The Hanging Tree by Misha Herwin @MishaHerwin #childrenfantasy #childrenadventure #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Hanging Tree by Misha Herwin. This is the 4th book in the Letty Parker series and it is aimed at 8-12year olds. It is a gothic style fantasy, magical and mystery series that this grown-up is also very much enjoying.

The Hanging Tree (Adventures of Letty Parker Book 4) by [Misha Herwin]

The power of the Dark Ones is growing once more. Watching from their rooftop perches, the gargoyles and dragons have all the gossip they could ever want. Deadly night eels slither through the city streets. The thief-taker is on the prowl. And Jebediah Hill is arrested for a crime he did not commit. Letty discovers that Jeb, her oldest friend, has been keeping secrets, yet refuses to reveal them even though he knows he will pay a terrible price. Letty Parker and Associates set out on a race to save Jeb from The Hanging Tree.
And time is running out…

Purchase HERE

MY REVIEW

I have been looking forward to seeing what the author has in store for young Letty Parker and her Associates. The associates are a group of misfits in some ways as there is Letty who used to sell pies, Jeb a one time pickpocket and scoundrel who is now legitimate, Hepzibah a well off young lady, Mango a sort of fixer and a go-to guy as well as other recurring characters.

Letty and Associates are a tight-knit group who have come together over the past books and formed a mystery-solving agency set in the dark port city of Bristol. It is not a Victorian-era Bristol you would remember from history, this one has monstrous eels, gargoyles, dragons and The Dark Ones!

The author has taken a slightly darker turn with The Hanging Tree as Jeb has been arrested, at one time this would have been sort of expected but not now and especially when he is innocent, yes he really is! Breaking Jeb out isn’t an option as he would have no way of clearing his name, instead, it is up to Letty and Co to dig and delve into the murkiness and the backstreets in this against the clock mystery.

I do adore these characters and the whole group works together really well. They bring their own special qualities and skills as they track down and solve mysteries. As I mentioned this one is a slightly darker feeling as there is more going on with the Count. He is a Dark One and has a bigger game plan in mind. He is a threat and not everyone can see it yet.

Once again the author has created a wonderfully dark and atmospheric mystery that has such a wonderful setting. This setting has been reimagined, adapted and the author brilliantly describes the sights, sounds and unfortunately the smells! There is adventure around every corner and page, with intriguing twists and I adored it.

This is aimed at 8-12-year-olds but is also a great series for any age even the grown-ups. It is a book and actually a series I would definitely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Misha Herwin

Misha Herwin is a writer of books for adults and children.
They vary from time-slip to contemporary women’s fiction, family saga and children’s fantasy adventures.
All her books are set in Bristol, whether real, imaginary or remembered from her childhood. 

Social Media Links – WebsiteTwitter

Here are the previous books in the series

Adventures of Letty Parker

From Book 1: Letty Parker lives by her wits. Estranged from her family, she sells pies on the streets of Bristol. But this is a Bristol full of dark secrets, peopled by gangs, monsters, dragons and gargoyles – and by creatures older than time. When her friend and stepsister disappear, when members of Jeb’s gang vanish, Letty is plunged headlong into a conspiracy where homeless children are being spirited away to a place where a terrible fate awaits them. These are the poor and the lost children of the streets whom no one seems to care about – except for Letty. But what if a rich child went missing? Would the authorities then act? Together, Letty and Jeb hatch a plan…

PURCHASE LINK – HERE

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Three Little Girls by Jane Badrock @janebadrock @ZooloosBT @QuestionPress  #ThreeLittleGirls #QuestionMarkPress #ZooloosBookTours #bookreview

I am delighted to be one of the Book Bloggers opening the Tour today and to share my review today for Three Little Girls by Jane Badrock. This is the second book in the Karen Thorpe series, and while it is good to read a series in order, I do think it would work well as a stand-alone.

My huge thanks to Zoe at Zooloo’s Book Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my copy of this book from the publisher Question Mark Press.

THREE COLD CASES ONE DETERMINED COP
Someone’s playing tricks on Karen at home and at work. When two cold case files about missing girls turn up on her desk, she’s fuming. When a third file arrives…
she blows a fuse.
Her boss demands she take a holiday leave just as Karen discovers her late father was involved in one of the cases. Now she’s compelled to investigate them.
Karen’s accompanied by sometime boyfriend John- but can she trust him or his friend and map keeper Mr Binks?
She has formidable detective skills but will they work in places where old-world magic is still powerful?
Karen’s life is in serious danger… but from whom…. or what?

