It Started With A Snub by B. R. Maycock #BookReview

Normally on a Monday I share my weekly wrap-up for books I have read, this week I shared it yesterday because… well… I thought today was booked in for a Blog Tour Review. When I actually came to double check the dates it turns out that today was not booked for a Blog Tour at all, instead I have double booked for Wednesday!!! Any regular followers know I try my hardest to keep to one post a day and this usually works until my scheduling goes pear shaped, as it obviously did this week!

So today I am bringing you a review for It Started With A Snub by (Bernadette) B.R Maycock. Let me show you what it is all about..

There are two different covers for this book, I am going with the one on Amazon UK as I like that one a lot…

Heather Green is a fun loving, happy go lucky, twenty-six year old who has remained upright and beaming despite a few wobbles in life. She wears her heart on her sleeve and pins on her thoughts for good measure.

We meet Heather as she moves out of her family home to share with four guys, much to the dismay of her long suffering (by his own admission!) boyfriend Graham. We follow her housemates and watch their sometimes funny, sometimes-fraught relationships as they go about their daily lives.

Join Heather as she navigates the simple things in life, her inability to remember the code for the house alarm, odd driving habits, general musings on chick flicks, casualties in cooking, as well as her attempts to talk down the “mad farmer with the gun.” Experience comedy and drama as we get to know her family and housemates, and, as an unexpected event finally takes her down, learn what happens when the last people you expected to turn to are actually the ones you need the most.

Heather has just moved out of her family home and into a shared house. Her fellow housemates are all men and she sends a text to one of her friends listing them in slightly stereotypical terms and this is a really good way of getting a quick snap shot or first impression of the four guys.

Heather and Graham have been in a relationship for over 6 years, though they don’t live together. Now right from the off I didn’t like him, and throughout the story I wished she would just drop him, I mean she is living in a house with four guys and they sound so much better than he is!

This is a rom-com that is more than it appears, yes there is romance there is humour but there is also a cracking story that brings so much more than I expected. Family is an important aspect of Heather’s life, as is her job and as she gets to know her housemates they also become important.

The story takes in various turns that have a serious impact on Heather’s life and way of thinking. The more I got to know Heather the more I liked her, she would be such a great person to know in real life a bit ditsy, a chatter box who says whatever comes into her head, and is a woman with a big heart.

I really enjoyed this story and it is the first book I have read by this author and I will be buying more in the future. I was only going to read a couple of chapters before starting on the housework… the housework was still waiting to be done a few hours later when I got to the end of the book!

A story that I really enjoyed, that had some surprises and was a lot of fun to read and one I would happily recommend to other reader who like rom-com, romance, family and relationship books.

Bernadette Maycock (writing as B. R. Maycock) participates in a closed Facebook group called Image, Write, Inspire (IWI), led by the award-winning author Carmel Harrington (Beyond Grace’s Rainbow, The Life You Left) Bernadette has just started a book review blog (https://brmaycock.wordpress.com/) that is in complete infancy, reviewing books that are ‘the lighter side of heavy TBR lists,’ in particular chick lit (her first love!) and women’s fiction.

She lives in Co. Westmeath, Ireland with her brilliantly out there husband, Keith, and four amazing children- Paul, Conor, Aidan and Brian. She can be found on twitter most days as @brmaycock.

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

The Woman Who Spoke To Spirits by Alys Clare #HistoricalMystery #BookReview

I am delighted to share my review for the first book in A World’s End Bureau Victorian Mystery Series, this first book is The Woman Who Spoke To Spirits by Alys Clare. This is the first time I have read a book by this author and I was delighted to see that there is a whole host of books by Alys for me to buy and read.

Let me show you what it is all about…

Introducing private investigators Lily Raynor and Felix Wilbraham in the first of the brand-new World’s End Bureau Victorian mystery series.

London, 1880. “I’m dreadfully afraid someone is threatening to kill my wife …” When accounts clerk Ernest Stibbins approaches the World’s End investigation bureau with wild claims that his wife Albertina has been warned by her spirit guides that someone is out to harm her, the bureau’s owner Lily Raynor and her new employee Felix Wilbraham are initially sceptical. How are the two private enquiry agents supposed to investigate threats from beyond the grave?

