specially. Surely, tonight must be the night.

Colette’s friends are envious of her devoted husband; he meets her after every shift on the railway, and accompanies her around town. But Colette has a secret, one that will change her life—if only she knew who to confide in.

With the festive season fast approaching, the railway girls are hoping for some Christmas magic…



CURRENTY READING

THE LINCOLN HIGHWAY by AMOR TOWLES


HAPPY READING

My Bookish Weekly wrap up – 20th November 2021



Hello and Happy Saturday!  No sign of snow yet but the shops are looking more festive… I’m still in Grinch mode though!  Bah humbug!!
On to books!  A much calmer reading week for me with 3 finishes, and then I may have popped over to Netgalley to celebrate by adding 2 more to the shelves! Treated myself to 2 physical books too so I’m very glad I had a book clear out the other week! 
here’s my look back


BOOKS FINISHED


FEMLANDIA by CHRISTINA DALCHER – 4 STARS




THE LIGHTHOUSE WITCHES by C.J.COOKE – 4 STARS


THE VISITORS by CAROLINE SCOTT – 5 STARS


BOOKHAUL


Starting at Netgalley…


THE RAPTURES by JAN CARSON

publication – January 2022

When several children from the same village start succumbing to a mysterious illness, the quest to discover the cause has devastating and extraordinary consequences.

It is late June in Ballylack. Hannah Adger anticipates eight long weeks’ reprieve from school, but when her classmate Ross succumbs to a violent and mysterious illness, it marks the beginning of a summer like no other.

As others fall ill, questions about what – or who – is responsible pitch the village into conflict and fearful disarray. Hannah, ever the outsider, is haunted by guilt as she remains healthy while her friends are struck down. Isolated and afraid, she prays for help. What happens next will force her to question everything she believes.

Bursting with Carson’s trademark wit, profound empathy and soaring imagination, The Raptures explores how tragedy can unite a small community – and tear it apart. At its heart is the extraordinary resilience of one young girl. As the world crumbles around her, she must find the courage to be different in a place where conforming feels like the only option available.


THE PARIS APARTMENT by LUCY FOLEY

publication – March 2022

Jess needs a fresh start. She’s broke and alone, and she’s just left her job under less than ideal circumstances. Her half-brother Ben didn’t sound thrilled when she asked if she could crash with him for a bit, but he didn’t say no, and surely everything will look better from Paris. Only when she shows up – to find a very nice apartment, could Ben really have afforded this? – he’s not there.

The longer Ben stays missing, the more Jess starts to dig into her brother’s situation, and the more questions she has. Ben’s neighbors are an eclectic bunch, and not particularly friendly. Jess may have come to Paris to escape her past, but it’s starting to look like it’s Ben’s future that’s in question.

The socialite – The nice guy – The alcoholic – The girl on the verge – The concierge

Everyone’s a neighbor. Everyone’s a suspect. And everyone knows something they’re not telling. 


And then I treated myself over at Pushkin Press to these two…

THE EIGHTH GIRL by MAXINE MEI-FUNG CHUNG

One woman, many personas. But which one is telling the truth?

Alexa Wú is a brilliant yet darkly self-aware young woman whose chaotic life is manipulated and controlled by a series of alternate personalities. Only three people know about their existence: her therapist Daniel; her stepmother Anna; and her enigmatic best friend Ella.

When Ella gets a job at a high-end gentleman’s club, she is gradually drawn into London’s cruel underbelly. With lives at stake, Alexa follows her friend on a daring rescue mission. Threatened and vulnerable, she will discover whether her multiple personalities are her greatest asset, or her biggest obstacle.


BIRD COTTAGE by EVA MEIJER

I want to find out how they behave when they’re free

Len Howard was forty years old when she decided to leave her London life and loves behind, retire to the English countryside and devote the rest of her days to her one true passion: birds.

Moving to a small cottage in Sussex, she wrote two bestselling books, astonishing the world with her observations on the tits, robins, sparrows and other birds that lived nearby, flew freely in and out of her windows, and would even perch on her shoulder as she typed.

This moving novel imagines the story of this remarkable woman’s decision to defy society’s expectations, and the joy she drew from her extraordinary relationship with the natural world.