MY REVIEW

This is the 2nd book in the Karen Thorpe series, and I have read the first book. I can say that they do work well as stand-alone. As I had read the previous book I immediately wanted to read this one, I didn’t read the synopsis so it was a very pleasant surprise to see the story that the author had in mind for our detective.

As I started reading this I remembered the main protagonist, Karen Thorpe, not particularly likeable. She is abrupt, short with people and very, very work-focused. She is a character that thrives on her work, it is all she thinks about and in her job she has no time for fools. It’s a good job that her on/off/maybe-boyfriend John understands her and the work, and his role plays out so well in this story.

When case files randomly start turning up on her desk, Karen is sure someone is taking the mick out of her. Then she starts to see something in them, something that reminds her of her Dad. The more she tries to work out the more bizarre things become, even the level headed John is puzzled. The three cases are from 50 years ago, unsolved and opened by various people over the years but never resolved. Karen and John team up to try and sort through the mysteries and the clues that will lead them to several cities.

This is the second time I have read a book by this author, so I am not familiar with her style yet. Given how much I enjoyed the first book in the series I was a little bewildered at how this story was going. There are definitely more sides to this author and I believe she may like to enjoy swapping genres and mixing things up. It was only when I finished the book that I actually read the synopsis, yeah I know it’s the wrong way around, but it has made this book a really interesting and unexpected read.

I am aware of this being a bit of a vague review, and now I have read the synopsis I do see that there is a mention of what this story was going to be. I am in fact rather glad that I came to this one blind, it made for a really interesting police procedural with a strong mysterious vibe to it. For me, it worked well and I did enjoy the journey.

One for those who like a crime and mystery read that is a little different but also very addictive reading. It is one I would happily recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jane writes novels, short stories and poems, usually with a good dose of humour in them. She probably owes it all to her late grandmother who, she’s just found out, also wrote short stories and poems. She tends to get an idea and then run with it whether it be a 100-word short story or an 80 thousand word novel. It all depends on the voices in her head at the time…

Follow her at – Facebook Instagram Twitter Amazon Goodreads

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The Turning of the Tide by Alan Jones @alanjonesbooks #historicalfiction #trilogy #publicationday #highlyrecommended #bookreview

It is an absolute delight to share my review today for The Turning of the Tide by Alan Jones. This is the final book in The Sturmtaucher Trilogy, so in some ways, it is also with sadness that I share this review.

I have read and loved each one of the books and it is a trilogy that not only to I Highly Recommend but also recommend that it is definitely read in order. You will find the link to Alan’s Amazon Page to order the books, a ridiculously cheap price and I for one would pay a lot more for these amazing books.

I have included Alan’s Website in the “About the Author” section of this post. There are so many items on this site that refer to his research and the book. Photo’s maps, glossary, documents and bibliography and these all add to the experience of reading the books.

Before I share my review of the final book, here are the two previous ones with the synopsis and a link to my full review…

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SYNOPSIS –

Book 1 in the Sturmtaucher Trilogy: a powerful and compelling story of two families torn apart by evil.

‘Kiel, Northern Germany, 1933. A naval city, the base for the German Baltic fleet, and the centre for German sailing, the venue for the upcoming Olympic regatta in 1936.

The Kästners, a prominent Military family, are part of the fabric of the city, and its social, naval and yachting circles. The Nussbaums are the second generation of their family to be in service with the Kästners as domestic staff, but the two households have a closer bond than most.

As Adolf Hitler and his National Socialist Party claw their way to power in 1933, life has never looked better for families like the Kästners. There is only one problem.

The Nussbaums are Jews.

The Sturmtaucher Trilogy documents the devastating effect on both families of the Nazis’ hateful ideology and the insidious erosion of the rights of Germany’s Jews.

When Germany descends ever deeper into dictatorship, General Erich Kästner tries desperately to protect his employees, and to spirit them to safety.

As the country tears itself apart, the darkness which envelops a nation threatens not only to destroy two families, but to plunge an entire continent into war.’ 

