Shiang by C.F.Iggulden @MichealJBooks #BookReview #Netgalley

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Today I have my thoughts on Shiang by C.F.Iggulden that is published today, the second in The Empire of Salt Series. I would like to thank Michael Joseph Books for my ecopy recieved via NetGalley, my thoughts are my own. You can purchase a copy of this book from good book shops and here is the link to purchase from AMAZON UK.

You can read my review of the first book Darien: Empire of Salt by C. F. Iggulden

Synopsis:

IF THESE STONES COULD SPEAK . . . THEY WOULD CALL FOR WAR.

In Shiang, the young king rules without dissent. Mazer swordsmen stand watch on every corner, looking for the first sign of rebellion. This city is a place of quiet and slow dignity, like a man eating rice with a razor pressed against his throat.

Yet with one sharp movement, order is overturned. The balance of centuries is undone in the sudden spill of blood – and in the darkness, something terrible returns to Shiang.

Far to the west, four Shiang masters approach the city walls of Darien. The sword saint and his companions have crossed a continent to bring an old man home for punishment. They will not be denied, even if the whole city stands in their way.

TWO ANCIENT CITIES. ONE FINAL WAR.

My Thoughts:

So this is the second in this series of books by Conn Iggulden. Shiang and Darien are ancient cities separated by many miles of rough, mountainous landscapes. So why anyone would want to make the journey across the mountains, especially in winter, must be for something important.

There are two groups making this journey, Hondo and his group are journeying to bring back a traitor, a man who disgraced the royal family in Darien, he now resides in Shiang. The other group is led by Gabriel and they are a more fearsome band, they are drawn to Shiang seeking power.

This is very much an action and well paced story, there are descriptions and histories that are filled in as the story unfolds. The journeys made by the two groups are interesting and the reasons for the trek was one that intrigued me.

This book gave me a chance to learn more about the ruling families and also how they rule. Also the way they use the power they posses.

Even though I did enjoy this story I found I was at a bit of a loss to find the links I would have expected between the first and second book. It did confuse me as I didn’t seem to have any memory of any of the key characters, once I kind of shrugged that off and decided to read it in the mindset of being more of a stand alone novel then I could enjoy the story. It was quite a long way in before I came across a character I could remember from the first book, he only makes a fleeting appearance.

So this book leaves me in a bit of a quandary, as part of a series I kind of expect characters to come back to me in the few chapters at least, but this wasn’t the case, this essentially left it as a book that had more of a stand alone feel.

I did enjoy the story and found it descriptive, it is full of action, a fair bit of blood, death and destruction, it also has magic, swordsmanship, warriors and honour. It is a book that I would recommend and I am still looking forward to the next in the series.

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

#Blogblitz : Another Mother by Amanda James @akjames61 : @sarahhardy681 @Bloodhoundbook : #BookReview #PublicationDay

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“Another Mother” by Amanda James. Published by Bloodhound Books and available in paperback or eBook, to purchase a copy CLICK HERE. I am delighted to be one of the opening Bloggers for this blitz my thanks to Sarah at Bloodhound Books for my spot on the tour. Happy Publication Day to you Amanda xxx

Synopsis:

A suspenseful and gripping psychological thriller, perfect for fans of domestic noir.

Adopted at birth, for years Lu has secretly dreamt of finding her birth mother but childhood bullying has left her with a lack of confidence. When a tragic accident changes her life forever it sets her on a mission to get in contact with her birth mother and find out the reasons behind her adoption.

When she tracks down her mother in Cornwall there is an emotional reunion and the pair begin to form a relationship.

But is everything as wonderful as it appears or has Lu walked into a nightmare?

My Thoughts:

Lu is your average almost 30 something, dead-end job and a bit of a loner, she is also adopted.  After the recent death of her adoptive mother she decides this is the thing she needs to give her the push to actually find her birth mother.  When contact is made, Lu makes the decision to make the visit to meet her mother in Cornwall. Things seem to go well and a tentative relationship is struck between mother and daughter. As they get to know each other a little more the cracks start to show.

This starts off more like a contemporary fiction and then slowly it morphs into an absolutely amazing psychological story.  Lu is a really good character and I like the way she herself changed the story, from living at home with her adopted parents to finally taking the decision to stand on her own two feet.  By the end of the story I thought she was more confident and also more upbeat and positive about her life. From being a bullied child to a more confident woman. The dynamics between the two different families is a convincing read that really does draw you in the their lives.

