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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!!

★★★★


Tuesday, 20 October 2020

#BookReview ESCAPE TO THE LITTLE CHATEAU by MARIE LAVAL #PublicationDay

 


ABOUT THE BOOK

Will Amy’s dreams of a Provençal escape come true?

There are many reasons Amy Carter is determined to make Bellefontaine, her farmhouse hotel in the French countryside, a success. Of course, there’s the time and money she’s put in to making it beautiful, but she also has something to prove – particularly to people like Fabien Coste.

Fabien is the owner of the nearby château, and he might just be the most arrogant, patronising man Amy has ever met ... unfortunately, he’s also the most handsome.

But as rumours circulate in the local community and secrets about the old farmhouse begin to reveal themselves, Amy quickly sees the less idyllic side of life at Bellefontaine. Could Fabien be the man to help prevent her Provençal dream from turning into a nightmare?

This was previously published as A Spell in Provence by Accent Press in 2015. This is a revised, edited and updated version. Published October 2020 by Choc Lit.


PURCHASE LINKS

MY REVIEW

This is one of those books that makes you want to pack up all your stuff and head for the French countryside in the hope that you'll discover your own Fabien!! Swoon!!

But that's not why Amy finds herself in France - she's determined to make a big success of opening her own farmhouse hotel. No mean feat considering she's new to the country and hoping to do everything herself! Her dreams and determination will have you on her side from the get go, and the gorgeous setting she finds herself in is just an added bonus!

Fabien is the owner of the swanky local chateau, and is a big name across the world for first class establishment so he's well aware of the work needed to run a business so tries to offer some friendly advice to Amy, of which she isn't too keen to take on board! You get the idea she doesn't like being told how to do things, even if that makes her appear a little stubborn and ungrateful!

But this isn't a straightforward romance story, as there is a much darker side to the goings on especially within the area and Amy finds herself in the middle of it.  It is clear someone doesn't take too kindly to her being there and there are a number of threats that are very sinister.

There's a lot for Amy to learn, both about running a business, and also the local folklore and history and with the help of Fabian she uncovers some disturbing details of the lady of the forest! You are just hoping that this dream move for Amy doesn't turn into a nightmare!

I loved the dark and light of this story!  It added so much edge to it and it was often quite shocking to see how dark things got!  A bewitching tale!!

★★★★★

#GuestPost ESCAPE TO THE LITTLE CHATEAU by MARIE LAVAL #PublicationDay @ChocLituk

 


Thanks for joining me today as I've another wonderful Guest Post for you all to enjoy. And today we are celebrating Publication Day for ESCAPE TO THE LITTLE CHATEAU by MARIE LAVAL and Marie is sharing her recipe for writing the book!!!

Over to you Marie........

Escape to the Little Chateau

My Recipe for a Romantic Suspense in Provence

I have always loved reading romantic suspense novels. They are a fascinating genre, having to combine action and romance, mystery and passion. They have to keep the reader guessing until the end, not only about the resolution of the romantic conflict between the hero and heroine, but also about the resolution of the mystery.

During a family holiday in Provence a few years ago, I decided that the region would make a brilliant setting for a romantic suspense novel. The more I researched the area of Lubéron where the story is set and learned about the Salyens - the Celtic tribes who lived in Provence before the Romans invaded the region, the more fascinated I became ... Juggling the love story and the suspense element was exciting - a little like trying a new recipe!

So here was my recipe for writing ESCAPE TO THE LITTLE CHATEAU...

Take these essential ingredients:

A determined, English heroine who buys an old Provençal farmhouse to pursue a life-long dream of running a guesthouse.

A handsome, enigmatic French hero who owns Manoir Coste, a vast estate and luxury hotel.

An ancient spell...

Mix well and stir in a large spoonful of Provence’s ancient history, including tales of a long lost temple and cryptic Latin inscriptions on village fountains.

Add a sprinkle of hostility by locals and a drizzle of passion.

Whisk the mixture until the heroine has fallen head-over-heels in love with the hero.

Then add a few drops of doubt and a soupçon of fear, caused by tales of gruesome murders and eerie sightings in the nearby forest.

Simmer on slow heat until tension sizzles and bubbles.

Finally, pour the mixture into a heart-shaped tin and bake under the watchful eye of Bona Dea, Provence’s ancient Salyen goddess.