FULL REVIEW – HERE

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SYNOPSIS –

Flight of the Shearwater is the second book in the Sturmtaucher Trilogy: a powerful and compelling story of two families torn apart by evil.

‘With Poland divided between Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Union of Soviet Republics, the increasingly confident Third Reich flexes its military muscles northwards into Denmark and Norway, while the rest of Europe watches anxiously over its shoulders.

General Erich Kästner, in his key role in the Abwehr, is fast becoming aware of the mass expulsion of Jews and other minority groups from Germany and from northern Poland, to the new ghettos of the Generalgouverment area of southern Poland, and has an inkling of what the National Socialists’ have in mind for Europe’s Jews.

As Holland and Belgium fall, and the British are routed at Dunkirk, barely escaping across the channel, the seemingly impregnable France collapses under the Wehrmacht Blitzkrieg, sealing the fate of millions of Jews, now trapped under Hitler’s rule.

The Nussbaums, thwarted in their attempts to escape to Denmark, desperately seek other routes out of Germany but, one by one, they are closed off, and they realise they have left it all too late…’

FULL REVIEW – HERE

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SYNOPSIS

The Turn of the Tide is the third book in the Sturmtaucher Trilogy: a powerful and compelling story of two families torn apart by evil.

As Hitler’s greed turns eastwards to the fertile and oil rich Soviet heartlands, life for the Kästner and the Nussbaum families disintegrates and fragments as the Nazis tighten the noose on German and Polish Jews. Implementing Endlösung der Judenfrage, the ‘Final Solution to the Jewish Problem’, Hitler, Himmler, Heydrich and Eichmann plan to have Germany, and Europe, Judenrein, ‘cleansed of Jews’.
General Erich Kästner, increasingly alone, fights a losing battle to protect his friends, and their fellow Jews, putting himself and his family in jeopardy.
As the tide of war turns, he looks anxiously to the Soviets in the east, and to the Western Allies, desperately hoping, despite his patriotism, that Germany is defeated before there are no Jews left in the countries occupied by the Third Reich.
When an assassination attempt on Hitler and his henchmen fails, Erich Kästner himself comes under the scrutiny of the Gestapo, and his own survival, and that of his family, becomes uncertain.
As the war draws to an end, with Germany in ruins, time is running out for the Kästners and the Nussbaums…

MY REVIEW

This is the final book in The Sturmtaucher Trilogy and what a journey it has been. I have been absolutely blown away by these books and it is with great sadness that my time with the characters has come to an end. This is an amazing trilogy and one that will stay with me for a long time, and yes, it does need to be read in order.

The Turn of the Tide, as I mentioned in the final instalment in this story of human determination, sacrifice, hope and love. The trilogy started in the run-up to WW II, it then followed key characters in their journeys as the war took hold. Now, they have the job of finding their way back to some semblance of life in the emotional and physical wreckage that is left.

There are two main families mentioned in this trilogy, the Naussbaum’s and the Kastner’s. They are a German Jewish family and a German family. The Naussbaum’s have worked for the Kastner’s for many years, both families children have been brought up together and are very close. It was when Hitler began to change the politics and the attitudes of people that peoples true feelings came out.

Obviously, in a trilogy of this size, there are also many characters. There are family members, friends, colleagues. associates, fellow prisoners, confidants, lovers, soldiers, spies, the list goes on. Given the huge amount of characters, the author has expertly and deftly woven them to create a masterpiece. Bringing facts, historical events, dates, numbers, and really shocking details to these books. The research that has gone into this is remarkable, just looking through the bibliography at the end is an eye-opener.

As I had already got a connection to the characters from the previous books, I of course had my favourites. Knowing the events from history though, I was expecting a loss or more! This made the reading hard, several times my heart was in my mouth and I almost didn’t want to turn the page in case I discovered the worst.

This sense of dread is balanced with a huge sense of hope, the hope that the characters I had grown to love would either find their way back or at least find peace. I have to say this book was so emotionally charged in so many different senses of the word.

This final book is just as heartbreaking as the previous two and also hard to read when the author details some of the abhorrent and evil conditions that people had to endure. It is remarkable that people did survive. WWII had such a catastrophic effect on many people, those that were persecuted because of their ethnicity, or their faith and also of their beliefs.

