November Book Round up. Blog tours, blitz’s & reviews on Me and My Books.

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This month has been a very busy reading month for me.  With a whole range of different genres, authors and publishers. With 25 books read and a guest post as I was unable to read a further book in time, I can say it has been my most busiest month as far as reading goes ever.

So to start with the Blog Tours, I was involved in.

Absolution by P.A.Davies | Scream Blue Murder by Tony. J, Forder | Dark Chapter by Winnie. M Li  |  The Mercury Travel Club by Helen Bridgett  | Illusion by Stephanie Elmas  |  Into The Valley by Chris Clement-Green  |

There were a number of different Blog Blitz tours as well. 

Wormwood by Larry Enmon  | The Dead Whisper by Emma Clapperton  | Secrets & Fries at The Starlight Dinner by Helen Cox |  Christmas at The Little Knitting Box by Helen. J. Rolfe  | The Big Event by Anne John-Ligali

Books sent to me for my thoughts on them, or that I offered to read.

Dinner At The Happy Skeleton by Chris Chalmers  | The Things We Learn When We’re Dead by Charlie Laidlaw   | Living in Italy, The Real Deal by Stef Smulders  | Hit The Road, Jac! by Jacqui Furneaux    |  Sweet Maple by Michelle Visser

NetGalley gave me a chance to start to read books aimed at children, as well as for my usual genres.

Mr Campions Abdication by Mike Ripley  | The Price of Silence by Delores Gordon-Smith  | Three Days a Life by Pierre Lemaitre  | Hortense and the Shadow by O’Hara Sisters  | The Deaths of December by Susi Holliday

Finally a few books from my TBR Pile.

Bone by Yrsa Daley Ward   |The LimeHouse Golem by Peter Ackroyd | Dr Jekyll & Mr Seek by Anthony O’Neill
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Finally I received the most amazing Guest Post from Peter Bartram.  Author of “Crampton of The Chronicle” mystery series.  I have rad some of his books in the past, but I just could not squeeze another book into my reading schedule. His post about Ruth Ellis, who was the last woman to be hung in England, has a link into his new book. GuestPost by Peter Bartram.

 

 

 

 

A big ” Thank You” to everyone who has shared, tweeted and commented over the month.  As well as a huge “Thank You” to the authors, tour organiser and publishers.

If you liked this post, or any of the other links to my posts, please give them a like or a share.  Or better still, go and buy the book 🙂

#BookReview : Sweet Maple by Michelle Visser @SoulyRested

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“Sweet Maple” by Michelle Visser is available via her Website.

About Sweet Maple:

Prologue (taken from the book): Ever thought about trying to make your own maple syrup? Maybe you’re just curious about the whole process. Maybe you know you’re diving into it next winter, sink or swim, and you’d rather swim? Or maybe you have a curious child asking all kinds of questions about maple syrup. Like every day. Like 22 times a day. (Not that I can relate to this, mind you.) Maybe your kid’s learning about Native Americans in school. (Guess who first made maple sugar?) Or maybe you’d like a glimpse into our family’s efforts to live life a little more simply by raising a few farm animals and making our own allnatural sugar. For all the reasons above, and if you like the feel-good idea of supporting a hard-working momma who’s writing to help pay the homestead bills, then you’ll be glad you invested in this book.  In your hands you’re holding a book about my family’s failures (lots) and successes (a few) during our first two winters’ attempts to turn tree sap into amazing liquid-gold sweetness. And I’m glad you’re along for the ride. You can read even more, watch some videos, peruse my lists of equipment we use and resources I love, and order my eBooks and eCourses all about backyard maple syrup at SoulyRested.com.

My Thoughts:

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 flask 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

About the Author:

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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.

Author Links:

SoulyRested.com … because simple joys require hard work….

Follow on facebook.

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Check out my maple syrup books and video course here.

And read about my new book, Sweet Maple, here.

Many thanks for reading my post.  If you liked it, please give it a share.  Better still go and buy this book. Get yourself in the kitchen and try some of these amazing recipes out.  I know I am going to be trying some.

#BlogBlitz The Big Event by @AnneJohnLigali : pub by @BooksNAuthorsUK with @rararesources

 

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I am delighted to be on the blog tour for “The Big Event” by Anne John-Ligali. My thanks go to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot.  This book is available as an eBook.  Published by Books and Authors UK.

Synopsis:

You are cordially invited to the party of the season where you’ll meet Constance and her friends in action.

Constance Jeffries is excited when she gets the chance to meet up with virtual friends at a get-together in a London hotel. She’s been tweeting and messaging her lovely friends for years and feels they must be just as excited to finally meet her in person too. Or so she hopes.

A short story about the importance of ‘real’ friendships and how it’s the little things that matter the most.

