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Saturday, 30 March 2019

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up - 30th March 2019


Hello!! Another week has flown by and the sun is out and it's feeling like Summertime in Springtime today! Glorious! Even the butterflies are back out in the garden and enjoying life! I hope you are too!

Been a much quieter bookish week for me and I'm not entirely sure why! Everytime I've gone to sit and read this week I've felt fidgety and so haven't read as much as normal, hence why only 2 books have been finished this week! They were both 5 star reads though to be fair so maybe I'm suffering a little book hangover from those! Need to snap out of it though as the books to review are still piling up on the shelves - just 2 from Netgalley this week (I've been quite good!) and 3 books in for review, alongside a signed edition I treated myself to!

So here's a quick look back at my week!

BOOKS FINISHED

Out 4th April 2019


Loved it! So dark and beautifully written!


One of those WOW books!! Adored it from start to finish!

BOOKHAUL

Starting with those from Netgalley

RACHEL'S PUDDING PANTRY by CAROLINE ROBERTS
publication date - 18th April 2019


Primrose Farm is Rachel’s very own slice of heaven. Come rain or shine there’s always a pot of tea brewing by the Aga, the delicious aroma of freshly baked puddings, and a chorus of happy memories drifting through the kitchen.
 
But the farm is in a spot of trouble. As the daffodils spring, Rachel must plant the seeds of change if she wants to keep the farm afloat, and it’s all resting on a crazy plan. She’ll need one family cook book, her Mum Jill’s baking magic – and a reason to avoid her distractingly gorgeous neighbour, Tom . . .
 
Swapping their wellies for aprons, can Rachel and Jill bake their way into a brighter future? The proof will be in the pudding!

THE BOOKSHOP OF THE BROKEN HEARTED by ROBERT HILLMAN
Publication Date - 11th July 2019

Tom Hope doesn't chase rainbows. He does his best on the farm - he milks the cows, harvests the apples, looks after the sheep - but Tom's been lonely since Trudy left, taking little Peter with her to go join the holy rollers.
Enter Hannah Babel, quixotic smalltown bookseller: the second Jew - and the most vivid person - Tom has ever met. When she asks him to help her build Australia's most beautiful bookshop, Tom dares to believe they could make each other happy.
But it is 1968: twenty-four years since Hannah and her own little boy arrived at Auschwitz. Tom Hope is taking on a battle with heartbreak he can barely even begin to imagine.
CAPE MAY by CHIP CHEEK - copy for review
Out 30th April 2019

A mesmerizing debut novel by Chip Cheek, Cape May explores the social and sexual mores of 1950s America through the eyes of a newly married couple from the genteel south corrupted by sophisticated New England urbanites.

Late September 1957. Henry and Effie, very young newlyweds from Georgia, arrive in Cape May, New Jersey, for their honeymoon only to find the town is deserted. Feeling shy of each other and isolated, they decide to cut the trip short. But before they leave, they meet a glamorous set of people who sweep them up into their drama. Clara, a beautiful socialite who feels her youth slipping away; Max, a wealthy playboy and Clara’s lover; and Alma, Max’s aloof and mysterious half-sister, to whom Henry is irresistibly drawn.

The empty beach town becomes their playground, and as they sneak into abandoned summer homes, go sailing, walk naked under the stars, make love, and drink a great deal of gin, Henry and Effie slip from innocence into betrayal, with irrevocable consequences.

Erotic and moving, this is a novel about marriage, love and sexuality, and the lifelong repercussions that meeting a group of debauched cosmopolitans has on a new marriage

THE TRUE QUEEN by ZEN CHO - signed first edition from Goldsboro Books


IN TWO MINDS by ALIS HAWKINS - copy for review
Publication Date - 30th May 2019 from Dome Press

Harry Probert-Lloyd, a young barrister forced home from London by encroaching blindness, has begun work as the acting coroner of Teifi Valley with solicitor's clerk John Davies as his assistant.