I am struggling to put into words how well written and amazing this trilogy is. Each book takes the reader on a journey, the final book brings the lives of the characters to a conclusion. I have laughed, cried and got angry as I have followed these characters. Even the last line of the book had me in tears.

This is a stunningly brilliant trilogy. The research is impressive, the storytelling is sublime, the characters are memorable and this is something that will stay with me for a very long time.

If you like historical fiction that has a lot of factual details woven in then this is one you really need to pick up. I would highly and absolutely, most defintiely recommend this book and the trilogy.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alan Jones

Alan Jones is a Scottish author with three gritty crime stories to his name, the first two set in Glasgow, the third one based in London. He has now switched genres, and his WW2 trilogy will be published in August 2021. It is a Holocaust story set in Northern Germany.

He is married with four grown-up children and four wonderful grandchildren.

He has recently retired as a mixed-practice vet in a small Scottish coastal town in Ayrshire and is one of the RNLI volunteer coxswains on the local lifeboat. He makes furniture in his spare time and maintains and sails a 45-year-old yacht in the Irish Sea and on the beautiful west coast of Scotland. He loves reading, watching films and cooking. He still plays football despite being just the wrong side of sixty.

His crime novels are not for the faint-hearted, with some strong language, violence, and various degrees of sexual content. The first two books also contain a fair smattering of Glasgow slang.

He is one of the few self-published authors to be given a panel at Bloody Scotland and has done two pop-up book launches at the festival in Stirling.

He has spent the last five years researching and writing the Sturmtaucher Trilogy.

SOCIAL MEDIA – Amazon Author PageTwitter Website

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The Cold Killer by Ross Greenwood @greenwoodross @rararesources @BoldwoodBooks #boldwoodbloggers #crime #policeprocedural #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Cold Killer by Ross Greenwood. This is the 4th book in the DI Barton series. This is an author whose books I will automatically read, they are brilliant and this latest book is no exception.

My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of the book from Boldwood Books via NetGalley.

The Cold Killer


It’s hard to live when you think you deserve to die…
When a tired old inmate is found dead in his cell, the prison is obligated to investigate and so DI Barton attends. The men he interviews have been convicted of some of the worst things a human being can do, but it appears likely that the death was due to natural causes.
When the house of the dead man is burgled and that crime is followed by a suspicious fire, Barton desperately needs to speak to his widow, but she’s nowhere to be found.
In the space of twenty-four hours, everyone he wants to talk to has vanished. Then he receives some post which makes him believe he could be the next to disappear.
Barton’s investigation goes full circle, through a series of brutal murders, back to the prison, and all signs are pointing to the fact that he’s made a terrible mistake.
There’s a violent killer on the loose, who wants everyone to learn that some people deserve to die.
DI Barton is back as Ross Greenwood continues with his bestselling series, perfect for fans of Mark Billingham and Ian Rankin.

Purchase Link – AMAZON

MY REVIEW

This is one of my favourite authors, he writes fabulous gritty crime thriller reads and The Cold Killer is the 4th book in the DI Barton series. This book can be read as a stand-alone, but like all series, they are better read in order.

DI Barton is called in to investigate the murder of an inmate, it looks at face value to be natural. But things don’t quite sit right especially when the victims home is also burgled. This is a case that just deepens and grows. It is one that isn’t pleasant given the nature of the crimes that those involved are in prison for. This makes for uncomfortable reading at times, but nothing is over dramatised or too detailed. It is part of the story and what a story this one was.

There are several characters in this story, and you soon get to know them if you haven’t read any of the books in the series. A lot is going on in this story as there are two distinct stories, one is from the police side of the book, the other is from the perspective of an unknown narrator. This adds so much intrigue to the story and had me wondering, guessing and second-guessing myself as to how things were going to work themselves out in the end.

This is a gritty story, it is fast-paced, it deals with some horrendous people and crimes, but is also very addictive reading. Although this is a police procedural, there are also details of the prison environment. This is something the author knows a lot about given his time working in a prison. This first-hand perspective is a great addition and even though this is a fictional book, it does come across with a certain amount of realism to it.

This is a book that kept me on my toes. I thought I had it sussed a couple of times, but I was way off the mark. Even when things did slot into place there was more to learn. There is also a more personal side to this story for DI Barton, and also some mentions of other colleagues, so it is not all crime thriller for Barton, there is also a family man that is seen.