But after she attends a séance at the Stibbins family home, Lily comes to realize that Albertina is in terrible danger. And very soon so too is Lily herself …

This is the first book in A World’s End Bureau – Victorian Mystery series. The World’s End Bureau is owned and run by Lily Raynor in London in the 1880s. She has had some success with her business and is now finding it difficult to keep up with the admin side. She employs Felix Wilbraham to help on the clerical aspects, but soon he proves his worth and helps Lily in a series of investigations.

One such investigation comes by way of Ernest Stibbins who is concerned as to his wife’s safety. She is a medium and it soon becomes apparent to Lily that Albertina is indeed in danger. Along with this investigation, there is another that concerns a young man and an actress. While the cases are very different they both lead Lily and Felix on a route that takes them and the reader into various areas of Victorian London.

Being as this is the first in the series, it was good to get to know the two main characters as they got to know each other. I liked how there is mutual respect between them, especially as Felix is working for a female and this is an unusual thing at this time and for this profession.

The author has done a good job of creating an atmospheric read and delves into some unsavoury sides of the era. The murkiness and the ominous feelings at times provide an eeriness to the story. this is particularly good for the investigation into the Stibbins’s.

I did find the pacing of the story fluctuated, at the time it felt a little slow, but on the whole, it worked well. There was a good deal of intrigue and I was so very curious as to how the author would conclude the mysteries.

This was an enjoyable read and one that kept me intrigued throughout. I am looking forward to reading the next in the series to see how the author proceeds with not only Lily and Felix but also to see if she incorporates a couple of other characters that I think would make good additions to future investigations.

A good start to a series for mystery readers and a good atmospheric read and one I would definitely recommend.

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

Bury Them Deep by James Oswald #CrimeThriller #BookReview

I am delighted to share my review for Bury Them Deep by James Oswald. This is the 10th book in the Inspector McLean Series and it is blooming brilliant.

Let me show you what it is all about…

The tenth book in the Sunday Times-bestselling Inspector McLean series, from one of Scotland’s most celebrated crime writers

When a member of the Police Scotland team fails to clock-in for work, concern for her whereabouts is immediate… and the discovery of her burnt-out car in remote woodland to the south of Edinburgh sets off a desperate search for the missing woman.

Meanwhile, DCI Tony McLean and the team are preparing for a major anti-corruption operation – one which may raise the ire of more than a few powerful people in the city. Is Anya Renfrew’s disappearance a co-incidence or related to the case?

McLean’s investigations suggest that perhaps that Anya isn’t the first woman to have mysteriously vanished in these ancient hills. Once again, McLean can’t shake the feeling that there is a far greater evil at work here…

Wow! What an amazing book Bury Them Deep is. This is the 10th in the Inspector McLean Series and works so well as a stand alone. I have read a couple of books in this series and this latest book is a crime readers dream. It is tense, dark and draws on local legends and tales told to scare youngsters, but they always say that there is some truth to local legends.

The author had me intrigued before the story actually began with an introduction to a local legend. By the time I had read that page I was already interested in this police procedural.

Set in Scotland, DCI McLean is part of a very hush-hush inter-agency investigation, well actually it was in the beginning stages when one of the civilian members of the team goes missing. Her disappearance goes against the grain for her personality and causes concern due to the information she has access to. McLean and his team soon discover that the woman they thought they knew had a very different life out of work.

The story was so brilliantly woven, as I read I was on edge as various leads and sub-plots were expertly woven. This is a story that has plot upon plot upon plot and the more I read the more intrigues I got. As the story progressed various pieces of the puzzle were starting to be pulled together and even with all these pieces they still didn’t quite fit until the author was ready to give them all a final shunt into place.

Using old stories and local legends was such a brilliant twist on a police procedural, it gave the book such a dark element to the story, it gave a wonderful sense of suspense and made it such an addictive read.

This was an absolutely brilliant read that I found so hard to put down. A must read for all crime, thriller fans and one I would Absolutely Recommend.