When a faceless body is found on an isolated beach, Harry must lead the inquest. But his dogged pursuit of the truth begins to ruffle feathers. Especially when he decided to work alongside a local doctor with a dubious reputation and experimental theories considered radical and dangerous. Refusing to accept easy answers might not only jeopardise Harry's chance to be elected coroner permnantly but could, it seems implicate his own family in a crime.

A BOY AND HIS DOG AT THE END OF THE WORLD by C.A.FLETCHER - copy for Blog Tour
Publication Date - 25th April 2019


When a beloved family dog is stolen, her owner sets out on a life-changing journey through the ruins of our world to bring her back in this fiercely compelling tale of survival, courage, and hope. Perfect for readers of Station Eleven and The Girl With All the Gifts.

My name's Griz. My childhood wasn't like yours. I've never had friends, and in my whole life I've not met enough people to play a game of football.

My parents told me how crowded the world used to be, but we were never lonely on our remote island. We had each other, and our dogs.

Then the thief came.

There may be no law left except what you make of it. But if you steal my dog, you can at least expect me to come after you.

Because if we aren't loyal to the things we love, what's the point?

CURRENTLY READING




The Poison Bed by E.C.Fremantle - audio version from library/Borrowbox



☀☀☀☀☀

How has your bookish week been? Any new books you've treated yourself to?! And how do you snap out of a book hangover?! All tips welcomed as it's driving me nuts!

HAPPY READING!!










Friday, 29 March 2019

#BookReview Things In Jars by Jess Kidd


About the book

London, 1863. Bridie Devine, the finest female detective of her age, is taking on her toughest case yet. Reeling from her last job and with her reputation in tatters, a remarkable puzzle has come her way. Christabel Berwick has been kidnapped. But Christabel is no ordinary child. She is not supposed to exist.

As Bridie fights to recover the stolen child she enters a world of fanatical anatomists, crooked surgeons and mercenary showmen. Anomalies are in fashion, curiosities are the thing, and fortunes are won and lost in the name of entertainment. The public love a spectacle and Christabel may well prove the most remarkable spectacle London has ever seen.

Things in Jars is an enchanting Victorian detective novel that explores what it is to be human in inhumane times.

Published by Canongate Books

Publication Date - 4th April 2019


PRE-ORDER LINKS

Goldsboro Books  - signed first edition £14.99

hive.co.uk  £10.99

waterstones  £14.99



MY REVIEW

Move over Sherlock, Bridie Devine is the new super sleuth in town and I adore her! Jess Kidd has created another dark and wonderful tale set in Victorian times that explores the disturbing disappearance of a young girl, who has been kept hidden away because she's 'different' - she feeds on snails, has an unusual appearance and is also said to possess powers.  The family she is stolen from are never too forthcoming with details about her, so it's left to Bridie to uncover the dark story behind young Christabel, and that leads Bridie to look back on her own childhood too.

She isn't alone on her quest as she is joined by the rather wonderful   Ruby, a ghost-boxer who appears in Bridie's life at a seemingly random time! Is there more to his story than meets the eye?! He adds many lighter moments throughout with his comments and observations but also shows sensitivities which are very touching.

As she confronts many repulsive characters on the search for Christabel, the look back on her own earlier life is also a fascinating glimpse into why she feels so connected to this poor girl and why she is determined to try and save her.  

And while there is much love for Bridie and her quest, the evilness of many characters throughout is another success of this book! The levels of depravity that some of them sink to is eye-wateringly shocking and I just found myself wishing for karma to deal with them as soon as possible - in a very unpleasant way!!

I was utterly riveted by this story! And switching the story from the now timeline to Bridie's past added more as she also had a very unconventional upbringing which explained her outlook on life - and death - now!  The more she uncovers about various characters, the more you left to be staggered by the goings on and I found that I had my heart in my mouth with the dramatic ending.

  I would love to say more about this book but am sure I would include a spoiler or three, so I'm just going to have to say if you love your stories dark, dramatic, mysterious, macabre, weird, wonderful, tense and thrilling then look no further!!

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Wednesday, 27 March 2019

#CoverReveal BEHIND CLOSED DOORS by SADIE RYAN

COVER REVEAL

Hello! I'm on duty for Ruby Fiction today as they've got a rather striking cover they'd like to share with you all, for a forthcoming release from Sadie Ryan!