This is a fast, gritty, crime, thriller police procedural that I adored. It is a series that just gets better and the author deals with some tough subjects. It is one I would definitely recommend. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ross Greenwood is the bestselling author of eight crime thrillers. Before becoming a full-time writer he was most recently a prison officer and so worked every day with murderers, rapists and thieves for four years. He lives in Peterborough.

Social Media Links – FacebookTwitter Instagram Bookbub Newsletter

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Dead Mercy by Noelle Holten @nholten40 @OneMoreChapter_ @BOTBSPublicity #crime #thriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Dead Mercy by Noelle Holten. I love the Maggie Jamieson series and this is the 5th book. As always I would recommend reading in order, but you can read as a stand-alone.

My huge thanks to Sarah at Book On The Bright Side Publicity for my invite to join the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of Noelle’s latest book.

‘Hugely confident … harrowing, visceral … recommended’ Ian Rankin on Dead Inside

A brutal murder…

When a burned body is found with its teeth missing, DC Maggie Jamieson discovers that the victim may be the husband of one of her probation colleagues.

A dark history…

As the body count rises, the team becomes increasingly baffled by how the victims could possibly be connected until a clue leads them to a historical case that was never prosecuted.

A terrible secret…

In order to catch the killer, Maggie must piece together what happened all those years ago before it’s too late.

PURCHASE LINK – Amazon UK

MY REVIEW

I have read and enjoyed every book in this Maggie Jamieson series. The author deals with some tough and hard-hitting subjects in her books and this one is no exception!

AS the short but intriguing synopsis suggests, this is going to be a tough one especially as it may involve someone from another organisation. While this is a police procedural, the author weaves in other agencies. She does this very well and uses her own knowledge from working in the Probation service to expand on the storyline.

The team is still coming to terms with a tragedy from the previous book, it is mentioned but not enough to make it a spoiler if you haven’t read the series in order. Yes, these books can be read as stand-alone but as with all series, you do get to see a bigger picture and how the dynamics of the teams work.

The case is one that is addictive reading, it is a brutal murder that leaves so many questions for the team to work through. Bringing in specialists from various fields and agencies keep the pacing moving and the story progressing well. Things really start to heat up when a second victim is discovered and things begin to tentatively connect. This does not mean, however, that this is a simple case.

Having various other agencies and experts adds a nice touch to this series, I do like how they link in. I did however think there was a little too much explanation as to the policies and procedures. I do understand that they have their roles and some explanation is required. For me, though it did at times slow the pace and detract from the thrill of the investigation and felt just a little too much. It would however be very handy if you are reading the book as a stand-alone.

The case is intriguing, the body count creeps up and using the experience of a Profiler adds a psychological edge, while the Pathologist adds some interesting if occasionally morbid details. As well as the case there are also details in Maggie’s personal life as she finally admits to her own secrets.

This is another really good read, it is one for those who like a grittier Police Procedural story and it is one I would recommend reading.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Noelle Holten is an award-winning blogger at www.crimebookjunkie.co.uk. She is the PR & Social Media Manager for Bookouture, a leading digital publisher in the UK, and worked as a Senior Probation Officer for eighteen years, covering a variety of risk cases as well as working in a multi-agency setting. She has three Hons BA’s – Philosophy, Sociology (Crime & Deviance) and Community Justice – and a Masters in Criminology. Noelle’s hobbies include reading, attending as many book festivals as she can afford and sharing the book love via her blog. Dead Inside – her debut novel with One More Chapter/Harper Collins UK is an international kindle bestseller and the start of a new series featuring DC Maggie Jamieson.

Connect with Noelle on Social Media here – Newsletter Twitter Facebook Website Bookbub

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Newport Writers : Anthology of Poetry and Prose @NewportWriters @randomttours #poetry #prose #anthology #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Newport Writers – An Anthology of Poetry and Prose by Karenne Griffin. This is a wonderful collection with contributions from 18 authors.

My huge thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for the invite and for my copy of this e-book.

Welcome to our first anthology.

Since the group started, it has always been Tony’s vision to put together a collection of stories and poems penned by our members.

Please proceed with caution – these short stories and poems will introduce you to the alternative side of Newport: ghostly grandparents, a displaced porpoise, a little bit of Welshness, two philosophical security guards, a child whose food plays music, the awesome side of autism, a woman who made teddy bears in a concentration camp, and much more.

