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Saturday, 30 November 2019

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up - 30th November 2019



Sunshine has returned!!  It's been such a miserable grey week that I was very happy, as was this hare!, to see blue skies again! 

And with the grey skies, my reading has slowed right down! I've been a little side tracked with some xstitch projects so that's eaten into my reading time, although has allowed me to listen to audiobooks again!  So just 3 books finished this week, no visits to Netgalley and just a couple of books in the post!

BOOKS FINISHED







BOOKPOST

Woman On The Edge by Samantha M.Bailey
copy won via Twitter giveaway


A moment on the platform changes two lives forever. But nothing is as it seems...

'Take my baby.'

In a split second, Morgan's life changes forever. A stranger hands her a baby, then jumps in front of a train.

Morgan has never seen the woman before and she can't understand what would cause a person to give away her child and take her own life.

When the police question Morgan, she discovers none of the witnesses can corroborate her version of events. And when they learn Morgan longs for a baby of her own, she becomes a suspect.

To prove her innocence, Morgan frantically tries to retrace the last days of the woman's life. She begins to understand that Nicole Markham believed she and her baby were in danger. Now Morgan might be in danger, too.

Was Nicole a new mother struggling with paranoia?

Or was something much darker going on?

Pulse-pounding, heartrending, shocking, thrilling. This is one book you won't be able to stop thinking about.

FRAMED by S L MCINNIS
proof copy from Headline
publication date - April 2020


'Fast, twisty and totally unexpected. A riveting read' Shari Lapena, author of The Couple Next Door

Nothing is as it seems in this gripping and unputdownable thriller. Fans of The Wife Between Us and Need to Know will devour Framed by S. L. McInnis. But you won't see the twists coming...

It was all fine until she turned up...

Music teacher Beth and film producer Jay seem to have the perfect life together in LA.

When Cassie - Beth's old best friend and college wild child - turns up unexpectedly, everything changes.

But what neither of them know is what Cassie is running from. And that it's going to have consequences for them all.

Something is about to go very wrong. And someone is going to lie about it.


CURRENTLY READING


FAHRENHEIT, 451 by RAY BRADBURY

listening to the audio book of this , narrated by Tim Robbins and his voice is wonderful!!

Guy Montag is a fireman. In his world, where television rules and literature is on the brink of extinction, firemen start fires rather than put them out. His job is to destroy the most illegal of commodities, the printed book, along with the houses in which they are hidden.

Montag never questions the destruction and ruin his actions produce, returning each day to his bland life and wife, Mildred, who spends all day with her television 'family'. But then he meets an eccentric young neighbor, Clarisse, who introduces him to a past where people did not live in fear and to a present where one sees the world through the ideas in books instead of the mindless chatter of television.

When Mildred attempts suicide and Clarisse suddenly disappears, Montag begins to question everything he has ever known



HAPPY READING!!















Friday, 29 November 2019

#CoverReveal Cyberstrike:London by James Barrington with Professor Richard Benham @canelo_co


Delighted to be able to share a Cover Reveal today with you along with Canelo! Another fabulous looking book for 2020 on the way!!


Publication Date: 
ISBN: 9781788637015

The start of a major new series from a bestselling thriller writer and a renowned cybersecurity expert.

7/7/2005: Ben Morgan, a cybersecurity specialist with the Metropolitan police, starts another day at work. It will be the last normal day he ever has.
The Present: In Hong Kong, a crime overlord is offered a deal by shadowy agents from Beijing: his life for a new kind of operation in London. Morgan, now a part of an off the books cyber-terrorism prevention unit, must do everything to stop its spread.
This is a new kind of war: different goals, tactics, rules, stakes. And Morgan is caught right in the centre...
A pulse-pounding thriller rooted in reality, perfect for fans of Frederick Forsyth, Andy McNab and James Deegan.

Pre-order Link - Amazon



And here it is!!