Here's a little bit more about BEHIND CLOSED DOORS to whet your appetite!

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She’s in your house, now she wants your life …

Tina Valentine has it all: the loving family, the beautiful house, the successful career.

But then Megan Pearson starts work at Tina’s law firm and with her arrival the perfect world Tina has built for herself starts to collapse as it becomes clear that the newcomer is intent on infiltrating every aspect of her life.

Something is obviously wrong with Megan but nobody else seems to see it. As the mind games and manipulations continue, Tina comes to the sickening conclusion that now she’s opened the door to Megan, it’s going to be impossible to make her leave …


Behind Closed Doors by Sadie Ryan is published on 14th May by Ruby Fiction and will be available to purchase as an eBook on all platforms, as well as in audio.


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And here it is...........




Dare you take a peek behind the door?! I'm already counting down the days until the 14th May so I can find out what is going on in there!! 









Tuesday, 26 March 2019

#BookReview Meet Me At The Art Cafe by Sue McDonagh #publicationday


About the book

Highly recommended. 
Would you take a chance on a bad boy with a leather jacket and a vintage motorbike? 
That’s the question single mum Jo Morris has to ask herself when she collides with local bike mechanic Ed Griffiths on a rainy Welsh hillside. Working at the Art Cafรฉ, Jo hears the gossip and is all too aware of Ed’s reputation. 

But whilst he’s certainly no angel, there is something about Ed’s daredevil antics that Jo can’t ignore. And as she gets to know him better and watches the kind way he deals with her young son Liam, she begins to wonder – is there more to this ‘bad boy’ than meets the eye? 

Published by Choc Lit

Purchase Links







MY REVIEW

Back to the Art Cafe and it is just as wonderful as the first visit - check out Summer at the Art Cafe  if  you missed it! - and I just adored every aspect of this book! The setting, the characters, the predicaments they found themselves in... it just all worked to make for such a wonderful reading experience and I'm already hoping that there'll be more visits to come in the future as the characters are people you want to check on every now and then to see how life is treating them!

In this book we follow Jo, who works at the Cafe with Lucy, and is a single mum to the rather adorable and very cheeky Liam!  'Out of the mouth of babes' sums him up perfectly and his comments and quips had me laughing out loud many a time!  And Jo is one of those women who gets on with things and is rather partial to a bit of upcycling, and goes everywhere by bike! You soon find out why she's so wary of travelling by car and as her past is revealed you can't help but feel sympathy for her.

And one day she meets Ed, in not the most glamorous way, and is drawn to him immediately despite her concerns about his reputation in the local area.  Him and his motorbike are well known in the village as he and his family have been there for years, and as a attractive bloke he seems to have a 'love em and leave em' kind of attitude! But you soon find out there's reasons for his attitude too, and it's clear the pasts of Jo and Ed have shaped them and how they react to certain situations.

When Jo is in the right place at the right time to become a hero, it is only too clear that her and Ed are going to be spending more time together and I just loved their relationship, and the bond he builds with Liam too! Not many blokes are willing to take on a child but he seems to relish the role as a surrogate dad!

I just loved every minute spent with Jo, Ed and Liam and despite the obstacles they found themselves facing there always seemed to be time to enjoy life - and a special word for Jo's neighbour Beryl!  She certainly knows how to enjoy life and she's another character you can't help but adore!

Fabulous!!

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Monday, 25 March 2019

#BookReview Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid


About the book

For a while, Daisy Jones & The Six were everywhere. Their albums were on every turntable, they sold out arenas from coast to coast, their sound defined an era. And then, on 12 July 1979, they split. Nobody ever knew why. Until now. They were lovers and friends and brothers and rivals. They couldn't believe their luck, until it ran out. This is their story of the early days and the wild nights, but everyone remembers the truth differently. The only thing they all know for sure is that from the moment Daisy Jones walked barefoot onstage at the Whisky, their lives were irrevocably changed. Making music is never just about the music. And sometimes it can be hard to tell where the sound stops and the feelings begin.


