My bookish weekly wrap up – week 26 2018

Hello all!!  We have made it to the halfway point in 2018 – how scary is that??!!  And another week of hot and sunny weather here in the UK! This should be a good thing  but when it’s TOO hot to do anything what is the point?!!  At least the heat seems to have brought the butterflies to life in the garden so I’m pleased to see those! If only they’d all sit nicely on my flowers and pose for me more often!!

On the book front I have big news to share……..7 days into July and ZERO books have been purchased!!!!!!!! That is right … ZERO!!!! Maybe this is a consequence of the heat?!  Or maybe I’ve just been extremely well behaved and realistic whilst looking at piles of unread books and realised I needed to show more control!!!  I’m sure this book buying blip won’t last very long but it’s a good start for the month!

On the reading front things are going well too! 5 books read this week! Falling a little behind on the reviews front though so need to sort that! The heat has scrambled my brain!!

There has been bookpost as I’ve been lucky to have won a few books – yay for the internet! – as well as a proof arriving and a subscription box too! So here’s a look back at my week!


The Madonna of Bolton by Matt Cain  – 4 stars

Loved this fun and touching story of a boy who doesn’t fit in and his love affair with Madonna! Lots of fab retro mentions!

Old Baggage by Lissa Evans  – 5 stars

A fabulous story of Mattie and her fight to find meaning to life after being a suffragete.

The Light Between Us by Katie Khan  –  4 stars

Another enjoyable book with a sci-fi /time travel twist!

The Rules of Seeing by Joe Heap  –  5 stars

Publication date – 6th August 2018

Loved this! The story of Nova who was blind but now can see after an operation and it’s made her life more complicated than ever!

Here comes the Best Man by Angela Britnell – 5 stars

Swoonsome story that I was lucky enough to read as a manuscript as part of the Choc Lit taste panel, and it’s full of all the feels!!


Was a very happy bunny when I won this set via a Twitter giveaway last week! I have read the first in this series – Strange Magic – and loved that so am excited to read more of the Essex Witch Mysteries!

Strange Magic by Syd Moore

Strange Sight by Syd Moore

Strange Fascination by Syd Moore

And another win was this e-book via a Blog giveaway!

Just by Jenny Morton Potts

On golden Mediterranean sands, maverick doctor Scott Langbrook falls wrecklessly in love with his team leader, Fiyori Maziq. If only that was the extent of his falling, but Scott descends into the hellish clutches of someone much more sinister.

‘Just’ is a story of love and loss, of terror and triumph. Set in idyllic Cambridge and on the shores of the Med and Cornwall, our characters fight for their very lives on land and at sea.

An unforgettable novel which goes to the heart of our catastrophic times, and seeks salvation.

And this proof arrived ahead of a future blog tour!

The Unlikely Heroics of Sam Holloway by Rhys Thomas

Publication Date – 9th August 2018

A feel-good novel that will make you laugh and cry. The perfect book club read for fans of The Rosie Project, A Man Called Ove, and The Keeper of Lost Things . Charming, quirky, and bursting with heart.

Sam Holloway has survived the worst that life can throw at you. But he’s not really living. His meticulous routines keep everything nice and safe – with just one exception . . .

Three nights a week, Sam dons his superhero costume and patrols the streets. It makes him feel invincible – but his unlikely heroics are getting him into some sticky situations.

Then a girl comes along and starts to shatter the walls Sam has built around himself. Now, he needs to decide if he’s brave enough to take off the mask, and to confront the grief he’s been avoiding for so long . . .

Hilarious and heart-warming, this is a story about grief, loneliness, and the life-changing power of kindness.


THE POSSIBLE WORLD by Liese O’Halloran Schwarz

Reading this courtesy of The Pigeonhole app and I’m already in love!!! A stunning story so far!

Ben is the sole survivor of a crime that claims his mother and countless others. He is just six years old, and already he must find a new place for himself in the world.

Lucy, the doctor who tends to Ben, is grappling with a personal upheaval of her own. She feels a profound connection to the little boy who has lived through the unthinkable. Will recovering his memory heal him, or damage him further?

Clare has long believed that the lifetime of secrets she’s been keeping don’t matter to anyone anymore, until an unexpected encounter prompts her to tell her story.

As they each struggle to confront the events – past and present – that have defined their lives, something stronger than fate is working to bring them together…

The Summer Seaside Kitchen by Jenny Colgan


And how has your reading week been? Would love to hear about it in the comments below! Have you been good and not bought any books either?!

happy reading!!!


My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – Week 11 2018

Snow Bunny is back!!  The Mad March weather continues!!  It was mild and sunny yesterday and then this morning we have woken to freezing temperatures and snowfall!!  And more is forecast – aarrgghh!! So back to hibernating and hopefully picking up some rather fab books to read!

It has been a slower reading week for me as I’ve been reading some chunkier books but have enjoyed the slower pace!  Managed to finish 4 books this week and they were all rather fabulous reads so even better! Not read a stinker in a while – am I getting better in choosing what to read or has the book world just upped its’ game?! Ooh there’s a debate for a later date!

On the post front there has been more than a few grumbles from the lovely postmen and women who seem to alternate on this route!  Maybe next week will be quieter for them… haha!  No chance!!


The Antipodeans by Greg McGee – 5 stars

Loved this historical drama. Highly recommended!


Lovely read!


Fascinating read about the woman behind the books we all love!


Another fabulous release from Choc Lit!


These ones were sent via publishers, Readers First and BookBridgr – and I’m extremely thankful!

The Story Collector by Evie Gaughan.

Published by Urbane Publications


The Sealwoman’s Gift by Sally Magnusson


The Cactus by Sarah Haywood


The First Dance by Catherine Law

Where the Light gets in by Lucy Dillon

And then there’s another one for my Penguin Clothbound Classics collection! Treasure Island!