Take a whirlwind tour through bereavement, love, regret and parenthood. Laugh and defy fate as you run the gamut of life’s experiences – seen through the eyes of a bunch of writers who celebrate their individuality.

You will meet a diverse group of people who enjoy what they do and want to share it with you.

We invite you to sit back with a cuppa or maybe something stronger, relax and enjoy what promises to be a whirlwind ride…

MY REVIEW

This is a collection of short stories, flash fiction and poetry. The book is not that long but I can guarantee there is something in here for everyone.

The author’s contributions cover a vast array of subjects, some more abstract than others and some that hit home. Emotional and thought-provoking as well as some to make you chuckle or nod in agreement.

The book uses works from 18 authors and each one brings its own style. I found this as I read these pieces, some have more entries than others. There are lots of items in this anthology and while I could pick several out that really worked for me I am going to leave it up to other readers to find their own favourites.

I really enjoyed this anthology, I was planning on reading a few at a time but found myself enjoying it far too much and read it over a couple of sittings. This is a fab book and one I would happily recommend.

Purchase Link – Amazon UK

ABOUT THE WRITERS

We are a diverse group from south Wales with over 20 members, covering a broad age range and a variety of styles within the sphere of writing. We include poets, novelists, writers of flash fiction and short stories, plays and film scripts.

We published an anthology in February 2020 entitled Newport Writers – An anthology of poetry and prose. Available from Amazon in paperback and for Kindle.

We met on Zoom during the pandemic, but have now found a venue in central Newport where we can get together with plenty of space for social distancing.

We hold an Open Mic night once a month at popular Newport coffee shop Horton’s, and in the summer of 2021 we participated in several spoken word events.

Some members of our group are available to read and offer critique, and we have a proofreader among our membership.

Email us at: newportwritersgroup@ gmail.com.

Facebook: Newportwritersgroup 

Twitter: @NewportWriters

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The Bone Shard Emperor (The Drowning Empire #2) by Andrea Stewart @AndreaGStewart @OrbitBooks #fantasy #Tr4cyF3nt0n #compulsivereaders #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Bone Shard Emperor by Andrea Stewart. This is the 2nd book in The Drowning Empire series and I am loving it.

My huge thanks to Tracy at Compulsive Readers for my invite and spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this book from the publisher, Orbit Books, via NetGalley.

Andrea Stewart returns with The Bone Shard Emperor, the second instalment of this unmissable, action-packed, magic-laced fantasy epic.

The Emperor is Dead. Long live the Emperor.  

Lin Sukai finally sits on the throne she won at so much cost, but her struggles are only just beginning. Her people don’t trust her. Her political alliances are weak. And in the northeast of the Empire, a rebel army of constructs is gathering, its leader determined to take the throne by force.  

Yet an even greater threat is on the horizon, for the Alanga – the powerful magicians of legend – have returned to the Empire. They claim they come in peace, and Lin will need their help in order to defeat the rebels and restore peace.  

But can she trust them?

MY REVIEW

Following on from the first book, The Bone Shard Emperor follows Lin, now the Emperor as she tries to unite the Islands. Trying to break the mistrust of the last Emperor and show that she does in fact care about the people is going to be hard for Lin. She does however have Jovis by her side, someone the people look up to him and tell the songs of his smuggling days.

If you have not yet read the first book then I do highly recommend doing so before going into this book. The main characters, the basic premise for the series and of course the events all follow through to this second book.

The islands and their people are worried, some of the islands have sunk, there are rumours of constructs attacking villages and even more worrying is that mentions of the Alanga returning are starting to take hold. Governors and people of the Islands believe Lin to be like her father, the old Emperor, cruel, aloof, and never having time for them. Lin starts as she means to go on, but it is definitely an uphill battle. Return the bone shards to their owners is only part of the process, bringing unity is going to take something more.

I really enjoyed this second book, it felt similar to the previous but more detailed. I found this contained more history, background stories, and legend. The author added more details to her characters and brought the main ones more into play.

I enjoyed the way the author built on the mistrust between several characters and also on the whole within the islands. No one is quite sure how much each other can be trusted, and this adds to the intrigue of the story overall. This did feel slower, and at times I did wonder where it was going, but still very addictive. The pacing may have started a little slower, but my goodness did it speed up as it progressed.