CURRENTLY READING


THE BOOK OF FORM AND EMPTINESS by RUTH OZEKI




HAPPY READING!!

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 13th November 2021

Hello and Happy Saturday! The days are flying by way too quickly and the fact it’s only 6 weeks to the C word is bringing me out in a sweat!!  I’d best get my list of bookish wants off to Santa pronto… because I NEED more books obviously!!
Speaking of books, it’s been a rather wonderful reading week for me! The multiple book reading has resulted in me finishing 8 books (including 2 audiobooks) this week!! Nope, I’m not sure how I managed it either but I want it to be like that every week haha!! I stayed away from Netgalley too and just got 2 lovely books in the post – 1 I bought, 1 for review!
Here’s my look back..


BOOKS FINISHED

HOW I WONDER WHAT YOU ARE by JANE LOVERING – 5 STARS


NATURAL MAGICK by LINDSAY SQUIRE – 4 STARS



THE WOMAN IN THE WOODS by LISA HALL –  4 STARS


STILL LIFE by SARAH WINMAN (audiobook) – 5 STARS


THE MIDNIGHT LIBRARY by MATT HAIG (audiobook) – 4 STARS

The Times Queen Elizabeth II – 5 stars

CHRISTMAS ON THE ISLE OF SKYE by KIRSTY FERRY – 5 STARS

THE GIFT:BOOK ONE by R A WILLIAMS  – 4 STARS

BOOKHAUL


From my Renard Press subscription I received this 


FRENZIED FICTION by STEPHEN LEACOCK

Stephen Leacock is an unjustly neglected master of the short-story genre, once considered the best-known humorist in the world. Although he was a prolific writer, producing about fifty novels, biographies and histories, he was best known for his humorous articles and short stories in magazines.

One of his later collections, Frenzied Fiction shows a master of a genre at the height of his game, and contains all the hallmarks of his earlier work and the trademark wit which he had refined over the previous decades. By turns laugh-aloud hilarious and poignant, and containing such gems as ‘My Recollections as a Spy’ and ‘Simple Stories of Success, or How to Succeed in Life’, this collection builds a strong case against prohibition, paints a moving picture of a war-torn world, caricatures and lampoons novelists, actors and princes, and demonstrates why he met with such success and stacked a fan base with figures as varied John Lane, A.P. Herbert and Groucho Marx.

And for review I received this from Emma at The Book Publicist.

THE FAIRY TELLERS by NICHOLAS JUBBER

published by John Murray Press

publication date – January 2022

Fairy-Tales are not just fairy-tales: they are records of historical phenomena, telling us something about how Western civilisation was formed. In The Fairy-Tellers’ Trail, award-winning travel-writer Nick Jubber explores their secret history of fairy-tales: the people who told them, the landscapes that forged them, and the cultures that formed them.

While there are certain names inextricably entwined with the concept of a fairy-tale, such as the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen, the most significant tellers are long buried under the more celebrated figures who have taken the credit for their stories – people like the Syrian storyteller Youhenna Diab and the Wild Sisters of Cassel. Without them we would never have heard of Aladdin, his Magic Lamp or the adventures of Hansel and Gretel.

Tracking these stories to their sources carries us through the steaming cities of Southern Italy and across the Mediterranean to the dust-clogged alleys of the Maghreb, under the fretting leaves of the Black Forest, deep into the tundra of Siberia and across the snowy hills of Lapland.

From North Africa and Siberia, this book illuminates the complicated relationship between Western civilization and the ‘Eastern’ cultures it borrowed from, and the strange lives of our long lost fairy-tellers. 

CURRENTLY READING

YOU LET ME IN by CAMILLA BRUCE


HAPPY READING!!

#NetGalleyNovember #MiniReviews How I Wonder What You Are/ Natural Magick/ The Woman in the Woods #bookreviews @NetGalleyNov



 The month of November got off to a good start with me reading 3 prompts from the Netgalley November bingo board… seem to have hit a bit of a slump now though so need to regain my focus and see if I can hit the target for the rest of the month!

so here’s some mini reviews for my first 3 ticks off the bingo board!!


