The Quaker by Liam McIlvanney #NetGalley #review

I have another review from the end of last year to share with you. Today it is for The Quaker by Liam McIlvanney. I received my e-copy from Harper Collins via NetGalley and I have had it sitting on my TBR for long enough. This book was released in June 2018.

Let’s see what the book is about…

Synopsis:

The Quaker is watching you…

In the chilling new crime novel from award-winning author Liam McIlvanney, a serial killer stalks the streets of Glasgow and DI McCormack follows a trail of secrets to uncover the truth…

Winner of the 2018 McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Book of the Year

A city torn apart.
It is 1969 and Glasgow has been brought to its knees by a serial killer spreading fear throughout the city. The Quaker has taken three women from the same nightclub and brutally murdered them in the backstreets.

A detective with everything to prove.
Now, six months later, the police are left chasing a ghost, with no new leads and no hope of catching their prey. They call in DI McCormack, a talented young detective from the Highlands. But his arrival is met with anger from a group of officers on the brink of despair.

A killer who hunts in the shadows.
Soon another woman is found murdered in a run-down tenement flat. And McCormack follows a trail of secrets that will change the city – and his life – forever…

My Thoughts:

Set in 1969 Glasgow with a serial killer on the loose. DI Duncan McCormack is drafted in to basically pull the plug on the investigation that has gone on for far too long with no sight of solving the case.

From the outset I found myself very quickly caught up in this story. It is grim, gritty and dark. I didn’t think it was overly fast in its pacing and this played very well into the slower paced and painstaking investigation of the time. Instead, it steadily built up a tense air around itself. McCormack definitely feel the tension from the rest of the squad, they had built up so many hours desperately trying to resolve it. I got a real sense of their feelings as this “boy wonder” was brought in. I felt sorry for both sides as I felt McCormacks unease as he knew what his remit was, but also for the tireless work that the squad had put in. It left me with a bit of a conundrum as to who I was going to root for. But as the story unfolded and other things started to come to light, my self imposed conundrum worked itself out.

There were several things I liked about this book. The gritty descriptive view of Glasgow at the time with its condemned blocks and tenements really showed a city struggling. There are a few 1960’s references that had also been included and scattered through the story, this added an extra dimension that worked very well for me.

As I said earlier, the pacing is slower and it really did suit the time of the plot. It is a police procedural that would have had a lot of footwork as well as paperwork, house calls and then the inevitable trawling through all the notes, reports and case files to find the leads. Very different to a modern day fast data and collation system. This slower pace really worked well for me on another level, it meant I was able to get a chance to know the characters and place names easier.

This is a really interesting read with various different elements being included. It has a bleak grittiness to it that really added to the atmospherics and helped it work for the era it was set. It is one I would definitely recommend.

Author Links:

Visit Liam on Twitter or on his Website

Purchase from Amazon UK

Many thanks for reading, a like or share would be great 🙂 xx

Return To Hiroshima by Bob Van Laerhoven @ @rararesources #Giveaway (Open Int’lly) #review

Today I am delighted to be sharing my review for Return To Hiroshima by Bob Van Laerhoven. My thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for the invite and to Bob for my e-copy of his book.

Synopsis:

1995, Japan struggles with a severe economic crisis. Fate brings a number of people together in Hiroshima in a confrontation with dramatic consequences. Xavier Douterloigne, the son of a Belgian diplomat, returns to the city, where he spent his youth, to come to terms with the death of his sister. Inspector Takeda finds a deformed baby lying dead at the foot of the Peace Monument, a reminder of Hiroshima’s war history. A Yakuza-lord, rumored to be the incarnation of the Japanese demon Rokurobei, mercilessly defends his criminal empire against his daughter Mitsuko, whom he considers insane. And the punk author Reizo, obsessed by the ultra-nationalistic ideals of his literary idol Mishima, recoils at nothing to write the novel that will “overturn Japan’s foundations”….


Hiroshima’s indelible war-past simmers in the background of this ultra-noir novel. Clandestine experiments conducted by Japanese Secret Service Unit 731 during WWII become unveiled and leave a sinister stain on the reputation of the imperial family and the Japanese society as a whole.