And then this was courtesy of a GoodReads Giveaway win – it’s been a while since I’d won one from there! – THE YEAR OF SURPRISING ACTS OF KINDNESS by LAURA KEMP

And then I had to treat myself to this one! I have loved the band BROS – remember them?! – since the late 1980’s and have always followed the careers of Matt and Luke Goss with great affection.  And Luke has just released this wonderful book full of lovely photos and his thoughts on spending 4 days on his own in the Joshua Tree desert to find some peace and meaning to the questions forever troubling him and how we should all try disconnecting from time to time to find ourselves … can I give this one 6 stars?!


The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell

Chosen to read this on a snowy afternoon!

The Happy Tree by Rosalind Murray

Continuing my Year of Persephone, this is the latest one I’ve chosen from my shelves. Not sure so far!

The Widow’s House by Carol Goodman

Listening to the audio version of this thanks to BorrowBox and it’s a creepy little listen – the main characters are a little annoying though!


So that is how my week has looked! How has yours been?! Any snow where you are?!



My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up Week 9 March 2018

Hello all!! This has been the week of SNOWMAGGEDON!! The Beast From The East hit us here on the east coast of the UK quite bad so we’ve not ventured far at all this week!  Thankfully the local shops have kept us supplied with essentials so we’ve made it through ok! Archie the bunny had great fun playing in it though!

And what’s a girl to do when you’re stuck at home snowed in?! Yep, that’s right – read!!  I actually found my productivity levels decreased during the week – the snow made me sluggish!! That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it!  Still managed to finish/read 4 books so very chuffed with that! Bookpost wise it was very slow as the posties didn’t make it here for a few days – even though the paperboy made it through everyday! – so there have just been a couple of additions to the bookshelves and the NetGalley shelf – oops!


Operation Heartbreak by Duff Cooper  –  5 stars

Stunning little story from Persephone Books that had me shedding a tear or two!


Fabulous read that really had me thinking and gave me a new perspective on things



Another 5 star read this week! I have been spoilt!  Blog Tour coming up later this month! This was a stunning book about twins and some shocking revelations.



A novel based on the real life story of the author – this was a shocking read of the life she suffered and how she overcame her awful treatment.


Two stunners through the letterbox this week and a couple of NetGalley adds to the already overstocked shelf!


You can go crazy searching for the one…

Tattooed, pink-haired, Bettie Page lookalike Nina is addicted to bad boys. Like Heathcliff and Cathy, Nina firmly believes that true love only takes one form: wild, mad love, full of passion and fire and tempestuous arguments, and she won’t settle for anything less.

But years of swiping right has uncovered nothing but losers and flings, and Nina is no closer to finding her One True Love than she ever was. And when a man from her past walks into the shop Nina knows she has nothing to fear. The geekiest boy in her school has become a boring business analyst who’s welded to his iPad and with his navy blue suits and ginger hair, Noah has no chance of making her heart go pitter patter.

Which just shows how little Nina knows about bad boys, business analysts and her heart…


Published by Eye Books

Publication Date June 2018

A new Burton and Lamb legal thriller

When an elderly artist plunges one hundred feet to her death at an overstretched London hospital, the police immediately sense foul play.

The hospital cleaner, a Syrian refugee, is arrested for her murder after stolen jewellery is found at his home. He protests his innocence, but why has he given her the story of Aladdin to read and why does he shake uncontrollably in times of stress?

Judith Burton and Constance Lamb reunite to defend a man the media has already convicted. Together they uncover not only the cleaner’s secrets, but also those of the artist’s family, her lawyer and the hospital.

A new Burton and Lamb legal thriller from the author of the acclaimed The Pinocchio Brief.


Published by Sphere

Publication Date 7th June 2018

A story about family, love and finding magic in everyday life, Days of Wonder is the most moving novel you’ll read all year.

Tom, single father to Hannah, is the manager of a tiny local theatre. On the same day each year, he and its colourful cast of part-time actors have staged a fantastical production just for his little girl, a moment of magic to make her childhood unforgettable.

But there is another reason behind these annual shows: the very first production followed Hannah’s diagnosis with a heart condition that will end her life early. And now, with Hannah a funny, tough girl of fifteen, that time is coming.

Hannah’s heart is literally broken – and she can’t bear the idea of her dad’s breaking too. So she resolves to find a partner for Tom, someone else to love, to fill the space beside him.

While all the time Tom plans a final day of magic that might just save them both.


Published by Michael Joseph

Publication Date 5th April 2018

A deeply emotional story about love in all its forms from the Number One Sunday Times bestselling author of The Reading Group and Things I Want My Daughters to Know – available to pre-order now

Gigi and Tess aren’t the most obvious of friends. Gigi is a grandmother, Tess is pregnant for the first time. But when they meet, each one is coping with their own secret sadness. Tess is writing letters to her unborn baby with no one else to turn to, and Gigi has reached breaking point in her marriage. Little do they know how much they will come to mean to one another as both of their lives are turned upside-down.

Their story is about love in all its forms: the love between a mother and her unborn child, between a grandmother and her granddaughter, between spouses and between friends. Tess and Gigi will find what they need most in the place they least expect, and learn to understand the future by unlocking the past . . .


P1180290  Crazy In Love at the Lonely Hearts Bookshop by Annie Darling




Jane Austen at Home by Lucy Worsley


diary  The Wedding Diary by Margaret James



All wrapped up – just like me throughout this very cold week! Hope your week has been a good one!


My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up! Week 3 2018

Hello!  Been a stormy week here weather wise, and a miserably rainy weekend is with us now and I’m feeling extremely sluggish right now! Even the ‘livening ginger and lime’ tea I went with this morning hasn’t kicked in yet – maybe I need another cup!!

The sluggish feeling hasn’t hit the productiveness of my reading though and I’ve managed to read….. 6 books this week!! 1 of which was a poetry book so that didn’t take too long, but still I’m rather happy with that and am loving the fact that January has started off so well for me on the reading front! Maybe the cold, grey, rainy days are good for something after all!!

So here’s a look back at what I’ve read this week, what has arrived in the post and what I’m currently reading!  Click on the book title for a link to take you to my GoodReads reviews!


Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance by Ruth Emmie Lang  – 5 stars


The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris  –  3 stars

A powerful love story.