Lantern Square Series Books Three and Four by Helen J Rolfe #BookReview

I am delighted to share two review today, these are for the 3rd and 4th books in the Lantern Square series by Helen J Rolfe. I am a big fan of this author and had this on my kindle for a while. Let me show you the gorgeous covers of the Lantern Square books in order…

The series in order is…

Let me show you what Christmas in Lantern Square is all about…

Step into the cosy community of Lantern Square…

Hannah went from high flyer in the city to business owner and has never looked back. In the cosy Cotswold village of Butterbury she runs Tied up with String, sending handmade gifts and care packages across the miles, as well as delivering them to people she thinks need them the most.

But when her ex best-friend Georgia turns up and wants in on the action, will Hannah be willing to forgive and forget? With her business in jeopardy, she needs to maintain the reputation she’s established, and discover who she can trust…

Straight off the back of book two in the series I delved straight into book three. I was looking forward to seeing how the run-up to Christmas Day and the day itself would pan out.

Hannah is well and truly up to her eyeballs in gifts, cards and care packages as her business hits its busiest time. She is run ragged and the flu is a visitor who is definitely;y not welcome. It does mean that the Doctor makes a visit, and also Hannah’s ex, Luke, is on hand to help look after her.

This is a perfect follow on from the previous two books. Hannah is beginning to struggle, mistakes are made, things are not posted and something doesn’t quite sit right. There is a little about her past and it does come knocking on her door and instead of it being a bad thing it actually comes out for the good.

The story has been gradually building up and gathering a momentum that has left me absolutely glued to this series. There is an undercurrent of things having a nasty side to them and it is gradually starting to emerge. This adds a rather nice dramatic tension as my mind is desperately trying to shout at Hannah to tell her what I am thinking is going on.

I also really enjoy the rather subtle romantic tension to this story, it has been there all along, but I feel that this is where it is now starting to become something a bit more of a “what if” rather than a “would be nice” thing.

Once again the author has captured the community feel of the village, connections are made and little plans are being put in place. There is also a mystery benefactor lurking and they have been doing some fabulous acts of kindness that has me a little puzzled, I mean I do have a theory so I cannot wait to read the final part to see if I am right. 

A fabulous third instalment in The Lantern Square series that is an absolutely brilliant read, it has all the heartwarming and cosy feel but also has a sense of foreboding lurking in the wings. I definitely recommend this series.

Here is the synopsis for – Snowfall In Lantern Square

Step into the cosy community of Lantern Square…

Hannah went from high flyer in the city to business owner and has never looked back. In the cosy Cotswold village of Butterbury she runs Tied up with String, sending handmade gifts and care packages across the miles, as well as delivering them to people she thinks need them the most.

But when her ex best-friend Georgia turns up and wants in on the action, will Hannah be willing to forgive and forget? With her business in jeopardy, she needs to maintain the reputation she’s established, and discover who she can trust…

So the final part of the Lantern Square series sees Hannah still keeping a brave face even though things had been going awry around her. Her ex keeps wanting to meet up, her best friend may have ulterior motives and the Doctor seems to have more women going in and out of his house than you would believe. 

The story gradually pulls together these threads and other bringing the story to a wonderful conclusion that has left me feeling very sad. I really like Hannah, Rhys, Joe, Mr G, Charles and so many of the other wonderful characters that I have met along the way. They cover such a diverse range and each has their own part to play in the story.

This has been a fabulous series to read and I have enjoyed each part of it. It has such a wonderful and welcoming style to it that envelops the reader in makes it ideal for snuggly under a blanket and escaping for an hour or so for each part. 

The setting is sublime, a Cotswold village setting with a wonderful sense of community, of friendship and also support. The author really nails the sense of the spirit of the village in a wonderful way. 

I am sad to see the end of this series, it is one that leaves you with a wonderful feeling of things being right with the world, a marvellous literary escape if you like. It is a book and a series I would definitely recommend.


This has been a fabulous 4 part series, I really enjoy reading Helen’s books and there are quite a few to choose from.

You can read my reviews for the first two book in this series CLICK HERE

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

Bridge of Lies by Misha Herwin @MishaHerwin #YAfiction #BookReview

I am delighted to share my review for Bridge of Lies by Misha Herwin, this is the second book in The Adventures of Letty Parker series and I have to say I adored it.

Let me show you what it is all about…

Letty Parker and Associates Detective Agency is finally in business. Before they can take on their first case, Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s famous suspension bridge is blown up. Letty decides to investigate but getting hired is not as easy as she thought, especially when the Dark Ones have their own plans for her.


