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Saturday, 31 October 2020

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up - 31st October 2020


Hello!  And Farewell to October!  Time to start writing those bookish wish lists to Santa - if you've been good enough this year of course!!  I think we all definitely deserve extra bookish gifts this year.....

And it's been a good bookish week for me with 5 books finished this week! Back on track again! I bet it doesn't last! So I rewarded myself with a visit to Netgalley and 3 new approvals, treated myself to 3 books from Goldsboro Books and received a book for review! So yay for books!!

Here's my look back....


BOOKS FINISHED












BOOKHAUL

Shall we start with the evil Netgalley....

THE DECEPTION OF HARRIET FLEET by HELEN SCARLETT
publication date - 31st October 2020


Dark and brimming with suspense, an atmospheric Victorian chiller set in brooding County Durham for fans of Stacey Halls and Laura Purcell

1871. An age of discovery and progress. But for the Wainwright family, residents of the gloomy Teesbank Hall in County Durham the secrets of the past continue to overshadow their lives.

Harriet would not have taken the job of governess in such a remote place unless she wanted to hide from something or someone. Her charge is Eleanor, the daughter of the house, a fiercely bright eighteen-year-old, tortured by demons and feared by relations and staff alike. But it soon becomes apparent that Harriet is not there to teach Eleanor, but rather to monitor her erratic and dangerous behaviour – to spy on her.

Worn down by Eleanor’s unpredictable hostility, Harriet soon finds herself embroiled in Eleanor’s obsession – the Wainwright’s dark, tragic history. As family secrets are unearthed, Harriet’s own begin to haunt her and she becomes convinced that ghosts from the past are determined to reveal her shameful story.

For Harriet, like Eleanor, is plagued by deception and untruths.


A NET FOR SMALL FISHES by LUCY JAGO
publication date - February 2021


Based on the true scandal that rocked the court of James I, A Net for Small Fishes is the most gripping novel you'll read this year: an exhilarating dive into the pitch-dark waters of the Jacobean court

Frances Howard has beauty and a powerful family - and is the most unhappy creature in the world.

Anne Turner has wit and talent - but no stage on which to display them. Little stands between her and the abyss of destitution.

When these two very different women meet in the strangest of circumstances, a powerful friendship is sparked. Frankie sweeps Anne into a world of splendour that exceeds all she imagined: a Court whose foreign king is a stranger to his own subjects; where ancient families fight for power, and where the sovereign's favourite may rise and rise - so long as he remains in favour.

With the marriage of their talents, Anne and Frankie enter this extravagant, savage hunting ground, seeking a little happiness for themselves. But as they gain notice, they also gain enemies; what began as a search for love and safety leads to desperate acts that could cost them everything.

THE ABSOLUTE BOOK by ELIZABETH KNOX
publication date - February 2021


Taryn Cornick believes her sister Bea was deliberately run down and killed. She believes it so hard she allows a man called the Muleskinner to exact the justice Bea was denied. An eye for an eye.

Which is when Taryn's problems really begin.

Because the police suspect Taryn's involvement in the death.

Worse, others have their eyes on Taryn - those in a faraway place who know what Taryn's family have been carefully hiding in their vast library. The Absolute Book.

They want it - and they want Taryn to help find it.

For the lives of those in more than one world depend upon it...


And then I treated myself to some lovely books from GOLDSBORO BOOKS...

THE DEVIL AND THE DARK WATER by STUART TURTON
A murder on the high seas. A detective duo. A demon who may or may not exist.

It's 1634 and Samuel Pipps, the world's greatest detective, is being transported to Amsterdam to be executed for a crime he may, or may not, have committed. Travelling with him is his loyal bodyguard, Arent Hayes, who is determined to prove his friend innocent.

But no sooner are they out to sea than devilry begins to blight the voyage. A twice-dead leper stalks the decks. Strange symbols appear on the sails. Livestock is slaughtered.

And then three passengers are marked for death, including Samuel.

Could a demon be responsible for their misfortunes?