A gorgeous venue, a room full of friends, what could possibly go wrong?

My Thoughts:

This was a really thought provoking book.  I found the situation that Constance found herself in, to be quite believable.  A lot of people have virtual friends that they virtually meet up with on an almost daily basis.  Using this as the basis for the story, Anne has set out to bring these virtual friends together at The Big Event, a face to face meet up.

A great idea that shows what could happen as social media is more and more dominant in our every day lives.  But there is such a lovely ending to this story.

A quick and very compelling read.  A dip into how social media can over take lives, if we allow it to.  I am definitely looking forward to reading more by this author.

Happy Publication Day Anne xxx

About the Author:

Meet Anne  Anne John-Ligali is a writer and the founder of Books and Authors UK, a popular website featuring author interviews and book reviews. She loves all things books: reading, writing, going to book events, and meeting other book lovers. She has written a series of short stories and is currently writing her first novel.

When Anne is not writing, she is likely to be at soft play with her kids, taking long evening walks in Hyde Park, making green smoothies, window shopping, or having a pampering session at her local beauty salon (whenever she gets the chance). She can also be found watching box sets (albeit with a bit of shame at still having to catch up on Scandal, Grey’s, and Downton).

Originally from Peterborough, Anne now lives in London. After moving to London, she studied graphic design at the University of Arts and has held a number IT administration jobs in the city. Anne continues writing and aspires to write more women’s fiction books, a non-fiction book and several children’s books.

You can connect with Anne on the links below

AUTHOR BLOG: http://annejohnligali.com/

AUTHOR TWITTER: https://twitter.com/AnneJohnLigali

AUTHOR FB: https://www.facebook.com/annejohnligali/

INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/booksnauthorsuk/

BLOGSITE: www.booksandauthors.co.uk

BLOG TWITTER: https://twitter.com/BooksNAuthorsUK

BLOG FB: https://www.facebook.com/Books-and-Authors-UK-674729805905507/

Book Details:

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 857.0 KB
  • Print Length: 28 pages
  • Publisher: Books and Authors Publishing UK (30 Nov. 2017)
  • Purchase from Amazon UK

                                                                                    Giveaway Prize - Verigo-Tea

*****GIVEAWAY******

Win Sparkly Afternoon Tea for Two at Vertigo 42 in central London and one e-copy of The Big Event. >ENTER HERE<

 

 

Many thanks for reading my post.  If you liked it, please give it a share.  Better still, go and buy the book.

#BlogBlitz : Christmas at The Little Knitting Box by @HJRolfe : with @rararesources : #FestiveFiction #HotOffThePress #Giveaway

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I would like to wish Helen a Happy First Birthday for “Christmas at The Little Knitting Box”.  I am delighted to be part of the blog blitz celebrations for this.  Many thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot.

*****Book News Alert*****

Helen has the the next book available on Amazon UK & US for pre-order, release date is 12th December, not long to wait for  “Snowflakes and Mistletoe at the Inglenook Inn”. You will find details of this next book at the end of this post.

Synopsis:

Christmas is coming and New York is in full swing for the snowy season. But at The Little Knitting Box in the West Village, things are about to change …

The Little Knitting Box has been in Cleo’s family for nearly four decades, and since she arrived fresh off the plane from the Cotswolds four years ago, Cleo has been doing a stellar job of running the store. But instead of an early Christmas card in the mail this year, she gets a letter that tips her world on its axis.

Dylan has had a tumultuous few years. His marriage broke down, his mother passed away and he’s been trying to pick up the pieces as a stay-at-home dad. All he wants this Christmas is to give his kids the home and stability they need. But when he meets Cleo at a party one night, he begins to see it’s not always so easy to move on and pick up the pieces, especially when his ex seems determined to win him back.

When the snow starts to fall in New York City, both Cleo and Dylan realise life is rarely so black and white and both of them have choices to make. Will Dylan follow his heart or his head? And will Cleo ever allow herself to be a part of another family when her own fell apart at the seams?

Full of snow, love and the true meaning of Christmas, this novel will have you hooked until the final page.

My Thoughts:

This is a beautiful, cosy, snugly, wintry read.  Meet Cleo, she ran to New York 4 years ago from England, leaving behind a failed marriage.  Now divorced she has taken over The Little Knitting Box, a family run business that Cleo fits into perfectly.  She has found her safe haven amongst the ribbons, buttons, threads and wool that makes up this haberdashery shop.

Now meet Dylan, ex husband, ex lawyer and father of two.  Things were going well until his ex-wife Prue starts spending more time with the children.  She has made a mistake, wants to try again, be part of the family.  Dylan thinks she has something up her sleeve.

But things for these two people are about to change.  Unforeseen developments are on the horizon that will make both Cleo and Dylan re-think their individual futures.