Then there is Ma Pountney and her witches, plus The Bear and his gang of villains each determined to stand in Letty’s way. Nothing goes right and one by one Letty’s friends desert her. Even in a city, crowded with folk arriving for the Balloon Festival, Letty finds herself alone.

This is the second book in this series, 12 year old Letty Parker has recently started her own business of finding missing persons and lost things. Letty Parker & Associates has its first job and it comes in by way of one of the associates Mango, the other are Hepzibah, Jeb and Gabriel although he seems to be absent at the moment.

The setting for this story is Bristol and is just as Brunel is building a bridge. Having a historic fact like this is great for helping to set the scene and also keeps the reader well and truly in the time. It is also a great time to use for other things in the story such as Ma Poutney and her witches as there would have still been a lot of superstition and belief in old magical rites and rituals.

As I mentioned, Letty and her team have a new case but this soon gets overtaken buy other events as once again Letty is right in the thick of things. Friendships are put to the test in this story as loyalties are strained.

I really enjoyed this book and it has such a great feel to it while I was reading. The setting and time are great and there is also the inclusion of a fantasy thread with witches, bears, magic, nephilim, gargoyles and other dark creatures. I also found that one character in particular brings a steam punk style with some of his advanced technologies and adds a great additional element.

This is aimed at younger readers at around 8-12 years but I can say I adored it and it didn’t take long before I was engrossed. If you are a fan of YA books that have mystery, magic and mayhem then you really should look at this series. I would definitely recommend it.

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

Stalins Final Sting by Andrew Turpin @AndrewTurpin #Historical #Thriller #BookReview

I am delighted to share my review for Stalin’s Final Sting by Andrew Turpin. I am a fan of this authors Joe Johnson series, a series that is action packed and is very addictive reading.

Let me show you what it is all about…

The darkest secrets of a Russian oligarch—a legacy from Stalin. A hidden batch of the CIA’s Stinger missiles. And the insatiable Afghan thirst for revenge.
Ex-CIA war crimes investigator Joe Johnson is sucked into an inquiry which delves into the deadly world of Soviet and US undercover operations in Afghanistan during the 1980s—and mysterious connections to current US and Russian politics.
Johnson and his ex-MI6 colleague Jayne Robinson find themselves pursuing a Russian oligarch with strong links to Putin and a past he would rather keep hidden—and also an Afghan mujahideen bent on the most bloodthirsty revenge.
The investigation is thrown awry by Johnson’s crooked former CIA boss, now on the run, and by a miscalculation of the dangers lurking in the Hindu Kush mountains, ridden with heavily armed Taliban insurgents.
The story reaches a raw climax in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Moscow, and Kabul, as Johnson battles to overcome the powerful forces lined up against him, including former KGB agents.

**This thriller comes with a link inside the book allowing readers a COMPLIMENTARY download of a prequel novel in the Joe Johnson series — The Afghan**

This is the fourth book in the Joe Johnson Thriller series, and I have read and loved each one. There is also a mini novel that I would recommend reading before you read this book though, its called The Afghan.

Stalin’s Final Sting sees the main protagonist ex-CIA Joe Johnson take a step back into his past. His current job is investigating war crimes as well as undertaking other investigative work with long time friend and ex-MI6 Jayne Robinson. Together these two have a great network of resources and they are going to need them.

The setting is in Afghanistan, this is where Joe has a history from the late 1980’s during the Russian-Afghan Conflict. His current brief is to do background checks on some of the major players for bids on an extremely lucrative deal. Not a war crimes job, but one that sparks an interest that has links to his past.

There is one thing I recognise with this author and it is the detail and research that goes on behind the book. It is very evident as you read and then at the end of his books you get an amazing few pages of research notes that make ideal pointers for further reading.

The next thing that I find about the books is the fast pacing and it is pure action right from the outset. The author is very good at keeping everything clear and on point.

Now as for the story, for me it felt stronger and more in depth as it addresses some story lines that have been present from a previous book. If you are not up to date with the series then there is enough info to get you up to speed but in all seriousness… just read the series. The story delves into the Russian-Afghan conflict of the 1980’s. It was a brutal period where many innocents were caught up in the conflict. Many were tortured and killed. While the author does go into some details he keeps things to more of a minimum which as a reader I sometimes prefer.