Purchase Links

Amazon.comAmazon UKAmazon CAAmazon FrAmazon Es

My Thoughts:

I think the cover for this book is quite grim and sinister looking. The story inside is as equally as grim and definitely more sinister than I was expecting and also very intense. It did require a lot of concentration on my part for the beginning 25%. Characters were quickly introduced in rapidly alternating chapters. At times it was a struggle to keep up with who was who and what role they were going to play. Then suddenly I started to get a feel for them, starting to recognise them easier and started to be able to pay more attention to the story instead and then I really was able to enjoy it at a whole other level.

The story is one of a dark and drug-fuelled nature with corruption and the search for power and dominance. There was a heavy feel of Japanese culture and society throughout and the expectations of the different generations. Expectations of themselves as well as others. I found the concept of anyone not being 100% Japanese and therefore seen to be an outcast, a hard one to read about, though I do understand it as part of the culture of the time.

Society clashes between the older generation and their demand of respect and obedience against the new younger culture seeking their own lives and enjoyments to be very interesting. It was a good blend and balance of the old and the new. There is some hard reading when dealing with the camps and research centres during WWII. Some horrific experiments and treatments tried and given to prisoners was appalling, but I understood its place in the story. This period in history, that includes the Atomic Bomb, is a hard part of human history.

This is definitely a book that you can say has a plot that is definitely multi-l;ayered. As I have mentioned the prison camps and atomic bomb have a part in this story, as well as the 1995 Sarin gas attack in Tokyo. Te author has mixed and intertwined fact with dark and disturbing fiction to create a intricate, mysterious and intense reading journey.

The characters are as intense as the plot itself. A Yakuza boss who believes he is a Japanese demon, a Police Officer who is of mixed race, A German Photographer, a Belgian diplomats son are just the tip of the iceberg. It seemed that each character had a secret or something to hide and I wondered who I could trust and if any of them were actually telling the truth. Even now I am not completely sure who was truthful or in fact were they believing their own idea of their own version of the truth.

There is no mistake this is a dark noir read, the descriptions and vivid imagery are amazing and do at times make for uncomfortable reading. This is not a book I would recommend to readers who are after a quick read. If however you are after a book that requires patience and concentration, especially at the beginning, then this is the one for you. I found myself taking regular breaks as I read to be able to absorb the details.

This is a book I would recommend to readers who like crime, thriller, and mystery that is dark and definitely on the noirish side. I did check to see if “noirish” was actually a word and checked out the Collins Dictionary and this is what they had as the definition for

Noirish “2…a genre of crime literature in which the characters are tough or cynical and the settings are bleak…” and that definitely applies to this book.

About the Author:

A fulltime Belgian/Flemish author, Laerhoven published more than 35 books in Holland and Belgium. Some of his literary work is published in French, English, German, Slovenian, Italian, Polish, and Russian. Three time finalist of the Hercule Poirot Prize for Best Mystery Novel of the Year with the novels “Djinn”, “The Finger of God,” and “Return to Hiroshima”; Winner of the Hercule Poirot Prize for “Baudelaire’s Revenge,” which also won the USA Best Book Award 2014 in the category “mystery/suspense”.

His collection of short stories “Dangerous Obsessions,” first published by The Anaphora Literary Press in the USA in 2015, was hailed as “best short story collection of 2015” by the San Diego Book Review. The collection is translated in Italian, (Brazilian) Portuguese, Spanish, and Swedish.  “Retour à Hiroshima”, the French translation of “Return to Hiroshima,” is recently finished. In 2018, The Anaphora Literary Press published “Heart Fever”, a second collection of short stories. Heart Fever, written in English by the author, is a finalist in the Silver Falchion 2018 Award in the category “short stories collections”. Laerhoven is the only non-American finalist of the Awards.