With Pipps imprisoned, only Arent can solve a mystery that connects every passenger onboard. A mystery that stretches back into their past and now threatens to sink the ship, killing everybody on board.

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

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

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

PEOPLE OF ABANDONED CHARACTER by CLARE WHITFIELD

Marry in haste . . . Murder at leisure?

London, 1888: Susannah rushes into marriage to a young and wealthy surgeon. After a passionate honeymoon, she returns home with her new husband wrapped around her little finger. But then everything changes.

Thomas's behavior becomes increasingly volatile and violent. He stays out all night, returning home bloodied and full of secrets. The gentle caresses she enjoyed on her wedding night are now just a honeyed memory.

When the first woman is murdered in Whitechapel, Susannah's interest is piqued. But as she follows the reports of the ongoing hunt for the killer, her mind takes her down the darkest path imaginable. Every time Thomas stays out late, another victim is found dead.

Is it coincidence? Or is her husband the man they call Jack the Ripper?
 


THE TREASURE IN THE TOWER by ROB KEELEY
copy from author for review

A school trip to historic Deanchester becomes more exciting when Jess and her friends discover the city hides a secret treasure. Local historian Dr Joseph Pyrite left a series of clues scattered around Deanchester’s landmarks, which Jess, Mason and Kessie are determined to solve. But they only have three days. And they have competition. A series of increasingly cunning tricks awaits Jess and her party as they try to beat Perdita and Thomas to the treasure.


CURRENTLY READING



















Thursday, 29 October 2020

#BookReviews THE GREEN WITCH & THE WITCH'S BOOK OF SELF CARE by ARIN MURPHY-HISCOCK #nonfiction

 


ABOUT THE BOOK

Self-care and magic work together in this guide to help you become the best version of yourself. You’ll learn how to nourish your body and spirit with herbal remedies, spells, and rituals inspired by witchcraft in this unique, enchanted guide to self-care.

Self-care is a necessity for any modern woman. The goals of self-care are simple: healthy mind, healthy body, healthy spirit. This book helps you prioritize yourself with a little help from the magic of witchcraft. The Witch’s Book of Self-Care has advice for pampering your mind, body, and spirit with spells, meditations, mantras, and powerful activities to help you to keep healthy, soothe stress, relinquish sadness, channel joy, and embrace your strength. This book features such magical self-care remedies:

-A Ritual to Release Guilt: Learn to burn whatever causes you pain and process painful memories or work through heavy emotions in this therapeutic ritual.

-Green Space Meditation: Learn how to reconnect with the healing energies of nature, even in the middle of a bustling city, as part of a series of meditations based on the elements and your senses.

-DIY Body Butter: Create your own custom soothing and smoothing body butter, powered by crystal and essential oils suited to your intention, and sanctified by a ritual.

And much more! The Witch’s Book of Self-Care shows you how easy it is to connect to the earth, harness your personal power, and add a little magic to your everyday life for a better you!

PUBLISHED BY ADAMS MEDIA

MY REVIEW

This is a helpful little book for witches and non-witchy folk! It is full of information and tips on how to take care of yourself, body, mind and spirit - all so useful in these difficult times we find ourselves living in!

There are tons of ideas for you to pick and choose from in finding a way to help you cope with the stresses of life - from a 5 minute self care routine to start off your day with, to journalling, hygge, candle magic and guides to meditation. There's even a few recipes to help with creating your own teas, sleep mists and even body scrubs and bath bombs.

I really enjoyed dipping in and out of this book for picking up little hints on how to treat yourself and how to slow down and take care of yourself.

★★★★


ABOUT THE BOOK

Discover the power of natural magic and healing through herbs, flowers, and essential oils in this new guide to green witchcraft.

At her core, the green witch is a naturalist, an herbalist, a wise woman, and a healer. She embraces the power of nature; she draws energy from the Earth and the Universe; she relies on natural objects like stones and gems to commune with the land she lives off of; she uses plants, flowers, oils, and herbs for healing; she calls on nature for guidance; and she respects every living being no matter how small.