YOUR OLDEST APPROVAL

HOW I WONDER WHAT YOU ARE by JANE LOVERING – 5 STAR

Strange lights in the sky and a naked man on the moors??!! Do you need to know anymore?! It had me hooked from the start and in the characters of Molly and Phinn there’s so much fun that the author had playing with their stories, that it made for such an enjoyable read and a real escape from the realities of life – and has me looking to the skies at night in the hope I can spot my own ‘Alice lights’!

Molly doesn’t know but her life is about to change when she goes out for a horse ride over the moors where she discovers the naked Phinn. Fearing the worst for him, she manages to get him back to safety and the mystery behind him starts to reveal itself. Phinn himself isn’t quite sure what is going, but things soon start to fall into place and you really get the sense that these 2 characters were meant to meet to try and help them resolve the pasts they’d been trying to forget.

I loved Phinn and Molly as a pairing! There’s hurt there, but there’s also compassion towards one another and a real connection that is clear for all to see. There’s great humour throughout the book but also a good look at some interesting developments for each character to work through as there’s so much hurt that they have to work through! Those lights in the skies are around to distract them and bring them closer together! A fabulous read!

BOOK BEGINNING WITH N


NATURAL MAGICK by LINDSAY SQUIRE – 4 STARS

This was one of those books that’s perfect for anyone new to natural magick, or those who’ve been practising for a while! It is beautifully set out, clearly written, easy to follow and full of great illustrations that help you learn so much more about practicing magick in a more natural way.

There’s great descriptions of learning more about the subjects, tools to use, all the different elements, rituals, spells, tarot…. and so much more!

I adored the moon section and have learnt so much and will be putting some of the spells to good use!

For anyone wanting to know more about witchcraft, or just to have everything in a beautifully put together book, then look no further!


YOUR LATEST APPROVAL

 THE WOMAN IN THE WOODS by LISA HALL – 3 STARS

This was a really atmospheric read for me, full of those chilling moments that have you listening out for noises in your own home and sensing the supernatural around you!

When Allie and her family move out of London to a cottage in a haunted village, there’s excitement about their new start! But things never go that smoothly do they?! And soon after the fun(!) begins and Allie is thinking she’s slowly going mad as she starts seeing and hearing things around the cottage – it’s enough to spook anyone! But she’s dismissed by her family and it’s only when she starts talking to locals that the truth about the history of their new cottage comes to light!

From the very evocative opening, this is a story that keeps you on the edge of your seat as it explores a number of subjects including the supernatural, witchcraft and also mental health. The tension is captured really well and I enjoyed the characters portrayed as they all added something a little different, with Allie playing the main role perfectly as you’re going through the anguish with her – is she going mad or is she being played? An enjoyable creepy read!


📚📚📚

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 6th November 2021



Hello and Happy Saturday! Yay for weekends!!  I find I’m doing most of my reading now at the weekend! Any excuse to avoid the housework and reality!!
So it’s been another productive reading week with 5 books finished, including an audiobook!  And I restricted myself to one new NG addition! Also had some lovely bookpost too so that always brings a smile to my face!
Here’s my look back!


BOOKS FINISHED

THE ROYAL GAME by ANNE O’BRIEN (audiobook) – 5 STARS



WINTER GARDENS by CEDRIC POLLET – 5 STARS


UNDER THE WHISPERING DOOR by TJ KLUNE – 5 STARS



THE MANNINGTREE WITCHES by A.K.BLAKEMORE – 4 STARS




THE HAUNTING SEASON by various  – 4 STARS

BOOKHAUL


From Netgalley…


THE BETRAYALS by BRIDGET COLLINS


If everything in your life was based on a lie
Would you risk it all to tell the truth?


At Montverre, an exclusive academy tucked away in the mountains, the best and brightest are trained for excellence in the grand jeu: an arcane and mysterious contest. Léo Martin was once a student there, but lost his passion for the grand jeu following a violent tragedy. Now he returns in disgrace, exiled to his old place of learning with his political career in tatters.

Montverre has changed since he studied there, even allowing a woman, Claire Dryden, to serve in the grand jeu’s highest office of Magister Ludi. When Léo first sees Claire he senses an odd connection with her, though he’s sure they have never met before.