Thursday, 28 November 2019

#BookReview Colt Harper - Disparaged Vampire Cat by Tyrolin Puxty #ColtHarper


ABOUT THE BOOK


Colt Harper, now stinking of humanity, has lost his esteemed title and is doomed to wander the earth with his fugitive...ugh, ‘friends’.

Travelling through various realms in an attempt to earn back his title, Colt meets his maker, the dreaded council and an old friend he assumed was dead.

Book 2 in the award-winning series, Colt Harper: Disparaged Vampire Cat returns with his catty sense of humor.

Don’t let the Short Stature Snatcher bite...


Praise for Colt Harper: Esteemed Vampire Cat
“The first page had me hooked” - Readers’ Favorite
“Terrific read! Ludicrous and fun!” - Erin Michelle Sky, bestselling author of The Wendy
“Couldn’t put it down. Fun and unique!” - Wilbert Stanton, bestselling author of Gears of Fate
“Mega fun!” G. Miki Hayden, author of Writing the Mystery: A Start to Finish Guide
“Terry Pratchett meets possessed cats!” Clayton Snyder, author of Child of Nod


purchase links




MY REVIEW

Having loved the first book in this series - Colt Harper - Esteemed Vampire Cat - I've been eagerly awaiting book two and it's just wonderful to have this character back in my life..... even if he's a little different now! That struggle is real for Colt as he comes to terms with having 'emotions' and 'feelings'! His normal cynicism and snark has been replaced by a reluctant compassion and he hates himself for it!

In this story he's reunited with some favourite characters from the first book - the tickle monster is back! - and he's dealing with seeking his own revenge, while being hunted himself by a supernatural 'being' and this allows an adventure of sorts to new dimensions, alongside dimensions from other books written by Tyrolin Puxty! 

What I love most about these books are the humour - it's less in your face here than the previous book, but it's brilliantly subtle and allows for so many different aspects to be explored, and there's a never ending supply of quirks and curve balls littered throughout that had me in stitches!

Having Colt so conflicted as a character really made this book for me!  Helping people is not his normal 'thing' but with his new human emotions, he takes to responsibility with aplomb - even if he doesn't really know what he's doing half the time!

   There are so many brilliant one liners -  "I'm a tickler, not a fighter" ( I want this put on a t-shirt!!) and a cliff hanger that left me shocked and desperate for more, so I'm just hoping Colt will be returning soon and wonder what complications are set to face him next time!!
★★★★★























#BookReview A PERFECT EXPLANATION by ELEANOR ANSTRUTHER #LibraryLoveChallenge



The Observer: Fiction to look out for in 2019
Exploring themes of ownership and abandonment, Eleanor Anstruther’s debut is a fictionalised account of the true story of Enid Campbell (1892–1964), granddaughter of the 8th Duke of Argyll.
Interweaving one significant day in 1964 with a decade during the interwar period, A Perfect Explanation gets to the heart of what it is to be bound by gender, heritage and tradition, to fight, to lose, to fight again. In a world of privilege, truth remains the same; there are no heroes and villains, only people misunderstood. Here, in the pages of this extraordinary book where the unspoken is conveyed with vivid simplicity, lies a story that will leave you reeling.

published by Salt Publishing
PURCHASE LINKS




MY REVIEW

This is a book based on the author's own grandmother, and wow what a story! I listened to the audio version, alongside reading the paperback, and found it to be utterly compelling - it's heartbreaking, tragic and left me feeling torn as to who to side with as each story was revealed over different timelines. It just goes to show how messy families can be, especially when there's money and standing to be thought of.

The art of compassion and understanding seemed to be long forgotten by many of the characters as they faced really troubling times, and the least of their worries seemed to be the concern for the children involved. They became a by product of the battle of wills between some very powerful individuals who were dealing with their own emotional turmoil, but had very little support to get through it.

The story is told from a couple of perspectives over the timelines and I found this such a brilliant way of seeing the story evolve - from Enid being in a home feeling so bitter towards life awaiting a visit from her daughter, to Enid looking back to her past as she dealt with her own less than compassionate family and how that affected her in how she dealt with wedded life and motherhood. They say what we see shapes, and this is clearly demonstrated in this book.