Social Media Links –

Book Trailer on YouTube

Author social media links: Facebook Twitter Pintrest

Author websites

Website (NL/FR/EN)

Russian website for Месть Бодлера, the Russian edition of Baudelaire’s Revenge

GIVEAWAY – OPEN INTERNATIONALLY:

Giveaway to Win 2 x Return to Hiroshima Paperbacks (Open Internationally)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

CLICK HERE TO ENTER – GOOD LUCK XX

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The Road to Alexander by Jennifer Macaire @jennifermacaire @rararesources #review

Today I am delighted to be sharing my review for The Road To Alexander by Jenny Macaire as part of the Blog Tour with Rachel’s Random Resources. My thanks to Rachel for the invite and to Jennifer for my e-copy of this book.

Synopsis:

What do you do when the past becomes your future?

The year is 2089, and time-travelling journalist Ashley Riveraine gets a once in a lifetime opportunity to interview her childhood hero, Alexander the Great. She expects to come out with an award-winning article, but doesn’t count on Fate intervening.

Alexander mistakes Ashley for Persephone, goddess of the dead, and kidnaps her, stranding her in his own time. Being stuck 3000 years in the past with the man of her dreams wouldn’t be so bad if the scientists of the Time Institute hadn’t threatened to erase Ashley from existence if she changes history.

Ashley must now walk a tightrope, caught up in the cataclysmic events of the time, knowing what the future holds for the people she comes to love but powerless to do anything to influence it.

Join Ashley on her hilarious, bumpy journey into the past as she discovers where her place in history truly is…

Purchase  Link – Click Here

My Thoughts:

This is the story of Ashley and how she travels back in time to meet one of her heroes, Alexander the Great, to interview him. Alexander unwittingly prevents Ashley from returning back to her time and she is left stranded in history and decides to embrace the predicament in which she finds herself.

Now I did wonder how I would get on this story, time travel and ancient history. I really should not wonder when it comes to reading as this author did an absolutely cracking job with the story and completely won me over. I will mention that the author stated in her notes at the end, that she has moved somethings and people around to help with her story. I am aware of something from the days of Alexander but I am not au fait with much of it so I just enjoyed the story as the author saw it.

I would definitely say this is a historical romance as well as being a historical fiction read. It is about two people from very different times, backgrounds, interests, and experiences. The author has managed to inject some humorous aspects into the story that had me smirking, Ashley uses phrases and words that would not have been around at that time, and it gets some of the historical characters scratching their heads. For them, it adds to the mystery behind who or what they believe her to be.

I really liked the way a lot of historical facts has been mixed in with the fiction it made reading details much more interesting. Essentially turning a list of dates, people and places into something a lot lighter reading. There are mentions of battles, gods, religion, philosophy and the beliefs of the time. There is so much from the daily life, health, hygiene pretty much everything you would expect and a lot I didn’t even think about.

While Ashley is the main part of the story, her focus is on Alexander, the man, and the legendary historical figure. By the end of the story, I realised that this author really knows her stuff and has an obvious love of this time period, as it really does show in her writing. I came away knowing so much more than when I started this book, that is a big bonus for me.

I did mention it had a romantic aspect to it. Ashley initially is a little aloof and comes across as cold, where as Alexander is definitely a hot blooded male… thats all I am saying at this point, it does make for some very interesting reading! As the story develops Ashley then seems to thaw a little and others start to see a change in her, she becomes more emotionally engaged.

This is the first book in a series and I cannot wait to see what comes next. This is a really good book and one that I think would definitely appeal to readers of historical fiction and romance readers. It is one I would definitely recommend.

About the Author:

Jennifer Macaire is an American living in Paris. She likes to read, eat chocolate, and plays a mean game of golf. She grew up in upstate New York, Samoa, and the Virgin Islands. She graduated from St Peter and Paul High School in St Thomas and moved to NYC where she modelled for five years for Elite. She went to France and met her husband at the polo club. All that is true. But she mostly likes to make up stories

Social Media Links –

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Kiss Me, Kill Me by J. S. Carol #Netgalley #review

Today I have my review for Kiss Me, Kill Me by J. S. Carol. I received this book from Bonnier Zaffre via Netgalley. It was released on 31st May 2018 and has been sitting on my TBR for far too long but I did manage to finally read it.

Lets see what the book is about…

Synopsis:

FOR FANS OF THE MARRIAGE PACT AND CLARE MACKINTOSH COMES A TWISTING PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER THAT WILL MAKE YOU QUESTION EVERYTHING YOU THINK YOU KNOW.