The way the author has created the imagery within the story is fab, especially when it comes to Mephi and Thrana, the bone shard magic and of course the Alanga. Add into this as to why the islands are drowning, why the constructs are attacking and it all builds a magical fantasy empire full of secrets. It makes for an entertaining, absorbing and brilliant read full of adventure and action in the later stages. While this second book has brought Lin to the forefront and has repaired some of the trust that had been lost, there is obviously a lot more to be done.

This book is a fabulous second in the series, while it cements the characters, it also introduces new ones and adds more dimensions, questions and intrigue. This is a series I am absolutely loving and I cannot wait to see what happens next. There are so many possibilities and the author has left some tantalising hints.

If you are a fan of fantasy then this is a brilliant book, as I mentioned this is one you do really need in order. I adored everything about it and I would definitely recommend it. Addictive, magical, vivid imagery, good character development and completely addictive reading.

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Dead Ground by M.W. Craven #crime #thriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Dead Ground by M.W. Craven. I adore this series and the two main characters of Poe and Tilly. This is the 4th book in the series, and if you haven’t yet come across one, then go grab a copy.

Detective Sergeant Washington Poe is in court, fighting eviction from his beloved and isolated croft when he is summoned to a backstreet brothel in Carlisle where a man has been beaten to death with a baseball bat. Poe is confused – he hunts serial killers and this appears to be a straightforward murder-by-pimp – but his attendance was requested personally, by the kind of people who prefer to remain in the shadows.

As Poe and the socially awkward programmer Tilly Bradshaw delve deeper into the case, they are faced with seemingly unanswerable questions: despite being heavily vetted for a high-profile job, why does nothing in the victim’s background check out? Why was a small ornament left at the murder scene – and why did someone on the investigation team steal it? And what is the connection to a flawlessly executed bank heist three years earlier, a heist where nothing was taken… 

MY REVIEW

I adore this series and especially the teaming of Washington Poe and Tilly Bradshaw. Poe and Tilly are total opposites but my goodness it works so well. This is the 4th book in the series and they just keep getting better and better with each one. I would suggest that you do read these in order as the character progression and the storylines do continue through each book.

Just as the relationship between Poe and Tilly is unique so is this next investigation that they have been asked to help out with. Not just any investigation, but one that tries to bind them within the red tape of the Official Secrets Act… as if! This is where reading the previous books is ideal for the character background of the characters comes in, because you will realise that both have their own way of doing things!

Poe is a determined, tenacious and at times bull-headed bloke, whereas Tilly is more reserved, cannot abide lies and is the tech genius in this pairing. They are called into what could be a potentially high profile murder but one that is being carefully managed.

I never read the synopsis for the books in this series after I had read the first book, I just know I am going to get on with them and indeed it has been the case with each book. Going in blind works so well as the author doesn’t take long before he goes from a quick what’s going on with the characters to a full-blown investigation.

The case is devious and calls into question a previous case, the more the team know the more they don’t know. Having assistance from the FBI in the form of Special Agent Melody Lee, known from the last book, was great as did this character. She is similar to Poe in some ways. While she has her part to play in this story, the main emphasis is on the work Poe and Tilly do, the way they piece the players, the clues and the chaos together until they see the bigger picture. Obviously, this is never going to be easy when you have politicians, the Feds and are dealing with Official Secrets and the people that decide who gets to see what. It all gives a feeling of not knowing who to trust and it is this edge that makes this book so addictive, as well as the banter from Poe and Tilly of course.

A brilliant 4th book in this fabulously addictive series. One for those who like a more complex case, with a deeper mystery aspect and some amazing characters. A police procedural in some ways, with conspiracy and so many secrets and one I would definitely recommend.

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

My Week In Books (w/e 21st Nov 2021) #booklove #booknews #MeAndMyBooks

Welcome to another weekly round-up of books I have read. Another good week on the reading front and plenty more to keep me going as we await this cold chill that is expected. I did manage an hour in the garden dead-heading…plants that is! Cut the last few rose blooms as well which smell amazing in the kitchen.

