#BookReview THE ORDER OF THE PURE MOON REFLECTED IN WATER by ZEN CHO

ABOUT THE BOOK

Zen Cho returns with a found family wuxia fantasy that combines the vibrancy of old school martial arts movies with characters drawn from the margins of history.

A bandit walks into a coffeehouse, and it all goes downhill from there. Guet Imm, a young votary of the Order of the Pure Moon, joins up with an eclectic group of thieves (whether they like it or not) in order to protect a sacred object, and finds herself in a far more complicated situation than she could have ever imagined.


PUBLISHED BY TOR.COM

PURCHASE LINKS


GOLDSBORO – signed first edition

hive.co.uk

MY REVIEW

The perfect escapist read! One that takes you out of yourself, gives you time for reflection and ended up feeling a lot deeper than I originally thought it would! I expected some action and adventure, and on top of that I got magic, myth, religion and laughs!

When a nun teams up with a group of bandits you really don’t know what to expect – and they don’t either! Considering it’s only a novella as well, the story really involves you as you wander along their trodden path on the road to steal, cause mayhem and end up finding themselves!

It’s a weird but really engaging little read – it’s full of humour as well which I really loved and didn’t expect so much of! Some of the characters – Guet and Tet especially – are fabulous creations and I’d even love to read more about them in their own stories!

★★★★

#BookReview IN THE SWEEP OF THE BAY by CATH BARTON

ABOUT THE BOOK


This lyrical, warm-hearted tale explores marriage, love, and longing, set against the majestic backdrop of Morecambe Bay, the Lakeland Fells, and the faded splendour of the Midland Hotel.

Ted Marshall meets Rene in the dance halls of Morecambe and they marry during the frail optimism of the 1950s. They adopt the roles expected of man and wife at the time: he the breadwinner at the family ceramics firm, and she the loyal housewife, but as the years go by, they both find themselves wishing for more…

After Ted survives a heart attack, both see it as a new beginning… but can a faded love like theirs ever be rekindled?

Cath Barton lives in Abergavenny. She won the New Welsh Writing AmeriCymru Prize for the Novella in 2017 for The Plankton Collector, which was published in September 2018 by New Welsh Review under their Rarebyte imprint. She also writes short stories and flash fiction and, with her critical writing, is a regular contributor to Wales Arts Review. In the Sweep of the Bay is her second novella.


PUBLISHED BY LOUISE WALTERS BOOKS


PURCHASE LINKS

Publisher Website

Amazon

hive.co.uk

MY REVIEW

For a book that just has over 100 pages, this was pure quality! It’s a gentle, quietly written book with a devastating exploration into a marriage. How time spent with the one you love often becomes a duty, just going through the motions, settling into a routine and not wanting to rock the boat.

I loved how this was full of those little observations that we often take for granted and miss, you become that fly on the wall as you look back at Ted and Rene as their life passes them by. The highs and the many lows. The trials and tribulations that face us all and how we should take time to treasure the good moments instead of dwelling on the bad!

Watching this couple over the years often left me with an overwhelming sadness! Their union seemed to become a marriage of resentment and bitterness and I found the tears falling down my face at certain points as you just felt so sad for them both and what their lives had become. Even more so when their daughter was going through their possessions and realising just how little she knew about her parents and that brings home that we often don’t realise how much we don’t know about those closest to us.

Being set from the 50’s onwards really showed the attitudes of those towards marriage back then. The fact that the woman was just expected to give up her life for her husband and future children, despite the life she was missing out on … she just kept quiet and let the bitterness build up inside her. You just wanted her to scream or shout – just to react and let her feelings out!

This is an exquisite little novella – small in stature, but huge in style and impact!!

★★★★★

#BookReview The Last Children of Tokyo by Yoko Tawada

about the book

The Emissary – American Title

Yoshiro thinks he might never die. A hundred years old and counting, he is one of Japan’s many ‘old-elderly’; men and women who remember a time before the air and the sea were poisoned, before terrible catastrophe promted Japan to shut itself off from the rest of the world. He may live for decades yet, but he knows his beloved great-grandson – born frail and prone to sickness – might not survive to adulthood. Day after day, it takes all of Yoshiro’s sagacity to keep Mumei alive.

As hopes for Japan’s youngest generation fade, a secretive organisation embarks on an audacious plan to find a cure – might Yoshiro’s great-grandson be the key to saving the last children of Tokyo?

Published by  Portobello Books

Purchase Links

hive.co.uk  £7.75

waterstones  £9.99

MY REVIEW

A quirky and fascinating little book! It’s beautifully written, a little confusing at times and a little scary too as it takes a look at life in a dystopian Japan, where the elderly are the carers for a generation of youngsters who are prone to illness, disease and no understanding of life ‘before’ the isolation policy was brought in around the world.

