So we have made it to the end of November and I’m very happy to report I can now shout – BINGO!!! I made it!! Completed my Netgalley board for November thanks to the wonderful challenge set up by NeverEndingNetgalley over on Twitter! It’s set up to help you get your NG shelves under control a little and I need lots of help on that front! And this past month has helped…. if only I could stop then adding new titles to the shelves! Whoops!!
So here’s my look back at the titles I got to read!! Click on the title for a link to my reviews…
So there we have it! Always happy to complete a challenge and it does feel good to clear some older titles off my Netgalley shelves, so now I need to keep being good and keep that up!!! Wish me luck haha!!
Was very lucky to receive 2 books from the publishers to review..
THE TOLL HOUSE by CARLY REAGON
The past isn’t always dead and buried . . .
A house with history. That’s how the estate agent described the old toll house on the edge of the town. For Kelda it’s the perfect rural home for her young son Dylan after a difficult few years.
But when Kelda finds a death mask concealed behind one of the walls, everything changes. Inexplicable things happen in the house, Kelda cannot shake the feeling of being watched and Dylan is plagued by nightmares, convinced he can see figures in his room. As Dylan’s behaviour becomes increasingly challenging, Kelda seeks answers in the house’s mysterious past. But she’s running out of time.
Because something has awoken.
And now it won’t rest . . .
THE VIRAGO BOOK OF WITCHES by SHAHRUKH HUSAIN
For Daughters of the Moon, folklorist Shahrukh Husain has gathered more than fifty tales of witches and witchcraft from more than thirty cultures worldwide. Here are femme fatales who sap men’s strength and lure them to their doom, cannibalistic hags who prey on abandoned children, shape-shifters who can change themselves and others into animals and worse, and wise women who render aid and comfort in sometimes inexplicable ways.
And over at Netgalley…..
THE DARLINGS OF THE ASYLUM by NOEL O’REILLY
publication date – December 2022
To marry is madness. To escape is impossible. Noel O’Reilly returns with a gripping historical novel about a woman locked in a Victorian asylum against her will…
She wakes in a strange, stark room. Through the bare walls she hears muffled cries and yells. The label on her unfamiliar, starched gown reads PROPERTY OF HILLWOOD GRANGE LUNATIC ASYLUM. Her heart thumps as a key rattles in the lock…
In 1886, a respectable young woman must acquire a husband. Violet Pring’s scheming mother has secured a desirable marriage proposal from an eligible Brighton gentleman. But Violet does not want to marry. She longs to be a professional artist and live on her own terms.
Violet’s family believes she is deranged and deluded, so she is locked away in Hillwood Grange against her will. In her new cage, Violet faces an even greater challenge: she must escape the clutches of a sinister and formidable doctor and set herself free.
This tantalizing gothic novel from Noel O’Reilly tells a thrilling story of duty and desire, madness and sanity, truth and delusion, told from within a Victorian asylum.
NORWAY by CLAUDIA MARTIN
Presented in a landscape format and with captions explaining the story behind each entry, Norway is a stunning collection of images celebrating this striking country.
Did you know that Oslo is the only capital city in Europe where you can go cross-country skiing? Just take your skis on the metro to the suburbs and ski off from the platform across the frozen, snowy landscape. Stretching so far from north to south, and from west to east—the country reaches further east than St. Petersburg—Norway has a larger number of different habitats than almost any other European country. It has Scandinavia’s most spectacular fjords, steep mountains, pretty fishing villages, beautiful beaches—and continental Europe’s largest glacier. From remote settlements within the Arctic Circle to Oslo’s lively city life, from the northern lights to the white nights when the sun never sets, from sculpture gardens to immense bridges linking the country’s many islands, Norway is a fascinating exploration of this increasingly popular tourist destination.
JAPAN by MELANIE CLEGG
Presented in a landscape format and with captions explaining the story behind each entry, Japan is a stunning collection of images celebrating the world’s most vibrant country.
From shrines to megacities, from paddy fields to high-speed trains to the latest in digital technology, Japan is a fascinating mix of the ancient and modern, of East and West. Featuring castles and hot springs, remote volcanic islands and intense high-rises, delicate tea ceremonies and busy cities, medieval bridges and modern flyovers, Japan presents outstanding color photographs depicting a wide range of perspectives on Japanese life. From farming to engineering, war memorials to the devastation of the Tohoku tsunami and Fukushima nuclear disaster, the beauty of Kyoto to the bustle of Tokyo, a great many sides to the Land of the Rising Sun are explored.
