Bookish Weekly Wrap Up!

Hello all!!  Hope you have all had a lovely bookish week – anyone do anything special for World Book Day?!  Enjoyed seeing all the photos of friends’ children all dressed up as various characters – just a shame that a lot of costumes nowadays are brought from shops! I miss the creativity – and randomness – of the homemade fancy dress outfits that used to do the rounds!! Sheets and bin bags were a must in my day for creating something wonderful to wear haha!!  Oh and I celebrated the day by buying some books! Well, I had to do something! 😉

Speaking of books it seems to have been an extremely busy one on the bookish front for me – just the way I like it!  So here’s a little peek into my bookish week;

BOOKPOST

 Dangerous Cargo by J.M. Shorney

Aidan McRaney is trying to stay away from his shadier past in this James Bond style thriller, but the offer of fifteen thousand pounds from Agency boss Nick Lombardi is too good to pass up. Lombardi needs someone to infiltrate the lair of The Widow. No agent has survived previous missions and Lombardi believes its McRaneys knowledge of the criminal underworld that will give him the edge. An arms dealer, The Widow is in league with the L.A. Mafia and has bought a house on a remote island off the Cornish coast, far enough away from the mainland where the arms can be both smuggled and tested. When Don Giorgio Avonicci arrives, accompanied by his female bodyguard, McRaney finds its not just the weapons being tested but his commitment to his wife in London. This is the fourth book in the Aidan McRaney series which began with his release from prison in the book Stalking Aidan.

Received this ahead of a Blog Tour that I’ll be part of at the end of the month and it’s a pulsating read so watch this space for more later!

AN ACCOUNT OF THE DECLINE OF THE GREAT AUK, ACCORDING TO ONE WHO SAW IT by JESSIE GREENGRASS

The twelve stories in this startling collection range over centuries and across the world.

There are stories about those who are lonely, or estranged, or out of time. There are hauntings, both literal and metaphorical; and acts of cruelty and neglect, but also of penance.

Some stories concern themselves with the present, and the mundane circumstances in which people find themselves: a woman who feels stuck in her life imagines herself in different jobs – as a lighthouse keeper in Wales, or as a guard against polar bears in a research station in the Arctic.

Some stories concern themselves with the past: a sixteenth-century alchemist and doctor, whose arrogance blinds him to people’s dissatisfaction with their lives until he experiences it himself.

Finally, in the title story, a sailor gives his account – violent, occasionally funny and certainly tragic – of the decline of the Great Auk

This is due out at the end of March and I received this via Bookbridgr as I’ve heard so many good things so am eager to dive in soon!

THE HOUSE OF MOUNTFATHOM by NIGEL MCDOWELL

Luke Mountfathom knows he is special and odd. He is told so by everyone he knows. His parents are special and odd too – they are the keepers of the House of Mountfathom, a magnificent stately home where the wrong door could take you to a far away land, and strange animals appear to stalk the grounds at midnight. The house is his home – but it is also the headquarters of the Driochta, a magic-weaving group of poets, artists, politicians and activists charged with keeping the peace in Ireland. They have many powers – have mastered Mirror-Predicting and Smoke-Summoning and Storm-Breaching – and a final ability: that of Mogrifying; taking on a unique animal form.

But Luke’s idyllic existence at Mountfathom cannot last. Word reaches the House of protests across Ireland. There is a wish for independence, a rising discontent and scenes of violence that even the Driochta cannot control. In Dublin, death and disease is running rife in the tenements; a darkness is clogging the air, and is intent on staying. And when things quickly spin out of control for the Driochta, it is up to Luke, his cat Morrigan and his best friend Killian to worm out the heart of the evil in their land.

 AN UNSUITABLE MARRIAGE by COLETTE DARTFORD

When the worst happens, could your marriage survive? A sharp and emotional novel of a family under pressure, perfect for fans of Joanna Trollope and Hilary Boyd.

Olivia always thought she had the perfect family life. A loving husband in Geoffrey, a thoughtful and intelligent son in Edward and a beautiful home in the Somerset countryside.

But all that changed when Geoffrey’s business went under. Now penniless and homeless, Geoffrey is living with his recently widowed mother, whilst Olivia has been forced to take a job as housemistress at her son’s elite boarding school.

