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Wednesday, 30 August 2017

#BookReview The Lustre of Lost Things by Sophie Chen Keller


In this story for readers of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and A Man Called Ove, when all seems lost, he finds what matters most.

Walter Lavender Jr. is a master of finding. A wearer of high-tops. A maker of croissants. A son keeping vigil, twelve years counting.

But he wouldn’t be able to tell you. Silenced by his motor speech disorder, Walter’s life gets lonely. Fortunately, he has The Lavenders—his mother’s enchanted dessert shop, where marzipan dragons breathe actual fire. He also has a knack for tracking down any missing thing—except for his lost father.

So when the Book at the root of the bakery’s magic vanishes, Walter, accompanied by his overweight golden retriever, journeys through New York City to find it—along the way encountering an unforgettable cast of lost souls.

Steeped in nostalgic wonder, The Luster of Lost Things explores the depths of our capacity for kindness and our ability to heal. A lyrical meditation on why we become lost and how we are found, from the bright, broken heart of a boy who knows where to look for everyone but himself.

Publisher;  Allison & Busby
Publication Date; August 2017


Amazon UK     £12.99







MY REVIEW

I found this to be an entrancing, magical read of a boy who finds meaning in the world by finding lost things. He suffers with a speech disorder which stops him from communicating with the world in the normal way, but his silent life allows him to listen and helps him witness more than the rest of us normally see. He lives with his mother in a bakery that they've turned into a magical world that is thriving, until the special copy of a book that came into their possession goes missing. Then their luck seems to change. That really puts his finding skills to the test and as he travels across New York on the trail of the missing book and pages, he uncovers some amazing characters and finds out things about himself that he never knew possible.

It really is a feel good read that has you looking for all the good in the world. It isn't about how much you have or what you're doing, but what you notice and the meaning and memories behind treasured possessions, however big or small. His journey is enlightening both for him as a character, and for the reader as well and it all comes down to life being a surprising journey for us all.

The characters he meets along the way all add their own special take on the world and Walter Jr is such a special soul that he learns so much and becomes braver and more confident and transforms.

Walter Jr is a very methodical thinker and is completely charming and it doesn't take long before you fall in love with him as he goes on his finding quests! You also see that while he's searching for things for others, he's searching for answers for things that have happened in his life.

Highly recommended for those searching for a book full of hope and warmth

Thank you to Nudge Books for the copy in return for a fair and honest review


HAPPY READING!!

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

#BookReview The Death of Her by Debbie Howells


THE BLURB

The Death of Her is a haunting psychological thriller from Debbie Howells, author of the bestselling Richard and Judy Book Club success The Bones of You.

A woman’s body is discovered on a Cornish farm, battered and left for dead in a maize field. Airlifted to hospital, her life hanging in the balance, no one’s sure who she is. Three days later she comes round, but her memory is damaged. She knows her name – Evie – but no more, until she remembers another name. Angel – her three-year-old daughter.

As the police circulate Evie’s photo, someone recognizes her. Charlotte knew her years ago, at school, when another child went missing. Leah Danning, who vanished whilst in Evie’s care.

When the police search Evie’s home, there’s no sign of Angel. More disturbingly, there’s no evidence that she ever lived there, forcing the police to question whether Evie’s having some kind of breakdown.

But even from the darkest place she’s ever known, Evie believes her daughter is alive. The police remain unconvinced – unaware that on the fringes of Evie’s life, there’s someone else. Someone hidden, watching her every move, with their own agenda and their own twisted version of reality


Amazon UK   £14.99 hardback

Hive.co.uk - buy online and support a local bookstore  £10.29 hardback


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Debbie self-published three commercial women's fiction novels before writing The Bones of You, her first psychological thriller.
She now writes full time from her home, in a small West Sussex village where she lives with her family.


Author Website

Author on Twitter


MY REVIEW

As a huge fan of the first book from this author, The Bones of You, I was extremely excited to receive a copy of her latest release courtesy of the Publishers - a big thank you to them from me!  And I wasn't disappointed as this new book kept me turning the pages and found it difficult to put down!
Prepare to have your emotions played with when you read this!! The author has done another amazing job of constructing a storyline that draws you in, packed it with characters you don't know whether to trust or be wary of, and leads the reader on a thrilling journey as the plotline unfolds!