In The Green Witch, you will learn the way of the green witch, from how to use herbs, plants, and flowers to make potions and oils for everyday healing as well as how crystals, gems, stones, and even twigs can help you find balance within. You’ll discover how to find harmony in Earth’s great elements and connect your soul to every living creature. This guide also contains directions for herbal blends and potions, ritual suggestions, recipes for sacred foods, and information on how to listen to and commune with nature. Embrace the world of the green witch and discover what the power of nature has in store for you.

MY REVIEW

Another really helpful and enjoyable book that features the magic of nature and how it can be used to help us on a day to day basis in dealing with whatever life can throw our way!!

This goes into a bit more depth about what being a 'witch' means nowadays and how the use of nature can help heal, and how to be more aware of natural energy.

There are lots of handy hints on how to overhaul your outlook and surroundings, and how that being more aware of the local surroundings and nature can help focus your mind.

It's a book that looks into seasons, tides, moon, stars etc are all playing a part in our moods and experiences and I really enjoyed learning a little more, as well as being surprised at how many elements of this way of life that I already practice!

There's more recipes, a look at meditation, rituals, moon gardening and just becoming more aware of the world around us.

★★★★

#BLOGTOUR WHEN I COME HOME AGAIN by CAROLINE SCOTT #BookReview @RandomTTours @CScottBooks @simonschusterUK #WhenIComeHomeAgain

 


A huge delight today to be part of the start of the Blog Tour for the wonderful WHEN I COME HOME AGAIN by CAROLINE SCOTT. My thanks to the author, publsher and Anne of  Random Things Tours for putting the tour together and letting me be part of it all!


ABOUT THE BOOK


**From the highly acclaimed author of The Photographer of the Lost, a BBC Radio 2 Book Club Pick** 

They need him to remember. He wants to forget. 

1918.

 In the last week of the First World War, a uniformed soldier is arrested in Durham Cathedral. When questioned, it becomes clear he has no memory of who he is or how he came to be there. 

The soldier is given the name Adam and transferred to a rehabilitation home where his doctor James is determined to recover who this man once was. But Adam doesn’t want to remember. Unwilling to relive the trauma of war, Adam has locked his memory away, seemingly for good. 

When a newspaper publishes a feature about Adam, three women come forward, each claiming that he is someone she lost in the war. But does he believe any of these women? Or is there another family out there waiting for him to come home? 

Based on true events, When I Come Home Again is a deeply moving and powerful story of a nation’s outpouring of grief, and the search for hope in the aftermath of war. 


Praise for The Photographer of the Lost '[An] impressive debut… a touching novel of love and loss' - Sunday Times

PURCHASE LINKS






ABOUT THE AUTHOR


About the Author

 Caroline completed a PhD in History at the University of Durham. She developed a particular interest in the impact of the First World War on the landscape of Belgium and France, and in the experience of women during the conflict – fascinations that she was able to pursue while she spent several years working as a researcher for a Belgian company. Caroline is originally from Lancashire, but now lives in southwest France. The Photographer of the Lost was a BBC Radio 2 Book Club pick.


   Further praise for The Photographer Of The Lost 

‘This excellent debut is a melancholic reminder of the rippling after-effects of war’ - The Times 'There's only one word for this novel… and that's epic… A beautifully written must-read' - heat 
'A gripping, devastating novel about the lost and the ones they left behind' - Sarra Manning, RED

MY REVIEW

Wow Wow Wow!! After being blown away by the release last year of The Photographer of the Lost (if you've not read it yet, go buy it now!!), I was equally excited and nervous for the release of When I Come Home Again, not knowing what to expect! But my fears were quashed within the first page as I was instantly grabbed by the opening scene and stayed gripped throughout as the story of 'Adam' unfolds.

You join the story in 1918, with this soldier who has no memory, not even knowing his name.  You can only begin to imagine the horrors that he has faced over the previous years.  Step forward Dr Haworth who is brought in to try and help unlock his memories.  Adam is plagued by nightmares and you can just feel the despair that he feels in not knowing who he is, what he's been through and why he can't remember. Does he want to remember?