I am a little bit biased about the Cornish setting of the book as I live in Cornwall, but I have to say the author does a wonderful job with the descriptions of St. Ives.  This knowledge of the area and also the love shows through in the authors writing giving a wonderful picture of a great place.

So as I mentioned earlier, this story changes, it steps up a gear and the depth the plot is revealed.  Here I think the author has done a great job of building up the thought of something not being quite right and when the twist finally shows itself bloody hell was I shocked, really didn’t see it coming and caught me completely unawares.

This is a great read and I would highly recommend it to readers who like a book that turns from a contemporary read into an amazing dark psychological suspense filled read.

 

About the Author:

Amanda+James.jpgAmanda James has written since she was a child, but never imagined that her words would be published. Then in 2010, after many twists and turns, the dream of becoming a writer came true.

Amanda has written many short stories and has six novels currently published. Her time travelling debut – A Stitch in Time was published in April of 2013 and has met with great success.

Amanda lives in Cornwall and is inspired every day by the beautiful coastline near her home. Three of her suspense/mystery novels are set there, Somewhere Beyond the Sea, Summer in Tintagel and the Behind the Lie – April 2017 pub – HQUK ( HarperCollins) Another Mother, also set in Cornwall is due out in April 2018 with Bloodhound Books.

Amanda can usually be found playing on the beach with her family, or walking the cliff paths planning her next book.

Follow Amanda on her – Blog ~ Twitter   ~ Facebook

See what other Book Bloggers think of this book by following the tour

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

#BlogTour : Abel’s Revenge by Ross Greenwood @greenwoodross @CarolineBookBit #PublicationDay #BookReview

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I am delighted to be one of the opening hosts today for the Blog Tour for  Abel’s Revenge by Ross Greenwood to share with you.  I am delighted to be on the Blog Tour for this book organised by Caroline at Bits About Books. My thanks to Ross and Caroline for my copy of this book and my spot on the tour.  Abel’s Revenge is available in paperback and also eBook today. You can purchase a copy HERE.

Synopsis:

This is a story about a city. As with all others, it’s a place of violence. There are murderers, and they live among us.

This is also a tale about a couple — sometimes friends, occasionally lovers, but always partners. Dan and Olivia are fighting modern battles; the ones parents have over a lack of money, time or peace.

An escalating serial killer terrifies the streets and homes. The body count rises as their relationship crumbles. Society reveals its dark side, and no one is safe. Dan and Olivia experience this first-hand as danger closes in.

Will Abel’s reign of terror ever end?

Who will live and who will die?

My Thoughts:

The synopsis for this book is quite unique and it is not until I now sit and write my review that I really get it’s significance as I re read it, a story about a city.  This is a clever and a brilliant concept of the city being responsible for the actions of people.  Life in a city is what you make it.  If you don’t accept and embrace the diversity and opportunities it lays out before you, it will mess with your head.  A couple with two children, one parent accepts city life and loves her life, the other parent feels suffocated, out-of-place and struggles.  With their own problems to deal with the couple hear of a serial killer crime wave.  It is a crime wave that terrorizes the inhabitants of the sprawling urban streets, it has a name. Its name is Abel.

This is a cleverly thought out book, with dark depths and subtle moments of unexpected sarcasm and humour as it brings the city to life through those who live in it.  It shows us a typical family with the stress and strain of being parents, and trying to balance time between children, work and for themselves. We hear of their story as the city is in the grip of Abel, his actions are on the news and on everyone’s lips, this adds another worry to their lives.

Half way through this book is a newspaper article that gives the most perfect way of summarising events that have been escalating.  It’s a great way of taking the reader out of the cocoon and opening it up to give a wider general opinion, it expands the vision and lets the reader get more of a feel for what is being referred to as “The Abel Effect”.  It adds public opinion, fear and outcry as they feel the police are not doing enough to balance this is the police response and how they are dealing with this phenomenon.

It is at this inclusion in the story I made a note as I was reading, “this is bad, but I have an even badder feeling something sinister is going to happen”, okay I am not very articulate when I make notes, but I know exactly what I felt and what I meant. This is the point when you realise that the story is winding up again, upping the ante and giving this reader a real sense of dread.  The way I had no idea who the serial killer was, well  had several suspects and kept changing my mind but had no idea how this story was going to end.

This is a story that took me on a journey that was unexpected, even after reading I am still thinking about it.  It is deceptive and a brilliant read, a book I really wanted to race through to discover the whys and hows of the plot, but one that I slowed my reading for so I could really understand the story behind the story.