When ready, enjoy with a cup of black coffee or a glass of chilled rosé wine!



ABOUT THE BOOK

Will Amy’s dreams of a Provençal escape come true? There are many reasons Amy Carter is determined to make Bellefontaine, her farmhouse hotel in the French countryside, a success.

 Of course, there’s the time and money she’s put in to making it beautiful, but she also has something to prove – particularly to people like Fabien Coste. Fabien is the owner of the nearby château, and he might just be the most arrogant, patronising man Amy has ever met ... unfortunately, he’s also the most handsome. But as rumours circulate in the local community and secrets about the old farmhouse begin to reveal themselves, Amy quickly sees the less idyllic side of life at Bellefontaine. Could Fabien be the man to help prevent her Provençal dream from turning into a nightmare? 

This was previously published as A Spell in Provence by Accent Press in 2015. This is a revised, edited and updated version.

 Published October 2020 by Choc Lit.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR



Originally from Lyon in France, Marie now lives in Lancashire and writes historical and contemporary romance. Best-selling LITTLE PINK TAXI was her debut romantic comedy novel with Choc Lit. A PARIS FAIRY TALE was published in July 2019, followed by BLUEBELL’S CHRISTMAS MAGIC in November 2019. She also writes short stories for the bestselling Miss Moonshine anthologies, and is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and the Society of Authors. Her novels are available as ebooks and audiobooks on Amazon and various other platforms.

You can find Marie on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/marielavalauthor/ and Twitter (https://twitter.com/MarieLaval1

PURCHASE LINKS



Monday, 19 October 2020

#BookReview ODDBIRD by LEE FARNSWORTH @farragobooks

 


ABOUT THE BOOK

Simon Selwood is an academic expert on the monogamous sexual behaviour of birds, but hopeless at finding human love. Then he meets Kim, and at last something is more important to him than ornithology.

Kim doesn’t give a hoot about birds. And at first she isn’t very interested in Simon either. Relying on what he has gleaned from observing the opportunistic pied flycatcher and other species, plus the unorthodox advice of old friend Phil, Simon sets out on a mission to discover love for himself.

But will he make the right choice?

Odd Bird takes a light-hearted look at the battle of the sexes, drawing on the surprising parallels between the courtship behaviours of humans and birds

PUBLISHED BY  FARRAGO


MY REVIEW

It's always fun to have a rom com told from the point of view of the male character, and when they are as quirky as Simon Selwood, then you know you're in for a treat of a read!  That's what made this so fun for me!! The way he looked at life, at birds (both of the female and feathered varieties!!) and seeing how he could maybe use his birding knowledge to get the woman of his dreams made for an exciting and refreshing story!

Simon is an expert on the mating habits of birds! But his own love life is a disaster as he finds the female species a little difficult to understand! But he's determined to find love and once he starts to spend time with someone he likes, you'll find yourself willing things to work out for him, despite the warning signs that he often seems to miss!

What is a real strength of this book is his friendship with Phil! He's not the easiest person to like but he's clearly always looking out for his friend and I loved the banter between the pair of them! He doesn't beat about the bush, and the straight talking is sometimes what Simon needs to hear, whether he likes the actual content of the conversation! We all need THAT friend to steer us in the right direction!

As things take off for Simon workwise, he begins to find himself a little more in demand and it's fascinating to see how the attitudes of others change towards him, especially from women.  I found myself shouting at Simon at times for missing the obvious!! Blinded by love comes to mind!!

Overall this was a really enjoyable, uplifting and fun read!

★★★★













#Preview THE ABSOLUTE BOOK by ELIZABETH KNOX #TheAbsoluteBook

 


Something to look forward to in 2021!! It can't come quick enough for my liking to be fair, so I'm happy today to be able to share the cover and animation for the forthcoming release THE ABSOLUTE BOOK by ELIZABETH KNOX. My thanks to the team at Michael Joseph for letting me be part of it all!!

That cover!! 😍😍😍



ABOUT THE BOOK

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...




#MusicMonday MEMORIES FADE by TEARS FOR FEARS

 


Happy Monday!! They've been made so much more bearable by Music Monday, hosted by Drew over at THE TATTOOED BOOK GEEK , and it's a weekly chance to share a favourite song or video!!