Published by Hutchinson

Purchase Links




MY REVIEW

I don't know how the author has done it but she convinced me within a few pages that we were looking back at real people and the experiences during the 1970's and the music business... and I adored every blooming minute of it and just want to read more, and buy merchandise!!! Where are the CD's? The t-shirts?! I want them all!!

It's a very simple story - sex and drugs and rock'n'roll! The fame, the glamour and all the good and bad that follows!  Daisy Jones is a young girl who has forever chased affection, seeing as she never got any from her self absorbed parents.  She drifts from one thing to another and starts to build up a profile - she's stunning too so that always helps her get away with more than she should!

And when her path crosses with the band The Six, super-stardom is soon on their doorstep and while it may seem a dream to many of us, it often turns into a bit of a nightmare and we get to look back on the highs and lows of their careers in a cleverly told story that reads like a magazine interview, with various viewpoints chipping in with their recollections of different times during the years and it's a great way to tell the story.

Daisy is such  a different character to the others in the band, so it's fascinating to see their stories alongside her.  While many are happy just to be in the background, the main man of The Six is dealing with his own addictions and issues and he and Daisy make for the main focus of the story and all the headlines the band receive with their clashing personalities and outlooks on how the band should go forward.

I really couldn't put this down once I had started it and I'm already eager to pick it up again and enjoy it all over again!! READ THIS BOOK!!

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Sunday, 24 March 2019

#BookReview Everything Under by Daisy Johnson #LibraryLoveChallenge


About the book

Words are important to Gretel, always have been. As a child, she lived on a canal boat with her mother, and together they invented a language that was just their own. She hasn’t seen her mother since the age of sixteen, though – almost a lifetime ago – and those memories have faded. Now Gretel works as a lexicographer, updating dictionary entries, which suits her solitary nature.

A phone call from the hospital interrupts Gretel’s isolation and throws up questions from long ago. She begins to remember the private vocabulary of her childhood. She remembers other things, too: the wild years spent on the river; the strange, lonely boy who came to stay on the boat one winter; and the creature in the water – a canal thief? – swimming upstream, getting ever closer. In the end there will be nothing for Gretel to do but go back.

Daisy Johnson’s debut novel turns classical myth on its head and takes readers to a modern-day England unfamiliar to most. As daring as it is moving, Everything Under is a story of family and identity, of fate, language, love and belonging that leaves you unsettled and unstrung.

Published by Jonathon Cape

Purchase Links





MY REVIEW

I found this to be a dark and hypnotic read that is one of those books that gets you thinking and looking at things differently as you try and put yourself in the place of the main narrator as she tries to make sense of the world she knows now, and what she remembers of the past.

With the story following different paths, I did find myself feeling a little confused and overwhelmed at times with the flow of the story and that did take away some of the enjoyment for me.

It's the story of a mother and daughter, and how the daughter is now coping with her mother who is suffering from dementia and the frustrations that they both feel about the situation they find themselves in. She wants answers about her childhood but that isn't easy with a mother who is easily confused and dismissive.

There are questions about mysterious names from the past, the relevance of the 'Bonak' by the river and a feeling of never feeling settled or part of anything because of how things were - i'm still not sure Gretel got the answers she wanted but she did start to make a little more sense out of her recollections and memories. 

This book had a really strong start but then did tail off a bit as things got a little more involved and confusing for the reader, but still made for an entertaining and thought provoking read.

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#BlogTour The Forgotten Secret by Kathleen McGurl #BookReview


A huge pleasure to be the latest stop on the Blog Tour for THE FORGOTTEN SECRET by KATHLEEN MCGURL.  My thanks to the author, publisher and Rachel of Rachel's Random Resources for letting me be part of it all!


A country at war

It’s the summer of 1919 and Ellen O’Brien has her whole life ahead of her. Young, in love and leaving home for her first job, the future seems full of shining possibility. But war is brewing and before long Ellen and everyone around her are swept up by it. As Ireland is torn apart by the turmoil, Ellen finds herself facing the ultimate test of love and loyalty.
And a long-buried secret

A hundred years later and Clare Farrell has inherited a dilapidated old farmhouse in County Meath. Seizing the chance to escape her unhappy marriage she strikes out on her own for the first time, hoping the old building might also provide clues to her family’s shadowy history. As she sets out to put the place – and herself – back to rights, she stumbles across a long-forgotten hiding place, with a clue to a secret that has lain buried for decades.