When a woman is found battered and alone in the middle of a quiet village in Cornwall, the quest is on to find out what happened to her and what happened to her daughter Angel who is now missing. And all she can remember is her name - Evie - and very little else which makes putting the pieces together very difficult.

Charlotte is a local who recognises Evie from a photo she sees online, but she remembers her as Jen from school! She starts spending more time with Evie at the request of the police officers involved in the case, in the hope that an face from the past will help unlock her memories. But as the memories slowly return, more troubling revelations follow. And just where is the trace of Evies' daughter, Angel?! No clothes, no toys, no photographs - maybe her amnesia is making her believe something that never happened? And when men with torches are spotted in the woods at night, is there something far more sinister going on, especially as a child went missing a number of years ago and was never found? 

I really enjoyed the multiple Points of View we have in this book! The characters we hear from each have their own strengths and weaknesses, so your opinion is changed at regular intervals . The timeline also delves into the past and it is fascinating to hear from such a dark and tortured soul with their views and how that impacts on the now.

The pace is quite steady throughout which means you keep turning those pages, and I didn't feel it drag at all and have to confess to reading it in 2 sittings out in the garden as I just wanted to know how it all ended!! The vulnerability of the characters also worked really well and added to to the intrigue!

Another absorbing story from Debbie Howells and I can't wait for more!!


Monday, 28 August 2017

Down the TBR Hole #6


Welcome back!! More organising to be done!! If only every aspect of my life could be organised this easily!! Maybe that's an idea for future blog posts!! Might make sorting through my wardrobe a little easier!!


Very grateful to Lia @ Lost In A Story for thinking this little exercise up to help us all keep our growing TBR lists in some kind of order and under control!!  Let's see what goodies/awful titles I'd wiped from my memory this time round......

Here is how it all works....


  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?
Click on the title if you'd like to read the blurb for each book via GoodReads...


Who remembers the fuss when this was released?!  And how could I resist such a stunning cover! So why have I not got round to reading this yet?!  Consider myself told off and I'm definitely bumping this up the TBR pile as I need to see if the fuss was right!

Verdict - KEEP!!



I have my mum to blame for my interest in historical fiction! It is all she reads and she's always recommending titles to me and this is one of those titles! So I have to do what my mum says right?! 😉

Verdict - KEEP!!



I loved the first in the series Mind of the Phoenix so can remember being eager to read more, and still I've not got round to reading this so would love to find out how the story continues.

Verdict - KEEP!!



Can't remember adding this one to begin with, although the cover is very striking, and the blurb and mixed reviews have made my mind up as to whether I want to read it...

Verdict - Go!!



Other than a bizarre cover and a link to fairy tales,  I can think of no other reason as to why I've added this to my list!

Verdict - Go!!



Think I might be in the minority as to still not have read The Kite Runner - I know, telling myself off again! - so I have heard this is another one of those 'must read' books.

Verdict - Keep!!


Lucky enough to have won a signed copy of this when it was first released so it has been patiently sitting on my shelves since that moment! Heard many good things about this thriller so I look forward to reading it very soon!

Verdict - Keep!!


I think I heard about this on a BookTube Channel and it just sounded like my kind of book - a bit of fantasy and escapism.  The mixed reviews on GoodReads are a little troubling wrong but think it is going to be one of those books I need to try for myself and give it a chance!
Verdict - Keep!!



Drawn in by the cute cover and the easy to read vibes, but now drawn in enough to pick it up yet even though it sounds like it's a book that is right up my street.

Verdict - Go!!



I remember enjoying the first in this series, The Little Old Lady Who Broke All The Rules, back in 2014 so another one of those that I was interested to follow their exploits but my interest seems to have waned over the years!

Verdict - Go!!





Well, that was more successful as it went on! I was beginning to worry I'd have a clean sweep of keeping them all!! I'm just getting tougher the more tired I become!!  Have I made the right choices?! Dare to make me change my mind?! Would love your comments!!

HAPPY READING!!!