Both Léo and Claire have built their lives on lies. And as the legendary Midsummer Game, the climax of the year, draws closer, secrets are whispering in the walls…

And in the post for review…..

CARROTS DON’T GROW ON TREES by ROB KEELEY

Lily loves eating fruit and vegetables – but is tricked by Jordan, who tells her that carrots grow on trees.

With the help of her Mum, some healthy eating and a box of elastic bands, Lily sets out to teach Jordan a lesson…

Carrots Don’t Grow On Trees! is a bright, colourful and funny story, told entirely in dialogue and pictures, and takes a fun and compassionate approach to dealing with teasing at school, as well as promoting healthy eating.

Rob Keeley’s second picture book sees him reunited with illustrator Simon Goodway, following their previous successes with My Favourite People and The Treasure in the Tower



THE GIFT: Book One by RA WILLIAMS

A lush historical adventure that’s equal parts Gothic horror as it is tale of lost love, this first book in THE GIFT trilogy follows an optimistic yet cautious American ethnologist on her journey from St Dunstan’s Prep in Michigan, to the warm tropical shallows off the coast of Honduras, and the tors of Germany’s Externsteine, uncovering clues to the identity of the man who saved her from the Crimen one fateful night. All clues lead to Folkestone, England where she is reunited with the man she has sought for nearly three decades. But, is their reunion the end, or merely the end of the beginning?

The North Atlantic, 14 April 1912. A night most hope to forget. But the grisly things a young Elle Annenberg witnesses, she will always remember. Among the chaos as Titanic’s bow sinks deeper and deeper underwater, Elle zeroes in on a raffish individual, among the panicked passengers, shotgun muzzle protruding from under his long duffel coat. In the bottomless twilight of his eyes she discovers an intriguing ruthlessness. As he moves away, Elle follows, ever curious.
Descending into the bowel of the ship she happens upon a slaughterhouse of gored bodies. But by whom or what she cannot say. From somewhere in the endless companionways comes a Banshee howl, followed by the distant call of a name: Balthasar.
In No. 2 Hold – awash with mutilated bodies – she finds Balthasar leaning over an open sarcophagus. Elle scarcely has a moment to glimpse what lays within before Titanic’s starboard hull buckles, and she is sucked into a maelstrom of freezing brine and half-devoured corpses.
Saved from certain drowning, she unintentionally receives a gift from Balthasar. A gift so captivating, it changes her path in life irrevocably. Her new course will not only lead her to learn the true identity of the man who saved her life but of the savage Crimen she glimpsed that fateful night.
From her teaching position at a prep school in 1929 Michigan, to a British shipwreck in the tropical shallows off the Honduran coast, Dr Eleanor Annenberg finds traces of Balthasar’s identity. A man who purposefully exists on the fringe of humanity. From the fighting at Cape Helles in 1915 to the last station on the River Ituri in the Belgian Congo and a lost Lichtmetal mine beneath the towering Tor Externsteine in 1939 Germany, Elle follows the clues, undeterred by the years getting behind her.
All clues lead to just one location. An Edwardian seaside town on the English Channel – Folkestone. Their paths rejoined, Elle gets closer to the truth she has sought for twenty-eight years.
But at what cost?
What she learns – much to her own horror – is gifts are seldom free, and she herself has become guilty of the same ferocious rage as the Crimen.



CURRENTLY READING


HOW I WONDER WHAT YOU ARE by JANE LOVERING

HAPPY READING!!


My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 30th October 2021



Hello all! Happy Halloween Weekend! Spotted this spooky yarnbomb on a postbox locally this week – hats off to all the people who make these! I love seeing them and they brighten up the humble postbox perfectly!
On to books, and it’s been another good bookish week! Managed to finish 4 books, added 2 to the netgalley shelf and received 1 book in the post for reviewing! And I didn’t buy any! Wahoo!  So here is my look back..