‘Will hook you from the very first page. It’s a dark, twisty tale that will keep you guessing. You will think you know where it’s going – but you’ll be wrong’ RACHEL ABBOTT

‘Truly sinister domestic noir’ LEE CHILD

‘Dark, uncomfortable, head-spinny and I loved it’ CAZ FREAR, author of Sweet Little Lies

When Zoe meets Dan, he’s everything she is looking for in a man – intelligent, charming, supportive.
It’s only after they’re married that she realises that he’s controlling, aggressive, paranoid.
And there’s no way out.

Or is there?

Zoe knows she has to escape, but Dan’s found her once before, and she knows he can find her again.
But Dan has plans of his own. Plans that don’t necessarily include Zoe.

Be careful who you trust . . .

PURCHASE LINKAmazon UK

My Thoughts:

This is the story of Zoe, a normal Uni student working as a waitress. She meets rich, good looking Daniel when he walks into the place she works and sweeps her off her feet. She seems to have landed herself the perfect life but she did not expect it to turn into a dangerous, controlled, manipulated and heartbreaking one.

This author does a fantastic job of showing the way Daniel manages to completely controls Zoe’s life. It starts off subtly and gradually as he starts to achieve what he wants really does turn on the pressure. Zoe initially falls for his charms and is excited to be in a relationship with such a catch. He is a master manipulator and of that, there is no doubt. When she finally starts to see him for what he is, it is too late to get help. He has absolute control over her movements, eating, social life and finances.

There is such a good sense of suspense that comes from reading this book. I was suspicious of Daniel from the outset due the what the synopsis gives away, but the story shows the suspense from the angle of Zoe. It is easy to see how she was gradually cut off from her friends and her life. The treatment of her, by Daniel, was very easy to believe and was also shocking.

As the synopsis implies, she has escaped from Daniel’s clutches before and this is discussed withing the back story of the characters. The suspense of how she tries and if she succeeds this next time is one that had me rooting for Zoe.

This is a story that really did work well for me, it had the right amount of suspense and drama that had a real sense of controlling power to it. I found myself quickly siding with and willing Zoe on in her life. The manipulation was done in such a way that it blindsided Zoe and it shows how she was oblivious to the signs.

The story took some unexpected twists and turns and definitely kept me hooked. If you like crime, thriller, and suspense reads that focus on spousal manipulation then this is one you should read.

About the Author:

James Carol is the bestselling author of BROKEN DOLLS, the first in a series featuring former FBI profiler Jefferson Winter. The novel was released in the UK in January 2014 to rave reviews and reached number 1 on the Amazon fiction and thriller charts. In addition James is writing a series of eBooks set during Winter’s FBI days. PRESUMED GUILTY is the first of these. Under the pseudonym J.S. Carol, he has also written a number of standalones. KISS ME KILL ME is the latest.

Visit James on his – Website Twitter Amazon Author Page

Many thanks for reading, a like or share would be great 🙂 xx

#CoverReveal for The Talisman – Molly’s Story by Eliza J Scott @ElizaJScott1 @rararesources

Today I am delighted to be taking part in the Cover Reveal for The Talisman – Molly’s Story by Eliza J Scott. This is a prelude to the upcoming Blog Tour with Eliza and Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources.

First of all lets have look at the synopsis and see what its all about…

Synopsis:

Molly’s dream of taking over her childhood home at Withrin Hill Farm with husband Pip and their three children has finally come true. And, as they settle into the stunning Georgian farmhouse, with their plans to diversify into glamping nicely taking shape, the family couldn’t be happier.

But tragedy suddenly strikes, and Molly’s world is turned upside down.

Heartbroken and devastated, she struggles to face each day. True to form, her fiercely loyal best friends, Kitty and Violet, rally round offering love and support, but Molly doesn’t think she’ll ever be able to smile again. Until the day a tall, dark stranger with twinkly eyes arrives…

 Follow Molly’s story in book 2 of the Life on the Moors Series set in Lytell Stangdale, a picture-perfect village in the heart of the North Yorkshire Moors, where life is anything but quiet.