The scenario of a time where countries have such serious problems that they are all shut off to one another so they can solve their own issues, is something so alien to us but many in this Japan have grown up knowing no other way. They don’t know foreign languages, no idea what telephones are, no transport, less food – it’s all the norm for them. But the old-elderly do remember and they are the strongest and fittest in society. 

The devotion shown by Yoshiri to his great grandson Mumei is touching and endearing. Knowing that certain foods are just too tough or bad for his great grandson has him going to extreme measures to find the right balance for him. 

The way Yoshiri looks back at the old times is quite poignant especially knowing that it means so little to those younger than him, and when we get to hear the perspective of Mumei you are just struck by how innocent he is, but appreciative of all that his great grandfather does for him.

Packs a lot in for such a short novella – 138 pages – and gives you as a reader plenty to think about and worry about for the future we may all face!

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#BookReview Summer at Carrick Park by Kirsty Ferry #PublicationDay

About the book

A heartwarming story from Kirsty Ferry. Perfect for fans of Carole Matthews, Cathy Kelly and Marian Keyes


A summer wedding, fifty cupcakes and a man she thought she would never see again …
When Joel Leicester walks into the hotel where Rosa Tempest works, she can’t believe her bad luck. Out of all the hotels in all of North Yorkshire, the man who broke her heart would have to walk into Carrick Park!


The last time Rosa saw Joel it was after a whirlwind holiday when they’d been greeted at his flat by a woman claiming to be his fiancée. Rosa never stuck around to hear Joel’s side of the story but now, six years later on, Fate has another trick up its sleeve as a potentially disastrous summer wedding at Carrick Park can only be saved by Joel and Rosa working together …

Published by Choc Lit

Publication Date – 1st August 2018

Purchase Links

Amazon UK

MY REVIEW

I found this to be a fabulous novella! Just one word of warning – don’t read this on an empty stomach! The description of cakes will have you drooling and feeling rather peckish!!

It’s the story of Rosa Tempest, and features the Carrick Park hotel which is first seen in Some Veil Did Fall by Kirsty Ferry, as well as her Xmas novella ‘A little bit of Christmas Magic’ – but this is just as wonderful a read as a standalone story! Rosa is such a lovely character, sweet, hardworking – she’s the senior receptionist at the hotel – and rather ace at baking cakes! She’s also nursing a broken heart so is glad to have work – and cakes – to focus on! 

But her past soon comes walking back into her life when her ex, Joel, walks through the doors of the hotel as he’s the best man for his pal Luke who is seen to marry Erica at the hotel.  Joso never got a chance to explain to Rosa just exactly what happened that night when she ran away from their romantic getaway – she even got her friends and family to lie for her when he tried to track her down to explain his side of the story – so maybe now is the chance for the truth to come out?!

But first they have to deal with a wedding disaster, and that can only be fixed by spending time together! Will it give them a chance to reconnect?!

I really enjoyed how this book flashes back to 6 years ago when Rosa and Joel first got together, as it gives you the chance to  see their story from the beginning!  I loved reading about their past and just wish there was more of this story as I could have easily spent more time in their company – and reading about cakes!!

A delicious treat for all!!

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Cover Reveal Tuesday – A Little Bit of Christmas Magic by Kirsty Ferry

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!! Too early??!! 😉 I think not!! As the end of August approaches I think it’s only right that we start to think a little as to what we will be reading over the next few months to get us in the festive mood!

So wonder no longer!  Lucky enough to share an exclusive cover reveal today on Books and Me  with you thanks to the lovely folk at Choc Lit who have a rather gorgeous Christmas cover to share… are you all ready?!!

 

 

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Any wish can be granted with a little bit of Christmas magic …

As a wedding planner at Carrick Park Hotel Ailsa McCormack has devoted herself to making sure couples get their perfect day, but just occasionally that comes at a price – in this case, organising a Christmas Day wedding at the expense of her own Christmas.

Not that Ailsa minds. There’s something very special about Carrick Park during the festive season and she’s always been fascinated by the past occupants of the place; particularly the beautiful and tragic Ella Carrick, whose striking portrait still hangs at the top of the stairs.

And then an encounter with a tall, handsome and strangely familiar man in the drawing room on Christmas Eve sets off a chain of events that transforms Ailsa’s lonely Christmas into a far more magical occasion than she could have ever imagined …

Sounds like the perfect Christmas read so I for one can’t wait to get my mitts on a copy! A Little Bit of Christmas Magic is a novella by Kirsty Ferry and will be released on the 24th October 2017! Keep watch on the relevant Twitter pages for more info nearer that date!

Kirsty Ferry Twitter page

Choc Lit Twitter page

Off now to listen to Last Christmas and Jingle Bells…. what’s your favourite Xmas track?!! Just like Christmas songs, A Christmas book is for life, not just for Christmas!! 😉😂