BOOKS FINISHED


THE BERESFORD by WILL CARVER (audiobook) – 4 STARS



PSYCHOPATHS ANONYMOUS by WILL CARVER – 4 STARS


THE ARCANE by ANDREW S FRENCH – 4 STARS


STARRY SKIES IN FERRY LANE MARKET by NICOLA MAY – 5 STARS


BOOKHAUL

Starting over at Netgalley…


A TIDY ENDING by JOANNA CANNON

publication date – April 2022

A NICE, NORMAL HOUSE

Linda has lived around here ever since she fled the dark events of her childhood in Wales. Now she sits in her kitchen, wondering if this is all there is – pushing the Hoover round and cooking fish fingers for tea is a far cry from the glamorous lifestyle she sees in the glossy catalogues coming through the door for the house’s previous occupant.

A NICE, NORMAL HUSBAND

Terry isn’t perfect – he picks his teeth, tracks dirt through the house and spends most of his time in front of the TV. But that seems fairly standard – until he starts keeping odd hours at work, at around the same time young women start to go missing in the neighbourhood.

A NICE, NORMAL LIFE…

If Linda could just track down Rebecca, who lived in the house before them, maybe some of that perfection would rub off on her. But the grass isn’t always greener: you can’t change who you really are, and there’s something nasty lurking behind the net curtains on Cavendish Avenue.


WINTER GARDENS by CEDRIC POLLET

publication – December 2021

In this stunning reimagination of an entire season, acclaimed and award-winning author and photographer Cedric Pollet presents 20 of the most beautiful winter gardens accross France and the UK.

Winner of the Garden Media Guild – Garden Book of the Year award, Pollet showcases these breathtaking winter gardens which are at their best when most gardens are at their barest.

Rich with blazes of colour and light, these gardens use creative structural planning and subtle textures to greate masterful visual and sensory ensembles.

From berries and barks to vibrant shrubs and evergreens, these gardens will delight and inspire in equal measure, all captured in extroardinary photographs by Pollet, one of today’s masters of garden photography and accompanied by insightful text which picks out the reasons these gardens are so special.

The second half of the book is an illustrated directory of over 300 plants which encourage you to achieve these effects in their own gardens.

From the author of bestselling Bark: An Intimate Look at the World’s Trees, this beautiful guide is a unique and unmissable book on some of the most creative and inspiring gardens around today.

And I received a copy of this to review…

WAHALA by NIKKI MAY

publication date – January 2022

SEX AND THE CITY with a killer edge for fans of QUEENIE, EXPECTATION and MY SISTER, THE SERIAL KILLER

GRAZIA INSTAGRAM ‘IT’ BOOK

‘Funny, shocking, unputdownable. I loved it’ PAULA HAWKINS, author of The Girl on the Train and A Slow Fire Burning

‘Terrific. I just raced through Wahala. Nikki May writes so well about friendship, food, fashion and the many ways modern women can stumble in their careers and personal lives’ CLARE CHAMBERS, author of Small Pleasures
_______________

Ronke, Simi, Boo are three mixed-race friends living in London. They have the gift of two cultures, Nigerian and English, though not all of them choose to see it that way.

Everyday racism has never held them back, but now in their thirties, they question their future. Ronke wants a husband (he must be Nigerian); Boo enjoys (correction: endures) stay-at-home motherhood; while Simi, full of fashion career dreams, rolls her eyes as her boss refers to her urban vibe yet again.

When Isobel, a lethally glamorous friend from their past arrives in town, she is determined to fix their futures for them.

Cracks in their friendship begin to appear, and it is soon obvious Isobel is not sorting but wrecking. When she is driven to a terrible act, the women are forced to reckon with a crime in their past that may just have repeated itself.

Explosive, hilarious and wildly entertaining, this razor-sharp tale of love, race and family will have you laughing, crying and gasping in horror. Fearlessly political about class, colourism and clothes, the spellbinding Wahala is for anyone who has ever cherished friendship, in all its forms.