And at the heart of the story are the children, especially poor Fagus who had medical issues but nobody knew how to deal with him and he had such a tragic life with little care. The anger and resentment from his brother and sister too who were also pushed aside by those they trusted was clearly felt too and brilliantly portrayed throughout. Their indifference to their mother in her later life was understandable but you could just see history repeating itself over and over.

I had so many mixed emotions towards Enid - she had such a sad life surrounded by people who clearly didn't understand her post natal depression, and was expected to live a life she just didn't want for the sake of the family. It was a brilliant portrayal of family dynamics, the mother/daughter relationships and a real battle of wills with nobody seemingly prepared to be more understanding towards one another and do the best for the children.

The audio version was a wonderful listen - beautifully narrated and brought the characters to life perfectly. 

★★★★★

Wednesday, 27 November 2019

#BookReview ALL MY FRIENDS ARE SUPERHEROES by ANDREW KAUFMAN


ABOUT THE BOOK

All Tom's friends really are superheroes.

There's the Ear, the Spooner, the Impossible Man. Tom even married a superhero, the Perfectionist. But at their wedding, the Perfectionist was hypnotized (by ex-boyfriend Hypno, of course) to believe that Tom is invisible. Nothing he does can make her see him. Six months later, she's sure that Tom has abandoned her.

So she's moving to Vancouver. She'll use her superpower to make Vancouver perfect and leave all the heartbreak in Toronto. With no idea Tom's beside her, she boards an airplane in Toronto. Tom has until the wheels touch the ground in Vancouver to convince her he's visible, or he loses her forever.

120 pages

Published by Coach House Press



MY REVIEW

This was such a clever, fun and quirky little read that I raced through and will happily be re-reading for many years to come!

It's a insightful love story - with added superhero elements!! The main protagonist finds himself invisible to his wife, 'the perfectionist'. This happened just after they married and she finds herself moving to Vancouver desperate to start her life again, while he's on the same plane determined to make her see him again.

I loved the way this was written - the fact that each of us have our own superpower, there are many I could identify with in this book too, and how that makes us unique in our own special way! It really captures the fact that we start to take people for granted and miss the little things that drew us to them in the first place. The author also includes some very perceptive descriptions of other superheroes amongst us and I found myself smiling on many occasions at just how relatable everything was.

Both perspectives were extremely precise and telling and I was amazed at just how much story was put into such a small book! It puts the emphasis on the things that make you 'you' and how they can appear to be so extraordinary and how we can often lose sight of the little traits we all possess. It is silly and surreal but touching too!
★★★★★ 

















Tuesday, 26 November 2019

#BlogTour THE LAST VILLAGE by AUDLA ENGLISH #BookReview #TheLastVillage @AudlaE #RandomThingsTours


Delighted you have joined me today for the latest stop on the Blog Tour for THE LAST VILLAGE by AUDLA ENGLISH. My thanks to the author, publisher and Anne of  Random Things Tours for putting this all together and letting me be part of it all.  It's a real pleasure!

The Last Village by Audla English

· Paperback: 214 pages
· Publisher: Independently published (12 Oct. 2018)
· Language: English
· ISBN-10: 1723846171
· ISBN-13: 978-1723846175



ABOUT THE BOOK

CHILL WITH A BOOK AWARDS- PREMIER READERS' AWARD WINNER
2019 AMERICAN FICTION AWARDS FINALIST- ROMANCE: HISTORICAL

The majestic Souter Lighthouse stands proudly at the edge of the cliff top surrounded by open grassy empty fields and overlooking a vast blue wilderness. Anna Charles knows nothing of the life that her grandmother once had here. It wasn’t until an unexpected engagement, that Anna discovered the past of her Gran and the truth behind an enduring love.

Seventy years earlier, Lillian Smith, had been part of the close-knit community that once thrived in the village that existed next to the lighthouse. A chance meeting with a sailor one day, would change the course of her life forever.