A heart-warming story of love, friendship and hope.

Pre-order Links: Amazon UK or Amazon US

The Talisman – Molly’s Story will be published on 4th February.

Now lets have a look at the Author…

Eliza lives in a 17th-century cottage on the edge of a village in the North Yorkshire Moors with her husband, their two daughters and two mischievous black Labradors. When she’s not writing, she can usually be found with her nose in a book/glued to her Kindle or working in her garden. Eliza also enjoys bracing walks in the countryside, rounded off by a visit to a teashop where she can indulge in another two of her favourite things: tea and cake.

Eliza is inspired by her beautiful surroundings and loves to write heart-warming stories with happy endings.

Social Media Links –

BlogTwitterInstagramFacebookGoodreadsBookbub

Now for the cover of the book …

I really like this cover, it’s bright and vibrant and I cannot wait to share my review with you in February 🙂

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

A Christmas Gift by Sue Moorcroft @SueMoorcroft #review

I am still playing catch-up on my festive fiction reads and today I am sharing my review of The Christmas Gift by Sue Moorcroft.

Lets see what the book is about…

Synopsis:

One Christmas can change everything…

Georgine loves Christmas. The festive season always brings the little village of Middledip to life. But since her ex-boyfriend walked out, leaving her with crippling debts, Georgine’s struggled to make ends meet.

To keep her mind off her worries, she throws herself into organising the Christmas show at the local school. And when handsome Joe Blackthorn becomes her assistant, Georgine’s grateful for the help. But there’s something about Joe she can’t quite put her finger on. Could there be more to him than meets the eye?

Georgine’s past is going to catch up with her in ways she never expected. But can the help of friends new and old make this a Christmas to remember after all?

Purchase link – Amazon UK

My Thoughts:

This is the story of Georgine and Joe. Georgine is strugglingto make ends meet and hiding from debt collectors, they are after her ex-boyfriend by the way. Joe has just been taken on as Georgine’s assistant at Acting Instrument, a college that provides dance, music, acting and backstage education and experience.

A story that is about two people who cross into each other’s lives, the highs and lows, the ups and downs and how roles can be reversed so very quickly is how I would probably sum this up. The author has created two characters and a series of events conspire against them.

There is so much in this story that I would love to tell and I have had to edit this review several times as I would have given important details away that would ruin it if you have not read this book.

Even though this is a Christmas book, it is not overly Christmassy in itself, though it does have a Christmas theme… how convoluted does that sound? But it makes sense to me! The students have a Christmas show to put on and Joe soon proves his worth and seems to have invaluable patience and experience.

This is a book of surprises, hence the very sketchy review, but it is one that when I started I really could not put down. The plot had me hooked as I found myself wanting to know more about the elusive Joe, as well as more about the families of the main characters. It had a sort of dramatic suspense that kept me page turning.

A book that would appeal to readers of general fiction, festive fiction, romantic fiction who are after a heartwarming and uplifting read. One I would definitely recommend.

About the Author:

Sue Moorcroft is a Sunday Times bestselling author, an international bestselling author and has held the #1 spot in the UK Kindle chart. She writes contemporary fiction with sometimes unexpected themes.

Sue has won a Best Romantic Read Award, received two nominations at the Romantic Novel of the Year Awards and is a Katie Fforde Bursary winner. Her short stories, serials, articles, columns, courses and writing ‘how to’ have sold around the world.

An army child, Sue was born in Germany then lived in Cyprus, Malta and the UK. She’s worked in a bank, as a bookkeeper (probably a mistake), as a copytaker for Motor Cycle News and for a digital prepress. She’s pleased to have now wriggled out of all ‘proper jobs’.

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

The Convalescent Corpse by Nicola Slade @nicolasladeuk @rararesources #review #Win #Giveaway

I am delighted to be sharing my review today for The Convalescent Corpse by Nicola Slade as part of the Blog Tour with Rachel’s Random Resources. My thanks to Rachel for the invite and to Nicola for my e-copy of this book.

Well if the title doesn’t intrigue you to pick up this book, then the synopsis surely will…

Synopsis:

A story of Family, Rationing and Inconvenient Corpses.

Life in 1918 has brought loss and grief and hardship to the three Fyttleton sisters. Helped only by their grandmother (a failed society belle and expert poacher) and hindered by a difficult suffragette mother, as well as an unruly chicken-stealing dog and a house full of paying-guests, they now have to deal with the worrying news that their late – and unlamented – father may not be dead after all.  And on top of that, there’s a body in the ha-ha.

Purchase Links

https://amzn.to/2RrkDoz     https://amzn.to/2ODJeYR

My Thoughts:

The synopsis is an absolute corker and it is one of those that made me think I would really like this book before I even got started…I was not wrong. It hints at a family that has some interesting ways and eccentricities.

Well the family and their quirky ways and unique styles made me smirk on several occasions. They are a mix of sort of down to earth, flamboyant, rudely shy, dramatic, clever, mischievous, resourceful and determined.

It is set during the WW1 and it was a real treat to read about their very creative culinary creations, though I don’t think I would fancy trying many of them. To help themselves the sisters, with the help of their Grandmother, decide to run a boarding house for the wives and mothers of those servicemen who are injured during the war and are recovering in the nearby Convalescent home. It is ideally situated for visits to their loved ones.

There is a murder involved in this story that kept me guessing, a whodunit style story ensues. It was intriguing and kept me guessing about the motives of the killer and all the why’s and wherefores that go along with it. A sort of cosy mystery if you like.

The pace of the book is not fast, I would say a more leisurely pace to it that really worked well with the slower pace of life for the time. Even though it is slower than a lot of modern setting stories, it was still a page turner and kept me hooked. The mix of the family, the guests and also various happenings at the Convalescent Home kept me avidly and addictively turning the pages.

This really is a wonderful story that has been gradually teased out and makes for a compelling read. This is a story with some fabulous characters and their somewhat madcap antics add an extra something special. Ideal for cosy mystery readers. One that I would definitely recommend.

About the Author:

Nicola Slade lives in Hampshire where she writes historical and contemporary mysteries and women’s fiction. While her three children were growing up she wrote stories for children and for women’s magazines before her first novel, Scuba Dancing, was published in 2005. Among other jobs, Nicola has been an antiques dealer and a Brown Owl! She loves travelling and at one time, lived in Egypt for a year. The Convalescent Corpse is Nicola’s 9th novel. Nicola is also a member of a crime writers’ panel, The Deadly Dames

Social Media Links – WordPress BlogTwitterFacebook

Pintrest – (There is a board for each book)

Giveaway:

Win a paperback copy of The House of Ladywell (Open Internationally)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Click Here to enter via Rafflecopter

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#MeAndMyBooks

I would just like to take this opportunity to wish all my Family, Friends and Followers a Wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year.

I know that not everyone enjoys this time of year due to their own personal reasons, and it can be difficult as we remember those who now reside in our memories and hearts. I hope you can find a special memory that reminds you of the treasured times you shared xx

As 2019 approaches, I like to look ahead and make tentative plans. I am already thinking of warmer days and getting out into my garden. Planning my vegetable planting, working out what worked and what needs sowing in a different place. More importantly is where my bench is going to go, yes this is important because that is where my coffee and book sits for regular breaks from digging and weeding 😉

Warmer days also mean a chance to get out and about in the wonderful Cornish countryside. My camera and yes a book or kindle always accompanies me along with a flask of coffee ☕

2019 holds so many new adventures within the pages of books I will be reading. It will also see a change for me as well and this is something I am gutted as well a excited about. I have come to realise that I just do not have enough time in a day. A very hard decision was made several weeks ago to stop accepting Blog Tour invitations. I am completing those that I have already agreed to, so my last tour post will be in April. The exciting part though is that I will hopefully make inroads into my TBR and read those books that I keep meaning to read. It’s a chance to start many series from the beginning instead of reading from book 12… 🙄 I know I am not alone in this. I often read blog posts that have something along the lines of “I have not read any previous books in this series, but it does work very well as a stand-alone” usually then followed by “I look forward to starting this series from the beginning”… I can see several of you nodding in agreement 😉😁 I will not stop blogging, and my posts will probably reduce, but the thought of reading the books and series that you all have raved and shouted about is something I am really looking forward to 😍

Anyways, that’s all for now I am off to make mince pies, sausage rolls, boil the ham, ice my cake and then settle down with a glass of red wine and a book in front of my roaring fire 😊

All the very best, Yvonne xx

🎄📖🎉📖🍾📖❤️

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery #review

Todays review is for a childrens classic The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery.