Back to Tears for Fears for me today, and one song I've been repeat listening to recently is Memories Fade!



There's only need
I love your need
So much I'm losing me
I cannot see the reason for the Pain
With hungry joy
I'll be your toy
Just hoping you will play
Without hope my body starts to fail
Memories fade but the scars still linger
Goodbye my friend
Will I ever love again
Memories fade but the scars still linger
I cannot grow
I cannot move
I cannot fell my age
The vice like grip of tension holds me fast
Engulfed by you
What can I do
When History's my cage
Look foward to a future in the past
The more I talk
The more I say
The less you seem to hear
I'm speechless in a most peculiar way
Your mind is weak
Your need is great
And nothing is too dear
For you to use to take the Pain away
Memories Fade
No don't pretend you can justify the end
Memories fade but the scars still linger
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Roland Orzabal
Memories Fade lyrics © BMG Rights Management

Saturday, 17 October 2020

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up - 17th October 2020

 


hello all! This meerkat is my spirit animal this week! I know exactly how he feels! My get up and go has been gone all week so that has impacted on how bookish I've felt! I just haven't been able to settle to reading much this week so I don't think my wrap up is going to take very long this week!!!

Just the one book finished this week (and that was last Sunday!) so I definitely need a rocket up my bum this week to get back on the reading groove!! At least I have stayed away from Netgalley, so no new additions there BUT I may have had to treat myself to some books in The Works! ooh and I was lucky enough to win an early proof!! 

So here's my look back..

BOOKS FINISHED



BOOKHAUL

Was lucky to win an early proof of this one from Twitter....

GIRL A by ABIGAIL DEAN
PUBLICATION - JANUARY 2021

'Girl A,' she said. ‘The girl who escaped. If anyone was going to make it, it was going to be you.’

Lex Gracie doesn’t want to think about her family. She doesn’t want to think about growing up in her parents’ House of Horrors. And she doesn’t want to think about her identity as Girl A: the girl who escaped. When her mother dies in prison and leaves Lex and her siblings the family home, she can’t run from her past any longer. Together with her sister, Evie, Lex intends to turn the House of Horrors into a force for good. But first she must come to terms with her six siblings – and with the childhood they shared




And then I treated myself on a little shopping trip!! I'm going full on witch with Halloween approaching!


THE GREEN WITCH by ARIN MURPHY-HISCOCK

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.

WICCA by HARMONY NICE

Witchcraft and Wicca for a modern world, from YouTube vlogger and Instagram sensation Harmony Nice
Welcome to Generation "Hex"--an era where young Americans know that witchcraft isn't about devil worship and spooky curses, and instead are openly embracing meaningful Wiccan rituals that can enrich our lives in real-world ways. In Wicca, 21-year-old Harmony Nice--a YouTube and Instagram star with 700,000 followers--offers modern readers a guide to overcoming obstacles and maximizing happiness. She offers practical guidance on:

using crystals, wands, tarot cards, and magical tools
setting up an altar
introductory spells for health and protection
finding your own witchy path--solitary or with a coven
With beautiful illustrations throughout, Wicca offers readers spiritual authenticity, a hint of glamour, and a perfect guide to infusing their lives with spiritual purpose, confidence, and resilience.

THE WITCH'S BOOK OF SELF CARE by ARIN MURPHY-HISCOCK

“From Wiccan author Arin Murphy-Hiscock comes this fantastic guide to spiritual self-care with a witchy bent. The Witch’s Guide to Self-Care contains recipes for products and spells for self-restoration.” —Bustle

Worship yourself the witchy way—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, and this book helps you prioritize #1 with a little help from the magic of witchcraft. The Witch’s Book of Self-Care has advice for pampering your body, mind, 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!

CURRENTLY READING


Hopefully this can snap me out of my slump!!






Tuesday, 13 October 2020

#BookReview THE GIRL WHO READS ON THE METRO by Christine Feret-Fleury

 


ABOUT THE BOOK

In the vein of Amelie and The Little Paris Bookshop, a modern fairytale about a French woman whose life is turned upside down when she meets a reclusive bookseller and his young daughter.