Millie Vanilla’s Cupcake Cafe by Georgia Hill  –  3 stars

A fun, feelgood romance!


Helium by Rudy Francisco  – 5 stars

Poetry perfection!!


The Hoarder by Jess Kidd  –  5 stars

Amazing read!


Cheerful Weather for the Wedding by Julia Strachey  –  2 stars

An easy, quick read.


Some lovely new books to sit on my bookshelves arrived this week!  The postman still hates me!!

Iron Gold by Pierce Brown

 This was a pre-order treat to myself with my Christmas gift vouchers from Waterstones and it was safely delivered this week! It’s a proper chunkster of a book pagewise but I’m really looking forward to diving in soon!


The Feed by Nick Clark Windo

This arrived via BookBridgr and I was drawn to it as it has been compared to Station Eleven which I loved reading recently, so looking forward to seeing if it does live up to the expectation!!

Bring Me Back by B.A. Paris

This bookpost from the publishers made me squeal with delight when I opened it this week! I have loved the previous 2 books from this author so cannot wait to race through this!!



Something a little different from the norm! Got this from NetGalley as I needed a translated book to read for one of my reading challenges, and so far so good! Fascinating read!

Translated by Darryl Sterk

On a quest to explain how and why his father mysteriously disappeared twenty years ago, a writer embarks on an epic journey in search of a stolen bicycle and soon finds himself immersed in the strangely overlapping histories of the Japanese military during World War II, Lin Wang, the oldest elephant who ever lived, and the secret world of antique bicycle collectors in Taiwan. The result is a surprising and moving meditation on memory, loss, and the bonds of family.

Award-winning novelist Wu Ming-Yi is regarded in Taiwan as the leading writer of his generation. His work, noted for its depth, complexity and vividly observed natural detail, has been compared to that of distinguished writers as diverse as Margaret Atwood, Haruki Murakami, W.G. Sebald, David Mitchell and Yann Martel


My Persephone reading challenge is going extremely well and I’m really enjoying this lovely novel and hoping to finish it later today!

The Countess of Lochlule marries Sir Hector, owner of the estate next to ‘Keepsfield’, the palatial Scottish mansion where she lives. But one day she meets someone on a park bench in Edinburgh. This novel is about dreams and the hard world of money and position and their relations to one another.


And once more we are all done!!  I hope your bookish week has been full of new discoveries and enjoyable reads like mine?! Let me know of great books that I need to add to my TBR, especially poetry!!


My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – Week 2 January 2018

Hello!! Typing quietly today as I’m currently suffering from a headache that is proving to be a little resistant to the pills I took!!  Fingers crossed they kick in soon as it is driving me nuts…. and I’ve got reading to do!!

Hope you’ve all had an enjoyable week!  Found a couple of bargains in sales recently – clothes and candles! – so feeling rather pleased with myself on that front! And feeling rather pleased on the reading front too as progress is still going well!  Doing my best to keep up the pace, and trying not to be distracted with Super Mario Kart 8 (ooh it’s good on the Nintendo Switch!), so have managed to read 4 books this week and could have finished another but I’m loving it so much that I’ve slowed my reading pace down so I can drag it out a bit longer!! Do you do that?!  Some books I want to devour in one sitting, others I want to remain in that world for as long as possible so take my time over!  The crazy world of readers eh!!

Here’s a look at what I’ve been reading – reviews to follow on some as I’m on the Blog Tours later this month/early next month!


Forget Her Name by Jane Holland  – 3 stars

A book that messes with your mind – in a good way! Enjoyable thriller

Rachel’s dead and she’s never coming back. Or is she?

As she prepares for her wedding to Dominic, Catherine has never been happier or more excited about her future. But when she receives an anonymous package—a familiar snow globe with a very grisly addition—that happiness is abruptly threatened by secrets from her past.

Her older sister, Rachel, died on a skiing holiday as a child. But Rachel was no angel: she was vicious and highly disturbed, and she made Catherine’s life a misery. Catherine has spent years trying to forget her dead sister’s cruel tricks. Now someone has sent her Rachel’s snow globe—the first in a series of ominous messages…

While Catherine struggles to focus on her new life with Dominic, someone out there seems intent on tormenting her. But who? And why now? She doesn’t have the answers – and in one final question lies her greatest fear.

Is Rachel still alive?


Loved this one! Such a sweet, entertaining and funny book looking at the day in the life of Miss Pettigrew! Highly recommended!

Miss Pettigrew, an approaching-middle-age governess, was accustomed to a household of unruly English children. When her employment agency sends her to the wrong address, her life takes an unexpected turn. The alluring nightclub singer, Delysia LaFosse, becomes her new employer, and Miss Pettigrew encounters a kind of glamour that she had only met before at the movies. Over the course of a single day, both women are changed forever.


Blooming flip this was an enthralling read! And chilling!! And twisty!! Loved it!!

One cold November night in 2014, in a small town in the north west of England, 26-year-old Arla Macleod bludgeoned her mother, father and younger sister to death with a hammer, in an unprovoked attack known as the “Macleod Massacre.” Now incarcerated at a medium-security mental-health institution, Arla will speak to no one but Scott King, an investigative journalist, whose Six Stories podcasts have become an internet sensation. King finds himself immersed in an increasingly complex case, interviewing five witnesses and Arla herself, as he questions whether Arla’s responsibility for the massacre was a diminished as her legal team made out. As he unpicks the stories, he finds himself thrust into a world of deadly forbidden “games,” online trolls, and the mysterious Black-eyed Children, whose presence extends far beyond the delusions of a murderess.

IVON by MICHAEL AYLWIN  –  3 stars

Something a little bit different and an enjoyable, funny look at where the world of sport could be in years to come!

The year is 2144, and the world is powered by sport – politically and practically. Each community owes its prosperity or otherwise to the success of its teams and athletes. A person’s class is determined by their aptitude for sport. Once their useful life as an athlete has expired, they are placed in stasis at an age predetermined by that class.