I really enjoy the thrill of this series, it is fast, action packed and things get deeper and deeper as the intrigue and the mystery builds. It is one I sit and read and don’t try to work things out. I never know how the author is going to use his characters and what twists there are up his sleeves.

If you are a fan of historical, thrillers, mysteries and action reads then you really do need to check this series out. It is a brilliantly fast-paced and intensive ride. I would definitely recommend the series as well as this book.

Andrew is a former journalist who has always had a love of writing and a passion for reading good thrillers. Now he has finally put the two interests together.

His first book, The Last Nazi, was published in August 2017, and the second, The Old Bridge, in January 2018. The third, Bandit Country, followed in February 2018. In January 2019 the fourth, Stalin’s Final Sting, was published along with a prequel to the series, entitled The Afghan.

The themes behind these thrillers also pull together some of Andrew’s other interests, particularly history, world news, and travel. They explore the ways in which events and human behaviors deep into the past continue to impact on modern society, politics and business.

All of Andrew’s books draw strongly on these themes. They feature Joe Johnson, an ex-CIA officer and former U.S. Nazi hunter with the Office of Special Investigations, part of the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.
Johnson has a passion for justice and a drive to investigate unsolved war crimes in different parts of the world.

Andrew studied history at Loughborough University and worked for many years as a business and financial journalist before becoming a corporate and financial communications adviser with several large energy companies.

He originally came from Grantham, Lincolnshire, and lives with his family in St. Albans in Hertfordshire, U.K.

City of Secrets by Misha Herwin @MishaHerwin #BookReview

I am delighted to share my review today for City of Secrets by Misha Herwin, this is the first book in the The Adventures of Letty Parker series and is aimed at Young Adult readers.

Let me show you what it is all about…

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…

What a brilliant introduction to Letty Parker and the starting point for a series of books aimed at the Younger Reader. I am definitely not a young reader but I can honestly say that if I had picked up City of Secrets as a 9 or 10 year old I would have loved it, as it happens even now as a grown up reader I still loved it.

The author has created a fabulous character in Letty, she is joined by Jeb and his gang and also the somewhat lonely character of Gabriel. Letty is a pie-seller in Bristol, she is a street kid as such as she lives on her wits and needs to work to pay the rent on a small room. Some local children have been going missing in very mysterious circumstances, it is only when a young boy who Letty as just befriended also goes missing that she realises that something is amiss.

The author has created a fabulous story that has a Victorian feel to it. Carriages, gangs, murky alleys and dark, dangerous things that lurk in the shadows add to the ambience of the story. It is a story that has some wonderful descriptions and good dialogue that made me smirk on a few occasions.

Letty is a determined character who is stubborn and tenacious when she gets something in her head. This tenacious attitude will stand her in good stead as she faces her investigation.

There is an evil at work and this is investigated further into the story as Letty and Co start to dig further into the disappearances. The story has a good fantasy feel to it as various monsters, dragons and gargoyles become part of the story, yes there are gargoyles and this makes me very happy!

This was a wonderfully paced story that had me eagerly turning pages and has left me waiting and wanting to see what happens in the next book in the series called Bridge of Lies.

Even though it is aimed at a younger audience, I would say around 8-12 years, adults would also enjoy it, well I did! It is a fabuolous book full of adventure, fantasy and mystery, its exciting and a real page turner. I would definitely recommend it.

Image taken from Misha’s Amazon Author Page

Misha Herwin was born in England of Polish parents. English was not her first language but once she learned to speak it, she has never stopped. At twelve she wrote and staged her first play in a theatre made from a cardboard box. Since then things have improved and her plays have been both performed in England and Jamaica, where she lived for a while. As Misha M Herwin she has written two novels “Picking up the Pieces” and “House of Shadows”, both published by Penkull Press. “Dragonfire” “Juggler of Shapes” and “Master of Trades” are her fantasy trilogy for kids. “City of Secrets” is her most recent book and is the first in a fantasy adventure series for children. Her stories for adult readers have appeared in a number of anthologies including “A Fairy’s Story,” in “Bitch Lit”, and “The Satan Stones” in “Ancient Wonders,” by Alchemy Press. Her latest “The Loop Line” is in “The Darkest Midnight in December”. Her children are grown up and she lives in Staffordshire England with her husband in a house with a dragon in the garden.