Hello and Happy Saturday! It’s been a foggy, wet and windy week here so I’m missing those sunny days of Summer!
And the miserable weather seems to have affected my reading mo-jo! I’ve hit a reading slump and that is not good as the books keep piling up LOL!! So just 1 book finished this week and that was an audiobook! But did that stop me visiting Netgalley!? Of course not!! 4 new additions to the shelves there – oops!!
Autumn 1945 – Off the east coast of England, a Japanese sub surfaces, unloads its mysterious cargo, then blows itself to pieces.
Former spy Professor Tom Wilde is enjoying peacetime in Cambridge, settling back into teaching and family life. Until a call from senior MI5 boss Lord Templeman brings him out of retirement.
A nearby village has been locked down by the military, its residents blighted by a deadly illness. No one is allowed in or out.
There are rumours the Nazi machine is still operational, with links to Unit 731, a notorious Japanese biological warfare research laboratory. But how could they possibly be plotting on British soil – and why?
What’s more, Wilde and Templeman’s names are discovered on a Gestapo kill list. And after a series of assassinations an unthinkable question emerges: could an Englishman be behind the plot?
OUR HIDEOUS PROGENY by C.E.MCGILL
publication date – MAY 2023
A gothic adventure story, a classic tale with a feminist twist, a story of ambition and obsession, forbidden love and sabotage…
‘It is not the monster you have to fear, but the monster it makes of men.’
Mary is the great-niece of Victor Frankenstein. She knows her uncle disappeared in mysterious circumstances in the Arctic but she doesn’t know why or how. She and her husband are trying to make a name for themselves as paleontologists but, in 1850s’ London, scientific success requires wealth and connections – neither of which they possess. But then Mary discovers some old family papers that allude to the truth behind her great-uncle’s past, of his attempts to create a living being and the creature that ultimately killed him. Perhaps this idea will prove to be their salvation… Their quest takes them to the wilds of Scotland and to a game of cat and mouse with a rival who is out to steal their secret.
Our Hideous Progeny is a sumptuous tale of ambition and obsession, of forbidden love and sabotage; an adventure story that blends classic, immersive storytelling with contemporary themes.
ARE YOU HAPPY NOW by HANNA JAMESON
publication date – February 2023
At a New York City wedding, on a sweltering summer night, four people are trying to be happy.
Yun has everything he ever wanted, but somehow it’s never enough. Emory is finally making her mark, but feels the shame more than the success. Andrew is trying to be honest, but has lied to himself his whole life. Fin can’t resist falling in love, but can’t help wrecking it all either.
And then the world begins to end. The four of them watch as one of the wedding guests sits down and refuses to get back up. Soon it’s happening across the world. Is it a choice or an illness?
Because how can anyone be happy in a world where the only choice is to feel everything – or nothing at all?
An intensely compulsive novel for anyone who has ever felt hopeful and helpless in one breath, ARE YOU HAPPY NOW is about how you keep living when the world is on fire. Perfect for fans of Emily John St. Mandel’s Station Eleven, Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go, Patricia Lockwood’s Nobody is Talking About This and Naomi Alderman’s The Power.
THE WITCH AND THE TSAR by OLEYSA SALNIKOVA GILMORE
In this stunning debut novel, the maligned and immortal witch of legend known as Baba Yaga will risk all to save her country and her people from Tsar Ivan the Terrible—and the dangerous gods who seek to drive the twisted hearts of men.
As a half-goddess possessing magic, Yaga is used to living on her own, her prior entanglements with mortals having led to heartbreak. She mostly keeps to her hut in the woods, where those in need of healing seek her out, even as they spread rumors about her supposed cruelty and wicked spells. But when her old friend Anastasia—now the wife of the tsar, and suffering from a mysterious illness—arrives in her forest desperate for her protection, Yaga realizes the fate of all of Russia is tied to Anastasia’s. Yaga must step out of the shadows to protect the land she loves.
As she travels to Moscow, Yaga witnesses a sixteenth century Russia on the brink of chaos. Tsar Ivan—soon to become Ivan the Terrible—grows more volatile and tyrannical by the day, and Yaga believes the tsaritsa is being poisoned by an unknown enemy. But what Yaga cannot know is that Ivan is being manipulated by powers far older and more fearsome than anyone can imagine.
