I am delighted to be one of the Book Bloggers who are opening the tour for Bollywood Wives by Alex Khan as part of the Blog Tour by Rachel’s at Rachel’s Random Resources.
Let me show you what this is all about…
The biggest scandals happen off-camera…
Zara Das is Bollywood’s hottest property, her every move watched by the eyes of the press. Riding high from the success of a string of blockbusters, she has the world at her feet, but the scandal from her latest film threatens to dethrone her as Bollywood’s reigning queen.
So when superstar director Raj Dillon stages a lavish retelling of Pride and Prejudice, moving the shoot from Mumbai’s soundstages to London, Zara knows this is the role that could put her back on top. Coming with them are the Bollywood Wives – Jackie, Sasha, and Rani – bringing their own off-screen drama.
But behind the diamonds, designer clothes and seven-star hotels lies the truth of how Zara reached the top. And when a dead body is found in her hotel room, it seems that someone is determined to take Zara down – and will stop at nothing to expose her darkest secrets.
Zara has spent years running from her past. But now it’s caught up with her…
This book came as a pleasant surprise to me. I was a little unsure as to whether it would be a book I would enjoy, but I have to say the author did such a fabulous job adding intrigue, mystery and so much more into the story.
The story is of Zara Das, a Bollywood film-star who is very successful and sought after. While she is a star she is not accepted by the other wives of Bollywood actors, they are bitchy and see themselves as elite and come across as entitled.
This took me a while to get into, a slow burner of a start, but then I found myself addicted and thoroughly enjoying the read. The author has done a fabulous job of bring the glamour and sparkle I associate with Bollywood and also shown a darker secretive side that is not pretty. It is bitchy, a full of snide comments and those glances that make you feel small and inferior. It was an eye-opener to say the least!
There is a quite a bit of steamy scenes and these were very well done, again it adds something to the overall story. It took me back to books I read when I was younger like Jackie Collins and Jilly Cooper and Bollywood Wives is just as good if not better!
There are various strong female characters in the story and with a good array of backgrounds. Their interaction with each other was fabulous and had me smirking several times at their acerbic conversations, I know I shouldn’t really enjoy this sort of behaviour and in real life I would find it horrible, but in a story, well…
While there is a fabulous glamorous side to this story there is also the tale of Zara, this adds such a good balance to the story. Add into this the discovery of a body and you the get a suspense and thriller element to the book as well. It is one of those books that has something for everyone.
Given my apprehension when I first began this book, by the end I was so glad I read it. It is dark, secretive, seductive, atmospheric and deceptively intriguing and I loved it a lot! Once I got started and got to grips with the characters I could not put it down and devoured it easily in one sitting.
This is the first time I have read anything by this author and am looking forward to reading more based on this book. Bollywood Wives is a book I would Highly Recommend.
Check out the Blog Tour for this book and see what other Book Bloggers thought of the book…
Alex Khan has spent his life dreaming of writing and starring in Bollywood movies while traveling the world visiting some of the most glamorous and exciting locations. Moonlighting as a crime writer he finally got the courage to pen the novel he wanted to write all his life-Bollywood Wives. Taking you into the glamorous sexy thrilling environment of the world’s biggest movie stars and the secrets they hide.
I am delighted to share my thoughts today for Blackpool’s Angel by Maggie Mason. I love this authors books so much and if you love historical fiction then you will love her books. Mary Wood writes as Maggie Mason so do check her out as her books are brilliant.
Let me show you what Blackpool’s Angel is all about…
Tilly has come a long way from the run-down tenements in which she grew up. She has a small but comfortable home, a loving, handsome husband, two beautiful little’uns – Babs and Beth – and she earns herself a little money weaving wicker baskets. Life is good.
Until the day Tilly returns home to find a policeman standing on her doorstep. Her Arthur won’t be coming home tonight – nor any night – having fallen to his death whilst working on Blackpool tower. Suddenly Tilly is her daughters’ sole protector, and she’s never felt more alone.
With the threat of destitution nipping at their heels, Tilly struggles to make ends meet and keep a roof over her girls’ heads. In a town run by men Tilly has to ask herself what she’s willing to do to keep her family together and safe – and will it be enough?
The perfect read for fans of Mary Wood, Kitty Neale, Val Wood and Nadine Dorries
Maggie Mason you have done it again! Every book I have read by this author has been a absolute pleasure to read. Whether writing as Mary Wood or Maggie Mason I know I am in for a wonderful read.
Blackpool’s Angel is the first book in the planned Sandgronians trilogy and Wow what a start it was. This is the story of Tilly, born and bred in Blackpool and mother to twins and very happily married until a change in circumstances see’s her put out of her home.