Soon the cracks in the relationship start to show. And, increasingly desperate, Geoffrey makes a mistake. One that could have consequences for the whole family . . .

Received these two books via Readers First. I love both covers and the blurbs sound really fascinating on both counts so hoping the insides match the outsides!

BOOKS READ

Been a successful reading week too with 4 books finished  and all enjoyed too!  Have included my GoodRead review links with them!

The Whisperer by Elsa Winckler

A really enjoyable read exploring the bond between animals and humans – and the bond between humans!

Expected release 10th March 2017 – HarperImpulse

Amazon UK

The Moth Snowstorm by Michael McCarthy

 

Really loved this look at how we look at nature in the modern world and the scary future ahead with many species and habitats being destroyed.

See You In The Cosmos by Jack Cheng

A very sweet and powerful YA book about a boy who loves the stars

All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai

Loved this one! A real surprise to me!

So that is it! My week wrapped up! How has your bookish week been?! good? bad? indifferent?!  And what does the week ahead have in store for me?!  Yet more books!! March seems to be an extremely busy one on the book release front – dear publishers, please slow down the output of good books for a while, thankyou! – so i have a few from NetGalley and proofs to catch up with, alongside getting through my own mountain of books purchased! I assume I’m not alone with these issues!! 😉

Happy Reading!!

All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai – book review

THE BLURB

When Tom loses the love of his life, time travel seems like the only answer. . . what could possibly go wrong?

Elan Mastai’s breakthrough novel brings a whole new dimension to a classic love story

So, the thing is, I come from the world we were supposed to have.

That means nothing to you, obviously, because you live here, in the crappy world we do have.

But it never should’ve turned out like this. And it’s all my fault – well, me and to a lesser extent my father.

And, yeah, I guess a little bit Penelope.

In both worlds, she’s the love of my life. But only a single version of her can exist.

I have one impossible chance to fix history’s greatest mistake and save this broken world.

Except it means saving one Penelope and losing the other forever – and I have absolutely no idea which to choose . . .
Praise for All Our Wrong Todays

‘A thrilling tale of time travel and alternate timelines with a refreshingly optimistic view of humanity’s future’
Andy Weir, author of international bestseller The Martian

‘A novel about time travel has no right to be this engaging. A novel this engaging has no right to be this smart. And a novel this smart has no right to be this funny. Or insightful. Or immersive. Basically, this novel has no right to exist.”
Jonathan TropperNew York Times bestselling author of This Is Where I Leave You and One Last Thing Before I Go

‘Elan Mastai has conjured up a witty and freewheeling time-traveling romance that packs an emotional wallop.All Our Wrong Todays is a page-turning delight’
Maria Semple, author of Today Will Be Different and Where’d You Go, Bernadette

Amazon UK – Kindle edition out now.  Hardback release date 2nd March 2017

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

“All Our Wrong Todays” is my first novel, but I’ve been working for the past 15 years as a screenwriter. I’ve written movies for both independent production companies and the Hollywood studios, including scripts for Fox, Sony, Warner Brothers, and Paramount. My most recent film is “What If”—also known as “The F Word”—a comedy starring Daniel Radcliffe, Zoe Kazan, Adam Driver, Mackenzie Davis, Megan Park, and Rafe Spall, directed by Michael Dowse. I was fortunate to win the Canadian Academy Award and the Writers Guild of Canada Award for my screenplay. I was born and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia and currently live in Toronto, Ontario with my wife and kids and an Australian Shepherd named Ruby Slippers.

MY REVIEW

Wasn’t really sure what to expect when I started this! I don’t read that much sci-fi and seeing the time travel element of this story had me a little worried as to what was in store for me as a reader – I just wish I could send myself back in a time-machine now and start reading this all again so I can savour it all once more!! Loved it!

Tom Barren lives in 2016 – but a 2016 unlike ours! It is full of automated life, decisions made for you – a world where everything is perfect. Sounds idyllic?! Not for Tom and he’s nostalgic for the real world of good and bad experiences. Tom is the perfect character to be the narrator of this story as he’s the idiot to his genius father – never seemingly good enough and missing his beloved mother. So we get to enjoy and share his every thought and action as he tries to live up to something he isn’t – he’s not quite sure what he’s supposed to be so when a chance to achieve some respect from his father by travelling back in time to witness the moment in time that changed the world as we know it – Lionel Goettreider invented the future in 1965 and he is the most famous man in the alternate 2016 timeline as his vision became their reality.