The despair is shared by his Dr and his wife who live at the rehab facility.  They can see that Adam is an intelligent man, but there's something that holding him back from unlocking that part of his mind that has shut down.

Putting his photograph in  a newspaper to see if anybody can recognise him opens up yet more heartache - this time for those desperate back home for loved ones who have  gone missing.  I loved the way these different characters were introduced and just brought home to me how the war had affected everybody - they waved off their love ones at the start and never heard from them again.  So to have this mystery man, they could see a sliver of light at the end of the tunnel and convinced themselves that Adam really was their missing loved ones.  They just need to convince Adam of the same....

I found myself so drawn into the mystery of Adam, and the role he played in bringing comfort or closure to the women he met claiming that he was known to them.  The way he got on with his life and sought solace in gardening and drawing.  And it wasn't only Adam who was seeking help in the end, as the Doctor was dealing with his own issues and you get the impression that he found the Adam 'project' an initial distraction from facing up to problems he was having.

A beautifully written and crafted book.  It's a book that made me think more of the impact the war had on everybody, not just those who had been on the frontline, and it is a story that will stay with me for a very long time!!  Stunning!!

★★★★★



Monday, 26 October 2020

#MusicMonday DIAMONDS by BOXER REBELLION

 


Happy Monday! Bring on the music!!

This is a weekly tag hosted by Drew over at The Tattooed Book Geek to give you a chance to share a favourite song or video to help get the week off to a good start!!

My choice this week is Diamonds by Boxer Rebellion!!


Pretty little thing did you feel something
Did you always want me to be something
To mend a broken a heart
From a Devil of shallow nonsense
Turned your world upside down
Whatever said that it'd mean something
Whatever said that it'd mean nothing
And did I look the part
When it's all said and done
When it's all said and done
I'm no good next to Diamonds
When I'm too close to start to fade
Are you angry with me now
Are you angry cause I'm to blame
I'm no good next to Diamonds
When I'm too close to start to fade
Are you angry with me now
Are you angry cause I'm to blame
Never wanna hide the truth from you
Just hang my head what I put you through
I wasn't good enough
When what's done is done love
When it's all said and done
But I'm
No good next to Diamonds
When I'm too close to start to fade
Are you angry with me now
Are you angry cause I'm to blame
'Cause I fall away
Further than I ever was
Further than I ever was
Further than I ever was
Further than I ever was
Further than I ever was
I'm no good next to Diamonds
When I'm too close to start to fade
Are you angry with me now
Are you angry cause I'm to blame
I'm no good next to Diamonds
When I'm too close to start to fade
Are you angry with me now
Are you angry cause I'm to blame
'Cause I fall away
Further than I ever was
Further than I ever was
Further than I ever was
Further than I ever was
Further than I ever was
Further than I ever was
I have no words
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Adam Harrison / Piers John Towler Hewitt / Todd William Howe / Nathan Ward Nicholson
Diamonds lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Songtrust Ave, BMG Rights Management




Sunday, 25 October 2020

#BlogTour THE BECKET LIST by HENRY BECKET #BookReview @the_becket_list @RedDoorBooks

 


Delighted to be sharing my thoughts today on THE BECKET LIST by HENRY BECKET! My thanks to the author, publisher and Helen Lewis for putting the tour together and letting me be part of it all!

ABOUT THE BOOK

What’s on your Becket List? What really grates on you? What gets you ranting at the television?

Henry Becket decided to compile a list of things that could be put right/restored/replaced to help rid the world of unrighteous anger. A list of things that make him (and he suspects many, many others) angry. Turns out there’s so much to be angry about!

This is a hilarious, witty guide that will find a good home in many a downstairs loo library. It’s the ultimate gift for the grumpy git in your life.

It’s also a wonderful form of escapism from what might be perceived as the REAL issues of the day. After all, there’s nothing like a pandemic to make you realise you miss not being able to complain about the price of a packet of crisps in a pub, or about the wobbly table leg in a restaurant… ah, those were the days!