For fans of Kate Morton and Gill Paul comes an unforgettable novel about two women fighting for independence.


Purchase Links




About the Author


KATHLEEN MCGURL lives near the sea in Bournemouth, UK, with her husband and elderly tabby cat. She has two sons who are now grown-up and have left home. She began her writing career creating short stories, and sold dozens to women’s magazines in the UK and Australia. Then she got side-tracked onto family history research – which led eventually to writing novels with genealogy themes. She has always been fascinated by the past, and the ways in which the past can influence the present, and enjoys exploring these links in her novels.

Social Media Links –

 Website: https://kathleenmcgurl.com/
 Twitter: @KathMcGurl https://twitter.com/KathMcGurl
 Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KathleenMcGurl/
 Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kathleenmcgurl/


MY REVIEW

Set over two timelines, 2016 and 1919, this absorbing story takes a look back at troubled times in Ireland , alongside a woman taking control of her own life after many years of being controlled by her husband, and finding her own feet again at the age of 50.

In the present timeline, we follow Claire who has been left a Farm in Ireland by an Uncle, which is in dire need of renovation and the thought of that gives her goosebumps! Not so her husband, Paul, who is used to getting his own way and just wants her to sell it so he can invest the money in something else.  Over the years she'd given up going against his wishes for the sake of her two sons, but now they're grown up and doing their own thing she gets the courage to do what SHE wants for a change and makes the big decision to leave her husband and set out on a new journey in Ireland.

And back in 1919, we follow the story of Ellen who is a young girl living with her Dad with not much money, but sets out on her life journey with a new job and a new romance that  is put to the test early on as Jimmy is determined to join the cause to fight for Irish independence.  Ellen's new boss is also involved with setting up clandestine meetings and Ellen finds herself passing on messages and doing all she can to avoid being detected by those out to thwart all those plotting against the English.

The two timelines worked so well with each other - we had the historical look back at some very troubling times and got to see how it affected the people living and working in Ireland at the time, and that is set against the backdrop of Claire who is looking to make her own way in life and explore the things she finds on the farm that had been hidden away for many years and to look back at the family history she didn't hear about.  Some of the revelations are pretty shocking but dealt with in sympathetic ways but left you as a reader feel quite emotional about what went on, and how things were so different back then.



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Saturday, 23 March 2019

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up - 23rd March 2019


Hello! I apologise in advance if I ramble or make no sense in this post today  - will make no difference from normal I'm sure! - but I got up at silly o'clock this morning to watch a steam train whizz through the local train station for 30 seconds, and am now feeling it! Is it bedtime yet?!

On to the books! And I've upped my game again on the reading front - the housework can wait! - and this week I've managed to finish 6 books, one of which was an audiobook. Happy with that! If only I could keep that pace up every week! And on the book haul front, I was a little more restrained on NetGalley this week with only 2 new additions, and in real books there was 4 new additions, 2 I bought and 2 for review!

Here's my look back!

BOOKS FINISHED



Loved book one of this series and found myself spellbound by this one too!

Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward - 3 stars (audiobook)


Expected more after so many rave reviews. Narrators were brilliant, the story was a little hit and miss.



Full review to come on Blog Tour next month but really enjoyed this gentle but touching story.



A follow up to The Purrfect Pet Sitter, and it was full of fun and drama!!



Loved it! So much fun to read and a new book boyfriend to swoon over!



Borrowed this from the library and really enjoyed this beautiful and haunting story.

BOOKHAUL

Starting with the evil Netgalley as always..

THOSE PEOPLE by LOUISE CANDLISH
out June 2019

From the author of the international bestseller Our House, a new novel of twisty domestic suspense asks, "Could you hate your neighbor enough to plot to kill him?" 

Lowland Way is the suburban dream. The houses are beautiful, the neighbors get along, and the kids play together on weekends.