Olesya Salnikova Gilmore weaves a rich tapestry of mythology and Russian history, reclaiming and reinventing the infamous Baba Yaga, and bringing to life a vibrant and tumultuous Russia, where old gods and new tyrants vie for power. This fierce and compelling novel draws from the timeless lore to create a heroine for the modern day, fighting to save her country and those she loves from oppression while also finding her true purpose as a goddess, a witch, and a woman.
Hello and Happy Saturday!! We’re running out of them fast for 2022 eh! Christmas is everywhere you look now… and I’ve started making a list of books I want to buy with any gift vouchers I may get from Santa this year haha!!
And on to books…. It’s been an okayish week for books although looking at my GoodReads target I seem to be way behind other years numbers and I don’t know why!! I managed to finish 4 books this past week, got 2 newbies from Netgalley and got some lovely bookpost too!! Here’s my look back!
Just a couple to tempt me at Netgalley this week….
THE GOLDEN OLDIES BOOK CLUB by JUDY LEIGH
publication date – December 2022
Ruth the librarian fears she’s too old to find love, but a discussion about Lady Chatterley’s Lover makes her think again.
Aurora doesn’t feel seventy-two and longs to relive the excitement of her youth, while Verity is getting increasingly tired of her husband Mark’s grumpiness and wonders if their son’s imminent flight from the nest might be just the moment for her to fly too. And Danielle is fed up with her cheating husband. Surely life has more in store for her than to settle for second best?
The glue that holds Combe Pomeroy together is Jeannie. Doyenne of the local cider farm and heartbeat of her family and community, no one has noticed that Jeannie needs some looking after too. Has the moment for her to retire finally arrived, and if so, what does her future hold?
From a book club French exchange trip, to many celebrations at the farm, this is the year that everything changes, that lifelong friendships are tested, and for some of the women, they finally get the love they deserve.
THE LAST TALE OF THE FLOWER BRIDE by ROSHANI CHOKSI
publication – February 2023
A sumptuous, gothic-infused story about a marriage that is unraveled by dark secrets, a friendship cursed to end in tragedy, and the danger of believing in fairy tales—the breathtaking adult debut from New York Times bestselling author Roshani Chokshi.
Once upon a time, a man who believed in fairy tales married a beautiful, mysterious woman named Indigo Maxwell-Casteñada. He was a scholar of myths. She was heiress to a fortune. They exchanged gifts and stories and believed they would live happily ever after—and in exchange for her love, Indigo extracted a promise: that her bridegroom would never pry into her past.
But when Indigo learns that her estranged aunt is dying and the couple is forced to return to her childhood home, the House of Dreams, the bridegroom will soon find himself unable to resist. For within the crumbling manor’s extravagant rooms and musty halls, there lurks the shadow of another girl: Azure, Indigo’s dearest childhood friend who suddenly disappeared. As the house slowly reveals his wife’s secrets, the bridegroom will be forced to choose between reality and fantasy, even if doing so threatens to destroy their marriage . . . or their lives.
Combining the lush, haunting atmosphere of Mexican Gothic with the dreamy enchantment of The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, The Last Tale of the Flower Bride is a spellbinding and darkly romantic page-turner about love and lies, secrets and betrayal, and the stories we tell ourselves to survive.
And in the post…..
a lovely Christmas card and book from @Sara-Jade and the Team BATC crew
Set in a charming little Scottish town, The Bookshop of Second Chances is an uplifting story of fresh starts and new beginnings by a hugely talented debut author.
Thea’s having a bad month. Not only has she been made redundant, she’s also discovered her husband of nearly twenty years is sleeping with one of her friends. And he’s not sorry – he’s leaving.
Bewildered and lost, Thea doesn’t know what to do. But, when she learns the great-uncle she barely knew has died and left her his huge collection of second-hand books and a house in the Scottish Lowlands, she seems to have been offered a second chance.
Running away to a little town where no one knows her seems like exactly what Thea needs. But when she meets the aristocratic Maltravers brothers – grumpy bookshop owner Edward and his estranged brother Charles, Lord Hollinshaw – her new life quickly becomes just as complicated as the life she was running from…
An enchanting story of Scottish lords, second-hand books, new beginnings and second chances perfect for fans of Cressida McLaughlin, Veronica Henry, Rachel Lucas and Jenny Colgan.
Morrissey Jarrett is fresh out of prison and back on the streets of his hometown Cardiff.
During his enforced absence the city has been re-developed to within an inch of its life and a disoriented Morrissey falls back into old habits as he scams, schemes, and steals whatever he needs to survive.