So, here is what I have read over the past week…

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Newport Writers – An anthology of poetry and prose is a book I read for an upcoming Blog Tour. This is a collection of verse, short stories and flash fiction from a group of writers. There is a vast myriad of styles and content and there is definitely something for everyone in this anthology. Full review later this week.

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Ross Greenwood is one of the authors whose books I will automatically read without even looking at the synopsis. The Cold Killer is the 4th book in the DI Barton series and wow, this one is a cracker. A murdered inmate, an increasing body count, more questions than answers and secrets from the past are just the tip of the iceberg in this latest hard-hitting thriller. The full review is at the end of the week.

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The D.C. Maggie James series is a series that I have enjoyed from the very start. Dead Mercey by Noelle Holten is the 5th book in the series and is one that could be read as a stand-alone. This is a hard one for the team as wounds are still fresh from the previous book. Life has to continue and this latest case is another tough one that will call in various agencies and specialists. The full review will also be at the end of the week.

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It was also time to catch up on some overdue NetGalley books. Greece Actually by Sue Roberts was ideal for some lighter reading and it was so nice to be taken to warmer shores with wonderful foods and locals. After I finished reading this book I had a virtual tour around the island of Skiathos. This is one for fans of romance and foreign destinations, a gorgeous story, a full review will follow soon.

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As I wasn’t quite ready to return back the UK, I decided to stop over in France. Celebrations at the Chateau by Jo Thomas was a fabulous story, I do love this author’s books and this one is another wonderful one. A chateau, food, locals, cheese, recipes and a sitting tenant are just some of the things that Fliss and her two sisters find when they discover they have just inherited a chateau in Normandy that they knew nothing about. Another amazing read from Jo and one for romance and contemporary fiction fans. Again, the full review should be up soon.

That’s it for another week. Next weeks post will be the last one of November!!! Not long before I have to try and remember to change the year every time I write the date 😂

Have a fab week ahead,

Happy Reading

Yvonne xx

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

The Secret Path by Karen Swan #NetGalley @panmacmillan #romance #contemporaryfiction #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Secret Path by Karen Swan. This was a book I requested to read via NetGalley from Pan MacMillan Publishers. A fabulous story that had me hooked from the first few pages.

In Costa Rica, amid startling white beaches and hot, dense rainforests, the luxurious world of the super-rich butts up against something darker, something sinister. . .

Tara Tremain has worked hard to leave the controlling grasp of her extremely affluent family far behind. With her own career in medicine, she doesn’t need the Tremains’ expectations weighing her down anymore. But pulled back into the family’s orbit one last time for an unmissable party in the jungles of Costa Rica, she finds herself flung into action: a local boy is desperately ill and she must trek for days into the jungle to save his life.

What Tara could never have predicted is that the one person who can help her in this impossible journey is Alex Carter, the man who destroyed her life ten years ago . . .

MY REVIEW

Tara Tremain struggled so much after she realised that Alex had used her that she threw herself into work and only went through the motions of being in a relationship. Working hard as a consultant rather than taking the easy route and living off her parent’s fortune. Her life is a series of long hours, headaches and not much else.

Her family used to vacation in Costa Rica, but since Alex now lives and works there she has not visited for many years. A conservation project to protect an area of rainforest is now due to be handed over to the Costa Rican government, a ceremony that means Tara will return to the area. She is hoping she won’t bump into her ex.

This is a fabulous story and one that had me hooked. The story of Tara and Alex and their time together sounded idyllic, and the author managed to put a wonderful twist into their relationship, one that left Tara reeling. The author then fast forwards a few years, Tara her current boyfriend and others make the journey for a few relaxing days before the all-important ceremony. The author gave some wonderful descriptions of the area, the basic huts and I love the sound of being in an area with no phone signal.

While many believe that the conservation project is for the good of the country, there are some tensions surrounding it. The author gives a view of both sides of the fence and the problems that exist. While it may sound like paradise, the jungle is not safe. It’s not just the animals you have to keep an eye out for the plants are just as dangerous. I loved the descriptions of the jungle areas and the author gave a wonderful image of being surrounded by the greenery and the non-stop sounds.

While this is a romance and contemporary fiction story, there is also a twist of mystery that emerges and this leads to some heart in the mouth moments for a couple of the characters. I loved the pacing of this book and also the various threads that had been woven into it.

A wonderful story that has romance, love, loss and hope. I would definitely recommend it.

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx