My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 12th March 2022

Hello and Happy Saturday! Another week to avoid the news and send your thoughts and prayers to all the innocent people whose lives are being destroyed…. I keep hoping that sanity will break out and things will change… 

On to books…. a fairly quiet week for me reading wise. I keep finding myself doing other stuff when I should be reading but still managed to read 3 books this week.  There may have been 2 new additions to the netgalley shelf as well!

Here’s my look back.

BOOKS FINISHED

SUNDIAL by CATRIONA WARD – 5 STARS

LEAN ON ME by SERGE JONCOUR – 4 STARS

CHOUETTE by CLAIRE OSHETSKY – 5 STARS

BOOKHAUL


To Netgalley we go….

THE HOLIDAY BOOKSHOP by LUCY DICKENS

publication date –  7th July 2022

One woman. One island. A bookshop in need of revival…

Jenny has never been a risk taker. But when her best friend takes off on an American road trip, Jenny finds herself saying yes to a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of her own and accepts the role of a bookseller in the Maldives.

The island of Bounty Cove Cay is everything she’d hoped for: white sandy beaches, glistening turquoise waters and palm trees bursting with coconuts. But it’s not all plain sailing…

The resort bookshop is far from thriving and, in an unexpected twist, management are threatening closure.

Can Jenny throw her rulebook to the wind and turn things around before it’s too late? And might she find her own happy ending along the way?

DUCKLING by EVE AINSWORTH

publication date – 1st April 2022

What if your neighbour asked you to watch her seven-year-old daughter for an afternoon, and didn’t come back?

Lucy’s life is small, but safe. Every day she goes to work, checks in on her unstable, alcoholic father, then spends her evenings watching old Columbo reruns, isolating herself away from the rest of the community on her South London estate.

Her routine is all that she can handle, given what happened in her past.

So when her new neighbour Cassie asks Lucy if she could look after her seven-year-old daughter Rubi, she is reluctant to agree.

Then when the hours pass, and then days, and Rubi’s Mum doesn’t come back, Lucy’s worst-case-scenario is now her reality. Lucy is not only responsible for herself anymore. She is responsible for a scared little girl who needs her help.

Something has happened to Cassie, and Lucy must find her before it’s too late.

And an e-book to enjoy …..

DEATH AT FRIAR’S INN by ROB KEELEY

out now.. Amazon £3.99 (at time of posting)

Dinner at an Inn of Court takes an unusual turn when a corpse falls onto the Benchers’ Table. A battleaxe and a rubber glove are found at the scene. A trophy has been stolen. But who could have wanted the Porter dead – and why?

Aspiring barristers Tom and Becca set out to investigate. But another murder isn’t far away…

Rob Keeley is an established award-winning author of children’s novels, short stories and picture books, including the Spirits series. Other credits include the award-listed stage play Mr. Everyone, and Chain Gang and Newsjack for BBC Radio. Death At Friar’s Inn is his first novel for adults and draws on his own experiences training as a barrister.And a book purchase from Waterstones with a voucher that was burning a hole in my purse!…

THE MOUNTAINS SING by NGUYEN PHAN QUE MAI

With the epic sweep of Min Jin Lee’s Pachinko or Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing and the lyrical beauty of Vaddey Ratner’s In the Shadow of the Banyan, The Mountains Sing tells an enveloping, multigenerational tale of the Tran family, set against the backdrop of the Viet Nam War. Tran Dieu Lan, who was born in 1920, was forced to flee her family farm with her six children during the Land Reform as the Communist government rose in the North. Years later in Hà Noi, her young granddaughter, Hương, comes of age as her parents and uncles head off down the Ho Chí Minh Trail to fight in a conflict that will tear not just her beloved country but her family apart.

Vivid, gripping, and steeped in the language and traditions of Viet Nam, The Mountains Sing brings to life the human costs of this conflict from the point of view of the Vietnamese people themselves, while showing us the true power of kindness and hope. This is celebrated Vietnamese poet Nguyen Phan Que Mai’s first novel in English.