But not in Wales.   Separated from the rest of the world by a huge wall, the Welsh still play games for joy. They play, they carouse, they love, they die. They have fun.

Of all the Welsh, the greatest sportsman is an unreconstructed genius called Ivon. When the chance arises to become the first Welshman to cross the great divide into England, he cannot resist. His parents, exiled from England before he was born, know what London will do to him. They are desperate to have him back. But London will not give up an asset like Ivon so easily.

Ivon is a celebration of where sport has come from and a satire on where it is going.


The postman has been complaining again – oops!!! #sorrynotsorry  


This one arrived in the post this week with no covering letter so I have no idea who sent it my way – but thank you if it was you! – and it sounds like a really sweet (sorry about the pun!) read!

Sentaro has failed: he has a criminal record, drinks too much, and hasn’t managed to fulfil his dream of becoming a writer. Instead, he works in a confectionery shop selling dorayaki, a type of pancake filled with a sweet paste made of red beans. With only the blossoming of the cherry trees to mark the passing of time, he spends his days listlessly filling the pastries. Until one day an elderly, handicapped woman enters the shop. Tokue makes the best bean paste imaginable, and begins to teach Sentaro her art. But as their friendship flourishes, societal prejudices become impossible to escape, in this quietly devastating novel about the burden of the past and the redemptive power of friendship.


Received this from the lovely folk at Eye/Lightning Books and it seems I’m set for another epic historic read soon!

Three Generations. Two Continents. One Forgotten Secret.

2014Clare and her father travel to Venice from New Zealand. She is fleeing a broken marriage, he is in failing health and wants to return one last time to the place where, as a young man, he spent happy years as a rugby player and coach. While exploring Venice, Clare discovers there is more to her father s motives for returning than she realised and time may be running out for him to put old demons to rest.

1942Joe and Harry, two Kiwi POWs in Italy, manage to escape their captors, largely due to the help of a sympathetic Italian family who shelter them on their farm. Soon they are fighting alongside the partisans in the mountains, but both men have formed a bond with Donatella, the daughter of the family, a bond that will have dramatic repercussions decades later.

The Antipodeans is a novel of epic proportions where families from opposite ends of the earth discover a legacy of love and blood and betrayal.


I adored Himself by Jess Kidd, and it made my list of best books of 2017, so I was lucky enough to be sent a copy of her new book – out 1st February 2018 – and cannot wait to start it soon!

Maud Drennan – underpaid carer and unintentional psychic – is the latest in a long line of dogsbodies for the ancient, belligerent Cathal Flood. Yet despite her best efforts, Maud is drawn into the mysteries concealed in his filthy, once-grand home. She realises that something is changing: Cathal, and the junk-filled rooms, are opening up to her.

With only her agoraphobic landlady and a troop of sarcastic ghostly saints to help, Maud must uncover what lies beneath Cathal’s decades-old hostility, and the strange activities of the house itself. And if someone has hidden a secret there, how far will they go to ensure it remains buried?


I am currently just devoting myself to one book! This rarely happens but I’m so swept up with the characters that I’d feel bad spending time with others until this is over!  So prepare yourself for a rather gushing review in the next few days over this book… unless it all goes spectacularly downhill in the last few chapters!  Eek, now I’m scared to finish it in case that happens!!

Was only made aware of this book while watching Simon of Savidge Reads on BookTube, and it just sounded like my kind of book so I promptly ordered it and have fallen in love!


Orphaned, raised by wolves, and the proud owner of a horned pig named Merlin, Weylyn Grey knew he wasn’t like other people. But when he single-handedly stopped that tornado on a stormy Christmas day in Oklahoma, he realized just how different he actually was.

That tornado was the first of many strange events that seem to follow Weylyn from town to town, although he doesn’t like to take credit. As amazing as these powers may appear, they tend to manifest themselves at inopportune times and places. From freak storms to trees that appear to grow over night, Weylyn’s unique abilities are a curiosity at best and at worst, a danger to himself and the woman he loves. But Mary doesn’t care. Since Weylyn saved her from an angry wolf on her eleventh birthday, she’s known that a relationship with him isn’t without its risks, but as anyone who’s met Weylyn will tell you, once he wanders into your life, you’ll wish he’d never leave.

Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance tells the story of Weylyn Grey’s life from the perspectives of the people who knew him, loved him, and even a few who thought he was just plain weird. Although he doesn’t stay in any of their lives for long, he leaves each of them with a story to tell. Stories about a boy who lives with wolves, great storms that evaporate into thin air, fireflies that make phosphorescent honey, and a house filled with spider webs and the strange man who inhabits it.

There is one story, however, that Weylyn wishes he could change: his own. But first he has to muster enough courage to knock on Mary’s front door.

In this warm debut novel, Ruth Emmie Lang teaches us about adventure and love in a beautifully written story full of nature and wonder.


All wrapped up! And headache still raging!! What joy!!  What books have given you joy this week?!  


My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up!!

Hello!!  Hope everyone is fighting fit!!  Shivering here despite wearing a number of layers! When is it Spring again?! No sign of any snow here yet but the forecasters keep threatening it!  

Hope everyone has had a good bookish week! My biggest achievement this week is reaching the total of…. 200 BOOKS read this year!!! Well, that is what GoodReads tells me so who am I to dispute them!!  It’s been a really freaky year of reading and it doesn’t feel like 200 books to be honest – some where graphic novels and audio books – but it isn’t going to make choosing my favourite reads of the year any easier! Can I do a list of Top 50 reads?!  I am not looking forward to going through the list trying to decide!

Saying that, it has been a fairly restrained week here on the bookish front.with just 3 books read.  Have definitely slowed down towards the end of the year – maybe my head is too full of stories and is shutting down!! Just hoping there’s room in there for a few Christmas stories as I’ve got a few of those on my TBR pile to get through over the next week or so!

So here’s a look at those I’ve read, the bookpost that has arrived and what I’m currently reading!