So what happens if the impossible happens and we could travel back in time to witness those moments in time that we all know so much about? Tom is about to find out and things aren’t all as he imagined – the genius plan had some pretty big flaws! And then what happens when you return from that moment and your version of 2016 has changed beyond recognition?! Full of people you know, but don’t know at all?!

This is more than a sci-fi/time travel novel as it features a lot of human emotion as he deals with love, grief and all those self doubts that we as humans often feel. And it is also very funny!   It is written in a really punchy way and never gets bogged down in too much ‘geeky’ detail and that is what kept me engrossed from start to finish. I loved the Tom character along with Penelope too who had her own dreams but her destiny was also changed by a quirk of fate and, like life, leads on to new experiences and dreams to unfold.

This exceeded my expectations so I can highly recommend it for those of you looking for something a little out of the ordinary!

One Little Mistake by Emma Curtis – book review

THE BLURB

Vicky Seagrave is blessed: three beautiful children, a successful, doting husband, great friends and a job she loves. She should be perfectly happy.

When she risks everything she holds dear on a whim, there’s only person she trusts enough to turn to.

But Vicky is about to learn that one mistake is all it takes; that if you’re careless with those you love, you don’t deserve to keep them . . . 

‘A tense and utterly engrossing story’ Tammy Cohen, author of WHEN SHE WAS BAD and THE BROKEN


‘A compelling page-turner which kept me reading well into the night.This book will make any woman look at her best friend with more than a touch of suspicion . . .’ Jane Corry, author of MY HUSBAND’S WIFE


‘A page-turner that explores how friendship, mothering, marriage, and events in the past can collide in unexpected andtumultuous ways’ Beth Miller, author of THE GOOD NEIGHBOUR and WHEN WE WERE SISTERS


‘A brilliant, gripping read. I couldn’t put it down’ Claire Douglas, author of THE SISTERS and LOCAL GIRL MISSING


Release Date – 23rd February 2017


Amazon UK  £2.99 Kindle edition



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Emma Curtis was born in Brighton and brought up in London.  Her fascination with the darker side of domestic life inspired her to write One Little Mistake, her first psychological suspense. She has two children and lives in Richmond with her husband.


Find her on Twitter @emmacurtisbooks



MY REVIEW


Another thought provoking  thriller to enjoy if you love this genre!!  Kept me intrigued from start to finish and is full of twists that most will fail to predict!


As we follow the story of Vicky we soon see that those we think that have it all are often thinking they don’t and that the grass is always greener on the other side.  When Vicky begins to take her family for granted it sets in motion a chain of events that see her whole life turned upside down.


Another major part of this storyline is the issue of trust. Vicky thought she could trust her best friend, Amber, but armed with every insight into her friends’ life it soon turns out that knowledge is power and can be used against you – if that friend isn’t all she says she is!  The green eyed monster rears  its’ ugly head many a time and definitely makes you think twice about trusting those closest to you!!


It is told over 2 timelines – 2010 and 1992 – and this works so well in building up a picture of events over the years and just how someone elses past can destroy your future!


It brings the question of responsibility clearly into focus and how a split second decision can change things forever – is it always worth the risk?!


None of the characters come out of this story very well with their behaviour and their selfish acts but it an insight into what makes people tick and that isn’t always a pleasant thing and is written so cleverly that you find yourself imagining what would you do that in those situations!  Hopefully not with the same consequences!!


Thoroughly enjoyed the ride this page turner took me on so will be looking out for more from this author in the future!



Thank you to Emma Curtis and Rosie Margesson at Pengiun Random House for the advance copy in exchange for my review 

My bookish week round up!

Happy Friday!!  And another busy week of books for me so will get straight into it as I’m feeling a little ‘bleurgh’ today so my bed is calling me!!

BOOK POST

It has been an epic week of book arrivals here! I think my postman is ready to plot my demise!!  In total there has been…..16 books making their way to my slightly overcrowded bookshelves!

On the ARC fronts I’ve received these beauties…

See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt

 “Eerie and compelling, Sarah Schmidt breathes such life into the terrible, twisted tale of Lizzie Borden and her family, she makes it impossible to look away.” —Paula Hawkins, author of The Girl on the Train


In this riveting debut novel, See What I Have Done, Sarah Schmidt recasts one of the most fascinating murder cases of all time into an intimate story of a volatile household and a family devoid of love.

On the morning of August 4, 1892, Lizzie Borden calls out to her maid: Someone’s killed Father. The brutal ax-murder of Andrew and Abby Borden in their home in Fall River, Massachusetts, leaves little evidence and many unanswered questions. While neighbors struggle to understand why anyone would want to harm the respected Bordens, those close to the family have a different tale to tell—of a father with an explosive temper; a spiteful stepmother; and two spinster sisters, with a bond even stronger than blood, desperate for their independence.

As the police search for clues, Emma comforts an increasingly distraught Lizzie whose memories of that morning flash in scattered fragments. Had she been in the barn or the pear arbor to escape the stifling heat of the house? When did she last speak to her stepmother? Were they really gone and would everything be better now? Shifting among the perspectives of the unreliable Lizzie, her older sister Emma, the housemaid Bridget, and the enigmatic stranger Benjamin, the events of that fateful day are slowly revealed through a high-wire feat of storytelling

 
Child Taken by Darren Young

How could such a thing happen?

But it did happen.

I wasn’t one of the others, observing.

It happened to me.

One hot summer’s day, two-year-old Jessica Preston disappears from the beach. The police are convinced she drowned, but Sandra Preston won’t give up hope that her daughter is still alive.

How can she?

Twenty years later, another child goes missing, and Sandra is approached by a young journalist who raises questions about what really happened to Jessica Preston all those years ago. But when the journalist discovers someone with an explosive secret, it threatens not only to reveal what’s been covered up for so long, but puts both their lives in danger.

And then I was lucky to win a couple of signed copies of books via competitions on Twitter and these arrived this week too!

 Queen of Bedlam by Laura Purcell

London 1788. The calm order of Queen Charlotte’s court is shattered by screams. The King of England is going mad. Left alone with thirteen children and with the country at war, Charlotte has to fight to hold her husband’s throne. It is a time of unrest and revolutions but most of all Charlotte fears the King himself, someone she can no longer love or trust. She has lost her marriage to madness and there is nothing she can do except continue to do her royal duty.

Her six daughters are desperate to escape their palace asylum. Their only chance lies in a good marriage, but no prince wants the daughter of a madman. They are forced to take love wherever they can find it, with devastating consequences.

The moving true story of George III’s madness and the women whose lives it destroyed.


Himself by Jess Kidd

 

 

When Mahony returns to Mulderrig, a speck of a place on Ireland’s west coast, he brings only a photograph of his long-lost mother and a determination to do battle with the village’s lies.

His arrival causes cheeks to flush and arms to fold in disapproval. No one in the village – living or dead – will tell what happened to the teenage mother who abandoned him as a baby, despite Mahony’s certainty that more than one of them has answers.

Between Mulderrig’s sly priest, its pitiless nurse and the caustic elderly actress throwing herself into her final village play, this beautiful and darkly comic debut novel creates an unforgettable world of mystery, bloody violence and buried secrets. 

And then the latest MothBox subscription box of book delights appeared containing 2 more interesting and fascinating book from smaller publishers

 

Sufficient Grace by Amy Espeseth Ruth and her cousin Naomi live in rural Wisconsin, part of an isolated religious community. The girls’ lives are ruled by the rhythms of nature — the harsh winters, the hunting seasons, the harvesting of crops — and by their families’ beliefs. Beneath the surface of this closed, frozen world, hidden dangers lurk.


Then Ruth learns that Naomi harbours a terrible secret. She searches for solace in the mysteries of the natural world: broken fawns, migrating birds, and the strange fish deep beneath the ice. Can the girls’ prayers for deliverance be answered?

Sufficient Grace is a story of lost innocence and the unfailing bond between two young women. It is at once devastating and beautiful, and ultimately transcendent.