An A to Z of First World Problems is… just that. The Becket List is a not entirely serious compendium of 'First World Problems' - the sort of stuff that drives us round the bend on a daily basis.

How is it that atonal music, bus stations, cling-film and coat-hangers can b*gger us up so comprehensively? Or passport control people, Chuggers, email strings, fake candles, loud eating, predictive text, or just about anything you'll find in a typical hotel bedroom?

Embracing both the inanimate - from allen keys to rawlplugs - and the animated (well, in some cases) - from your fellow-travellers to every third-rate waiter who ever walked the earth - this book is essential for your sanity. As such, this comprehensive A to Z provides a signal service to humanity.

A collection of entries about many of the things in life that, whilst essentially trivial, day after day contrive to p*ss you off. In the greater scheme of things they don’t matter a damn, but in the context of advanced civilisation they take on a huge significance. The book is a both an important resource for future social historians and a call to action. It’s also, mostly, really rather silly.

PUBLISHED BY REDDOOR PRESS

PURCHASE LINKS




MY REVIEW

I don't know whether I should be concerned that I found myself agreeing with so many of the 'grumbles' about modern life in this book!!! Have I reached 'that' age already where everything annoys me?!! It appears so!! And if you find yourself being irritated by so much of life, or you know someone who loves to moan and grumble about the trivial things, then they need this book in their life!!

It's a book that makes you laugh out loud! It's a book that notices all the silly things in life that many shrug off, but there's something about ticket machines, BBQ's, Kidults, loud eating, lifestyle bloggers (hopefully not book bloggers!) , to name but a few things, that set your teeth on edge and cause an irrational (but rational  to you!) response to all that life throws your way on a day to day basis!!

It's sweary and snarky - that always appeals to my sense of humour! - and it's also wonderful to know that you aren't alone in these outbursts of grumpiness!! I found myself nodding along way too readily to many of the A-Z breakdown of 1st world problems and it was just so deliciously right about the world as we know it!!  Nothing escapes the wrath of Henry Becket, no matter how insignificant it may seem to others, and I loved that!!  Why is it that all that is meant to make our life less stressful has just made it even more stressful??!!

A book that sums up life's little inconveniences and aggravations in perfect form!! Fabulously grumpy!!

★★★★★




#BlogTour THE ONCE AND FUTURE WITCHES by ALIX E HARROW @Tr4cyF3nt0n @orbitbooks #bookreview

 


A huge delight to be the lastest stop on the Blog Tour for the magical THE ONCE AND FUTURE WITCHES by ALIX E.HARROW. My thanks to the author, publisher and Tracy of Compulsive Readers for putting the tour together and letting me be part of it all!



ABOUT THE BOOK

In 1893, there's no such thing as witches. There used to be, in the wild, dark days before the burnings began, but now witching is nothing but tidy charms and nursery rhymes. If the modern woman wants any measure of power, she must find it at the ballot box.

But when the Eastwood sisters--James Juniper, Agnes Amaranth, and Beatrice Belladonna--join the suffragists of New Salem, they begin to pursue the forgotten words and ways that might turn the women's movement into the witch's movement. Stalked by shadows and sickness, hunted by forces who will not suffer a witch to vote-and perhaps not even to live-the sisters will need to delve into the oldest magics, draw new alliances, and heal the bond between them if they want to survive.

There's no such thing as witches. But there will be.

PUBLISHED BY ORBIT BOOKS


PURCHASE LINKS




MY REVIEW

It's witchy and it's wonderful!! Buy it!!! 

How's that for an easy review haha!! I absolutely adored every single second I spent in the company of the Eastwood sisters - all very different and not even in each others lives for a number of years UNTIL they are drawn together to fight the unfairness of a world that seems set on destroying women wanting to be heard.  Seen but not heard seems to be the order of the day but for these women that is not how they want things so despite their differences they come together to form a united front in fighting for what is right.


This is a story of strong women, of overcoming adversity and for standing up for what you believe in.  Their lives haven't been easy and there are grievances between them but in fighting this common battle they grow closer together again and it was just such a wonderful story to read.