Poor Tilly just seems to attract the wrong sort of attention. She is taken advantage of and ends up on the wrong foot time after time. My heart really went out to this character and also I really wanted to give her a shake and tell her to wise up. I do however understand how she acted. She did posses an inner strength that she herself was not aware of.
Tilly as I have mentioned has a real tough time of it, and I am desperate to shout about all the things I loved about this book, but in doing that I will let out spoilers. But things get bad for her to say the least and she finds herself in some very serious situations that as tough as they are actually give her the kick up the rear she needs. Tilly is a character who had to hit rock bottom before she could then see a back up again. What a drop it was though, my emotions went through the wringer once again as I followed our heroine.
I have never been to Blackpool, but the author does a great job with her descriptions and imagery in her writing that I can imagine the sights, sounds and smells of the era she sets her books in. I am really looking forward to reading the following books in the trilogy. The author knows Blackpool and this shows in her writing, she also researches for her books and this adds a realism to her stories in a historical fiction sense that is. The history of Blackpool and of the conditions of those living and working in the area before the Golden Mile was wonderful. A little snapshot back in time to an era of excitement for its visitors but of extreme hardship for its residents.
This is a tale that revolves around Tilly, her lifestyle and the lifestyles of the various people she meets. It has the atmosphere of despair as she loses what she values most and yet there is a hope that balances things out. This is a must read for fans of historical fiction and I would absolutely recommend it. If you have not yet read anything by this author before then may I suggest picking up this one as it s the start to a new series. I know that you will then want to check out her other books.
In case you had not realised I loved this book, I am a huge fan of this author and obviously I Highly Recommend Blackpool’s Angel 🙂
See what other Book Blogger think of the book by checking out the other stops on the Blog Tour…
Welcome to my weekly 2 week update. I have had time off work over the past two weeks and I had a few days up in Lincolnshire to visit my parents. I would like to say a huge and massive thank you to everyone who shared the Blog Tour reviews that I posted. When I am off work I always take a break from Social Media, usually I don’t take on Blog Tours when I have a holiday, but this time it went pear shaped!
I had a long journey to Lincolnshire, usually 7 ish hours with at least 2 sometimes three stops for a coffee pit stop this time there a few delays on my journey and it led to just over 8 hours travelling! In fact the delay in the journey started before I had got 5 miles up the road from leaving home… I had to wait for cows to cross the road after being milked!🐮🐮🐮🐮🐮🐮🐮🐮🐮🐮🐮🐮🐮🐮🐮🐮🐮🐮🐮🐮🐮🐮🐮🐮🐮🐮🐮🐮 🐮🐮🐮🐮🐮🐮🐮 yes there was quite a few of them! Oh the joys of living in the countryside never ends 😂 Further on in my journey there were several tailbacks due to traffic and also road works on the motorway oh and hay bales! Yes Hay bales!!!
You would have thought that once I was off the motorway that things would be a little better as there is less traffic… No! It was not meant to be! As I left the motorway I was then caught behind a car transporter that was slower than a snail, OK maybe I exaggerate but it felt like that, but Oh I do digress! For 20 ish miles I followed that blasted thing! But I got there in one piece and so that was good.
My route up the motorway passes by the fabulous Farm shop at Gloucester Services, I always go and drool over their cakes, not literally drool I might add as that would be disgusting. This time however I decided to buy a couple of cakes or 4 to take up and share with Mum and Dad.
Just look at the size of that meringue! I did make a visit on the way home as well, thought I had better get the OH a cake or two OK THREE! Unfortunately they got eaten before I remembered to take a photo 😁 and they were just as yummy!
While away Me and Mum went to the Book Blogger & Author Meet up at the North Stafford Hotel in Stoke. The 2 hour journey there and back was so worth it and we both loved it. For me it was a chance to finally meet some fellow Book Bloggers and also meet some Authors. It also meant I purchased some more books for my kindle when I got home 🙂 It was a small meet up and for me it was ideal as I didn’t feel overwhelmed, even so I still didn’t get to chat to everyone that was there. I loved this event and loved chatting to those I did get to meet, Mum loved it as well and it led to a lot more excited chatter on the drive back home again.
If you have never been to one of these and you are able, I definitely recommend going to one. It is great to be able to meet face to face rather than across a screen. It is so good to be able to chat to like minded people and talk all things bookish as well as other stuff as well.
We all had our own name tags and it was quite amusing that my Mum’s one said “Yvonne’s Mum” as I had forgotten to mention my Mum’s name when I said we were both going! 😉
I suppose I should let you know what books I have read over the past couple of weeks.
All Summer With You by Beth Good
A heartwarming and really interesting book that is set in Cornwall. A romance that had a few surprises up it’s sleeve. I really enjoyed all things Cornish in this story as the author wove superstition, the Cornish language and also Cornish tales of old into this story.