Follow Misha on Twitter Amazon Author PageWebsite

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

76 Silver Street by Anna Shenton #Bookreview

I am still playing catch-up on books I read in December and still have not shared my thoughts about them with you. Today I am delighted to share my review for 76 Silver Street by Anna Shenton.

Let me show you what it is all about…

76 Silver Street – A Historical Romance: Set in the suburbs of Manchester: A gritty, scandalous story of courage, passion, love, loss, lies and sexual desire.


Imagine, how it feels, to be dumped on your aunt’s doorstep by your mother. Your aunt takes you in as if her own; goes without herself, to keep you warm and safe.

Nineteen years later, in the suburbs of Manchester 1905, you become house keeper, in the next town, for a handsome young man in hope of finding true love; but find yourself being subjected to his, and his mate’s drunken, coercive behaviour.
Then one day, your aunt calls for help from her hospital-bed, to take over her rundown boarding house before it goes bust.

Such is the plight of Rosa Brown. She owes it to her aunt to help in her hour of need and sneaks off out of town, escaping the sordid life she lives, without a word to anyone.

Met by Jack Howard on arrival, in Pembertown, Rosa’s heart plummets when her eyes meet with the dingy filthy place, and Jack’s devilish manner, who thinks she’s mad and has no intention of helping to get the place up and running before it goes bust.

Rosa is shocked when faced with all the ruffians and commoners knocking on the door and struggles to keep the roguish, rampant Jack Howard’s hands off her.

Sprucing the place up and filling it with respectful paying guests, proves harder than expected.

Now, filled with fear for her aunt, and her own wellbeing, will Rosa ever find the love of her life and be free from trouble?

The cover kind of sets the feel for this book, it has a sultry look to it. The story inside was wonderful and also quite a believable one. Rosa is given the chance to run her Aunt’s boarding house in Manchester. Rosa accepts this as it is a chance to move away from her past and get the chance to start anew.

When she first arrives at the boarding house she meets Jack, and let’s say that they don’t exactly hit it off. Jack has been running the place, but it seems to Rosa that running it down would be more appropriate. She soon gets to work to get everything up to standard, not something that goes down so well with Jack as this means more work for him.

This is a wonderful read and the author has packed quite a lot into this 120-page book. I liked the use of the local Manchester dialect, and there is a handy glossary at the back, though it makes sense in the context it is used. There are a couple of backstories for Rosa and Jack, and these for me added to their characters and gave a reason for how they reacted in the beginning. The author has added some wonderful descriptions of the rooms, and again these add to the general feeling and setting of the story.

I really liked the contrast between the characters, Rosa being more of a lady than Jack is used to and Jack is a through and through rogue, but he does have a bit of something about him that you just can’t help but warm to.

This story moves along at a brisk pace, and once I had picked it up I found that I could only put it down when I had finished it. It was a gripping story with fabulous characters. In fact, I would love to think that there would be a follow-up. A historical fiction and romance novel that I thoroughly enjoyed and would definitely recommend.

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

The Girl Who Speaks Bear by Sophie Anderson #ChildrensFiction #Bookreview

I am delighted to be sharing my thoughts today on a wonderful children’s book that would make an ideal Christmas present for younger readers. The Girl Who Speaks Bear by Sophie Anderson and is illustrated by Kathrin Honesta.

Let me show you what it is all about…

They call me Yanka the Bear. Not because of where I was found – only a few people know about that. They call me Yanka the Bear because I am so big and strong.

Found abandoned in a bear cave as a baby, Yanka has always wondered about where she is from. She tries to ignore the strange whispers and looks from the villagers, wishing she was as strong on the inside as she is on the outside. But, when she has to flee her house, looking for answers about who she really is, a journey far beyond one that she ever imagined begins: from icy rivers to smouldering mountains meeting an ever-growing herd of extraordinary friends along the way.

Interwoven with traditional stories of bears, princesses and dragons, Yanka’s journey is a gorgeously lyrical adventure from the best-selling author of The House With Chicken Legs.