Many in New Salem want the past of their town forgotten and will do whatever it means to keep the old ways gone, but changing times are upon us so June, Beatrice and Agnes are at the centre of the efforts of the women's movement. It's an angry book, but inspiring and beautifully written from the  slow pace at times, to the revelations of the past and I just completely lost myself in the world created.  In the 3 main characters, Alix has conjured (sorry!) up such fascinating and polar opposite characters - you can see yourself in all of them - but they have that determination to keep fighting for what is right despite the obstacles put in front of them and the danger they put themselves in.


 I loved her previous book, The Ten Thousand Doors of January, but think I loved this even more!! Definitely one of my books of 2020!!


★★★★★



Saturday, 24 October 2020

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up - 24th October 2020

 


Hello!! Happy Saturday!! And for those of us in the UK we get an extra hour today with the clocks going back tonight.... do we have to?!!! I suppose it means an extra hour of reading, but the longer and darker evenings I could do without!! Time to buy some extra candles I think!!

Happy to report that my reading mojo did return this week with 3 books finished - still a bit down on normal but it's a start! No new books from Netgalley, and just one through the post to review! How has your week been?!

Here's my look back...

BOOKS FINISHED








BOOKPOST

One book in the post from the publishers, Hideaway Fall, for review ahead of release 30th November 2020

337 by M.Jonathan Lee


337 follows the life of Samuel Darte whose mother vanished when he was in his teens. It was his brother, Tom who found her wedding ring on the kitchen table along with the note.

While their father pays the price of his mother’s disappearance, Sam learns that his long-estranged Gramma is living out her last days in a nursing home nearby.

Keen to learn about what really happened that day and realising the importance of how little time there is, he visits her to finally get the truth.

Soon it’ll be too late and the family secrets will be lost forever. Reduced to ashes. But in a story like this, nothing is as it seems.


CURRENTLY READING


WITCH BOTTLE by TOM FLETCHER


HAPPY READING!!

Wednesday, 21 October 2020

#BookReview THE THURSDAY MURDER CLUB by RICHARD OSMAN

 


ABOUT THE BOOK

Four septuagenarians with a few tricks up their sleeves
A female cop with her first big case
A brutal murder
Welcome to…
THE THURSDAY MURDER CLUB


In a peaceful retirement village, four unlikely friends meet weekly in the Jigsaw Room to discuss unsolved crimes; together they call themselves The Thursday Murder Club. Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron might be pushing eighty but they still have a few tricks up their sleeves.

When a local developer is found dead with a mysterious photograph left next to the body, the Thursday Murder Club suddenly find themselves in the middle of their first live case. As the bodies begin to pile up, can our unorthodox but brilliant gang catch the killer, before it’s too late?

PUBLISHED BY PENGUIN


PURCHASE LINKS


Goldsboro - signed first edition

blackwell's - signed edition



MY REVIEW

I was in need of a fun read to escape the world, and this was perfect for me! Plenty of chuckles and intrigue galore as we follow the Thursday Murder Club in their quest to solve murders close to home!

It had that real Agatha Raisin feel to it, with the goings on of a community mixed in with the darker element of crime, and you are taken along for the ride! AS the list of suspects grow with their investigations, you as the reader are the fly on the wall trying to work out who your money is on for being the perpertrator! I loved the twists and turns!

Those solving the murder mystery are not your normal investigators! They're a group of pensioners who live at the Coopers Chase retirement village and had set up their own 'murder club' to pass the time on a Thursday as they loved to solve old murder cases. But when there is a murder on their doorstep, they step in to solve the mystery and no stone is left unturned as they thoroughly investigate the dodgy dealings and it was so much fun to see how they all came together and threw themselves into the case!

Even the police end up being manipulated by the crafty oldies who would use their sneaky ways to get the information they wanted for their investigations and I loved their creativeness!!

AS the plot thickens, and the dodgy dealings escalate, it all builds up nicely in pulling the community together to thwart the bad elements!! Lots of fun and I'm already looking forward to more crime solving from these characters in book 2!!

★★★★