The Reunion by Guillame Musso
This was quite a complex read, by that I mean that there was quite a lot going on in it and it took a bit more concentration on my part. A story that is intriguing and dark with some very surprising turns of events. This is the first time I have read anything by this author and I am looking forward to reading more.
Blackpool’s Angel by Maggie Mason
I love this author and she also writes as Mary Wood. This is a historical fiction that is the first in a planned trilogy and I am so excited about it. THis was read as part of the Blog Tour and my post will be later this week.
Sleep by C.L. Taylor
OMG I love Cally Taylor’s books, though I have not read them all…yet! This latest one is so dark and mysterious and I loved it. Set on a remote Scottish Island gave it the most amazing isolated feel. Suspicions are rife and when the characters all seem to have a secret they want to hide then guilt is everywhere! Brilliant psychological thriller and so addictive.
Darkest Hour by Rachel Churcher
Darkest Hour is the 3rd book in this series. It is based around a post Brexit Britain. It is aimed at Young Adult/Teen Readers and I love it. It has roots that are steeped in corruption, propaganda and has a strong Big Brother vibe to it. A fabulous dystopian thriller and I cannot wait to read the next one and the next one! This is another Blog Tour book and I have not shared the cover as it is not up on Goodreads or Amazon yet!
Reach For A Star by Kathryn Freeman
This is not the first time I have read a book by this author and her latest book is fabulous. It is a romance that I could not put down, I read it in a single evening! I found it had many suprising turns and it kept me on my toes right to the very end. Keep an eye out for the Blog Tour for this book
Notting Hill In The Snow by Jules Wake
This is a wonderful, heartwarming festive fiction read and was ideal for reading while snuggling under a blanket with a big old mugs of coffee close by, I do admit the coffees did go cold because I forgot about it several times as I was so engrossed in the book! Another Blog Tour book and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Coming Home to Winter Island by Jo Thomas
I have read a couple of books by this author and she is an author I will automatically read even though I have only read two of her books! This is such an addictive read. Setting is wonderful, characters are fabulous and the story-line is fabulous. This is the last of my Blog Tour books for October!
Christmas at Ladywell by Nicola Slade
This is a novella and was ideal for a quick read, it is a mix of past and present that combines old family traditions and a little mystery. A lovely read and is for an upcoming Blog Tour.
While I was driving to and from Lincolnshire and Cornwall I had my trusted Audible app to keep me company. I downloaded The Chronicles Of Narnia and I am just finishing up listening to it.
The Complete Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis BBC4 Full Cast Production
I really enjoy audio-books and I do seem to have fits and starts with them, sometimes weeks go by and I am constantly listening to them and then suddenly I go weeks without one on the go. But when I have a long car journey by myself I love to have one playing in the background. I like to choose a story I know and I also like a full cast production. This version is fabulous and absolutely brilliant and it has all of the books – The Magicians Nephew, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, The Horse and His Boy, Prince Caspian, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Silver Chair and The Last Battle. The beauty of this collection is that as soon as one book finishes then the next automatically starts.
My Next Read is…
Revolution by Piet Hein Wokke
I have not yet started this one, here is the synopsis for it…
Escape to the Middle East in this thrilling tale about Khalid, Abdullah and Jalal – young men who try to shape the kingdom of Beledar.
While the nearest battlefields of WWII are hundreds of miles of away, on the streets of Mayasin, the capital of Beledar, Abdullah struggles to survive. In a remote village, Khalid sets out in search of his father, and must face the brutal laws of the desert.
Jalal, the young king, wants to break through nepotism and corruption, but in a conservative, Islamic country, change doesn’t come easy. That the western world preys on his country’s oil fields, doesn’t make his life any easier either.
In this exciting book, Wokke expertly and poignantly shows the roots of modern conflicts in the Middle East, through the people and ideas that inhabit it.
Well that’s me all done, thanks for stopping by and looking at my post.
I am delighted to welcome you to my thoughts on Cage by Lilja Sigurdardottir. My thanks to Anne at Random Things Blog Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and also to Orenda Books for my e-copy of this book
Cage is the third and final book in this trilogy, and you know what is coming… yes you really should read these books in order.
A masterful conclusion to the award-winning, critically acclaimed Reykjavík Noir trilogy, as drug-smuggling, financial crime, political intrigue, love, murder and betrayal come together.
The prison doors slam shut behind Agla, when her sentence for financial misconduct ends, but her lover Sonja is not there to meet her.