A moving novel set in the North East of England. The Last Village is an enduring love story which spans the 1940's and modern day, binding the generations.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:





Audla English grew up in the North East of England. Born in Sunderland, a graduate of Newcastle University and living in South Tyneside, she is passionate about this wonderful region which acts as an inspiration to her writing. Her award-winning debut novel 'The Last Village' is a dual time-line historical fiction and is written as a dedication to the now sadly demolished Old Marsden Village which was built by the Whitburn Coal Company in the 1870's. The Marsden Rock coastal setting is also used to weave a family saga style narrative around a beautiful part of north east England. The novel is a moving love story about the life of Lily, a young woman growing up with her friends in 1945 whereas the other side of the story, in 2017, is about Anna and her own discovery of her grandmother's past life- it is a novel which spans and binds the generations through family and friendship.

Twitter @AudlaE   Website http://www.audlaenglish.co.uk/


MY REVIEW

I found this to be a charming and engaging story which combined the different timelines so well, and really gave you the different perspectives of how life had changed over the years for the characters.  It really captures the essence of a village that was demolished, but how important it was to the people who lived there and as Anna gets to hear the story from her grandmother Lily of her recollections, it opens up so much history and shows just how many stories go forgotten about as time moves on.

In the present, Anna is preparing for her own wedding, and is reminiscing about the lovely times she used to spend with her grandmother as she grew up but how she knows very little of the life her grandmother led whilst growing up, so it is lovely for both Anna and Lily to share time together and share stories that show that although time and expectations may have changed, at the heart is the need to surround yourself with good people and to be supportive of one another.

I loved looking back in time with the stories that Lily shared.  It tells of her experiences during the war and how the community all pulled together, but that childhood innocence they all had was taken by what they witnessed and lived through.  

Anna is dealing with her own issues as her wedding approaches, namely some bitchy comments from a so called friend, and really brings to light how circumstances can change people. Whilst Anna is all about finding ways to include those closest to her on her big day, others are more concerned about showing off and changing in personality.

It was a really lovely read and both timelines had so much to explore and enjoy.  With the historical aspect, alongside the human impact, it really gave you a sense of these characters and the dramas they had to face and there's such a warmth about both Lily and Anna that you can't help fall in love with the both!


★★★★











#CoverReveal IT STARTED WITH A GIGGLE by KIRSTY FERRY @ChocLituk

COVER REVEAL


Hello!!  The Christmas cover reveals are all done so now it's time to get you planning ahead for 2020 - get your calendars ready and schedule some amazing books that are coming your way!
And the lovely Kirsty Ferry and the team at Choc Lit have let me loose again with another fabulous cover reveal to share with you all!  So here's a little bit more about IT STARTED WITH A GIGGLE (a title to make you smile!!) before I share the cover!



Sometimes the best things start in the strangest ways …. with a giggle!
On a night out in Edinburgh, single mum Liza-Belle Graham finds herself revealing her hopes and dreams to a green-eyed stranger. Liza always wanted to run an “arty-crafty-booky” business, and she’s seen the perfect empty shop to make her dreams a reality. No harm in telling the stranger. It’s not like she’ll see him again …

But Scott McCreadie is no mystery man – he’s an interior designer looking for new premises. And who does Liza bump into when she arranges a viewing? None other than Scott trying to steal her perfect shop!

Is Liza’s arty-crafty-booky dream in jeopardy, or is a new dream about to begin?


It Started With a Giggle will be published by Choc Lit on 21st January 2020 and will be available to purchase as an eBook on all platforms. It will also be available in audio at a slightly later date.


Are we ready??!  Here it is.........







😍😍😍 😻😻😻


A little bit of everything on that cover!!  My calendar has already been marked for the release of this one and hope you're as excited as I am about reading it!



Monday, 25 November 2019

#MusicMonday I'M GONNA TEAR YOUR PLAYHOUSE DOWN by PAUL YOUNG


Time for tunes! This is a weekly thing hosted by Drew at  The Tattooed Book Geek where you just get the chance to post up a song you love!