Seeking Eden by Beverley Harvey  –  4 stars

The Watcher in the Shadows by Carlos Ruiz Zafon


The Dandelion Years by Erica James  –  4 stars




Gary Budden s debut collection blends the traditions of weird fiction and landscape writing in an interlinked set of stories from the emotional geographies of London, Kent, Finland and a place known as the Hollow Shore.

The Hollow Shore is both fictional and real. It is a place where flowers undermine railway tracks, relationships decay and monsters lurk. It is the shoreline of a receeding, retreating England. This is where things fall apart, waste away and fade from memory.

Finding horror and ecstasy in the mundane, Hollow Shores follows characters on the cusp of change in broken-down environments and the landscapes of the mind.



Football hero Jason Clooney is riding high….until a date with a

beautiful woman lands him in trouble with the media, and into

battle with the criminal underworld.

Now against a backdrop of an uncertain professional future,

Jason has to confront disturbing revelations surrounding his

new girlfriend’s family.

From football action on the pitch to behind the scenes plotting.

To battles with a criminal gang and constant media attention, all

adding to the toughest challenges he has ever faced in life, love,

as a player and as a man.


‘This is like an edgy Jilly Cooper – lots of eccentric characters and a lot of fun!’ Katie Fforde

‘Truly terrific…I love this book’ Judy Astley

A bucolic frolic in drag…

Roz and Jamie have moved to leafy Suffolk from London in search of a quiet life so it is a surprise to find that the village is embarking on its riotous annual drag competition.

Fuelled by large quantities of alcohol and ubiquitous community spirit, they soon find themselves caught up in a battle for the identity of the village itself.

Meanwhile, in San Francisco, Drew is fighting his own battle to save his club and the livelihoods of his closest friends. Though they seem worlds apart, it soon becomes clear that appearances are not everything and that sometimes human connections can surprise us.

A heartwarming, generous – and drunken – debut taking ‘romance’ to entirely new places.



It is 1948. Japan is rebuilding her cities after the calamity of World War II, her people putting defeat behind them and looking to the future. The celebrated painter Masuji Ono fills his days attending to his garden, his house repairs, his two grown daughters and his grandson, and his evenings drinking with old associates in quiet lantern-lit bars. His should be a tranquil retirement. But as his memories continually return to the past – to a life and a career deeply touched by the rise of Japanese militarism – a dark shadow begins to grow over his serenity

Reading this one to finish off my A-Z BookBusters Challenge for the year so hoping to end on a high note!  Ishiguro is always one of those authors I hear lots about so I’m hoping I get on with him!!

And there we have it!  Hoping to pick up the pace on the reading front again as the year approaches the end and have already started adding dates to the 2018 calendar for reading adventures for the year ahead!! It’s fun being a reader isn’t it!! There is always plenty to look forward to!!  And the TBR pile continues to torture us all!! 


My bookish weekly wrap up!!

Hello all! Apologies for the radio silence on the Blog front this week – what do you mean you hadn’t noticed?!!!  I just found myself spending more and more time online, and less time reading and doing other stuff, so just took a little break to try and find that balance (don’t we all!) so hopefully I can get back to sharing more reviews and boring you all with my ramblings again! Aren’t you lucky!!?!  2018 definitely needs to see me get more organised on the blogging/reading/reviewing front…… wonder when I’ll be breaking that resolution then?!  My bet is by the 3rd January!!

So on to the books of the past 7 days!  And there have been a few!! Made a start on some festive reads on my Kindle which have been a delight to read, and got back to some chick lit in paperback form as my brain needed a rest from over complicated plots!!  And I’ve been restrained on the book buying front once more – I need to give Santa my list of books wanted soon so want to give him plenty to choose from!! – so only had a couple of book subscription books arrive!  The posties are relieved!

Click on the titles for links to my full GoodReads review if you so wish to read more!!


House of Christmas Secrets by Lynda Stacey – 5 stars

This year we’re just going to have a nice, normal Christmas…
Last year’s Christmas at Wrea Head Hall didn’t quite go to plan which is why Jess Croft is determined this festive season will be the one to remember, for the right reasons. And she has plenty of reasons to be hopeful, she’s going to marry the man of her dreams, Jack Stone, seven days after New Year’s Eve.

However, as family secrets are revealed in hidden letters and two unexpected guests turn up on the doorstep, Jess is left wondering whether her life will ever be the same again.

Can Jess and Jack still experience a peaceful festive season that they had imagined or are there some problems that even Christmas can’t fix? 

This was a fabulous darker read from start to finish and a great follow on from House of Secrets.  This isn’t a fluffy festive book so be warned, but it had me gripped and enthralled!

What Happens at Christmas by Evonne Wareham  –  5 stars

Best-selling author Andrew Vitruvius knows that any publicity is good publicity. His agent tells him that often, so it must be true. In the run-up to Christmas, she excels herself – talking him into the craziest scheme yet: getting himself kidnapped, live on TV.
But when the plan goes ahead and Drew is unceremoniously thrown in the back of a van before being dragged to a hut in middle of the Brecon Beacons, it all starts to feel a little bit too real.
Meanwhile, not far away, Lori France and her four-year-old niece Misty are settling in to spend the holidays away after unexpected events leave them without a place to stay. Little do they know they’re about to make a shocking discovery and experience a Christmas they’re not likely to forget …

Another fabulous read set in an idyllic setting and warmed my heart with the romance!!

A Little Christmas Faith by Kathryn Freeman  –  5 stars

Is it time to love Christmas again?
Faith Watkins loves Christmas, which is why she’s thrilled that her new hotel in the Lake District will be open in time for the festive season. And Faith has gone all out; huge Christmas tree, fairy lights, an entire family of decorative reindeer. Now all she needs are the guests …
But what she didn’t bank on was her first paying customer being someone like Adam Hunter. Rugged, powerfully built and with a deep sadness in his eyes, Adam is a man that Faith is immediately drawn to – but unfortunately he also has an intense hatred of all things Christmassy.
As the countdown to the big day begins, Faith can’t seem to keep away from her mysterious guest, but still finds herself with more questions than answers: just what happened to Adam Hunter? And why does he hate Christmas?