Sunday, 27 August 2017

The Cosy Canal Boat Dream by Christie Barlow #blogtour #bookreview



Welcome to the Little Rock marina – where hearts are healed and dreams are made…

For the last two years Nell Andrews has been struggling to stay afloat. As her life tumbled down around her, the only safety net has been her cosy canal boat, The Nollie. Tucked away inside, Nell has found a place to heal her broken heart. And now she’s ready to move on and follow her dream…

Gorgeous Guy Cornish, with his easy Irish charm, makes him an instant hit with everyone at the marina, and the perfect person to help Nell with her project. But Guy has his own reasons for being at the marina, and a past that threatens to sink Nell’s dream…


Kindle Edition272 pages
Expected publication: 22nd August 2017 by HarperImpulse



Delighted to be taking part in this Blog Tour for such a wonderful book! Trust me, you'll be swooning over handsome strangers with cute dogs and wanting to live in a canal boat once you've read this book!


Follow Christie on twitter @ChristieJBarlow 

https://www.facebook.com/ChristieJBarlow

http://www.christiebarlow.com/


MY REVIEW

Canal Boat - check.
Beautiful Setting - check.
Endearing characters - check.
Cafe - check.

And there we go! That's how easy it can be to write a book I thoroughly enjoy and highly recommend!!!

In this story we are introduced to Nell who had the perfect life, living in her dream home - a canal boat - in the idyllic setting of the Little Rock Marina, with her husband Ollie. And then Ollie never comes home one evening after going out for a motorbike ride and her life is devastated.

We rejoin her 2 years later as she tries to move on but the loss is still hard for her to take. She has a wonderful support network around her and that includes her best friend Bea who runs the local cafe where she works part time. Bea is married to Nathan and they have the cutest son, Jacob, who brings a smile to everyone he meets!

And then things change! A handsome stranger comes into Nells' life and there is an instant connection and life starts to look up again for Nell! And then an opportunity to recreate some memories from her past with a new business venture appears on the horizon - is everything finally beginning to look up for Nell?!

I loved all the characters that we get to meet in this story. They all have such warm personalities that you can't help but fall instantly in love with them, and wish them all their own happy endings! The setting was perfect and really added to the community feel of the book. And alongside Nell and her story, the story of Bea and her family was also one that was really had me hooked as a reader and I really felt part of the community as their stories were told.

The perfect summer read!!

Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for my copy in return for a fair and honest review.



HAPPY READING!


Saturday, 26 August 2017

Bookish Weekly Wrap Up!


Happy Friday to you all!  And a Bank Holiday Weekend too if you reading this in the UK! An extra day of reading! Wahoo!!! And the forecast is sounding rather promising too so am looking forward, finally, to some nice summer sunshine to enjoy! Best go and set up my favourite reading spot in the garden and get prepared!

A little worried this week as I've slowed down on the reading front - eek!! I am hoping this isn't the start of a slump but I've just not been able to settle with anything the past few days and so my reading progress has tailed right off - just at the time when the extra review copies have started to pile up!  Oh dear!!  I'm sure normal service will resume soon..... keep everything crossed for me!

So I still managed to finish 3 books this week so yay me!!  Please click on the book title if you'd like to see my GoodReads review!


BOOKS FINISHED

Death Plays A Part by Vivian Conroy   -   4 stars









BOOK HAUL

Had some interesting new additions to my 'collection' this week! 2 were sent from the publishers for review and the other 2 were purchases I made myself... cos I really needed some new reading material! 😉



 Rivals of the Republic by Annelise Freisenbruch  - thanks to Duckworth Overlook

IN THE ABSENCE OF HONOURABLE MEN, WHO WILL DEFEND ROME? 

The body of a Vestal Virgin is dragged out of the River Tiber… 

A senator bleeds to death in his bath… 

And as the authorities turn a blind eye, Hortensia, daughter of the capital’s most celebrated orator, feels compelled to investigate a trail of murders that lead to the dark heart of Rome. 

Flying in the face of her husband’s and father’s attempts to protect her, rebelling against the constraints imposed upon her sex, she is drawn ever deeper into the corrupt underworld that lurks in the shadows cast by the city’s all-powerful elite. 

When fires begin to rage in the slums and more key witnesses are silenced, only one man can save Hortensia from becoming the next victim of a conspiracy to destroy the Republic: Lucrio, the damaged ex-gladiator to whom she already owes her life. Then the secrets of his own tragic past threaten to subsume them both…



The Lustre of Lost Things by Sophie Chen Keller  - courtesy of Nudge Books

In this story for readers of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and A Man Called Ove, when all seems lost, he finds what matters most.

Walter Lavender Jr. is a master of finding. A wearer of high-tops. A maker of croissants. A son keeping vigil, twelve years counting.