This is a story that has pulled on the city of New York, a city that does Christmas, and does it well.  Helen has managed to bring the sights, sounds, smells and atmosphere onto the pages and into my head.  She has invoked the warm cosy Christmas feeling into her pages and has wrapped it around a story very adeptly.  The Knitting Box descriptions are a delight, I could see the colours, shapes and feel the textures.  The plot hooked me from the first few paragraphs and kept me turning the pages. Among the plots that are told in this story, there is one that I really liked.  Second chances,  should people be given a second chance ? This I really liked as there were may different aspects, scenarios and situations that involved this theme.  A constant will they, won’t they plot, with some unexpected twists and developments.

This is a book that I fell in love with, it is out of my usual reading genres, but I am so glad I gave this book a chance.  I wanted a read that was Christmas themed, with a bit of romance and had a good story line.  This ticked all of those requirements and added quite a lot more.  A look at life, love, relationships and past personal problems that have an impact on life.

I would highly recommend this beautifully written Christmas book.  A great read that is perfect for snuggling up under a blanket or beside an open fire with a constant supply of hot chocolate.  Ideal for readers of romance, women’s fiction and general fiction.

About the Author:

CATLKB - authorpic1  Helen J Rolfe writes contemporary women’s fiction with an emphasis on relationships and love. She enjoys weaving stories about family, friendship, secrets, and characters who face challenges and fight to overcome them. Helen enjoys creating strong female lead characters and although her stories often deal with serious issues, they always have a happy ending.

Location is a big part of the adventure in Helen’s books and she enjoys setting stories in different cities and countries around the world. So far, locations have included Melbourne, Sydney, New York, Connecticut, Bath and the Cotswolds.

Born and raised in the UK, Helen graduated from University with a business degree and began working in I.T. This job took her over to Australia and it was there that she studied writing and journalism and began writing for women’s health and fitness magazines. She also volunteered with the PR department of a children’s hospital where she wrote articles and media releases. Helen began writing fiction in 2011 and hasn’t missed the I.T. world one little bit, although the I.T. skills have come in handy of course, especially when it comes to creating and maintaining a website.

After fourteen years of living in Australia, Helen returned to the UK and now lives in Hertfordshire with her husband and their children.

 

Follow Helen Website  Twitter  Facebook

Book Details:

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1861.0 KB
  • Print Length: 294 pages
  • Purchase from Amazon UK

*********Book News – Hot Off The Press**********

I as mentioned earlier in this post, Helen has a new book coming out, “Snowflakes and Mistletoe at the Inglenook Inn” .

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Synopsis:

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…but is it the time to fall in love? 

As the flames on the log fire flicker and the snowflakes swirl above the New York streets, maybe this Christmas could be the one that changes everything…

When Darcy returns to Manhattan, she’s put in charge of the Inglenook Inn, a cosy boutique hotel in the heart of Greenwich Village. The Inn needs a boost in bookings if it’s to survive the competition, so Darcy is convinced that hosting Christmas this year is the answer. What she doesn’t expect is to meet a face from the past, which can only spell trouble.

Myles left England behind and took a job in New York. It’s a step forwards in his career, and has the added bonus of being nowhere near his family. He’s also hoping to avoid Christmas, the worst time of the year. But when his company puts him up at the Inglenook Inn and he recognises Darcy, it isn’t long before they clash. 

When disaster strikes, can Myles and Darcy put their differences aside to make Christmas at the Inglenook Inn a success?

Publication Date – 12tth December 2017

Pre-order Now!

Amazon UK   or Amazon.com

 *****************************************CATLKB - bookbirthdaygiveaway prize

 

As if we hadn’t been spoilt enough there is also a great giveaway, enter below for a chance to win a paperback copy and chocolate.  Good Luck xx

**>Click Here to Enter<**

 

 

Many thanks for reading my post. If you liked it, give it a share.  Better still, go and buy the book.

#GuestPost by @PeterFBartram author of “Crampton of the Chronicle” mystery series.

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It is my great pleasure to welcome Peter Bartram to Me and My Books today. Author of the “Crampton of the Chronicle” series.  I read “The Morning, Noon and Night Trilogy” earlier this year and thoroughly enjoyed.  Peter now has another book called “Front Page Murder” out in paperback and also eBook.

So read on for Peter’s guest post on Ruth Ellis……

THE WOMAN WHO CAUSED THE DEATH OF HANGING

By Peter Bartram

Ruth Ellis could have become a film starlet. Instead, she ended up dangling from the end of rope in Holloway Prison, London – the last woman to be hanged in England.

Ellis had been working as a nightclub hostess when she landed the part of a beauty queen contestant in the 1951 film Lady Godiva Rides Again. (It was released in the United States as Bikini Baby.) It starred some well-known British actors of the time, including Diana Dors, Stanley Holloway, Kay Kendall and Dora Bryan.