Oh my goodness what an absolutely beautiful read this book was. It is the story of Yanka, she is known as Yanka the Bear as she is bigger and stronger than others of her age. Even though she lives happily in her village with her Grandmother, there has always been a question she has wanted answers to. Where did she come from and who were her parents. The story is one of Yanka discovering her roots and finding out who she is and where she feels she belongs.

This is an absolutely brilliant read that is full of adventure and magical folklore tales that have a feel of Eastern European folklore to them. Dark mysterious forests full of wonderful creatures and things that you would find in fairy tales. A tale of bears, a dragon, a lone wolf, a weasel, an elk and a walking house with chicken legs have all been wonderfully woven into a totally captivating story.

The descriptions of the animals, creatures and surroundings are wonderful and it was so easy for me to see what was described. This was enhanced by some very simple but wonderful illustrations by Kathrin Honesta, these complimented the story so well and in such a subtle but suitable way. Just look at the cover can you see the bear?

The story itself is actually a book of stories that have been interwoven to create a bigger story and I loved how each of these little stories started in the classic “Once upon a time” way. This for me adds a touch of magic and took me back to wonderful stories I read as a child. Talking of children’s stories, this is actually who this book is aimed at and I am so glad I read it because I loved it so much.

The story is a journey of discovery for Yanka and how she is trying to find her place, by this I mean where she feels she belongs. She is a girl who is conflicted and feels that because of her strength and size she could be a danger to others around her. It makes her wary of joining in or accepting help. In her own journey, she discovers so much about herself as well as realising things she was not aware of before.

This is a beautifully written book that has its roots in the fairy tales of old, it has a wonderful flow and fabulous descriptions. This is the second book the author has written and I have not yet read the first one, I will be soon though as I have just ordered a copy of her first book “The House with Chicken Legs”.

The Girl Who Speaks Bear is a book that I would definitely recommend.

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

Sleep by C.L Taylor #Bookreview

I am so delighted to welcome you to my thoughts on Sleep by C.L Taylor. This is a fabulous read and so addictive let me show you what it is all about…

All Anna wants is to be able to sleep. But crushing insomnia, terrifying night terrors and memories of that terrible night are making it impossible. If only she didn’t feel so guilty…

To escape her past, Anna takes a job at a hotel on the remote Scottish island of Rum, but when seven guests join her, what started as a retreat from the world turns into a deadly nightmare.

Each of the guests have a secret but one of them is lying – about who they are and why they’re on the island. There’s a murderer staying in the Bay View hotel. And they’ve set their sights on Anna.

Seven strangers. Seven secrets. One deadly lie.

Someone’s going to sleep and never wake up… 

WOW! I loved this book so much. C.L Taylor does such a fabulous job of adding suspense, mystery and intrigue into her stories that leave a chilling feel to them Sleep is no exception.

The story is based around Anna. I first meet her as she is driving back from a team building holiday. A slip of concentration leads to a horrific accident. The guilt that Anna feels is leading to her not being able to sleep. Along with the guilt there is also someone watching her, things get so bad that she relocates to the remote Scottish Isle of Rum and works in a hotel.

You would think that removing herself from the London area that the threat would stop, but she still senses that feeling of dread and of being watched. Things continue to get worse and leads to Anna suspecting the guests.

This is such an atmospherically chilling read. The author does a fabulous job of creating a story that explores the depths of Anna’s feeling of guilt. She weaves so much mistrust and suspicion into Anna’s story that it was hardly surprising that Anna cannot sleep. The other characters/ guests at the hotel also have things to hide and it is really brought out into the open when a bad storm leaves everyone isolated. A perfect setting for a murder and mystery story.

Along with the island characters there are also others, they have a part to play in the grand scheme of the story and I gradually got to know them.

The story moves at a really good pace and this is helped by the quick chapters. They are told from different perspectives and are easy to follow as each chapter is given the title of the name of the person whose perspective it is. Well apart from one character, their chapters are set out in italics!

This is such a wonderful read that had me addicted within the first few chapters and kept my attention until the very end. It has a wonderful psychological thriller suspense feel as I read and I felt that the author really got inside the heads of her characters.

If you like a good murder mystery, psychological thriller read that has bags of suspense then you really should pick up a copy of Sleep. I think this may be my favourite Cally Taylor book so far. I would Absolutely Recommend this book.

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