Back to the 80's for me today and another one of those artists whose posters I had all over my bedroom walls! Paul Young!



LYRICS

You think you've got it all set up
You think you've got the perfect plan
To charm everyone you see
And playing any game you can
But I've got news for you
I hope it don't hit you too hard
One of these days while you're at play
I'm gonna catch you off guard
I'm gonna tear your playhouse down pretty soon
I'm gonna tear your playhouse down room by room
You make our lives a stress and strain
Using the power ploy
All you do is pass around
Hearts you use as play toys
You've been playing madly
With every mind in town
So what you gonna do when you look up one day
And see your playhouse tumbling down
I'm gonna tear your playhouse down pretty soon
I'm gonna tear your playhouse down room by room
You think you've got it all set up
You think you've got the perfect plan
To charm everyone you see
And playing any game you can
You've been playing madly
With every mind in town
Oh, what you gonna do when you look up one day
And see your playhouse tumbling down
I'm gonna tear your playhouse down pretty soon
I'm gonna tear your playhouse down room by room
I'm gonna tear your playhouse down pretty soon
I'm gonna tear your playhouse down room by room by room
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Earl Randle
I'm Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc, Universal Music Publishing Group, BMG Rights Management




















Saturday, 23 November 2019

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up - 23rd November 2019


Hello!  Another week closer to Christmas! And I'm feeling totally underwhelmed about the whole thing!  Can someone write my Christmas cards and shop for presents for me please?! bah humbug......

On to bookish things - I never feel underwhelmed by those! Maybe overwhelmed at times (ok, all the time!) about the TBR mountain but it's been another good week with 5 books finished, one of which was an audiobook, and there may have also been a visit to Netgalley, a bit of bookish secondhand shopping and a couple of book wins too! Yay!

BOOKS FINISHED

Diary of a Somebody by Brian Bilston - 4 stars (audiobook)










BOOKHAUL

One from Netgalley...

THE BERMONDSEY BOOKSHOP by MARY GIBSON
publication date - February 2020

Bermondsey, 1920s. After her mother's death Kate is taken in by her father's sister, the quick-tempered Aunt Sylvie. Already struggling to feed children of her own, Aunt Sylvie treats Kate like an unwanted burden. Although Kate's father disappeared when she was a child, she still harbours hope that he will one day reappear and release her from this miserable existence. If only she knew why he left and what really happened to her mother...

One day, after a terrible argument, eighteen-year-old Kate is thrown out. Desperate to land on her own two feet she answers an advert for a cleaner at The Bermondsey Bookshop and Reading Room. Little does she know that her life is about to be changed forever...

In this cosy shop in Bermondsey Street, owned by a wealthy, idealistic young woman, Kate's eyes are opened to a whole new world. The bookshop is a vibrant meeting place for the local factory workers and dockers and the free reading room a place where they can read in peace and attend lectures by the famous literary lights of the day. Here Kate rubs shoulders with Johnny 'Rasher' Bacon, the docker who goes to read Marx, and Martin Cliffe, the handsome, upperclass student who comes to hear H.G. Wells speak.

But when Kate recognises a stranger from her past, can she be sure that he is all that he seems? And will she be true to her roots and pick the fiery young Docker 'Rasher' Bacon? Or can the handsome young scholar Martin Cliffe persuade Kate that love can bridge the gulf between their two worlds


THE GUARDIAN OF LIES by KATE FURNIVALL
book prize won over at Random Things Through My Letterbox


Discover a brilliant story of love, danger, courage and betrayal, from the internationally bestselling author of The Survivors.
1953, the South of France. The fragile peace between the West and Soviet Russia hangs on a knife edge. And one family has been torn apart by secrets and conflicting allegiances.

Eloïse Caussade is a courageous young Frenchwoman, raised on a bull farm near Arles in the Camargue. She idolises her older brother, André, and when he leaves to become an Intelligence Officer working for the CIA in Paris to help protect France, she soon follows him. Having exchanged the strict confines of her father's farm for a life of freedom in Paris, her world comes alive. 