This is a definitely highly recommended read, not often I use definite and highly together, it is a psychological thriller that is powerful, brutal and honest.  A look into the mind of a serial killer as the crimes are committed and seeing the reasoning and justification behind them.  But also in contrast, how a family struggling in their relationship deal with the strains of living within a city. This is a book that I think would be brilliant for a brilliant Book Club pick, it has many aspects that I think could give some great discussions.

About the Author

Ross Greenwood  Author Image.jpg  Ross Greenwood was born in 1973 in Peterborough and lived there until he was 20, attending The King’s School in the city. He then began a rather nomadic existence, living and working all over the country and various parts of the world.

Ross found himself returning to Peterborough many times over the years, usually, so he says “when things had gone wrong.” It was on one of these occasions that he met his partner about 100 metres from his back door whilst walking a dog. Two children swiftly followed. And, according to Ross, he is “still a little stunned by the pace of it now.”

Lazy Blood book was started a long time ago but parenthood and then four years as a prison officer got in the way. Ironically it was the four a.m. feed which gave the author the opportunity to finish the book as unable to get back to sleep he completed it in the early morning hours.

Ross Greenwood’s second book, The Boy Inside, was picked up by Bloodhound Books, and in September 2017, Fifty Years of Fear was published. All his books are thought provoking, and told with a sense of humour.

Ross Greenwood hopes you enjoy reading them.
Please feel free to get in touch on Website ~ Facebook ~  Twitter

Other Books by Ross Greenwood

Lazy Blood (Sept. 2016) Amazon UK
The Boy Inside (Feb 2017) Amazon UK
Fifty Years of Fear (Sept.2017) Amazon UK

See what other Book Bloggers think of this book by following the tour

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Many thanks for reading my post, a share would be amazing.  Get your own copy of this amazing book HERE 🙂 xx

#PublicationDay : Ike & Kay by James MacManus #ikeandkay @jamesmac1x: @Duckbooks #BookReview

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I am delighted to be sharing my thoughts on “Ike & Kay” by James MacManus.  It is publication day today for this book by Duckworth OverLook and is available in various formats.  CLICK HERE for the link to purchase from Amazon UK.  I would like to express my thanks to Thogdin at Duckworth Overlook for my copy of this wonderful book.

Synopsis:

The secret affair at the heart of World War II

Ike and Kay is the absorbing new novel from the highly acclaimed author James MacManus. A compelling historical novel, it is a vivid reimagining of General Eisenhower and Kay Summersby’s infamous love affair in London during World War II.

In 1942, Kay Summersby’s life is changed forever when she is conscripted to drive General Eisenhower on his fact-finding visit to wartime London. Despite Eisenhower’s marriage to Mamie, the pair take an immediate liking to each other and he buys Kay a rare wartime luxury: a box of chocolates. So begins a tumultuous relationship that, against all military regulation, sees Kay traveling with Eisenhower on missions to far-flung places before the final assault on Nazi Germany.

The general does dangerously little to conceal his affair with the woman widely known as “Ike’s shadow,” and in letters Mamie bemoans his new obsession with “that Irish woman”. That does not stop him from using his influence to grant Kay citizenship and rank in the US army, drawing her closer still when he returns to America. When officials discover Eisenhower’s plans to divorce his wife they threaten the fragile but passionate affair, and Kay is forced to take desperate measures to hold onto the man she loves…

Based on the scandalous true story of General Eisenhower’s secret World War II love affair, Ike and Kay is a compelling story of love, duty, sacrifice and heartbreak, set against the backdrop of the most tumultuous period of the 20th century.

My Thoughts:

Firstly this is a story that is based on true events.  It is the story of how Kay Summersby became driver to General Eisenhower while he was on a visit to London during WWII.  A time when street signs were removed and London was in a black out, hence the need for drivers with knowledge of the area, the MTC (Motor Transport Corp) was in place and essential for the movement of visitors.

James has created a story that has a great balance for this reader, actual events with a romantic liaison.  It becomes evident that there is something going on between Ike and Kay as she transports him not only around London, but further afield into Europe.  She is a woman who is able to provide a stable environment that Eisenhower gradually starts to rely on.  It is not based just during the war, but also continues in the years after.  You get to see different sides to the man who goes on to become President.  My opinion at the start of the book about these two people changed by the time I got the end.  My heart went out to Kay as her role during the war and after changed, her role changed so much from the driver she originally started out as.  Ike was in a position asking where loyalties lay, were they with Kay or to his country.