Synopsis:

When a pilot crash-lands in the Sahara Desert he meets a stranger – a little prince – who has arrived on Earth from an entirely different planet. By listening to the prince’s stories and his questions about the world, it becomes clear to the pilot that truths about life can reveal themselves in the most unlikely of places.

Translated into 180 languages and selling over 80 million copies, this beautiful and wise tale of childhood innocence will delight readers of all ages. This edition also includes Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s charming original illustrations.

My Thoughts:

This book is one that definitely shows its age. What I mean is how technology has advanced since its original publication in April 1943. This is something that is very obvious and actually adds something to the reading experience. It has an old charm and almost twee-ness to it.

The book has a few moralistic types of messages to it and while they may not always clear during the reading, by the end I think I  found them. What I thought was that things are not missed until they are gone. As the world has moved forward with advances in science, medicine, and technology it is the basic things in life that we do not realise are around. Another is how the world is perceived through the eyes of a child, being simple, basic and without all the noise of life getting in the way. Also the message of everyone being unique, yes we are part of a society of other people, but we all have our own special qualities that make us special to other people. I think different readers would probably get their own ideas of what this book was trying to tell, but these are my thoughts.

I found the story itself to be interesting as I followed The Little Prince from his home to other places before finally meeting a stranded pilot on earth. The pilot is the narrator of this story and recounts what the Prince tells him. At times I did feel a little bit confused as I felt I was missing some of the points that were being made, but as I started to get towards the end things started to become clear.

The story has quite a sombre feel to it as it explains how we do not see what is around us as we are so busy rushing around, jobs, shopping meetings all take time. I think this is something most of us can relate to.

I did enjoy this story and thought it was very thought provoking. It was easy to get caught up into as I followed the Prince on his travels. The end is open to the readers interpretation of what happened to The Little Prince, I have my own thoughts as to what happened to him in my mind and where I think he went, others may think differently. This possible difference in a readers own interpretation is something that makes this book special. I have read other reviews from other readers and while they do have some similarities, there are some differences.

Overall I would recommend this book as I did really enjoy it.

About the Author:

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry was born in Lyons on June 29, 1900. He flew for the first time at the age of twelve, at the Ambérieu airfield, and it was then that he became determined to be a pilot. He kept that ambition even after moving to a school in Switzerland and while spending summer vacations at the family’s château at Saint-Maurice-de-Rémens, in eastern France. (The house at Saint-Maurice appears again and again in Saint-Exupéry’s writing.)

Later, in Paris, he failed the entrance exams for the French naval academy and, instead, enrolled at the prestigious art school l’Ecole des Beaux-Arts. In 1921 Saint-Exupéry began serving in the military, and was stationed in Strasbourg. There he learned to be a pilot, and his career path was forever settled. 

After leaving the service, in 1923, Saint-Exupéry worked in several professions, but in 1926 he went back to flying and signed on as a pilot for Aéropostale, a private airline that flew mail from Toulouse, France, to Dakar, Senegal. In 1927 Saint-Exupéry accepted the position of airfield chief for Cape Juby, in southern Morocco, and began writing his first book, a memoir called Southern Mail, which was published in 1929. He then moved briefly to Buenos Aires to oversee the establishment of an Argentinean mail service; when he returned to Paris in 1931, he published Night Flight, which won instant success and the prestigious Prix Femina. 

Always daring, Saint-Exupéry tried in 1935 to break the speed record for flying from Paris to Saigon. Unfortunately, his plane crashed in the Libyan desert, and he and his copilot had to trudge through the sand for three days to find help. In 1938 he was seriously injured in a second plane crash, this time as he tried to fly between New York City and Tierra del Fuego, Argentina. The crash resulted in a long convalescence in New York. 