And another 5 star read from Choc Lit!!  This had all the festive feels and I raced through it and swooned over Adam!! I need to find my own Adam!!

Paper Hearts and Summer Kisses by Carole Matthews  –  4 stars

A heart-warming and poignant novel of romance, family and second chances, Paper Hearts and Summer Kisses is Sunday Times bestselling Carole Matthews at her outstanding best. Perfect for fans of Jill Mansell and Milly Johnson.

Christie Chapman is a single working mother who spends her days commuting to her secretarial job in London and looking after her teenage son, Finn. It can be tough just getting through the day but Christie has always found comfort in her love of crafting and any spare time she has is spent in her parents’ summerhouse working on her beautiful creations. From intricately designed birthday cards to personalised gifts, Christie’s flair for the handmade knows no bounds and it’s not long before opportunity comes knocking. All of a sudden Christie sees a different future for her and Finn – one full of hope and possibility, and if the handsome Max Alexander is to be believed, one full of love too. It’s all there for the taking.

And then, all of sudden, Christie’s world is turned upside down.

Christie knows that something has to give, but what will she choose? Will she give up her dreams and the chance of real love? What price will she pay for doing the right thing? Can Christie find her happy ending in . . . Paper Hearts and Summer Kisses

I love chick lit when it’s written as well as this was! Pure escapism and inspired me to get back to my crafting as well! Loved it!


The Happy Tree by Rosalind Murray

‘A 1926 novel which begins with the death of a young man during the war, flashes back to his happy childhood shared with the young woman who is the narrator, and then describes how the war – inevitably – took them unawares, destroyed their happiness and has left her, the young woman, emotionally maimed. ‘

Another book for my Persephone collection!  I love the grey covers and love how they bring forgotten authors back to life!

Crippen by John Boyne

July 1910: a gruesome discovery has been made at 39 Hilldrop Crescent, Camden.

Buried in the cellar are the remains of Cora Crippen, formeer music-hall singer and wife of Dr Hawley Crippen.

But Dr Crippen and his mistress Ethel Le Neve have disappeared, and a full-scale hunt for them has begun.

Across the Channel in Antwerp, Captain Kendall gives the order for the SS Montrose to begin its two-week voyage to Canada. On board are 1300 passengers, including the overbearing Antonia Drake, the unassuming Martha Hayes and the enigmatic Matthieu Zela. And, slipping in almost unnoticed, a Mr John Robinson with his seventeen-year-old son Edmund…

CRIPPEN is a beatifully drawn novel recreating the true story of the amazing escape attempt of one of history’s most notorious killers.

This is the latest book I have received from The Random Book Club – the monthly book club subscription I signed up for after reading The Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell and I just love this way of discovering different books!!


Uprooted by Naomi Novik

Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life.

Her people rely on the cold, ambitious wizard, known only as the Dragon, to keep the wood’s powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman must be handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as being lost to the wood.

The next choosing is fast approaching, and Agnieszka is afraid. She knows – everyone knows – that the Dragon will take Kasia: beautiful, graceful, brave Kasia – all the things Agnieszka isn’t – and her dearest friend in the world. And there is no way to save her.

But no one can predict how or why the Dragon chooses a girl. And when he comes, it is not Kasia he will take with him.

From the author of the Temeraire series comes this hugely imaginative, engrossing and vivid fantasy novel, inspired by folk and fairy tales. It is perfect reading for fans of Robin Hobb and Trudi Canavan

Have had this on my shelves for quite some time and have high hopes that I’ll love this!!


From the walnut tree at his Suffolk home, Roger Deakin embarks upon a quest that takes him through Britain, across Europe, to Central Asia and Australia, in search of what lies behind man’s profound and enduring connection with wood and with trees. Meeting woodlanders of all kinds, he lives in shacks and cabins, builds hazel benders, and hunts bush-plums with aboriginal women.At once autobiography, history, a traveller’s tale and a work of natural history, Wildwood is a lyrical and fiercely intimate evocation of the spirit of trees: in nature, in our souls, in our culture, and in our lives

My non-fiction November reading is going very well and this is the latest book I’ve decided to read this month which I won from the wonderful Paul at HalfMan, HalfBook

So that is my bookish week all wrapped up! I’ve made it up to 193 books now read this year  – yay!! – so am hoping to make it past the 200 mark by the end of the year, knowing that I’ll probably never achieve that amount again!!  It’s just going to make picking my favourite reads of the year an awful lot tougher this year! Can i have a top 50?!!


Non-fiction November – update!

Hello!!  Just thought I’d do a little challenge update as I’m feeling particularly smug!!  6 days into the Non-Fiction November reading challenge and I’ve now finished 2 books!! WAHOO!!!  

Okay, I may have cheated and gone for the shortest 2 books in the pile, but it’s my challenge and my rules so ner!!  It has been really good fun though to get back to reading non- fiction and always makes me wonder why I don’t read more of it!!  Think I’m often put off by the size of some non-fiction books along with the topics, if they are a little heavy going i fear for my poor brain cells!, so was pleased to start off with 2 lighter reads and it just makes the reading experience more joyful!

So here’s a looksie at the 2 that have already been finished with a few thoughts – click on the title if you’d like to read more of my GoodReads reviews!

The Secret Library by Oliver Tearle   –  5 stars

What a fun and fascinating book this was! Full of fabulous facts about books, authors and history over time I found it to be so interesting and often made me chuckle too!  If you love reading about the bookish world, then I highly recommend this one!

Nigel; My family and other dogs by Monty Don  –  4 stars


I love watching Gardener’s World so that means I love seeing Nigel as he plods around the garden after Monty, often stealing the show, and this book is a lovely look back as Monty Don tells of how Nigel came into his family and all the other dogs he has had over the years.  Really easy to read and perfect for all animal lovers as it explores that bond we all build up with our pets!

So there we have it!  2 books off the list already!! Can I keep up this pace??!! I doubt it LOL!!  But it has been great fun so far so I’m eager to keep things going!


My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up!