In later years, Dora lived in Brighton, where my Crampton of the Chronicle crime mysteries are set. When I travelled back and forth to London in my work as a journalist I would occasionally see her in the train’s buffet car. She invariably had a fag hanging out of the corner of her mouth and was ordering another whisky. A great character.

But we were talking about Ruth Ellis. She used a .38 calibre Smith & Wesson revolver to pump five shots into her sometime lover racing driver David Blakely. It was what the French would call a crime passionnel. Blakely made her pregnant twice. She aborted the first child – illegal in Britain at the time – and lost the second after he’d punched her in the stomach during one of their regular rows.

At her trial, Ruth was found guilty and sentenced to hang. There had been a growing campaign in Britain to abolish the death penalty for several years, but after Ruth was hung on 13 July 1955 the clamour increased in volume. Bill Connor who wrote his Daily Mirror column under the pen-name Cassandra thundered: “The one thing that brings stature and dignity to mankind and raises us above the beasts of the field will have been denied her – pity and the hope of ultimate redemption.”

And Raymond Chandler, whose Philip Marlowe detective novels had already conquered the world, wrote from his then British home to the London Evening Standard to complain about “the mediaeval savagery of the law”. But it was another 10 years before hanging was finally ended in England.

So Ruth Ellis never became a starlet. But she lit one of the flames which led to the abolition of the death penalty in England. When I was researching Front Page Murder, I spent many hours looking at how hanging was carried out. It was a gruesome business – especially for women who were forced to wear thickly padded calico knickers.

But for the crime writer, hanging had the potential to add an extra frisson of tension to a murder story. After all, the penalty is irreversible. So if the accused is really innocent of the crime, there is not much time to assemble the evidence to prove it.

That is the premise behind the story in Front Page Murder. And to add some extra seasonal colour, it all takes place in the 10 days leading up to Christmas 1963.

A year later, hanging had been ended in Britain for ever. But several years too late to save Ruth Ellis.


ABOUT THE BOOK…

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FRONT PAGE MURDER

A Crampton of the Chronicle mystery

It’s December 1963 and Archie Flowerdew is sitting in a cell at Wandsworth Prison waiting to be hanged. On Christmas Eve. It’s not exactly how he planned to spend the festive season. But, then, Archie was found guilty of murdering fellow comic postcard artist Percy Despart.

It seems there’s nothing that can stop Archie’s neck being wrung like a turkey’s. Except that his niece Tammy is convinced Archie is innocent. She’s determined he will sit down on Christmas Day to tuck into the plum pudding. She persuades Brighton Evening Chronicle crime reporter Colin Crampton to take up the case.

But Colin has problems of his own. First, that good turn he did to help out Chronicle sub-editor Barry Hobhouse has come back to bite him on the bum. Then Beatrice “the Widow” Gribble, Colin’s trouble-prone landlady, needs him to sort out her latest faux pas – she’s accidentally sent a Christmas card to her local butcher suggesting she’s available for hot sex. And that’s before Brighton cops clap Colin and girlfriend Shirley Goldsmith in jail on the charge of harbouring a fugitive from justice.

And, anyway, the more Colin investigates Archie’s case, the more it looks like he is guilty… Pick up the third full-length novel in the Crampton of the Chronicle mystery series to get you in the mood for a murderous Christmas!

Front Page Murder e-book is on special offer until the end of December for 99p/99c

For readers who want to start the series at the beginning, there’s a deal which includes Headline Murder, Stop Press Murder and Front Page Murder in e-book formats for £4.97/$4.97. This offer also closes on 31 December.

Front Page Murder on : Amazon US

Front Page Murder on : Amazon UK

Crampton of the Chronicle 3-book series on Amazon US

Crampton of the Chronicle 3-book series on Amazon UK


81jVrJSTqkL._SY200_ ABOUT THE AUTHOR…Peter Bartram brings years of experience as a journalist to his Crampton of the Chronicle crime mystery series, which features Colin Crampton, crime correspondent of the 1960s fictional newspaper the Brighton Evening Chronicle. Peter began his career as a reporter on a real-life local newspaper not far from Brighton. Then he worked as a journalist and newspaper editor in London before becoming freelance. He has done most things in journalism from door-stepping for quotes to writing serious editorials. He’s pursued stories in locations as diverse as 700 feet down a coal mine and Buckingham Palace. Peter’s “Swinging Sixties” murder mysteries combine clue-solving with comedy – the laughs are never far from the action. Other books in the series, which has already logged more than 100 5-star reviews on Amazon, include Headline Murder and Stop Press Murder.

You can also see my thoughts here for Crampton of The Chronicle a 3-book series.