As a group of foreign businessmen tries to draw Agla into an ingenious fraud that stretches from Iceland around the world, Agla and her former nemesis María find the stakes being raised at a terrifying speed. Ruthless entrepreneur Ingimar will stop at nothing to protect his empire, but he has no idea about the powder keg he is sitting on in his own home. And at the same time, a deadly threat to Sonja and her family brings her from London back to Iceland, where she needs to settle scores with longstanding adversaries if she wants to stay alive…
The lives of these characters are about to collide in a shocking crescendo, until the winner takes it all…
Things have finally come to an end in Cage. This book brings everything from Snare and Trap together.
Once again Agla is in the midst of drug smuggling, corruption and is against those who thirst for even more power. This story focuses more on Agla and her decision to look into a different tale of corruption. She is delving into the truth behind the mixed metal and aluminium business.
If you have not read Snare or Trap then you really should. Many of the characters have been previously introduced in those books. Reading the previous books gives a better understanding to their individual characters and what makes them tick, and I think more importantly it gives you an idea of their own inner strengths and weaknesses.
Agla teams up with a journalist, Maria, it is a tentative working relationship as they both discover just how far the corruption in the metal trade actually goes. Along with this story there is also another, that is the new friendship that Agla has and also the story of a young man who thinks he is doing the right thing.
While I admit this is not my favourite of the three books, it is still a cracking read. The author brings together the previous books to quite a shocking finale. She took me down a route I didn’t expect. This story moves away from Sonja but she still has a role to play in this book and I think this is what threw me when I read this book. But it was good to see more of Agla.
The story is told from different perspectives and this helps to weave a sense of mistrust and intrigue throughout the story. It did take me a while to get myself up to speed with the various characters as it had been a while since I had read the previous book. But gradually the characters and their own stories started to come back to me.
This is a reasonably fast paced read as the author yet again weaves a complex and intense story. She pulls the threads together to create a wonderful finale. The author has a wonderful atmosphere as she creates yet another Icelandic read. Agla is in prison and the author shares how the financiers and bankers who were part of Icelands financial crash were treated.
The titles for each of the books are snappy and each are relevant to the story within, Cage is no different and it was as I read the book the significance of it makes itself known.
Once again a fabulous job was done of the translation, without translators I would not have access to read this fabulous trilogy.
This is a book, in fact a trilogy that delves into the world of drugs, control, corruption, power and manipulation. Ideal for readers who love a good crime thriller read.
Icelandic crime-writer Lilja Sigurdardóttir was born in the town of Akranes in 1972 and raised in Mexico, Sweden, Spain and Iceland. An award-winning playwright, Lilja has written four crime novels, including Snare and Trap, the first two books in the Reykjavik Noir trilogy, which have hit bestseller lists worldwide. The film rights have been bought by Palomar Pictures in California. She lives in Reykjavík with her partner.
See what other Book Bloggers thought and follow the tour…
Many thanks for reading my post, I am still on holiday so any shares or likes would be absolutely amazing and would be greatly appreciated 🙂 xx
I am delighted to welcome you to my thoughts on Coming Home to Glendale Hall by Victoria Walters. My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the Blog Tour and also for arranging my e-copy of this fabulous book.
Let me show you what its all about…
No matter how far you go, home is where the heart is…
Beth Williams hasn’t been home for ten years. After falling pregnant at sixteen, she ran away from the imposing Scottish estate where she grew up rather than risk her family’s disapproval, working hard to build a life for herself and daughter Isabelle – but now she’s finally returning to Glendale Hall.
As Beth tries to mend her broken family ties, and fights to bring the community of Glendale back together, she realises that the story she has told herself for a decade might well be a very different one from the truth. Even though she ran from Glendale it has never left her heart. And, she soon realises, neither has Drew – Beth’s first love.
Will Beth be able to forgive her mother and grandmother (and herself) for what happened ten years ago? What will Drew say when he discovers the secret she’s been keeping from him for so long? Can a festive trail bring the village back together?
Will Christmas work its magic on Glendale – or will Beth be forced to run away from it all over again?
A charming, uplifting novel that will warm your heart – the perfect read to curl up with this autumn. Fans of Trisha Ashley, Debbie Johnson and Cathy Bramley will love this gorgeously romantic read.
I have to say I am not normally a reader who reads festive fiction out of season but as there is a definite autumnal chill in the air I found that the season did a great job of adding the right seasonal atmosphere!
Beth Williams left Glendale Hall in Scotland at 16 thinking she had no other option but to leave her home and family. 10 years later she gets a call from her father to say that Beth’s Grandmother is ill and that Beth should return home. Beth brings her daughter, 10 year old, Izzie who will visit her mums childhood home for the first time.