There are author notes at the end that are interesting reading, they explain how no one actually knows the extent of the relationship between Ike and Kay.  The story that is told is one that has been researched and the author has used this research to then create a wonderful read of what may have happened.  I had no idea about Kay and her role so I tootled off to do a bit of research of my own after I had finished reading.  I found photographs and various articles that was great to be able to put an actual face to the lady behind the story.

This is a story I would definitely recommend to readers of historical fiction, romantic fiction based during WWII, it is a mix of emotion and heartbreak  as the characters come to terms with their feelings and how they are seen by others with documented facts . As this lady was someone I knew nothing about it was interesting to read on further about her, and I am grateful for being introduced to Kay.

About the Author:

51QTtUz2b2L._SY200_ James MacManus has worked in the newspaper business for 46 years.He is currently the Managing Director of the Times Literary Supplement.He began his career on The Daily Express in Manchester after leaving St Andrews University.He worked in the Express regional offices in Newcastle,Belfast and Dublin before leaving to join the Guardian in London in 1972.He became Paris correspondent of that paper in 1974 then Africa and Middle East correspondent between the years of 1974-1985.He did not begin writing creatively until became MD of the TLS in 1998.His first book,Ocean Devil, told the story of a young Englishman who was caught up in the Sino-Japanese war of 1936-45.George Hogg was an Oxford graduate who worked as a journalist and then schoolmaster during the ferocious conflict.He became a hero in China having led a school of ninety children to safety from the advancing Japanese in the bitter winter of 1944.Ocean devil; was made into a film directed by Roger Spottiswoode and starring Jonathan Rhys Meyer. MacManus’ debut novel On the Broken Shore was published by Harper Collins in April 2010 and launched in the US with the title the Language of the Sea in 2013.

Follow James MacManus on : Website  ~ Twitter

Many thanks for reading my post, please give a share or a like.  Or go and get yourself a copy of this book CLICK HERE 🙂 xx

#BlogBlitz : The Scent of Guilt by Tony J Forder @TonyJForder @Bloodhoundbook @sarahhardy681 #PublicationDay #BookReview

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I am delighted to be sharing my thoughts for the 2nd in the “D.S Bliss” series.  “The Scent of Guilt” by Tony J Forder is published by Bloodhound Books and available to purchase from today in eBook format from Amazon UK.  My thoughts on the 1st in the series “Bad To The Bone” HERE. My thanks to Tony and Sarah Hardy, for my copy of the book and my spot on the tour.

Synopsis:

Looking for an unmissable crime thriller?

Twelve years after he left Peterborough under a cloud, DI Bliss returns to the city and the major crimes team. Having spent years policing organised crime, Bliss is plunged straight into the heart of a serial murder investigation. 

Meanwhile, Penny Chandler has been promoted to DS and has been working in

London on the Met’s sexual crimes team. But when two rapes are reported on her old patch in Peterborough, Chandler volunteers to interview the victims. 

Chandler joins the hunt for the attacker and soon notices a possible link between the rapes and Bliss’s murder investigation.  Could the same man be responsible?

Just as both cases seem to stall, a call comes in from an ex-policeman who knows of unsolved cases in the USA with a similar MO. Bliss finds himself travelling to California to hunt for a killer whose reach may have stretched further than anyone could possibly imagine.

But in order to catch the murderer, Bliss must discover the killer’s motive. A motive which should have remained buried in the past… 

Also available in the DI Bliss Series: Bad to the Bone

Tony J. Forder is the acclaimed author of Degrees of Darkness and Scream Blue Murder. The stunning DI Bliss series are fast-paced police thrillers which will appeal to fans of authors like Michael Connely, Joy Ellis, Faith Martin, Robert Bryndza and Angela Marsons. 

My Thoughts:

The 2nd in the D.S Bliss series sees the story 12 years on from the first book Bad To The Bone.  D.S Jimmy Bliss makes a return to his old stomping ground and his old job.  With the investigation of a strange and brutal murder, Bliss and his team investigate.  D.C Penny Chandler makes a return to Peterborough.   The case she is working on, while  on secondment in London may have a link to her old mentors case.

This can be read as a stand alone, but it definitely helps if you have read the first to get a feel for the history and backstories.  I read this book straight off the back of Bad To The Bone so it was still fresh in my head.  There is a time difference of 12 years between the two stories, my reading difference was 12 hours so it did take me a while to get into this one. Once I got my head around this time difference I was off and running.