Many thanks for reading my post.  If you liked it, please give it a share.

Better still go and buy the books!

 

#BookReview : Bone by @YrsaDaleyWard : pub by @PenguinBooks

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“Bone” by Yrsa Daley-Ward. Available in paperback and eBook format.  Published by Penguin UK.

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (26 Sept. 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846149665
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846149665
  • Amazon Link

Synopsis:

‘You will come away bruised.
You will come away bruised
but this will give you poetry.’

Raw and stark, the poems in Yrsa Daley-Ward’s breakthrough collection strip down her reflections on the heart, life, the inner self, coming of age, faith and loss to their essence. They resonate to the core of experience.

‘yrsa daley-ward’s ‘bone’ is a symphony of breaking and mending. an expert storyteller. of the rarest. and purest kind – daley-ward is uncannily attentive and in tune to the things beneath life. beneath the skin. beneath the weather of the everyday.’ nayyirah waheed. author of salt. and nejma

‘Sharing is her form of survival … A powerful collection of a woman facing tumultuous inner and external battles head on, delivered with a hard-hitting directness, yet with inflections of optimism throughout’ i-D Magazine

My Thoughts:

Now I admit not to reading modern poetry often, so I was really pleased to be sent this book.  The poems I read are mostly older classics, or the more well known mainstream ones. I am not up to date on poetic jargon so I am going to simply state what I found and thought, basically just the same as if I were reviewing a novel.

So this is what I consider to be a book of contemporary poetry.  I dipped in and out of this book over several days, reading a few shorter poems or one of the longer ones.  I found that the length of the poems range from short ones with only a couple of lines, to multiple verses over several pages.

I did find the poems interesting to read, though I admit to not understanding all of them. As I read I was aware that these are a mix of sad, emotional and feel they are very personal to the author, using her own experiences as a base.

This is a book I did enjoy and would recommend to readers of modern poetry, with some interesting and personal reflections.  I feel I was more experienced with the modern style I would have appreciated, or maybe understood more.

I was lucky enough to be drawn as a winner of this book on a giveaway run by Penguin Books.  There was a question asked as part of National Poetry Day.  The question was:  “What is your favourite poem ?”  My response was a poem I had to learn at school when I was around 11 years old.  We had to learn where every comma, colon, capital letter as well as every word by heart.  I remember at the time finding this very tedious.  But it is a poem that has stuck with me through the years.  That poem was called “The Listeners” by Walter De La Mare.  It begins :

‘Is there anybody there?’ said the Traveller,
   Knocking on the moonlit door;
if you would like to read the full poem I have included a link here to The Poetry Foundation

About the Author:

413BuaEDjlL._SY200_Yrsa Daley-Ward is a writer of mixed West Indian and West African heritage. Born to a Jamaican mother and a Nigerian father, Yrsa was raised by her devout Seventh Day Adventist grandparents in the small town of Chorley in the North of England.

Follow Yrsa Daley-Ward  Twitter

I was lucky to be picked as a winner of this book, “Bone” by Yrsa Daley-Ward, a competition run by Penguin UK on National Poetry Day.  The question from Penguin was “What is your favourite poem?”, now I know that it is a random draw, but my favourite poem was

#BookReview The LimeHouse Golem by Peter Ackroyd #AskPenguin @PenguinUKBooks

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Penguin Uk have an #AskPenguin tag.  Give them some ideas about the sort of book you would like to read, they will respond with their book choice.  I had asked for a Victorian mystery and their suggestion was “The Limehouse Golem” by Peter Ackroyd. So I bought it and gave it a go.

Book Details:

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (24 Aug. 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1784708208
  • ISBN-13: 978-1784708207
  • Amazon Link
  • Other Formats available.

Synopsis:

London, 1880. A series of gruesome murders attributed to the mysterious ‘Limehouse Golem’ strikes fear into the heart of the capital. Inspector John Kildare must track down this brutal serial killer in the damp, dark alleyways of riverside London. But how does Dan Leno, music hall star extraordinaire, find himself implicated in this crime spree, and what does Elizabeth Cree, on trial for the murder of her husband, have to hide?

Peter Ackroyd brings Victorian London to life in all its guts and glory, as we travel from the glamour of the music hall to the slums of the East End, meeting George Gissing and Karl Marx along the way.

My Thoughts:

Set in London, in the 1880’s.  London is gripped by gruesome murders and the bodies are being found dismembered, the police have no idea who the murderer is.  Alongside the murders, is the story of Lizzie, later to become Mrs Elizabeth Cree.  When we first meet her it is as she is having the noose placed around her neck having been found guilty of a crime. From this point on we learn more about Lizzie’s life, her love and involvement in music halls and the characters she meets, as well as famous names of the time.