But he wouldn’t be able to tell you. Silenced by his motor speech disorder, Walter’s life gets lonely. Fortunately, he has The Lavenders—his mother’s enchanted dessert shop, where marzipan dragons breathe actual fire. He also has a knack for tracking down any missing thing—except for his lost father.

So when the Book at the root of the bakery’s magic vanishes, Walter, accompanied by his overweight golden retriever, journeys through New York City to find it—along the way encountering an unforgettable cast of lost souls.

Steeped in nostalgic wonder, The Luster of Lost Things explores the depths of our capacity for kindness and our ability to heal. A lyrical meditation on why we become lost and how we are found, from the bright, broken heart of a boy who knows where to look for everyone but himself.



There Were No Windows by Norah Hoult  -  I've started collecting Persephone Books  so am slowly building up my collection thanks to the monthly book club and can't wait to discover these amazing stories!

This 1944 novel is about memory loss and is the only book we know of, apart from Iris about Iris Murdoch (and arguably There Were No Windows is wittier and more profound), on this subject. Based on the last years of the writer Violet Hunt, a once-glamorous woman living in Kensington during the Blitz who is now losing her memory, the novel's three 'acts' describe with insight, humour and compassion what happens to 'Claire Temple' in her last months. 'A quite extraordinary book,' was the verdict of Cressida Connolly in the Spectator, 'unflinchingly, blackly funny, brilliantly observed and terrifying.' And because Claire Temple is an unrepentant snob, 'the novel gives a sly account of the end of an entire way of life.'


Secrets of the Sea House by Elisabeth Gifford -  Amazon UK 99p

In 1860, Alexander Ferguson, a newly ordained vicar and amateur evolutionary scientist, takes up his new parish, a poor, isolated patch on the remote Scottish island of Harris. He hopes to uncover the truth behind the legend of the selkies—mermaids or seal people who have been sighted off the north of Scotland for centuries. He has a more personal motive, too; family legend states that Alexander is descended from seal men. As he struggles to be the good pastor he was called to be, his maid Moira faces the terrible eviction of her family by Lord Marstone, whose family owns the island. Their time on the island will irrevocably change the course of both their lives, but the white house on the edge of the dunes keeps its silence long after they are gone.

It will be more than a century before the Sea House reluctantly gives up its secrets. Ruth and Michael buy the grand but dilapidated building and begin to turn it into a home for the family they hope to have. Their dreams are marred by a shocking discovery. The tiny bones of a baby are buried beneath the house; the child's fragile legs are fused together—a mermaid child. Who buried the bones? And why? To heal her own demons, Ruth feels she must discover the secrets of her new home—but the answers to her questions may lie in her own traumatic past. The Sea House by Elisabeth Gifford is a sweeping tale of hope and redemption and a study of how we heal ourselves by discovering our histories.


CURRENTLY READING


Jamaica Inn by Daphne Du Maurier - started reading this on Cosy Reading Night last Saturday and it has me under its' spell so hoping to finish it very soon!  How have I taken so long to discover Daphne Du Maurier?!


Rubies in the Roses by Vivian Conroy -  am reading this for a forthcoming blog tour and loving the second in the Cornish Castle Mystery series!


So there we have it!! All caught up and now I feel a little more organised and all set to attack the next batch of books awaiting my attention! 

Wishing you all a fabulous week ahead!

HAPPY READING!!




Thursday, 24 August 2017

The Sister by Louise Jensen #paperbackpublicationday #bookreview



"I did something terrible Grace. I hope you can forgive me ..." 

Grace hasn't been the same since the death of her best friend Charlie. She is haunted by Charlie's words, the last time she saw her, and in a bid for answers, opens an old memory box of Charlie's. It soon becomes clear there was a lot she didn't know about her best friend. 

When Grace starts a campaign to find Charlie's father, Anna, a girl claiming to be Charlie's sister steps forward. For Grace, finding Anna is like finding a new family, and soon Anna has made herself very comfortable in Grace and boyfriend Dan'shome. 

But something isn't right. Things disappear, Dan's acting strangely and Grace is sure that someone is following her. Is it all in Grace's mind? Or as she gets closer to discovering the truth about both Charlie and Anna, is Grace in terrible danger? 

There was nothing she could have done to save Charlie ...or was there? 