Within a few pages I was hooked as the author introduced me to Beth and her daughter Izzie. It wasn’t long before I then got to see Glendale Hall and meet the rest of the family. From their meeting up after Beth’s long absence I was aware of an underlying anger and frustration as old feelings of sadness and rejection crept into the conversations as feelings of things being unsaid stood like a shadow around the adults.
Beth’s shock at how things had changed in the area after her decade away really did home for her and gives her a sense of motivation. People from her past come into her life once again, her best friend and also her first love. This adds for more tension between some of them and misunderstandings are rife. Yet another emotional twist is woven into an already emotional story.
Izzie is such a wonderful character and she is like glue, she has the ability through her childhood innocence to see things for what they actually are. She injects a great sense of fun and also the author uses her character to give others the ability to take part in Christmas activities that help put the sad feelings to one side for a moment.
This is a glorious read that brings out all the hurt and pain from the past, the author has brought everything to the forefront again and foces her characters to deal with things that have gone on in past. It is a personal journey for not only Beth but for others as well. As adults there are things that have happened and they have sat and festered, now is the time for them to be revisited.
This is not just a story about the family at Glendale Hall, it also encompasses the local village as well. The changes in the community have not been for the best and it has left the village feeling a loss of identity and is threatened. Its story works so well and compliments the one with Glendale so well and is perfectly woven.
This is a wonderful read that had me guessing and kept me on my toes right the way through. I was never sure how the author was going to work through the threads and there were several moments when I had that fabulous will they/ wont they feelings as I read. Nothing was guaranteed to work and it kept me addictively turning pages.
A wonderful read from the first to the last page that dealt with the past and the present and also the future, and it made for the ideal “snuggle down and read” book. It is one I would definitely recommend 🙂
Victoria Walters writes up-lifting and inspiring stories. Her moving debut novel THE SECOND LOVE OF MY LIFE was chosen for WHSmith Fresh Talent and shortlisted for an RNA award. Victoria was also picked as an Amazon Rising Star. Her heart-warming new novel SUMMER AT THE KINDNESS CAFE is available to download now.
As well as being an author, Victoria also works as a Waterstones bookseller and buys far too many books there. She lives in Surrey with her cat Harry (named after Harry Potter). Victoria is not only obsessed with books but loves buying slogan tops, mugs and notebooks, and posting them all on Instagram.
I am delighted to welcome you to my thoughts on The Demons Beneath by W.D. Jackson-Smart today. My huge thanks to Emma at dampebbles Blog Tours for the invite and for organising my e-copy of this book.
Let me show you what its about…
The Demons Beneath by W.D. Jackson-Smart
A detective new to London. A possible serial killer. And a demon?
When a bloody corpse is discovered in a North London park, Detective Inspector Daniel Graves is the man tasked with finding the killer. With no clues and no suspects it seems like a dead end. Then another body turns up and this time it looks like it could be his fault. Has his investigation caused the murderer to strike again? Is he dealing with a serial killer?
As the case gets ever more complicated, a report comes in of another suspicious death but this is nothing like any other Graves has dealt with. All involved are convinced that something supernatural is to blame. A demon. Daniel is no believer but could he be wrong?
With two cases on his shoulders and the truth behind each beyond his grasp, Graves must race against time before both killers, human or otherwise, strike again.
What do you get when a horror writer decides to mix it up and write a crime thriller? Answer = You get The Demons Beneath! And what a cracking read it was as well!
Inspector Daniel Graves (love the surname – very horror-esque sounding!) is still getting used to his new life in London. He is recently transferred from Derbyshire and is not only trying to find his feet in the city but, also with the level and type of crimes. He has two cases land on his desk, one is for a body that has just been discovered. The other is for an exorcism that has gone wrong and the demon being exorcised is supposedly the killer!
With two very different cases, Daniel and his team are stumped. they are constantly looking for a lead or lucky break. there is little evidence to go on and the leads are thin. The team are a great mix and they each bring their own style and personality to the investigation. Pressure from their superiors doesn’t make tasks any easier and this creates a sense of “time is of the essence” to the book and cases.
The author does a cracking job with the storyline and the characters. the mix of the two cases are contrasting even though both are being dealt as murder. The demonology aspect that has been woven into the second of the two cases adds a suspense and chilling eeriness to the story and adds a great twist. The first case balances out the creepiness of the second, as it appears to be a more straightforward.
This is my first time reading anything by this author, and my first impressions are very good. being as this the first book in a series I am looking forward to reading more. My only niggle for the book is Daniel Graves repetitiveness when it comes to women that have caught his eye, yes I understand they have but I didn’t need reminding of it to the extent I did. as I said it is only a little niggle and it didn’t put me off reading the book.