Morrissey has big dreams though. Dreams of making one last huge score, dreams of leaving his life of crime behind, dreams of reuniting with the love of his life and dreams of walking off into the sunset with her. Happy. Ever. After.
All he needs is a plan.
Luckily, the circles Morrissey frequents provide ample opportunities for ill-gotten gains and soon the perfect job literally falls into his hands.
And so, along with a hastily assembled crew of misfits, Morrissey embarks on planning the perfect heist. With all their eyes fixed steadily on a payday that could change their stars forever – all they have to do is keep their heads down, play it cool, and follow the plan to the letter.
What could possibly go wrong?
FIRST DEAD BODY by TONY R.COX
For cub-reporter Simon Jardine the sight of his first dead body marks the beginning of his working partnership with the hardened, hard-drinking, hard-grilling crime hack Dave Green.
At the scene of the crime Green realises he knows the victim and instinctively feels that something doesn’t quite add up.
Aided by private investigator Tom Freeman, Green and Jardine set out to find out what really happened, but as their investigation probes deeper they find themselves drawn into a murky world of criminality and corruption that reaches right into the very heart of the establishment.
Can they uncover the truth about why a young man with a bright future was found lying dead in an alleyway and still manage to keep themselves out of harm’s way?
Hello and welcome to my Blog! And today I’m excited to be part of the Blog Tour for the fabulous A Winter Wish by Rosie Green!
My thanks to the author, publisher and Rachel of Rachel’s Random Resources for putting the tour together and letting me be part of it all!
A Winter Wish, Little Duck Pond Café
With her new-found happiness unexpectedly crushed, Clara is struggling to move forward. It’s hard – especially with step-sister Lois bouncing around the place with joy and making all sorts of plans for the future. And when the household is shocked by a mysterious break-in and a neighbour makes a shocking accusation, Clara finds herself in an impossible position. It’s a situation that threatens to destroy her blossoming romance almost before it’s begun . . .
Rosie’s series of novellas is centred around life in a country village cafe. ‘Clara’s Secret Garden’, the first in a trilogy telling Clara’s story, was published in August, and ‘A Winter Wish’ is Book 2. Look out for ‘Clara’s Christmas Magic’, the third and final book in the trilogy, out in November 2022.
Number 24 in the Little Duck Pond series!! Time really does fly when you’re having fun reading a series and this just keeps delivering for me as a reader! Relatable, and likeable!, characters, a great setting and always a little twist that ramps things up and this one delivers on all front! It’s darker and more dramatic than some previous offerings, and I loved that side of the Little Duck Pond series!
We follow Clara again in the second of her ‘trilogy’ and this time she’s holding the family together as seems to be her role. It’s so important to her and she’s there for her half brother, while her mother is still finding life a struggle. And her step sister is giddy with love and that’s driving Clara a little insane, especially as she’s hiding her own feelings – just like her to put others first over herself.
There are then some very dramatic events going on – no spoilers from me! – and it brings to the fore some darker secrets from the past and you wonder just how Clara and her family will deal . I just cannot wait to see how this wonderful trilogy will end with the next book coming out very soon!
Another wonderful addition to the series and it always just makes me want more!!
Hello and Happy Saturday! November we are now in you…..and the shops have gone full on Christmas and I’m sick of it already LOL! Roll on January I say…. I’ll have book tokens to spend haha!!
And speaking of books, it’s been an ok bookish week for me! I managed to finish 5 books, 2 of which are for Netgalley November so feeling happy about that! Just 1 newbie on the Netgalley shelves too, and then there were some charity shop book purchases that I just couldn’t NOT treat myself to….
** SHORTLISTED FOR WATERSTONES BOOK OF THE YEAR **
The world is more astonishing, more miraculous and more wonderful than our wildest imaginings.
In this passionately persuasive and sharply funny book, Katherine Rundell tells us how and why.
A lavishly illustrated collection of the lives of some of the Earth’s most astounding animals, The Golden Mole is a chance to be awestruck and lovestruck – to reckon with the beauty of the world, its fragility, and its strangeness.
A swift flies two million kilometres in its lifetime. That’s far enough to get to the moon and back twice over – and then once more to the moon. A pangolin keeps its tongue furled in a pouch by its hip, a Greenland shark can live five hundred years, a wombat once inspired a love poem.
And then I dared to wander in to a charity shop for a browse…. and at £1.50 a book I couldn’t resist these… I guess I’m now a Macmillan Collector’s Library collector!!