Hello all! Hope everyone is well! A much brighter mood for me this week – thankfully no more stabby feelings!! – and I’m trying to work out if my mood has improved due to having read less books this week – just 2!! – or the fact that I’ve bought more books to add to the TBR mountain?!!! If it is the latter, then I highly recommend buying books everyday of the year just to keep you happy!!

So here is a little run down of my week in bookish form…


The Forgotten Room by Ann Troup  –  4 stars

Can the past ever be forgotten?
As soon as nurse Maura Lyle sets foot inside the foreboding Essen Grange, she feels shivers ripple down her spine. And the sense of unease only increases when she meets her new patient, Gordon Henderson.
Drawn into the Henderson family’s tangled web of secrets and betrayals, Maura can ignore the danger lurking behind every door no longer. Even the door she has been forbidden from opening…
Essen Grange is a house with dark and cruel intentions. But now that darkness has turned on her, can Maura escape before it’s too late?

This was a fabulously creepy read for me and I loved every minute of it! Lots of secrets from the past revealing themselves in a shocking story that keeps you guessing from start to finish!



Two days before Christmas, a young woman is found dead beneath the cliffs of the deserted village of Kálfshamarvík. Did she jump, or did something more sinister take place beneath the lighthouse and the abandoned old house on the remote rocky outcrop? With winter closing in and the snow falling relentlessly, Ari Thór Arason discovers that the victim’s mother and young sister also lost their lives in this same spot, twenty-five years earlier. As the dark history and its secrets of the village are unveiled, and the death toll begins to rise, the Siglufjordur detectives must race against the clock to find the killer, before another tragedy takes place. Dark, chilling and complex, Whiteout is a haunting, atmospheric and stunningly plotted thriller from one of Iceland’s bestselling crime writers.

No review from me yet on this one as I’ve read it ahead of the Blog Tour that I’m part of! So check back here on the 11th November for my thoughts and more information….. spoiler alert…. I raced through it!!



A young girl traces her mother’s steps all the way from London to Japan to search for the father she never knew.

Hana arrives in Tokyo with only two words in her mind: The Teahouse. She’s a long way from home in East London and still fresh from the loss of her mother. But her grief has sent her across to the other side of the world to find out who she is, and for Hana that means finding the Japanese man she has never met, her father with only these two words as clues.

Made in Japan is a beautifully woven story of a mother and daughter who, decades apart, tread the same streets of glittering Tokyo looking for that something that might complete them.

This arrived from the publisher ahead of the blog tour that I will be taking part in at the end of the month and sounds like a fascinating read.



A gull falls from the sky and strikes a council worker on the beach below. From that moment on he is obsessed, a crazed visionary depicting the scene and the unknown figure with in who filled his view at the moment of impact. The mysterious beauty of his creations draws others to him, but can they lay hold of that which possesses him? And what of his anonymous muse?

Have heard nothing but good things about this book as it was nominated for the Not the Booker Prize.  It is also set in Essex so that always makes me want to read it!



The lady’s here. The lady with the big bag. She’s knocking on the front door. She’s knocking and knocking. I’m not opening the door. I’m not letting her in. I’m behind the black chair. I’m waiting for her to go away.

Tomos lives with his mother. He longs to return to another place, the place he thinks of as home, and the people who lived there, but he’s not allowed to see them again. He is five years old and at school, which he loves. Miss teaches him about all sorts of things, and she listens to him. Sometimes he’s hungry and Miss gives him her extra sandwiches. She gives him a warm coat from Lost Property, too. There are things Tomos cannot talk about – except to Cwtchy – and then, just before Easter, the things come to a head. There are bad men outside who want to come in, and Mammy has said not to answer the door. From behind the big chair, Tomos waits, trying to make himself small and quiet. He doesn’t think it’s Santa Claus this time.

When the men break in, Tomos’s world is turned on its head and nothing will be the same again.

Another book that I’ve been recommended by reading various reviews online and a book that I think might make me cry!!


Is he or isn’t he a vampire?

Before it’s too late, Harold the dog and Chester the cat must find out the truth about the newest pet in the Monroe household — a suspicious-looking bunny with unusual habits… and fangs!

Found these online so treated myself for Halloween as having  a pet bunny of my own I do love to read about them!! These look fun and easy to read  and I’m just hoping it doesn’t give my bunny ideas of turning!!


Just a couple on the go at the moment…

Florence Grace by Tracy Rees

Florrie Buckley is an orphan, living on the wind-blasted moors of Cornwall. It’s a hard existence but Florrie is content; she runs wild in the mysterious landscape. She thinks her destiny is set in stone.

But when Florrie is fourteen, she inherits a never-imagined secret. She is related to a wealthy and notorious London family, the Graces. Overnight, Florrie’s life changes and she moves from country to city, from poverty to wealth.

Cut off from everyone she has ever known, Florrie struggles to learn the rules of this strange new world. And then she must try to fathom her destructive pull towards the enigmatic and troubled Turlington Grace, a man with many dark secrets of his own

This is my current bedtime read and I’m really enjoying it! The author has a real gift of making you care about the characters and setting them in an intriguing setting.


As well as leafing through the well-known titles that have helped shape the world in which we live, Oliver Tearle also dusts off some of the more neglected items to be found hidden among the bookshelves of the past. You’ll learn about the forgotten Victorian novelist who outsold Dickens, the woman who became the first published poet in America and the eccentric traveller who introduced the table-fork to England. Through exploring a variety of books—novels, plays, travel books, science books, cookbooks, joke books and sports almanacs—The Secret Libraryhighlights some of the most fascinating aspects of our history. It also reveals the surprising connections between various works and historical figures. What links Homer’s Iliad to Aesop’sFables? Or Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack to the creator of Sherlock Holmes? The Secret Library brings these little-known stories to light, exploring the intersections between books of all kinds and the history of the Western world over 3,000 years.

Reading this as part of Non-Fiction November and already learning so much about the history of books – and it is making me add more to my want to read list!!

So that is how my bookish week has been! How about yours?! Good, Bad, Indifferent?!  Love to hear what you’ve been reading and what you recommend!!  Not sure how much reading will get done here over the next few days as we have relatives staying for the weekend but hopefully a normal reading service can be resumed from Monday!!