The author has successfully created a wonderful twist on a genre I read quite a lot. I really like the infusion of horror and suspense into the crime thriller style of the investigation. It has a real spooky eerie feeling to the read. I thought it was quite well paced and quite happily read this in a couple of days. I am looking forward to getting to know Graves and his team in future book.
A wonderful crime thriller/ police procedural read that has a good twist and is a little bit different and one I would recommend.
WD Jackson-Smart is a crime and horror/thriller writer from the UK obsessed with all things thrilling.
He has written the bestselling supernatural thriller Red Light, the Hollywood-based horror/thriller Slasher, as well as horror short What’s Yours Is Mine.
His new release Demons, the first in a new London-based crime series featuring Detective Inspector Graves, is out now. Search WD Jackson.
So a couple of weeks ago I saw a fellow Blogger saying how much they enjoyed the #20booksofsummer Reading Challenge. She decided that it would be great to have one that went through the winter months as well. I know some Bloggers take part in Blogtober and Blogmas and so this could run in conjunction with them as well.
If you took part in the Books for Summer Challenge, then you will see it is the same format. It runs from tomorrow 1st October until the 31st December. The books Do Not have to be Christmas books, but are books that you may recommend for Christmas gifts or ones that seem to be falling down the TBR. Again 10, 15 or 20 books, its up to you.
Now you may be thinking that these are not exactly Christmassy books, but they are books that have more of of autumnal feel. So, as I am already reading some more festive feeling reads as part of blog tours ,I am going to include a couple of them as well 🙂
And for a few more from my TBR that are more festive…
So there we have it 15 books to read in 3months 🙂
I decided to choose 15 as I do have Blog Tour reads as well. 15 just seems do-able and also gives a chance to catch up with previous festive as well as TBR reads that I have neglected.
Don’t forget to tag Jo in your introduction and summing up posts as she will share your posts.
If you are joining in with this Reading Challenge or others then I wish you Happy Reading. If you are not joining in Happy Reading as well 🙂 xx
That’s all from me, and I thank you for reading my post, a like or share is always appreciated xx
Welcome once again to another weekly bookish update. As autumn has definitely started to make its presence felt I have been play around on Canva and also Giphy to create some new headers and titles on my page, they have a more autumnal feel. These are brilliant free sites where you can find loads of stuff for your blog, there are somethings on Canva that you have to pay for and you do have the option to upgrade, but I have never needed to pay for anything that I have wanted. Go check the sites out.
I have decided to join in with a new autumn/winter Reading Challenge and I hope to have my list ready to share later today.
I also have a post ready for Wednesday for another #booktag, this one is the Finally Fall and features books that evoke autumnal thoughts for the readers.
So let me share with you all the books I have read over the past week…
First up is…
99% Mine by Sally Thorne
This is a good read and I did enjoy it but I just didn’t feel anything for the characters. It is a story of sibling rivalry of sorts and how adult twins are fighting over their best friend. It is a good good read as I said, the story was engaging and had some really nice moments and I did read it through quite quickly, but for me it was just missing something.
Then I read…
Cage by Lilja Sigurdardottir
This is the 3rd and final book in this trilogy. It has been a great series and Cage has a very different feel to it. This threw me a little bit at the beginning and after reading reading a few pages I then decided to read the synopsis, it always helps! Then things started to fit a little better. So, this story has corporate crime at its core. I did think the previous two books were more engaging though Cage is still a very good read. My review will be as part of the blog tour.
The I read…
The Girl Downstairs by Stacey Lee
Oh I liked this one a lot. A historical fiction with a nice subtle element of romance that discusses issues of the day in Atlanta, America in the 1890’s. The author delves into racial inequality, the Suffragists movement in the US, social etiquette and also the different class and social aspects of the time. This is a cracking book that threw up some surprising twists and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Then I chose…
A Grave For Two by Anna Holt
This is my first time reading this author and I was really enjoying this story but did feel that the end started to drag a little. A story that is focused around sports, doping, murder, blackmail and elitism. I enjoyed reading about the characters and Selma was one that really caught my attention, there is a lot more to her than meets the eye and I am going to have a look and see if there are previous books that mention this character. Keep an eye out for my review in the next couple of weeks.
Next up was…
The Holiday by T.M. Logan
A nice French resort see’s Kate and her 3 best friends on holiday, It is a slower read that gradually wrapped me up in its intrigue. I am still processing this book as I have literally just finished reading it. My review will follow in a couple of weeks.
My next read will probably be…
All Summer With You by Beth Good
Yes summer is over and I am thinking about reading a summer book… well why not! Here’s the synopsis…
There’s no place like home…
Nursing a broken heart, Jennifer Bolitho retreats to Pixie Cottage. Her new landlord – a former soldier turned movie heartthrob – has grounds so large, she’s sure the little house nestled in the woods will bring her solitude.