Juliette leads a perfectly ordinary life in Paris, working a slow office job, dating a string of not-quite-right men, and fighting off melancholy. The only bright spots in her day are her metro rides across the city and the stories she dreams up about the strangers reading books across from her: the old lady, the math student, the amateur ornithologist, the woman in love, the girl who always tears up at page 247.

One morning, avoiding the office for as long as she can, Juliette finds herself on a new block, in front of a rusty gate wedged open with a book. Unable to resist, Juliette walks through, into the bizarre and enchanting lives of Soliman and his young daughter, Zaide. Before she realizes entirely what is happening, Juliette agrees to become a passeur, Soliman's name for the booksellers he hires to take stacks of used books out of his store and into the world, using their imagination and intuition to match books with readers. Suddenly, Juliette's daydreaming becomes her reality, and when Soliman asks her to move in to their store to take care of Zaide while he goes away, she has to decide if she is ready to throw herself headfirst into this new life.

Big-hearted, funny, and gloriously zany, The Girl Who Reads on the Metro is a delayed coming-of-age story about a young woman who dares to change her life, and a celebration of the power of books to unite us all.

PUBLISHED BY FLATIRON BOOKS

MY REVIEW

As a bookworm, I was instantly drawn to this book as I knew I'd be able to relate to the main character, Juliette, and I wasn't wrong! This was the perfect escape read on a dreary afternoon and just reinforced my love of books and the power of good they can do for all!

She is a girl after my own heart! She reads to escape the world!! And she is also a people watcher so spends her commutes on the metro reading, and watching those around her. Noticing their different quirks and habits and creating back stories to who she thinks they are!

When she discovers a little bookshop in the neighbourhood she is immediately intrigued, especially by the little girl Zaide who invites her in. She lives there with her father, Soliman, who is an absent minded professor kind of character! He just loves books and wants to share them with people far and wide!

So he recruits Juliette to help him with his mission of finding the right people for different books and what follows is a story of hope and finding your own happy. The character of Zaide is also wonderful as she is never afraid to challenge Juliette out of her comfort zone and sets her on the way to a completely new life after some devastating news puts things into perspective.

A really enjoyable and uplifting story!

★★★★

#BookReview HOLLY'S CHRISTMAS SECRET by KIRSTY FERRY

 


ABOUT THE BOOK

Once upon a Cornish Christmas ...

It’s almost Christmas at the Pencradoc estate in Cornwall which means that, as usual, tea room owner Sorcha Davies is baking up a festive storm. And this year Sorcha is hoping her mince pies will be going down a treat at ‘The Spirit of Christmas Past’ exhibition being organised at the house by new local antiques dealer, Locryn Dyer.

But as Locryn and Sorcha spend more time together, they begin to uncover a very special story of Christmas past that played out at Pencradoc more than a century before, involving a certain ‘Lady’ Holly Sawyer, a festive dinner party and a magical secret encounter with a handsome author ...

PUBLISHED BY CHOC LIT

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hollys-Christmas-Secret-perfect-heart-warming-ebook/dp/B08GSM8519/  

 

Apple: https://books.apple.com/us/book/hollys-christmas-secret/id1529429721?itsct=books_toolbox&itscg=30200&at=11lNBs&ls=1

 

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/holly-s-christmas-secret

 

Nook: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/hollys-christmas-secret-kirsty-ferry/1137551652?ean=2940162757702

 

Google: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Kirsty_Ferry_Holly_s_Christmas_Secret?id=G9j7DwAAQBAJ



MY REVIEW


We return to Pencradoc for another magical time slip story, and once again it just sweeps you away with the history and the mystery and I loved it!

This is book 3 in the Cornish Secrets series, but can easily be read as a standalone as each story follows a different character and experience.

This time Sorcha, the tearoom owner, is the main focus of this story as she helps get things ready for the Spirit of Christmas Past exhibition being held there. Locryn is the new local antique dealer, and he's also involved so that means they have to start spending a lot of time together! And that's when the fun starts!!

They both begin to watch the past unfold in front of their eyes and it's always such a remarkable sight to see characters of the past play out their storyline. We get to travel back to 1906 for the ghostly goings on, and are introduced to Elsie Pencradoc and her friend Holly who are planning a big Christmas party!

This had such a fairytale feel to it throughout - from the setting to the storyline - and I just adored my time spent in the company of all these characters! A spectacular supernatural story!!

★★★★★