 
The Handsworth Times by Sharon Duggal  Mukesh Agarwal sits alone in the Black Eagle pub, unaware that a riot is brewing or that Billy, his youngest son, is still out on his bike …A mile away in the family home in Church Street, Anila, one of the three Agarwal girls, is reading Smash Hits and listening to Radio One as she sprawls across the bottom bunk, oblivious to the monumental tragedy that is about to hit her family …


It is 1981 and Handsworth is teetering on the brink of collapse. Factories are closing, unemployment is high, the National Front are marching and the neglected inner cities are ablaze as riots breakout across Thatcher’s fractured Britain. The Agarwals are facing their own nightmares but family, pop music, protest, unexpected friendships and a community that refuses to disappear all contribute to easing their personal pain, and that of Handsworth itself.

THE HANDSWORTH TIMES is a story of loss and transition, and pulling together because ultimately, there is such a thing as society.


 
 
And then the biggest parcel of book loveliness this past week has been from Urbane Publications.  I signed up at the start of the year and subscribed to their Book Club – where you receive a copy of every book they publish through out the year! So this was the January batch
 

 

 

A lovely mix of  genres to delve into!

A Filthy Habit by Fergus Linnane

Debris by Chris Parker

Release your Wow! by Rennie Gould

Two Dogs at the One Dog Inn – by David John Griffin

Mobile Crocodile by Lotte Moore

Dinosaur Who Ate A Piano by Lotte Moore

Saved by Lotte Moore

The Flying Granny by Lotte Moore

The Teaspoon Family by Lotte Moore

BOOKS FINISHED

great reads this week so I managed to finish 3 books and still have 2 on the go!

The Breakdown by B.A.Paris

The Little Teashop of Lost and Found by Trisha Ashley 

Days Without End by Sebastian Barry

Phew! Think that is it!! Another week of more in than out so I need to remedy that situation with some speed reading blasts over the weekend!

Happy Reading!

Kill The Father by Sandrone Dazieri

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THE BLURB

In this fascinatingly complex thriller, two people, each shattered by their past, team to solve a series of killings and abductions…

When a woman is beheaded in a park outside Rome and her six-year-old son goes missing, the police unit assigned to the case sees an easy solution: they arrest the woman’s husband and await his confession. But the Chief of Rome’s  Major Crimes unit doubts things are so simple. Secretly, he lures to the case two of Italy’s top analytical minds: Deputy Captain Colomba Caselli, a fierce, warrior-like detective still reeling from having survived a bloody catastrophe, and Dante Torre, a man who spent his childhood trapped inside a concrete silo. Fed through the gloved hand of a masked kidnapper who called himself “The Father,” Dante emerged from his ordeal with crippling claustrophobia but, also, with an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and hyper-observant capacities.

All evidence suggests that the Father is back and active after being dormant for decades. Indeed, he has left tell-tale signs that signal he’s looking forward to a reunion with Dante. But when Columba and Dante begin following the ever-more-bizarre trail of clues, they grasp that what’s really going on is darker than they ever imagined.
Expected publication: February 9th 2017 by Simon & Schuster UK
Hive.co.uk – buy online and support your local bookstore

Amazon UK

MY REVIEW

 

If you are looking to find an outstanding new crime / thriller series to sink your teeth into, then look no further!! This beast of a book (almost 500 pages) has kept me thoroughly transfixed from start to finish.

The main characters are Colomba and Dante and they are called in to help solve the murder of a mother who was found beheaded, whilst her son has disappeared. The immediate suspect is the husband but soon similarities to other unsolved cases begin to appear, bringing the case a little closer to home for Dante especially.

The author cleverly has introduced us to two strong main characters who are flawed due to their troubled pasts, and the ‘now’ story is cleverly interjected with links to the past and, often in gruesome detail, brings their previous terrors to life. These flaws make them such interesting people to read about and seems to make them work together as a team much better.

I found this story had a great pace and never seemed to pause for breath. It also never goes OTT with the details or complexities of criminal proceedures, which can often bog some crime stories down. In Columba it also introduces us to a really strong female character who isn’t afraid of bending the rules and tries not to let the past rule her present.

‘The Father’ is also a great character, in a fabulously evil way, as he always seems to be one step ahead of them and seems to justify his behaviour as more details are uncovered of his choice of victims.

The quest to track him down is an exhilarating rollercoaster ride and I cannot wait for more in this series!! A terrific debut!!
I received a copy of this book courtesy of the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.