CURRENTLY READING

THE ROYAL GAME by ANNE O’BRIEN (audiobook)




HAPPY READING!!
👻👻👻

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 16th October 2021



Hello and Happy Saturday!! Weather has improved again this week so it’s been nice to enjoy some time outdoors and the longer, darker nights mean it’s candle time! I may have treated myself to a couple from TK Maxx this week! Spoiled for choice there!!
And I’ve been spoiled on the book front this week  – managed to finish 4 books, got some lovely books through the post and 2 newbies to the netgalley shelf!! The TBR mountain grows ever taller!!
Here’s my look back…


BOOKS FINISHED


CHRISTMAS WITH THE SURPLUS GIRLS by POLLY HERON – 5 STARS

THE ILLUSTRATED CHILD by POLLY CROSBY – 4 STARS

THE IMPOSSIBLE TRUTHS OF LOVE by HANNAH BECKERMAN – 5 STARS

THE PRINCE OF THE SKIES by ANTONIO ITURBE – 5 STARS


BOOKHAUL


Starting with the Netgalley additions….

THE PARIS BOOKSELLER by KERRI MAHER

publication  – January 2022

The captivating story of a trailblazing young woman who fought against incredible odds to bring one of the most important books of the twentieth century to the world. For readers of The Paris LibraryThe Age of Light and The Paris Wife.

PARIS, 1919.

Young, bookish Sylvia Beach knows there is no greater city in the world than Paris. But when she opens an English-language bookshop on the bohemian Left Bank, Sylvia can’t yet know she is making history.

Many leading writers of the day, from Ernest Hemingway to Gertrude Stein, consider Shakespeare and Company a second home. Here some of the most profound literary friendships blossom – and none more so than between James Joyce and Sylvia herself.

When Joyce’s controversial novel Ulysses is banned, Sylvia determines to publish it through Shakespeare and Company. But the success and notoriety of publishing the most infamous book of the century comes at deep personal cost as Sylvia risks ruin, reputation and her heart in the name of the life-changing power of books…

FEMLANDIA by CHRISTINA DALCHER


The explosive new thriller from the bestselling author of VOX and Q
Welcome to Femlandia… It’s no place like home.

‘Provocative, sinister, and fascinating’ Stephanie Wrobel, Sunday Times bestselling author of The Recovery of Rose Gold

The United States has sunk into total collapse.

Men in positions of power have wrecked the economy and left women to suffer and pick up the pieces.

Miranda Reynolds has lost her husband, her job and her home. There’s only one place left that she and her daughter Emma can go. Femlandia.

Femlandia is a female-only community. A utopia for women. There’s a reason Miranda never joined before. Now she has no choice.

With what Miranda knows about Femlandia’s founder, she’s right to be wary. While life outside the gates is fraught with danger, there’s something just as sinister going on within.

I was also very lucky to win a copy of this via HWA


SANDS OF THE ARENA by BEN KANE

From Sunday Times Bestselling author Ben Kane comes a collection of short stories:

Sands of the Arena

Can a wet-behind-the-ears gladiator survive a bloody contest ordered by Emperor Caligula?

The Shrine
Centurion Tullus discovers that Fate will always hold him in her grip.

The Arena
Legionary Piso’s much anticipated payday plays out very differently than he expected.

Eagles in the East
Caught up in a bloody rebellion, Centurion Tullus battles to keep his men alive.

Eagles in the Wilderness
Bored with retirement, Centurion Tullus takes service with an amber merchant, voyaging to unknown, dangerous lands far beyond the empire.

Hannibal: Good Omens
History’s most famous general seeks the gods’ approval before his war with Rome.

The March
Romulus and Tarquinius travel to the ends of the earth, searching for their lost friend Brennus.

Then I treated myself over at Eye Books – and got 3 for the price of 2!

SOUR GRAPES by DAN RHODES

When the sleepy English village of Green Bottom hosts its first literary festival, the good, the bad and the ugly of the book world descend upon its leafy lanes.

But the villagers are not prepared for the peculiar habits, petty rivalries and unspeakable desires of the authors. And they are certainly not equipped to deal with Wilberforce Selfram, the ghoul-faced, ageing enfant terrible who wreaks havoc wherever he goes.

Sour Grapes is a hilarious satire on the literary world which takes no prisoners as it skewers authors, agents, publishers and reviewers alike.

STONE HEART DEEP by PAUL BASSETT DAVIES

Stone Heart Deep is a compelling and claustrophobic thriller with a remarkable twist, as if Iain Banks had rewritten The Wicker Man.