CURRENTLY READING

INLANDS by ELIN WILLOWS



HAPPY READING!!

The Truth Lies Buried by Morton S. Gray #CoverReveal

COVER REVEAL!!!!

 

Hello!!!  Extremely delighted to be able to share yet another fabulous cover reveal on my Books and Me Blog today!!  Thank you to the team at Choc Lit for allowing me the honour of getting to show The Truth Lies Buried off!!

Here’s a little bit of information about the book before the big reveal!!

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THE BLURB

Two children in a police waiting room, two distressed mothers, a memory only half remembered …

When Jenny Simpson returns to the seaside town of Borteen, her childhood home, it’s for a less than happy reason. But it’s also a chance for her to start again.

A new job leads to her working for Carver Rodgers, a man who lives alone in a house that looks like it comes from the pages of a fairy tale – until you see the disaster zone inside …

As Jenny gets to know Carver she begins to unravel the sadness that has led to his chaotic existence. Gradually they realise they have something in common that is impossible to ignore – and it all links back to a meeting at a police station many years before.

Could the truth lie just beneath their feet?

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THE TRUTH LIES BURIED is published on 1st May 2018 and will be available to purchase as an eBook on all platforms.  Nearer release date I’ll be posting pre-order links!

And here is your first peek at this stunning new cover!!

TRUTH

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#CoverReveal Watch For Me by Candlelight by Kirsty Ferry

Extremely delighted to be hosting this wonderful cover reveal today for the lovely Kirsty Ferry and Choc Lit!  The book is WATCH FOR ME BY CANDLELIGHT and is due out on the 3rd April 2018.  Here’s a little bit more about the book!

“The stars are aligning and it’s time again …”

Working at the Folk Museum in Hartsford village means that Kate Howard is surrounded by all sorts of unusual vintage items. Of course she has her favourites; particularly the Victorian ice skates with a name – ‘CAT’ – mysteriously painted on the sides.

But what Kate doesn’t realise is how much she has in common with Catriona Aphrodite Tredegar, the original owner of the skates, or how their lives will become strangely entwined. All Kate knows is that as soon as she bumps into farrier Theo Kent, things start getting weird: there’s the vivid, disconcerting visions and then of course the overwhelming sense that she’s met Theo before …

Watch For Me by Candlelight is published on 3rd April and will be available to purchase as an eBook on all platforms.

So what does the book look like  I hear you ask???!! Well, ask no more!! Here is your first look…………

 

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Amazon UK Pre-order link

Cover Reveal Tuesday – Deadly Intent by Sheryl Browne

My absolute pleasure to be involved in this cover reveal today thanks to the publishers Choc Lit.  

So without delaying proceedings any longer – here is your first look at another stunning cover to get you excited before the September release!

 Deadly Intent by Sheryl Browne – Book 3 in the DI Matthew Adams Series 

 

deadly

 

Tormented to the edge of sanity … 

 

Just when DI Matthew Adams thinks he’s left the past behind him, it comes back to haunt him once again; this time in the form of the Conner family. 

 

Like Matthew, the Conners have lost a child in tragic circumstances – and they’ve also found themselves in the hands of one of the most depraved criminals to walk the streets: ‘Dead-eyed’ Charlie Roberts, a drug addicted low-life with a penchant for extreme violence. 

 

Matthew’s greatest affinity lies with Daniel Conner, the brooding father who still blames himself for his youngest child’s death. But when Daniel’s wife and daughter are tortured and tormented by Roberts, can Matthew prevent him from completely ruining his own life for an act of revenge particularly when, once upon a time, that’s exactly what Matthew would have done too? 

 

Deadly Intent is the third book in Sheryl Browne’s DI Matthew Adams Series but can be read as a standalone. It will be available to purchase as an eBook on September 5th 2017.  

 

Book 1 – After She’s Gone 

Book 2 – Sins of the Father 

The Little Cottage in the Country by Lottie Phillips – book review

THE BLURB

Escape to the country!