My bookish weekly wrap up!!

Hello all!! Sorry things have been a little sparse on the Blog front this week – I’ve been in a real low mood all week and just haven’t been able to shake myself out of it, despite the sunshine and a few book purchases!! That normally always works – maybe I didn’t buy enough?!  Fingers crossed I can return to my happy state of mind soon enough as I just hate feeling like this and it stops me enjoying reading as well……. that’s my excuse for not reading as much this week so there!

Well, saying I’ve not read much this week doesn’t seem right when I say I’ve managed to finish 4 books this week – well, 3 books and 1 graphic novel/comic!  But they all count in my world!!  And when one of those books was over 500 pages long, then maybe I should give myself a break!!


The Watchmaker of Filigree Street  – 2 stars

I listened to the audio version of this one and it was really disappointing for me as I just didn’t connect at all with the storyline or characters.  This is normally the kind of book that I love to read, but it just kept making me lose interest – maybe I will have to read the paperback version to get my mind fully on track with it!



Really loved this reading experience and perfect for this time of year with its’ creepy setting – in an asylum – and the characters were full of intrigue and quirkiness that appeals to me!  Highly recommended!



I really enjoy this series and this one didn’t disappoint and might even by my favourite of the 3!! So funny, sharp and the illustrations are just stunning!! Worth a look if you are keen to venture into the graphic novel/comic book world – and you like your characters to be funny and murderous!!



What else can I say about this book!?! I bought it on the Friday, started it that evening and then finished it on Saturday afternoon and I just adored being back in the world of Lyra and the daemons!! Can’t believe it has been 22 years since His Dark Materials had been out and reading this has made me want to re-read the trilogy all over again and then count down the days to the next installment!!


Not been misbehaving too much on the book acquiring front,especially with Christmas approaching – hopefully Santa will think me worthy of bringing me a book or two! – so just a few to share this week!


For most, the Black Death is the end. For a brave few, it heralds a new beginning.

When the Black Death enters England through the port of Melcombe in Dorseteshire in June 1348, no one knows what manner of sickness it is or how it spreads and kills so quickly. The Church cites God as the cause, and religious fear grips the people as they come to believe that the plague is a punishment for wickedness.

But Lady Anne of Develish has her own ideas. Educated by nuns, Anne is a rarity among women, being both literate and knowledgeable. With her brutal husband absent from Develish when news of this pestilence reaches her, she takes the decision to look for more sensible ways to protect her people than daily confessions of sin. Well-versed in the importance of isolating the sick from the well, she withdraws her people inside the moat that surrounds her manor house and refuses entry even to her husband.

She makes an enemy of her daughter and her husband’s steward by doing so, but her resolve is strengthened by the support of her leading serfs … until food stocks run low and the nerves of all are tested by continued confinement and ignorance of what is happening in the world outside. The people of Develish are alive. But for how long? And what will they discover when the time comes for them to cross the moat? 

Received this from Readers First, and it looks to be a fascinating historical story as well as being rather gorgeous to look at! What is it about having gold on a cover that makes me fall in love with it?!!


Christie Chapman is a single working mother who spends her days commuting to her secretarial job in London and looking after her teenage son, Finn. It can be tough just getting through the day but Christie has always found comfort in her love of crafting and any spare time she has is spent in her parents’ summerhouse working on her beautiful creations. From intricately designed birthday cards to personalised gifts, Christie’s flair for the handmade knows no bounds and it’s not long before opportunity comes knocking. All of a sudden Christie sees a different future for her and Finn – one full of hope and possibility, and if the handsome Max Alexander is to be believed, one full of love too. It’s all there for the taking.

And then, all of sudden, Christie’s world is turned upside down.

Christie knows that something has to give, but what will she choose? Will she give up her dreams and the chance of real love? What price will she pay for doing the right thing? Can Christie find her happy ending in . . . Paper Hearts and Summer Kisses.

Another rather pretty cover, this was found in a local charity shop and I’ve heard so many good things about this that I needed to have this in my collection!!  Anyone else read it?!


These days, you can find anything you need at the click of a button.
That’s why I bought her heart online.

Spirits in jam jars, mini-apocalypses, animal hearts and side shows.
A girl runs a coffin hotel on a remote island.
A boy is worried his sister has two souls.
A couple are rewriting the history of the world.
And mermaids are on display at the local aquarium.

The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night is a collection of twelve haunting stories; modern fairy tales brimming with magic, outsiders and lost souls.

I’m a big fan of Jen Campbell on YouTube and have loved her other books and recommendations, so can’t wait to read this collection that I had to treat myself to as it just sounds magical!!  Ooh  and the cover is another stunner!!


Shocker!! Just one on the reading pile at the moment!!  I’m also currently reading a Choc Lit manuscript so can’t really share anything about that – other than it features cakes so I’m already in love with it after one chapter!! – but I’m in the process of sorting my reading list out so hopefully I can get back on track with catching up on NetGalley reads, Reading Challenges and some books ahead of Blog Tours for November and December…… when did reading get so complicated???!!!


Florrie Buckley is an orphan, living on the wind-blasted moors of Cornwall. It’s a hard existence but Florrie is content; she runs wild in the mysterious landscape. She thinks her destiny is set in stone.

But when Florrie is fourteen, she inherits a never-imagined secret. She is related to a wealthy and notorious London family, the Graces. Overnight, Florrie’s life changes and she moves from country to city, from poverty to wealth.

Cut off from everyone she has ever known, Florrie struggles to learn the rules of this strange new world. And then she must try to fathom her destructive pull towards the enigmatic and troubled Turlington Grace, a man with many dark secrets of his own.

I recently read The Hourglass by Tracy Rees and adored it, so went out and got a couple of her other books and I’m really loving reading this so far!  Perfect bedtime reading – although not good for sleep as I’m always telling myself ‘just one more chapter’!!

So what are you all reading at the moment?!  Have you been well behaved on the book buying front?! Hope so!!