Peter Ackroyd has captures the dark and sinister aspects very well and made them quite believable.  He has built up a picture of what you would expect of Victorian London, dark, atmospheric and suspenseful.  I did at times feel that some of the descriptive passages were a little long at times, but not so much to detract from the story.  It is told in quick chapters that flit from the perspectives of Lizzie , the murder, and also diary entries, keeping the whole story moving along at a good pace.

This is a book I enjoyed and would recommend to readers who like Gothic Fiction, Historical and Literary Fiction.

The book was originally titled “Dan Leno & The Limehouse Golem”.  It has also been made into a film, and has a release date on DVD / Blu-ray of 26th December.  Amazon link HERE.

About the Author:

21ky5BEoSYL._UX250_   Peter Ackroyd is the author of biographies of Dickens, Blake and Thomas More and of the acclaimed non-fiction bestsellers London: The Biography and Thames: Sacred River. Peter Ackroyd is an award-winning novelist, as well as a broadcaster, biographer, poet and historian. He has won the Whitbread Biography Award, the Royal Society of Literature’s William Heinemann Award, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, the Guardian Fiction Prize, the Somerset Maugham Award and the South Bank Prize for Literature. He holds a CBE for services to literature.

 

Many thanks for reading my post.  If you like it, please give it a share.  Better still, go and buy the book.

 

#12DaysofClinkStreetChristmas with @AuthorightUKPR @Authoright @gilbster1000 #BookNews

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I am absolutely delighted to be able to take part in this amazing event for Clink Street.  So many different books, many different authors and a great bunch of book bloggers taking part.

It was like being in a kid in a sweet shop, when Rachel sent me an email asking me if I would like to take part.  Well yep, I am in, that was the easy part.  Now as i have to read all the books I choose as well as all the other book commitments, I limited myself to three.


The Learn  The first is a historical fiction from Tony Halker.  A beautiful and atmospheric read.

Synopsis:

Blending reality, history and legend, about a time when women were considered as important as men, taking power in an oral society that worships the Goddess. A whole Celtic Druid world is laid out before us, incorporating beliefs, technology and the natural environment.
A Celtic boy, a beach scavenger, is pledged to the Learn, a life of endurance, a path to become sworn Druid: scholar and warrior.  Young women and men progress, becoming Priests and Druidii. Friendship, affection, passion and care develop as novices mature, confidence emerging.
Seasonal battles of winter and summer bring rich festivals when seeds of men are taken by women in pleasure to prove fertility. Small damaged, hurt peoples on the margins of Celtic society blend in and out of vision.
At frontiers with Nature, dependent for everything on what the earth gives or takes, an emotional response to the natural environment defines who people are and the values they live by.
A lyrical novel resonating with modern readers through portrayal of character, language and history; arising from a landscape of today, yet centred in the Celtic Bronze Age of North Wales.

Amazon UK Link  | Foyles Link


MollyFish Cover  The second choice, by Jack McMasters,  is quite different in some ways, but again has some wonderful wording.

Synopsis:

When retired architect Arthur Howard receives an unexpected invitation from the elegant businesswoman he has just met, her promise of two weeks of incredible sex is enough to persuade him to forget his stale marriage and follow her to India. Leaving thoughts of his younger wife Ester far behind, Rani leads Arthur into paradise; her home lies in a beautiful valley filled with quiet villages, tranquil lakes, tea plantations and crocus fields, a place where his every need is catered for and his attention sought wherever he goes.
But danger lies hidden here. Arthur discovers that Rani and the other villagers he meets in this rural Indian idyl are the ancestors of an ancient civilization, thought to be merely mythical. From his contact with them, he succumbs to a mysterious illness that keeps him bedridden for a long period in a darkened room. Confused and stricken, Arthur’s days and nights are haunted by wild dreams; when he is unable to sleep, he reminisces about early love affairs and fears for his failing relationship with Ester until he is unable to distinguish dreams from reality.

Amazon Link  |  Barnes & Noble Link


Outremer Cover - Copy   My third choice caught my by surprise when it arrived.  I blooming big book, but Oh so worth it.  Outremer is a historical epic set in high middle ages, crusades, knights templar, the whole works.