Alex Delgardo also has reasons to hide away. Seeking refuge after a tragic incident turned his world upside down, he knows that the most important thing now is to care for his ailing family.
But when Jennifer enters their lives, that changes. Because, as they both learn, you can’t heal others until you learn to heal yourself…
You may have noticed that I have mentioned a couple of reviews will be following in a couple of weeks time. This is because I have time off work and I am off to my parents for a few days. I am not sure if I will drive up on Wednesday or Thursday as yet, it depends on the weather as I would rather have nicer weather for the 6-7 hour drive. While I am away I will not be on Social Media very much, I do have a review going out for a Blog Tour while I’m away and, any shares would be hugely appreciated.
While there me and Mum are going to have a girly day out and are looking forward to going to the Book Blogger Meet up in Stoke. I am so excited to finally meet fellow Bloggers for the very first time and you will get a hug 🙂 When I mentioned I was going, Mum asked me if she could come along as well, she said she would be quiet and not embarrass me!!!! What the hell mother! You most definitely can come and you will not sit quiet at all, you will join in and enjoy yourself! 🙂
A photo to finish up with. I managed to get to the flowers in my garden before the downpour and cut some flowers before the petals got damaged.
Well that is me done for another week. Can you believe that it is October tomorrow! I wont be around to write a post next Monday so it will be a double update the week after 🙂
Before I go, here is a quote that I found…
Only one thing left to say, have a great week everyone and Happy Reading 🙂
I am delighted to share my thoughts on Sweet Maple by Michelle Visser. I had the pleasure of reading this book last year and I can finally say a huge “Congratulations Michelle on the Publication of Sweet Maple” I am so happy you have finally got this fabulous book published. I am resharing my review for this book to coincide with the publication.
Let me show you what Sweet Maple is all about…
Sweet Maple is an instructional book on backyard sugarmaking that’s also the story of one family’s connection to the past on a small New England sugar farm. Throughout its pages, Michelle (the “sugarmaker’s wife”) gives advice on:
the 22 different kinds of trees that can be tapped.
the process of making syrup, to help you decide what level is right for you.
how to make alternative treats, such lilac syrup.
the health benefits of maple products, which contain more than 40 antioxidants.
substituting processed sugar with all-natural maple syrup in any recipe.
the 3 steps to making maple sugar.
how to make irresistible maple cream and how to enjoy it.
While learning the art of sugarmaking alongside her husband, Michelle guides readers through every step of all-natural syrup production, with directions for tapping one tree or dozens, while detailing the life-changing benefits of using maple syrup in the kitchen. Interspersed with sugaring techniques, tips, sidebars, and storytelling, Michelle shares more than 30 of her family’s tried-and-true maple recipes—from scones to salads.
Now my curiosity got the better of me when I saw Michelle’s book “Sweet Maple”. I have a bit of a background in the catering industry and had not put much thought into the process of extracting maple syrup. As I read this book I was amazed at how intricate, time-consuming this process is and all the factors that come into play, that can help or hinder the process.
As I started reading this book, I was struck by the humble nature of the author. Here is a lady who quite freely admits to making, and still making mistakes, but how she learns from each one and moves on. Her failures in making maple syrup has given her a basis for this book, or, she refers to it as “being the heart of it”.
With her family in a 14 acres wooded homestead in New England, Michelle tells how as a family they live with and within a beautiful area. She shares the area with her husband and children, as well as a dog, cows, chickens and other animals. Having access to suitable trees for tapping and extracting is only part of the process. When I read this book it became quickly apparent that I know absolutely nothing about the process. But with Michelle’s wit and humour she has explained all the ins and outs, and also included a list of supplies, suppliers. It is quite an intensive book, but does not feel like it. That is only the beginning, she also explains what trees can be tapped, and it’s not just maple trees!
At this point I am loving this book, it is informative, well laid out and has warmth and humour to it. Then comes the yummy section, the recipes. Two words here “MAPLE CREAM”, I think I may need this in my life. It sounds amazing. The are some really good basic recipes, as yet I have not tries them, but I feel they would be a good starting point for using the syrup. I am definitely going to be having a go at maple scones, as well as a “snickerdoodle” (I love this word, never heard of it before), it looks very similar to a light, airy gingerbread biscuit. A nice array of recipes for home baking, nothing flash or fancy, that fits in well with what I have learnt from this book.
This to me was a wonderful, delightful read. There are some beautiful pictures in this book that are interspersed around the writing. It is informative, but light-hearted, a joy to read. I have also been having a good look around Michelle’s website, and found that also a mine of information, links and also extra recipes, and the opportunity to sign up to her newsletter.