But everything changes when André is injured - a direct result of Eloise's actions. Unable to work, André returns to his father’s farm, but Eloïse’s sense of guilt and responsibility for his injuries sets her on the trail of the person who attempted to kill him.

Eloïse finds her hometown in a state of unrest and conflict. Those who are angry at the construction of the American airbase nearby, with its lethal nuclear armaments, confront those who support it, and anger flares into violence, stirred up by Soviet agents. Throughout all this unrest, Eloïse is still relentlessly hunting down the man who betrayed her brother and his country, and she is learning to look at those she loves and at herself with different eyes. She no longer knows who she can trust. Who is working for Soviet Intelligence and who is not? And what side do her own family lie on?

MIX TAPE by JANE SANDERSON
copy won via Twitter giveaway

You never forget the one that got away. But what if ‘what could have been’ is still to come?

Daniel was the first boy to make Alison a mix tape.

But that was years ago and Ali hasn’t thought about him in a very long time. Even if she had, she might not have called him ‘the one that got away’; she’d been the one to run away, after all.

Then Dan’s name pops up on her phone, with a link to a song from their shared past.

For two blissful minutes, Alison is no longer an adult in Adelaide with temperamental daughters; she is sixteen in Sheffield, dancing in her too-tight jeans. She cannot help but respond in kind.

And so begins a new mix tape.

Ali and Dan exchange songs – some new, some old – across oceans and time zones, across a lifetime of different experiences, until one of them breaks the rules and sends a message that will change everything…

Because what if ‘what could have been’ is still to come?

ALL MY FRIENDS ARE SUPERHEROES by ANDREW KAUFMAN

All Tom's friends really are superheroes.

There's the Ear, the Spooner, the Impossible Man. Tom even married a superhero, the Perfectionist. But at their wedding, the Perfectionist was hypnotized (by ex-boyfriend Hypno, of course) to believe that Tom is invisible. Nothing he does can make her see him. Six months later, she's sure that Tom has abandoned her.

So she's moving to Vancouver. She'll use her superpower to make Vancouver perfect and leave all the heartbreak in Toronto. With no idea Tom's beside her, she boards an airplane in Toronto. Tom has until the wheels touch the ground in Vancouver to convince her he's visible, or he loses her forever.

LORDS AND LADIES / FEET OF CLAY by TERRY PRATCHETT

LORDS AND LADIES
The fairies are back - but this time they don't just want your teeth.

It's Midsummer Night - no time for dreaming. Because sometimes, when there's more than one reality at play, too much dreaming can make the walls between them come tumbling down. Unfortunately there's usually a damned good reason for there being walls between them in the first place - to keep things out. Things who want to make mischief and play havoc with the natural order.

Granny Weatherwax and her tiny coven are up against real elves. And even in a world of dwarfs, wizards, trolls, Morris dancers and the odd orang-utan, this is going to cause real trouble. With lots of hey-nonny-nonny and blood all over the place.

FEET OF CLAY
THERE'S A WEREWOLF WITH PRE-LUNAR TENSION IN ANKH-MORPORK. AND A DWARF WITH ATTITUDE AND A GOLEM WHO'S BEGUN TO THINK FOR ITSELF.

But for Commander Vimes, Head of Ankh-Morpork City Watch, that's only the start . . .

There's treason in the air. A crime has happened.

He's not only got to find out whodunit, but howdunit too. He's not even sure what they dun. But soon as he knows what the questions are, he's going to want some answers.
 


CURRENTLY READING


Nothing! I'm at that stage where I'm deciding on what to read next! It never gets an easier does it?! Do I read ahead and start on 2020 books? Do I attack the backlog on the Netgalley shelves? Or do I just pick up a book from my own shelf that has been there for a squillion ears and read that??!!! Excuse me while I ponder and pontificate and waste valuable reading time deciding......

HAPPY READING!!