Synopsis:

Who Controls The Past Controls The Future
An epic love story must overcome religious divide and a plot to eradicate two blood lines, as the Crusades and the search for the ancient mysteries of the Holy Grail gather momentum.
Raised by his father in La Rochelle, France, Paul Plantavalu is known for his artistic nature, inquisitive mind and Christian faith. He also has an unshakable love for his Muslim childhood friend, Alisha al Komaty. Courageous and outspoken, she returns Paul’s love. But their path is paved with obstacles; religion, war, political chaos and a mysterious enemy determined to destroy their family lines.
Sometime between 1110 AD and 1120 AD in the aftermath of the first crusade, a small band of nine knights — the founding knights Templar — recover ancient precious artefacts left by a former, advanced civilisation, beneath the City of Jerusalem. Ruthlessly guarded, the secrets revealed by this discovery are highly prized by powerful and dangerous forces far and wide; the repercussions of their capture are inextricably linked to Paul and Alisha. As Paul starts to experience dark and vivid dreams and the fragile balance of peace starts to crumble, it will fall to an enigmatic man known as Kratos and his female warrior protégée Abi Shadana, to safeguard Paul and Alisha.
Paul and Alisha’s love story weaves between the threads of our reality and other realms — from the Druids to the Sufi mystics, the Magi of the East, the secret political arm of the Knights Templar and the Isma’ilis, the Assassins. Knights and pilgrims alike will witness some of the darkest battles ever fought. The discovery of a unique sword’s lethal power and whispered connections to King Arthur and the Holy Grail lead Paul and Alisha to question if their lives ever be the same again.
The first of a four-part series, Outremer is an historical epic, which sweeps across England, Scotland and France, to Syria, Jerusalem and Egypt. Discover the truth — and crack the ancient code — behind the great mysteries of the High Middle Ages for yourself.

Amazon UK Link


See the calendar below for a list of dates, books and bloggers.

12Days2017_Calendar

Many thanks for reading my post.  If you liked it, please give it a share.  Better still, go and buy one of these great books.

#BlogBlitz : Secrets and Fries at the Starlight Diner by @Helenography with @rararesources

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I am delighted to be part of the blog tour for “Secrets and Fries at the Starlight Diner” by Helen Cox. This book is available to purchase now an is in eBook format.  Blog Tour organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.

Synopsis:

What brings Bonnie Brooks to The Starlight Diner? And why is she on the run?

As the front-woman in a band, Bonnie is used to being in the spotlight, but now she must hide in the shadows.

Bonnie only has one person who she can turn to: her friend Esther Knight, who waitresses at the Fifties-themed diner. There, retro songs play on the jukebox as fries and sundaes are served to satisfied customers. But where has Esther gone?

Alone in New York City, Bonnie breaks down in front of arrogant news reporter, and diner regular, Jimmy Boyle. Jimmy offers to help her. Can she trust him?

When the kindly owner of the Starlight Diner offers Bonnie work, and she meets charming security officer Nick Moloney, she dares to hope that her luck has changed. Is there a blossoming romance on the cards? And can Bonnie rebuild her life with the help of her Starlight Diner friends?

My Thoughts:

Meet Bonnie, just arrived in New York to find her friendand ex work colleague Esther.  Bonnie has very little money, only a few belongings, is cold, hungry, alone and scared.  When she arrives at the diner Bonnie is told that Esther is away with her boyfriend and due back the next day.  This is the final straw for Bonnie’s emotions and she breaks down, luckily for her the is Jimmy, a cautious, wary big hearted customer of the diner and also Mona who helps keep an eye on her.

Now I like a good prologue, the one for this book is short, sweet and beautifully sums up what the essence of The Starlight Diner.  I admit those few paragraphs did it for me, I was hooked.  The story that follows is deliciously yummy.  The main protagonist is Bonnie Brooks, a woman with issues, she is a disappointment to her family, who tell her so on a regular basis.  With this attitude towards her, she doesn’t keep in touch with them, but it has an effect on how she sees herself in the world, a feeling of not fitting in, not conforming to the norm or knowing her own self, is it any wonder she has been a drifter.  Good things happen at the diner with good people, Esther and Jack, then Angela, Mona, Bernie and then Jimmy as well as a few others, they provide an interesting cast for a book with a heart.

As the story unfolds the story of Bonnie we learn why she arrived in New York from Atlantic City, the why, who’s and where’s are all filled in.  There is suspense, tensions, thrills and a plot that kept me intrigued and turning pages, it’s a story that has been well written and has humour as well as crime, mystery and a dash of romance.

This is a book I would recommend to readers of cosy crime, mystery, romance.  I really enjoyed this book, it is the second in the series and reads really well as a stand alone.

I would like to take the time to thank Rachel at Rachel Random Resources  for the opportunity to be part of this tour. Also to wish Helen Cox all the very best with this great book.

About the Author:

Secrets and Fries - Helen Cox.JPG  Helen Cox is a book-devouring, photo-taking, film-obsessed novelist. If forced to choose one, Helen’s Mastermind specialism would be Grease 2. To this day, she still adheres to the Pink Lady pledge and when somebody asks her if she is a god she says ‘yes.’

After completing her MA in creative writing at the University of York St. John Helen found work writing for a range of magazines, websites and blogs as well as writing news and features for TV and radio. She has written three non-fiction books and founded independent film publication: New Empress Magazine. She currently lives in York and writes novels.