I would like to take this time to express my thanks to Michelle, for allowing me a copy of her book. My thoughts are honest and my own. I wish you all the very best Michelle xx
Michelle Visser is a homesteader in rural New England. She’s a fourth-generation gardener, an author and photographer, mom to four daughters, and the sugarmaker’s wife. In their 200-year-old farmhouse and on their 14 rocky tree-filled acres, her family makes an effort to live life a little more simply by growing some of their own food, raising a few farm animals, and making their own all-natural maple sugar.
Even if she’s lost most of her friends because of spending all her time at work, and can’t remember when she last had fun, it’s worth it.
Until she’s suddenly made redundant. Now she’s 37, jobless, and after the breakup with the former love of her life, unhappily single.
Enter Maddy’s childhood friend, Beth, the owner of Growlers, the doggy daycare centre at Giddywell Grange, on a mission to make Maddy see there’s more to life than work.
Soon, Maddy is swapping spreadsheets for volunteer duty at the library, daily Starbucks for cups of tea with elderly neighbours, and her Prada handbag for doggy poo bags… And with Beth’s gorgeous brother, Alex, back from the States, Maddy starts to think that Giddywell Grange might just be her happy place.
But when her old life – and her old boyfriend – comes calling, will Maddy go back to the job she loved so much? Or will she discover that the key to happiness lies in making others happy?
The synopsis gives a wonderful idea as to what the book is about. I met maddy as she is nervously waiting for her meeting where she is expecting to be promoted. This is something that Maddy feels she deserves due to all the hard work she has being doing over the years in PR. Work has been her life she has missed family and friends important events and not seen them as much as she should have done because she has been too busy with her work. So from anticipated nervous excitement she is suddenly dropped into a devastated place where she feels she is now surplus to requirements.
I immediately felt my heart go out to Maddy and I quickly found myself caught up with the story within a matter of a few paragraphs. This is the second book by this author and yet again she has absolutely and completely had me hooked and wrapped up within her writing.
I love how quickly the author shows the extreme emotions with Maddy, from enthusiasm to dejected in just a few words. It is this empathy that she brings out in the reader that shows how well she engages with this reader. I think this is why she is going to be a writer whose future books I will always buy without giving it a second thought. I know this is only the second book she has written but I am already a huge fan.
So, from starting the book I spent a few delightful hours devouring the story, I learned about Maddy, her Mum and her best friend Beth. I love how the once best friends had drifted due to Maddy’s work, but instantly connected when Maddy decides to come home again. I must say I also love the characters of Uncle Tom and Alex. They, along with Mum and Beth are full of advice and support as Maddy tries to find her feet and are on hand with loads of love and hugs with the occasional kick up the backside for good measure.
I loved watching the transformation in Maddy from a highflying PR career woman to one who pick up poo as she helps in Beth’s Dog Kennels. The author got the balance so right as it would have been so easy to stray into that feeling of “how the mighty have fallen”, but instead of that she created a character who is warm, helpful and supportive, as I said she got the balance right! The author has created little situations where Maddy is not expected to take part, but she when she surprises people and does these little tasks, it makes for humorous reading.
Life is not straight forward for Maddy and even though she has taken a step back from the PR world, she still has her eye out for another job while helping Beth out. I loved that nothing was straight forward and I wasn’t sure how things were eventually going to pan out and I discovered some nice little surprises along the way!
The author has once again created a story that completely wrapped me up for the few hours that I sat and read. I loved watching the characters develop through the story and how they react and interact with each other. The feeling of warmth, love and family at Giddywell Grange is fabulous and sounds a wonderful place that I would quite happily love to live in.
This is a story about searching your soul and doing what is right and best for yourself. Maddy is fortunate to have a great cast behind her as she learns and discovers things about herself, what makes her happy and I loved watching her discover that there is more to life than a high flying stressful career.
This is a wonderful heartwarming story the I would absolutely Recommend because it is just fabulous. And left me wanting to read more by this author, get a move on Kim I need another of your books to read ASAP 😍😁
Kim Nash lives in Staffordshire with son Ollie and English Setter Roni, is PR & Social Media Manager for Bookouture and is a book blogger at www.kimthebookworm.co.uk.
Kim won the Romantic Novelists Association’s Media Star of the Year in 2016, which she still can’t quite believe. She is now quite delighted to be a member of the RNA.
When she’s not working or writing, Kim can be found walking her dog, reading, standing on the sidelines of a football pitch cheering on Ollie and binge watching box sets on the TV. She’s also quite partial to a spa day and a gin and tonic (not at the same time!) Kim also runs a book club in Cannock, Staffs.
Amazing Grace was her debut novel with Hera Books and came out in April 2019.
Escape to Giddywell Grange is Kim’s second novel and will be published on September 18th 2019.