A compelling, gripping psychological thriller perfect for fans of The Girl on the Train, I Let You Go, and The Girl With No Past.


Paperback edition - out today! August 24th 2017

Amazon UK   £7.99

Hive.co.uk - shop online and support your local bookstore   £7.25


 The Sister will be available in Asda, Sainsbury’s and WH Smith from 24th August and in Tesco from September 7th.  
MY REVIEW

I received a copy of this via NetGalley and the publishers in return for a fair and honest review last year - and it is one of those books that stays on your mind so happy to share this review today as it is released into the world in paperback form!

A gripping and thrilling debut novel from an author who clearly has a very exciting future ahead if this story is anything to go by! It was one of those books that you can't stop thinking about even when you're not reading it!!

Grace falls apart when her BFF Charlie dies and this story is a clever combination of the Now and Then so we get to see how they first meet, and how the death affects Grace and all those around her. 

Her childhood wasn't a pleasant time and she ends up living with her grandparents to try and have a normal childhood and she meets Charlie at school. They grow up together and are there for all those childhood and teenage years and all the fun, and stresses, that they bring. They even bury a memory box together and when Grace notices a pink envelope in there, Charlie refuses to let her open it then and says it can wait for the future and they can open it together - Charlies' death pushes Grace to opening it and she soon finds out that there was a lot about Charlie she didn't know. And what a journey we go on finding out the secrets and deceptions!

There are a number of complex characters that we meet throughout this book and they all have their good and bad points so you often find yourself changing your mind over who you feel sympathy for, and who not to trust! And this is the beauty of this ever evolving story as the more that is revealed, the more the reader gets sucked in to the twists and turns and the tension never seems to drop for one second!

And the pace picks up even more towards the end and you live every terrifying moment! Full of clever plot lines that combine so well, it was an absolute treat, albeit a scary one, to read!! Highly recommended!!


HAPPY READING!!!

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Cover Reveal Tuesday! A Little Bit of Christmas Magic by Kirsty Ferry #coverreveal

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?!!




💖💖💖💖💖


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 checking the relevant Twitter pages for more details!

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!! 😉😂

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Down the TBR Hole #5


Here I am back again with another attempt at getting my bookshelves organised!! I will get there.... someday! If only I could stop adding to them!! 


Very grateful to Lia @ Lost In A Story for thinking this little exercise up to help us all keep our growing TBR lists in some kind of order and under control!!  Let's see what I find that I'd forgotten about this week...

Here is how it all works....


  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?
Click on the title if you'd like to read the blurb for each book via GoodReads...


Winter's Children by Leah Fleming



Another one of those books I can't remember adding but must have been near Christmas as the cover is rather pretty! Not sure if the blurb has recaptured my heart again re-reading it...

Verdict - GO!



See, knew there was a theme!! Back to Christmas again and another pretty cover! But my frame of mind is not for anything festive just yet so not too bothered about letting this one go

Verdict - GO!








confession time! I have a crush on David Blakeley!Sshh don't tell anyone!  So that meant I had to pick up his books and they've been sitting on my shelves ever since!  But I do intend to read more non-fiction/memoirs and they both sound fascinating reads

Verdict - KEEP BOTH!



ooh another Christmas book?!  I am beginning  to worry about myself!  Re-reading the blurb hasn't made me want to pick this up any sooner..

Verdict - GO!!



I remember adding this to my list and being in love with the cover and the sound of the story.  It has less than 25 reviews on GoodReads but they all sing its' praises so I'm determined to get to it this year!

Verdict - KEEP!



This cover!! Fairytales!!  Dragons!!

Verdict - KEEP!!



This was a Kindle purchase and it sounded intriguing from the blurb - and any mention of a garden normally has me sold! So for 99p I couldn't resist  - it has had some mixed reviews so I might start it and see how I go!

Verdict - KEEP!



So many classics that I've still to read... shame on me!!

Verdict - KEEP!!



Stick a tree on a cover of a book and 99 times out of 100 I will add it to my TBR!  And so I bought this when it came out and still it watches over me on my shelves! I MUST read this soon!

Verdict - KEEP!


So I've managed to get rid of 3 so that's progress!!  Or should I have kept some of those and got rid of others?! Always interested to hear your opinions if you've read any of the above!! 

 Still not getting easier but I'm still being good and not adding random books to the list... just yet!

HAPPY READING!!