When burned-out investigative journalist Adam Budd’s estranged mother dies, he inherits her estate. This includes Stone Heart House, a huge, ramshackle mansion on a remote Scottish island. He visits the island to sort out her tangled affairs, and at first it seems like a charming haven of tranquillity. But after he witnesses a strange accident, he begins to develop suspicions about the inhabitants.

Why does everyone seem so eerily calm, even under stress? What is stopping Harriet, the lawyer helping him with his affairs, from leaving the island when she so clearly wants to? Is he making a big mistake by falling for her? And why have so many children gone missing?

THE DROVER’S WIVES by RYAN O’NEILL

Henry Lawson’s short story The Drover’s Wife is an Australian classic that has sparked interpretations on the page, on canvas and on the stage. But it has never been so thoroughly, or hilariously, reimagined as by Ryan O’Neill, remixing and revising Lawson’s masterpiece in 101 different ways.

The variations include a a pop song, a sporting commentary, a 1980s computer game, an insurance claim, a Hollywood movie adaptation, a cryptic crossword and even the selection of paint swatches you can see on this back cover.

Inventive and unexpected, this is laugh-out-loud literature from the author of the award-winning Their Brilliant Careers.


OROONOKO by APHRA BEHN

my subscription copy from RENARD PRESS

When Prince Oroonoko’s passion for the virtuous Imoinda arouses the jealousy of his grandfather, the lovers are cast into slavery and transported from Africa to the colony of Surinam. Oroonoko’s noble bearing soon wins the respect of his English captors, but his struggle for freedom brings about his destruction. Inspired by Aphra Behn’s visit to Surinam, Oroonoko reflects the author’s romantic views of native peoples as being in “the first state of innocence, before man knew how to sin.” The novel also reveals Behn’s ambiguous attitude toward slavery: while she favored it as a means to strengthen England’s power, her powerful and moving work conveys its injustice and brutality.

CURRENTLY READING

RAMBLE BOOK by ADAM BUXTON *audiobook*



HAPPY READING!!

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!

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 25th September 2021

Hello and Happy Saturday! We’ve made it through another week! Yay us!!  I’ve had  a dodgy week health wise and my tank is empty so hoping a weekend of reading and resting will help perk me back up again! If that fails I’ll just have to buy some more books….  😜
And on the book front, I’ve managed to finish another 3 this week but the big news is that zero additions to my shelves over at Netgalley!  Although there has been 5 new additions to the physical book shelves due to a win from a Mills & Boon comp, and 2 books to review! 
Here’s my look back!


BOOKS FINISHED


A BOOK AT BEDTIME by BARRIE SHORE – 4 STARS

HOPE NICELY’S LESSONS FOR LIFE by CAROLINE DAY – 4 STARS

THE WEDDING CAKE WISH by ROSIE GREEN

BOOKPOST


 I was very lucky to win a little giveaway from Mills & Boon recently…

HIS ACCIDENTAL COUNTESS by ANNIE BURROWS

From abducted…

…to betrothed!

To stop an unsuitable elopement, Tobias Spenlow bundles his ward’s intended bride into his carriage—only to discover he’s made a terrible mistake. The woman is actually innocent governess Miss Dorothy Phillips—whose reputation he’s unintentionally ruined! The only way to right this wrong is for the earl to wed her. She might have accidentally become his countess, but their consuming attraction has him courting her in earnest!


WOULD I LIE TO THE DUKE by EVA LEIGH

Jessica McGale’s family business desperately needs investors and she’s determined to succeed at any cost. But she knows London’s elite will never look twice at a humble farm girl like herself. Posing as “Lady Whitfield,” however, places her in the orbit of wealthy, powerful people—most notably the Duke of Rotherby. His influence and support could save her company, but Jess never expected the effect he’d have on her.

Society thinks Noel is a notorious, carefree duke who dabbles in investments, but there’s a side to him that only his closest friends see. When he crosses paths with Lady Whitfield at a business bazaar, his world tilts on its axis. She’s brilliant and compelling, and brings him to his knees like no woman has before. Trust is difficult for Noel, but Jess makes him believe anything is possible. . .