But when Darren and Jodie move into the house on the corner, they donสผt follow the rules. They blast music at all hours, begin an unsightly renovation, and run a used-car business from their yard. It doesn't take long for an all-out war to start brewing.

Then, early one Saturday, a horrific death shocks the street. As police search for witnesses, accusations start flying--and everyone has something to hide.

THE HOUSE ON THE EDGE OF THE CLIFF by CAROL DRINKWATER
Out May 2019

No one else knows what happened that summer. 
Or so she believes.

Grace first came to France a lifetime ago. 
Young and full of dreams of adventure, she met two very different men. 
She fell under the spell of one. The other fell under hers.

Until one summer night shattered everything.
Now, Grace is living an idyllic life with her husband, sheltered from the world in a magnificent Provenรงal villa, perched atop a windswept cliff. 
Every day she looks out over the sea - the only witness to that fateful night years ago.

Until a stranger arrives at the house. A stranger who knows everything.
The past and present spectacularly collide in this gripping story of love and betrayal echoing across the decades . . .

THE GREY PARROT and other stories by W.W.JACOBS

W.W. Jacobs delighted in finding unlikely humour in everyday situations and observations, and these tales succeed in raising a laugh from the most mundane of scenarios. In ‘The Grey Parrot’, a sailor buys a parrot for his wife, whom he suspects isn’t faithful in his absence, hoping that the bird will inadvertently repeat anything untoward it hears. Unfortunately for him, the parrot exceeds his expectations, and it’s not only his wife who is left blushing.
This volume contains a careful selection of the very best stories from Jacobs’s 150-strong repertory, and includes well-known standalone pieces such as ‘The Monkey’s Paw’, as well as accounts of raucous dockside dalliances and tightly woven tales of poacher Bob Petty’s crimes against the unlikely cast of an Essex village. Showcasing a unique assortment of stories spanning his writing career, this edition hopes to shine a light on a hugely talented writer who inspired many of the literary giants we now consider masters of the genre.
DAISY JONES & THE SIX by TAYLOR JENKINS REID
Goldsboro Books Book of the Month - signed edition with purple pages!!
For a while, Daisy Jones & The Six were everywhere. Their albums were on every turntable, they sold out arenas from coast to coast, their sound defined an era. And then, on 12 July 1979, they split. Nobody ever knew why. Until now. They were lovers and friends and brothers and rivals. They couldn't believe their luck, until it ran out. This is their story of the early days and the wild nights, but everyone remembers the truth differently. The only thing they all know for sure is that from the moment Daisy Jones walked barefoot onstage at the Whisky, their lives were irrevocably changed. Making music is never just about the music. And sometimes it can be hard to tell where the sound stops and the feelings begin

SOMETHING TO LIVE FOR by RICHARD ROPER
Out June 2019 (copy for review/blog tour)

Sometimes you have to risk everything to find your something...
Andrew works with death for a living. Searching for people's next of kin and attending the funerals if they don't have anyone, he's desperate to avoid the same fate for himself. Which is fine, because he has the perfect wife and 2.4 children waiting at home for him after a long day. At least, that's what he's told people.
The truth is, his life isn't exactly as people think and the little white lie he once told is about to catch up with him.
Because in all Andrew's efforts to fit in, he's forgotten one important thing: how to really live. And maybe, it's about time for him to start.
THE CARER by DEBORAH MOGGACH
Out July 2019 (copy for review)
James is getting on a bit and needs full-time help. So Phoebe and Robert, his middle-aged offspring, employ Mandy, who seems willing to take him off their hands. But as James regales his family with tales of Mandy's virtues, their shopping trips, and the shared pleasure of their journeys to garden centres, Phoebe and Robert sense something is amiss. Is this really their father, the distant figure who never once turned up for a sports day, now happily chortling over cuckoo clocks and television soaps?
Then something happens that throws everything into new relief, and Phoebe and Robert discover that life most definitely does not stop for the elderly. It just moves onto a very different plane - changing all the stories they thought they knew so well.

CURRENTLY READING





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Hope your week has been as productive - and you have a fun weekend of reading ahead of you!

HAPPY READING!!