Saint-Exupéry’s next novel, Wind, Sand and Stars, was published in 1939. A great success, the book won the Académie Française’s Grand Prix du Roman (Grand Prize for Novel Writing) and the National Book Award in the United States. At the beginning of the Second World War, Saint-Exupéry flew reconnaissance missions for France, but he went to New York to ask the United States for help when the Germans occupied his country. He drew on his wartime experiences to write Flight to Arras and Letter to a Hostage, both published in 1942. His classic The Little Prince appeared in 1943. Later in 1943 Saint-Exupéry rejoined his French air squadron in northern Africa. Despite being forbidden to fly (he was still suffering physically from his earlier plane crashes), Saint-Exupéry insisted on being given a mission. On July 31, 1944, he set out from Borgo, Corsica, to overfly occupied France. He never returned. 

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

The Other Mrs. Bates by Allie Cresswell @alliescribbler @rararesources #review

I am delighted to be finally sharing my review for The Other Mrs. Bates by Allie Cresswell. I say “finally sharing” as I completely messed up on my diary entry for this book, putting it in for January! When my turn for posting on the Blog Tour came I was only able to share a promotional post…I was not a happy bunny. So without further ado, let us see what the book is about and then get to what I thought. 

Synopsis:

Jane Bates has left Highbury to become the companion of the invalid widow Mrs. Sealy in Brighton. Life in the new, fashionable seaside resort is exciting indeed. A wide circle of interesting acquaintance and a rich tapestry of new experiences – balls at the Assembly rooms, carriage rides and promenades on the Steyne – make her new life all Jane had hoped for.

While Jane’s sister Hetty can be a tiresome conversationalist she proves to be a surprisingly good correspondent and Janeis kept minutely up-to-date with developments in Highbury, particularly the tragic news from Donwell Abbey.

When handsome Lieutenant Weston returns to Brighton Jane expects their attachment to pick up where it left off in Highbury the previous Christmas, but the determined Miss Louisa Churchill, newly arrived with her brother and sister-in-law from Enscombe in Yorkshire, seems to have a different plan in mind.

My Thoughts:

This is the second in The Highbury Trilogy and it is the authors’ interpretation of what precedes Jane Austen’s Emma. I have read the first book and I would recommend you doing the same, it is definitely worth the time and if you like your Classic Literature then you will love these books.

So, having read and loved the first in the series and loving it I was keen to start the second. This is the story of Miss Jane Bates, she decides to take a position in Brighton as a companion to Mrs. Seally, an invalid who is not as Jane expected. The social “snakes and ladders” are as rife in Brighton as they are anywhere and the pecking order and finding suitable husbands or wives is very apparent. It is not a trap Jane gets caught up in but she does play witness to it.

Brighton is the up and coming place “to be seen” in this Georgian Regency era of British history. People attended functions, took walk and seemed to be out in public rather than being wherever they were staying.

This book was such a delight to read and right from the off I was transported in the era of its setting. The mannerisms and phrases just seemed perfect for the era of the story and also for my expectations. The author has in my mind given an interpretation that precedes Emma very well and has continued in the style.

After finishing this book I am so eager to pick up Emma, but I am holding back until I have read the third and final instalment as this will then lead very well into the classic itself. 

This is an absolute must read for fans of Classic Literature, Jane Austen, Historical Romance and those wanting to try it. It was a real joy and pleasure to read and is a book and a series I would absolutely recommend.

If you want to read my review of the first book in this trilogy, Mrs. Bates of Highbury, you can read it here

About the Author:

Allie Cresswell was born in Stockport, UK and began writing fiction as soon as she could hold a pencil.

She did a BA in English Literature at Birmingham University and an MA at Queen Mary College, London.

She has been a print-buyer, a pub landlady, a book-keeper, run a B & B and a group of boutique holiday cottages. Nowadays Allie writes full time having retired from teaching literature to lifelong learners.

She has two grown-up children, two granddaughters, two grandsons, and two cockapoos but just one husband – Tim. They live in Cumbria, NW England.

The Other Miss Bates is her eighth novel and the second in the Highbury series

Social Media Links – Website – Facebook – Twitter

Many thanks for reading my review, a like or share would be fabulous:) xx