Anna Compton thought that moving to the countryside, leaving London and her past firmly behind her was the perfect solution. Goodbye life of thirty-something, crazed single mum of two, hello country glamour queen, domestic goddess and yummy-mummy extraordinaire.

But her new life at Primrose Cottage isn’t quite what she expected! Very soon she’s chasing pork pies down hills, disguising her shop-bought cakes at the school bake sale – and trying to resist oh-so-handsome Horatio Spencerville, who just so happens to be the Lord of the Manor…

Could moving to the country be the biggest mistake she’s ever made?

A delightfully uplifting romantic comedy to get you in the mood for summer! Perfect for fans of Christie Barlow, Holly Martin and Tilly Tennant.

Amazon UK

MY REVIEW

This was a fabulously funny read – with a seriously pretty front cover! –  and I thoroughly enjoyed following the exploits of Anna and her children as they move out of London and into a cottage in the middle of nowhere left to her by her favourite Aunt.

Along the way her best friend Diane and Anna’s mum join them in their resettled life and all their lives end up changing in ways they never even thought! Her editor in London gives her the assignment of documenting their move to the country for the paper in a diary style piece, and her new life gives her plenty to talk about!

The characters she encounters from the village and school add to the hilarious fun – there are competitive mummies, hunky local farmers, the Lord of the manor – with the wonderful name of Horatio! – and some of her exploits had me laughing out loud!

As always, life doesn’t run smoothly and she is also left a diary by her Aunt containing local secrets and this added a nice twist to the story, although I would have loved more of the entries from the diary of the Aunt, along with the Diary pieces she was writing for the paper as this side of her life did feel a little abandoned once it was mentioned in the book.

Anna also has an ex to deal with who finds out about her new life – when he wanted nothing to do with her when she became pregnant – and this book is great at showing how Anna takes to facing new challenges… however mad they are!! She is quite a headstrong character and often writes her own narrative which means she is very quick to judge without listening, and this does lead to some awkward situations!

Highly recommended as the perfect summer read and I guarantee it will have you chuckling in no time!!

Lisa Hill Guest Post – Extract of Meet Me at Number Five

fcae6-numberfiveExtremely delighted to be able to share an exclusive extract today of the rather fabulous – 5 stars from me when I recently read it!! –  Meet Me at Number Five by Lisa Hill! What do you mean you haven’t downloaded it yet?! What are you playing at??!! Well, now is the chance to try before you buy so enjoy the following and I’ll include all the details at the end so you can enjoy the rest of the story!!

Meet Me at Number Five – Extract Three 

 

‘Nana, I thought we agreed not when the children are around,’ Hennie barked.

‘Fine.’ Clara placed the packet of Silk Cut and her long filter on the table with a loud thump. ‘Have it your way. It’s so smokey around here, I don’t think a few puffs from me will make much difference.’

‘Except yours are full of noxious gases. Anyway, why have you started smoking again?’ Hennie asked.

‘Excuse me.’ Clara sat down in a kitchen chair and folded her arms. ‘Before you start interrogating me, why don’t you start on Grace? She’s the one causing more mist than in the Glens of Kilcavan.’

Grace watched Hennie’s eyes narrow as she surveyed their grandmother.

‘Well, Grace?’ Clara asked.

‘She is making the most terrible mess!’ Natalia exclaimed, noisily clattering dinner plates onto the kitchen surface.

‘It’s to distract myself,’ Grace said, quietly, returning to the temperature on her thermometer. The bright red liquid in the jam pan was starting to thicken now, which meant it was nearly ready to ladle out into the jars she’d laid out on the side. She hadn’t done much today since that awful moment at Number Five when she had wanted the ground to swallow her up. If she couldn’t get a job as a waitress, what hope was there for her? Instead of trawling the internet for possible vacancies, she’d spent most of it lying on the sofa, watching Friends repeats. Anything to make her laugh and forget how depressing her own life had become. The episode where Monica had needed a plan to get over Richard had been on and it had given Grace the idea. She loved baking. She was never more at home than in the warmth of her kitchen at Farriers. Thinking of it made her feel sick again. Which was why she had decided to busy herself with the same plan as Monica’s.

A jam plan to get over her man.

‘And what exactly are you planning to do with all that jam?’ Clara had ventured across the kitchen to watch Grace ladling the jam into jars.

Grace shrugged.

‘It is a messy distraction,’ Natalia muttered, plating up the children’s fish fingers, chips and peas.

The doorbell rang before Clara could interrogate Grace any further.

‘Hennie, be a darling and go and get that,’ Clara asked.

Hennie puffed as she stood up and thumped out of the room.

‘Children, supper is ready!’ Natalia called, transferring plates to the table.

Clara started holding out the jars for Grace, as if she wanted to help. Grace had felt the last couple of days that Clara needed to help but didn’t know how.

‘Grace, darling,’ Clara’s voice was rather hushed.

Grace could hardly hear her over the whirr of the extractor hood.

‘I think we need to have a little chat later about Charlie.’

Grace’s shoulders froze.

‘Ouch,’ she said, spilling some piping hot jam on her hand.

‘Ooh, darling, run that under the tap, I’ll keep ladling.’

Grace navigated the island and walked towards the sink. Her hand was stinging.

‘Why do we need to speak about him?’

A strong waft of floral scent floated across the kitchen. In the archway stood a man with his head replaced by a large bouquet of stargazer lilies.

‘Hi,’ said the flower head. The flowers dropped to reveal the proprietor of Number Five.

If it hadn’t been for the fact she needed to stand with her hand in cold running water Grace would have made a quick dash out through the conservatory.

‘Sam!’ Clara exclaimed. ‘What are you doing here?’ She paused from ladling duty. ‘What a gorgeous bunch of flowers. Who are they for?’

‘The young lady over there.’ Sam smiled. ‘I owe her an apology.’

‘Really?’ Clara’s head looked like she was watching a tennis match as it bobbed backwards and forwards.

Grace continued to run her throbbing hand under the tap feeling confused. She studied Sam’s face. He had sincere, dark brown eyes. Quite different to the face he’d pulled earlier, which had haunted her all day.

‘Thank you,’ Grace said, quietly. ‘Sorry, I’d take them but I’ve just spilt scalding hot jam on my hand.’

‘Let me take a look,’ Sam said, striding over and discarding the flowers on the worktop. ‘Ouch. Yes, you need to keep it under that tap for another ten minutes to prevent any blistering.’

Which was fine apart from the numbing sensation in her fingertips from the icy cold water.

‘How did you know where I lived?’ Grace asked as Sam repositioned her hand under the water.

‘I followed you out the door earlier and watched you leg it down the road.’

Eek. Talk about embarrassing. Hopefully he didn’t hear her sobs of rejection as she’d fled.

‘Then I saw you disappear in here and I put two and two together. Clara said she had her other granddaughter staying with her at the moment.’

Grace wondered what else Clara had said. The last thing she wanted was him now offering her the job out of pity.

‘Can we offer you a drink, Sam?’ Clara asked as she ladled up the last jar. ‘Tea, coffee? Something stronger?’

‘Nana, it’s Monday evening,’ Hennie snapped.

‘Five o’clock any night is wine o’clock when you get to my age, darling.’

‘No, it’s okay, this wasn’t a social visit.’ Sam let go of Grace’s hand and turned his attention to the jam, peering down to inspect it. ‘I’m here for purely professional reasons.’

Grace watched Sam’s tall, lean frame bend over. His head was millimetres away from the jars. He picked one up and held it up to the light. Standing upright again, Grace realised just how tall he was: at least 6ft 3 inches. He made her feel like a Borrower.

‘Come on, Sam, don’t keep us in suspense!’

Grace could hear Natalia muttering under her breath as she paced around near where the children were eating in the conservatory, no doubt annoyed at all the bodies in her kitchen while she was trying to prepare dinner. Normally Grace would have felt awkward but she was already overwhelmed with awkwardness from Sam’s arrival, plus she was just as intrigued as Clara by his visit.

‘Ah, well …’ Sam said, still analysing the jam.

‘I was looking for a job, okay?’ Grace interrupted. There seemed little point skirting around the issue when it was going to come out one way or another. ‘I can’t live here rent free forever, can I?’

‘I’m not asking you to contribute, am I?’ Clara said, indignantly.

‘No, but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t like some self-worth. Some purpose. A reason to get out of bed in the morning.’

‘This jam is exceptional,’ said Sam, dipping his finger in the jar and licking it. ‘Mmmm!’ he exclaimed as his finger pulled back out with a pop. ‘Did you make this, Natalia? Such a fruity taste, just the right balance of sharp and sweet from the raspberries!’

‘No. That is all Grace’s effort.’ Natalia shook her head. ‘Including the mess.’

‘Really?’ Sam swung around to look at Grace.

‘You don’t have to look so surprised!’ Grace was conscious that the rest of the kitchen had gone quiet. No chomping, no chatter. All eyes were fixed on the foodie with the restaurant who was scrutinising Grace’s domestic skills.

‘Sorry.’

Could Grace see a faint blush behind the stubble on that angular jaw?

‘It’s delicious, though. Perfect, I suspect, with a spoon of clotted cream and dolloped over a freshly baked scone.’

‘Thank you,’ she squeaked.

‘Look, I’m sorry about earlier.’ Sam had put the jar down and was now awkwardly raking his hand through his hair. ‘I didn’t realise who you were. The job’s yours.’ He paused and gave her a pained expression, almost a wince. ‘If you still want it?’

Clara clapped her hands together. ‘Oh, wonderful! That will give you something to do Grace and stop you thinking about Charlie.’

Grace looked down at her hand. Water still trickled over her fingers and down into the porcelain cracked Belfast sink.

‘If you’re offering me a job out of pity, because you now know who I am and you know my circumstances, then I’m afraid it’s a “no”.’

Sam shuffled on the spot. He dug his hands deep into his jeans pockets and looked down. ‘It might have been.’

‘Then I’m sorry—’

‘But that’s before I knew about your exceptional jam making skills,’ Sam cut in.

‘Pah!’ Grace laughed. ‘Flattery won’t change my mind.’

‘Look.’ Sam’s dark, intense brown eyes searched hers. ‘I’m sorry, I acted too hastily this morning. I shouldn’t have dismissed you like that without asking about your experience.’

‘She’s worked with horses all her life,’ Hennie, evidently impatient at not having had a caffeine fix since she got in, was busying herself with the coffee maker. ‘There’s no customer that can be as difficult as a stubborn horse who doesn’t want mucking out.’

‘That’s true,’ Clara chipped in. ‘And you said yourself, this jam is excellent.’

‘Nana, stop interfering,’ said Grace, removing her hand from the freezing cold tap and dabbing it with a tea towel.

‘So,’ Sam said, taking her hand and inspecting it. Grace felt an odd sensation, tingling almost, at a man, that wasn’t Charlie, holding her hand. ‘Will you consider taking the job after all?’

 

About the book: 
What if finding happiness was a race against time?
Grace Cavendish knows a thing or two about horses – but what she doesn’t know is that her husband, top horse racing trainer Charlie Carrisbrook, is having a literal ‘roll in the hay’ right under her nose.

When the painful truth is revealed Grace has no choice but to move in with her highly-strung grandmother Clara and cousin Hennie; a single mum who has renounced men (at least that’s what she says!)

Determined to start again, Grace takes a job at the local cafe, Number Five. And whilst serving up coffee and cake is a far cry from the stables, she enjoys it – especially as she gets to work alongside the rather scrumptious Sam Whittaker.

But the past is racing to catch up with Grace. Can her life still be a romp to victory or will a devastating secret stop her dead in her tracks?

Buying Links:  
Kindle UK:  https://www.amazon.co.uk/Meet-Number-Five-Choc-Lit-ebook/dp/B072VNH12H/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8


Kindle US: https://www.amazon.com/Meet-Number-Five-Choc-Lit-ebook/dp/B072VNH12H/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

 

About the author:  lisahill

Lisa grew up in the village of Bussage, near Stroud, in the Cotswolds until she returned to Cheltenham as a teenager. She is married to her very own hero, Matt, and has three sons, Hamish, Archie and Laurence. Her first encounter of a romance author was chats over the garden wall between her father, Godfrey, and Mrs Cooper from the neighbouring village of Bisley. It came as quite a surprise in later life to find that Mrs Cooper was in fact Jilly Cooper! Lisa’s writing inspiration now comes from other Cotswolds authors including Jill Mansell and Katie Fforde.

Lisa writes contemporary romance with a light-hearted tone. What interests her most is people, their interactions, emotions and relationships. It’s probably why her career to date has been based in property; she confesses herself that she is ‘naturally curious’.

When she’s not busy writing, helping Matt run his electrical empire, or being her sons’ taxi service Lisa enjoys running with her gun dog, Sparky. They are both currently training for the Stroud half-marathon although Sparky’s motivation lies much more in chasing bunny rabbits.

Lisa is a graduate of the Romantic Novelists’ Association New Writers’ Scheme and attributes this supportive and informative scheme to her winning the Choc Lit Search for a Star competition 2016 with her debut novel Meet Me at Number Five.

 

https://twitter.com/LisaHillie

https://lisahillwriter.wordpress.com/

 

Thank you for stopping by to read this wonderful little extract from a book which I hope you are all on your way now to download!! Treat yourself!! You deserve it!

 

HAPPY READING!!

20 Books of Summer – 2017 challenge!

It is back!! My favourite time of year!!  And all thanks to Cathy at 746Books who started all this off way back when!  It runs from the 1st June to 3rd September and is just a fun little challenge to help spur you on in getting a few more books read and, hopefully, reduce the TBR mountains just a little!

It is always difficult putting together a list and you do have the freedom to change it if you want – your list, your rules!! – but I find that having a set list makes me focus a little more and takes the stress out of wasting time deciding what to read next! The stress I had this year putting my list together was how to decide what books to put on! There are piles of books everywhere in my house screaming out to be read – do your TBR piles do that to you too?! – and I finally settled on the hidden TBR piles and that is those on my Kindle/s!!   I do have a tendency of downloading books after seeing a review, or finding it for free, and then it is gone never to be heard of again!  So this challenge will now give me the kick up the butt to finally read these books, along with a few that have been on my NetGalley shelf for a while, and hopefully help me decrease one TBR pile for a while!

So here is a list of what will see me through the next couple of months – click on the title for links to the GoodReads page if you’d like a bit more info about each book!

1.  Colt Harper: Esteemed Vampire Cat by Tyrolin Puxty

2. Mr Penumbra’s 24-hour bookstore by Robin Sloan

3. The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison

4. The World of Shadow by Kate Hamer

5. Up Close by Henriette Gyland

6. Impossible Views of the World by Lucy Ives

7. After I’ve Gone by Linda Green

8. The Ice by Laline Paull

9. How to stop time by Matt Haig

10. House.Tree. Person by Catriona McPherson

11.A Thousand Paper Birds by Tor Udall

12. Finding Secrets by Lauren Westwood Writer

13. The Butterfly Storm by Kate Frost

14. Laura Lake and the Hipster Weddings by Wendy Holden

15. Mist & Whispers by C.M.Lucas

16. Bricking It by Nick Spaulding

17. The Girl with the Green Tinted Hair by Gavin Whyte

18.  Reunited by Daniel Gothard

19.The Girl who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a ship of her own making by Catherynne M.Valente

20.  Second Chance Summer by Jill Shalvis

And there we have it! The list for 2017!  Isn’t it bad when you can’t remember downloading half of the titles you find as you rummage through the library on your Kindle!!  Oops!!  So hopefully they’ll all be fabulous reads and I’m really looking forward to discovering some new authors to me and I think there’s a book to cover every mood this Summer!

Will you be taking part in the 20 Books of Summer?! I hope so! Looking forward to seeing more lists!!

HAPPY READING!!