As time ticks down on her Cinderella scheme, the thought of achieving her goal at Noel’s expense breaks Jess’s heart. He doesn’t just want her now, he wants her forever. But will her secret end their future before it begins?


CINDERELLA’S NEW YORK FLING by CARA COLTER

She’s a breath of fresh country air…

…in his big-city life!

When Jessica Winton’s dream job falls into her lap, she’s thrust from a small-town into bustling Manhattan – and faced with new hard to please boss, tycoon Jamie Gilbert-Cooper. But when Jamie takes her under his wing Jessica must wonder how much of the big city appeal is because of Jamie?

IN SEARCH OF THE LONG-LOST MAVERICK by CHRISTINE RIMMER

‘You know you’re tempted.’

Men are trouble. And Melanie Driscoll has already had more than her share of trouble. She has come to Bronco seeking only a fresh start; what she finds instead is Gabe Abernathy. The blonde, blue-eyed cowboy is temptation enough. The secrets he could be guarding are a whole other level of irresistible. Peeling the covers back on both might be too much for sweet Mel to handle…

And 2 books arrived for me to review…..

DANCING FOR STALIN by CHRISTINA EZRAHI

The true story of one couple’s fight for survival in Stalin’s Russia: a famous ballerina, sent to the Gulag, and her husband, who found a way to save her against all odds.


LUCKY by ED JACKSON

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.

CURRENTLY READING

THE RIVER BETWEEN US by LIZ FENWICK (audiobook)

THE ILLUSTRATED CHILD by POLLY CROSBY


HAPPY READING

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 18th September 2021



Hap-bee Saturday one and all! Yay for the weekend! And hopefully some nice weather! I’m not liking the darker evenings already!! Feels like we blinked and missed the Summer already!
On to books, and it’s been very slow for me reading wise! Probably because I was too busy trying to catch up with reviews! Just the 2 finishes for me this week, along with 2 newbies from Netgalley!  Balance!!
Here’s my look back..


BOOKS FINISHED


THE PROMISE by LUCY DIAMOND (audiobook)  – 3 stars

BRAVING THE WILDERNESS by BRENE BROWN – 4 STARS

BOOKHAUL


Netgalley seduced me again….


THE STORY OF OUR SECRETS by SHARI LOW 

publication date – November 2021

Colm O’Flynn was loved by his close circle of family and friends, however his death came too soon for everyone to make peace with their past.

Shauna, his second wife, adored him. But one night she broke their marriage vows, and didn’t get time to ask Colm’s forgiveness.

Jess was the first Mrs O’Flynn. Her heart is set on someone new, but will the last one night stand she shared with Colm come back to haunt her?

Colm’s best friend, Dan, is recently divorced. Can he take a second shot at happiness if it means betraying the one person who always had his back?

What no-one knows is that somewhere out there Colm left messages that could set them free to start over again.

Can divine intervention help them find Colm’s last wishes before it’s too late to love again?


THE VANISHED DAYS by SUSANNA KEARSLEY

publication date – May 2022

A sweeping love story set against the Jacobite revolution from much-loved, million copy bestselling author Susanna Kearsley

There are many who believe they know what happened, but they do not know the whole of it. The rumours spread, and grow, and take their hold, and so to end them I have been persuaded now to take my pen in hand and tell the story as it should be told…

Autumn, 1707. Old enemies from the Highlands to the Borders are finding common ground as they join to protest the new Union with England, the French are preparing to launch an invasion to carry the young exiled Jacobite king back to Scotland to reclaim his throne, and in Edinburgh the streets are filled with discontent and danger.

Queen Anne’s commissioners, seeking to calm the situation, have begun settling the losses and wages owed to those Scots who took part in the disastrous Darien expedition eight years earlier.

When Lily, the young widow of a Darien sailor, comes forward to collect her husband’s wages, her claim is challenged, and one of the men who’s assigned to examine her has only days to decide if she’s honest, or if his own feelings are making him blind to the truth, and if he’s being used as a pawn in an even more treacherous game.

A story of intrigue, adventure, endurance, romance…and the courage to hope.

CURRENTLY READING


A BOOK AT BEDTIME by BARRIE SHORE

HAPPY READING!!