Follow Helen on Facebook  Twitter   Instagram

Author Giveaway

Secrets and Fries - Giveaway Prize  Win a signed proof copy of book 1 – Milkshakes and Heartbreaks – Open Internationally.

Sign up to Helen Cox’s mailing list before 1st December in order to be in with a chance of winning –

https://helencoxauthor.wordpress.com/send-me-a-free-book-to-read/

As a thank you to signing up to the mailing list you will receive three short stories too.

Book Details:

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 976 KB
  • Print Length: 270 pages
  • Publisher: Maze (16 Dec. 2016)
  • Purchase from Amazon UK

Many thanks for reading my post.  If you liked it, please give it a share. 

Better still, go and buy the book.

#BookReview : The Deaths of December by @SJIHolliday : pub @MulhollandUK : @NetGalley

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Synopsis:

The hunt is on for a serial killer in this thrilling festive crime novel.

It looks like a regular advent calendar.

Until DC Becky Greene starts opening doors…and discovers a crime scene behind almost every one.

The police hope it’s a prank. Because if it isn’t, a murderer has just surfaced – someone who’s been killing for twenty years.

But why now? And why has he sent it to this police station?

As the country relaxes into festive cheer, Greene and DS Eddie Carmine must race against time to catch the killer. Because there are four doors left, and four murders will fill them…

It’s shaping up to be a deadly little Christmas.

Praise for “The Deaths of December” 

The Deaths of December is a festive cracker of a crime novel’ Cass Green, author of In a Cottage in in a Wood

The perfect Christmas gift for crime fans’ C.L. Taylor, author of The Escape

Creepy, tense and twisty-turny as hell. I loved it!’ Steph Broadribb, author of Deep Down Dead


“The Deaths of December” by Suzi Holliday is available as paperback, eBook and audio.  Published by Mulhoholland Books.


My Thoughts:

This is such an intriguing book at the start, an Advent calendar delivered to a police station, but not like any sort we would be used to seeing.  Upon realising that the pictures are actual crime scene images, the hunt begins to identify the crime scenes and the bodies as well as the identity of the killer.  It is the job of DI Becky Greene and her boss DS Eddie Carmine to discover who is behind this macabre calendar, along with other members of the police.

Wow, what a concept, what a story, what a book! I loved the angle with the calendar and the fact that the story is told via four people, Becky, Eddie, Carly and the photographer.  As the story develops, so does that of the characters and who they are and what they do.  Only the photographer is told in the first person and this adds so much more to the character and what is in their mind and thoughts. It is well laid out so that when the story flits between the characters there is no confusion, they compliment each other.

Then midway through …….blindsided or what !?! I did not see that one coming.  Suzi has thrown in an amazing plot twist that actually made me shout, enough to make the dogs jump and get them barking, which in turn made me jump, scaring the hell out of me, talk about the unexpected plot twist !  What a beauty it is, a deeply twisted, festive murder, thriller, mystery with a good psychological twist to it.

There was a lot I loved about this book, the dynamics between Becky and Eddie, as well as some of the other characters in the police station.  A glimpse into their individual families and a brief look at their own personal story.  There is the suggestion of there being more to these two particular characters than meets the eye, and I would be interested to read more about these two.  (HINT, HINT Suzi 🙂 )

This is a deliciously deep, twisted festive delight.  A book that highly recommend to readers of thriller, crime, mystery, suspense and murder.

Oh, almost forgot, I loved the TV show that is mentioned in the book.  I though t it was blooming brilliant.

I would like to express my thanks to NetGalley and Mulholland books for my eARC copy of this book.  My opinions are unbiased and my own.

 

 

About the Author:

81E-a4uKfOL._UX250_  Susi (S.J.I) Holliday grew up in East Lothian, Scotland. A life-long fan of crime and horror, her short stories have been published in various places, and she was shortlisted for the inaugural CWA Margery Allingham prize. She has written three crime novels set in the fictional Scottish town of Banktoun, which are a mix of police procedural and psychological thriller. They are: “Black Wood”, “Willow Walk” and “The Damselfly” – all featuring the much loved character, Sergeant Davie Gray.

Her festive serial killer thriller “The Deaths of December”, featuring Detective Sergeant Eddie Carmine and Detective Constable Becky Greene will be published in November 2017.

You can find out more at her website:Website and on Facebook and Twitter Sign-up for updates and giveaways here: Readers Club

Book Details:

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Mulholland Books; 01 edition (16 Nov. 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1473659361
  • ISBN-13: 978-1473659360
  • Purchase from Amazon UK

Many thanks for reading my post.  If you liked it, please give it a share. Better still, go and buy the book.