There are a few old faces, but also some new ones as you would expect.  This has a different feel, it is more darker, sinister and more intricate.  It has several plots running through it that twists together that has the investigators trying to work out the why’s and the who’s.  I do admit to having an inkling as to who the “who” was, but never completely convinced I was right.  The story had some surprising twists and went down routes I didn’t expect therefore keeping my interest right the way through. I liked the dynamic of Bliss and Chandler in the first book, and was pleased to see a return of that in this one. Bliss is investigating a much darker feeling story than the last one, and with Chandler being on secondment to a sex crimes department, you know this is going to be more sinister.  So be warned!

This is a book I would definitely recommend to readers who like police procedural crime, murder, mystery and thriller books.  Dark, brutal and sinister that will have you avidly turning the pages.

About the Author:

22365495_499399223774817_4544080396425244912_nTony J Forder is the author of the critically acclaimed crime thriller Bad to the Bone, the first in a series featuring DI Jimmy Bliss and DC Penny Chandler. The sequel, The Scent of Guilt, is available from 17 February 2018. A third book in the series is currently in progress.

Tony’s dark, psychological crime thriller, Degrees of Darkness, featuring ex-detective Frank Rogers, was also published by Bloodhound Books. This was intended to be a stand-alone novel, but Tony is now considering the possibility of a follow-up.

One book that will definitely see a sequel is Scream Blue Murder. This was published in November 2017, and received praise from many, including fellow authors Mason Cross and Matt Hilton.

Follow Tony on ~ Twitter ~ Website

See what other readers think of this book by following the Blog Tour

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Many thanks for reading my post, if you liked it please give a share.  Or go and get a copy of this book and see what you think 🙂 xx

#BookReview : Fear by Dirk Kurbjuweit : #GrippedByFear : @orionbooks : @NetGalley : #PublicationDay

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Fear by Dirk Kurbjuweit and translated by Imogen Taylor. It is available for purchase in various formats and is published by The Orion Publishing Group.

Synopsis:

You’d die for your family. But would you kill for them?

Family is everything. So what if yours was being terrorised by a neighbour – a man who doesn’t listen to reason, whose actions become more erratic and sinister with each passing day? And those you thought would help – the police, your lawyer – can’t help you.

You become afraid to leave your family at home alone. But there’s nothing more you can do to protect them.

Is there?

My Thoughts:

This is quite a different book. It is based around the authors experiences of being stalked. We are told from the outset of the crime that has been committed, who committed it and who the victim was.

It is written from the viewpoint of the main protagonist, Randolph. The author states at the very beginning that Randolph is a version of himself.

So initially we start in present day when Randolph has just phoned the police to report the murder. We are then taken back to Randolph’s childhood, his years growing up in a still divided Germany, how he met his wife Rebecca and his life after. These details, for me, provide the main crux of the story, they are wrapped around the events leading up to and including the murder that takes place.

The murder was the result of Dieter, the neighbour and his unhealthy obsession with Randolph and Rebecca’s family. Dieter has accused them of abusing their children Paul and Fay. He is initially friendly towards the family when they move into the flat above him, but soon things change and he begins a reign of terror.

So essentially there are two stories running in this book, that of Randolph and his life story, then, that of Dieter and his terrorising of the family. There is a huge amount of information in this book and explores a vast array of topics, such as, status, class and culture, as well as lots of observational accounts of living in a divided Germany at a time of great change. It is a good genre spanning book with crime, thriller, psychological aspects and fiction.

This book is written as an account of events, it is set at a good pace with well described and developed characters. I would recommend this book to readers of Crime and Thriller, Psychological Thriller and also Fiction.

My thanks to Orion Publishing and NetGalley for my copy of this eARC.  My views are my own and are unbiased.

Praise for the Book:

What critics are saying about FEAR:

‘I’m intrigued by Dirk Kurbjuweit’s novel FEAR, about a stalker living downstairs’ – LIONEL SHRIVER, THE OBSERVER

Remarkable’ – THE OBSERVER

‘Addictive… There’s a twist at the end that is worth waiting for’ – INDEPENDENT

‘A terrifying study of a family threatened by the tenant living downstairs’ – WOMAN&HOME

‘Brilliantly done to play on every parents’ deepest fears’ – FIONA BARTON, bestselling author of THE WIDOW

What readers are saying about FEAR:

‘Thought-provoking, intelligent and genuinely chilling. It’s quite possible that we are all just a few provocations away from cold-blooded murder’ – ELIZABETH HAYNES, author of INTO THE DARKEST CORNER

A terrific, original thriller – I loved it’ JOANNE HARRIS

‘FEAR makes us sympathetic to violent revenge, accessories to murder’ – HERMAN KOCH, author of THE DINNER

‘I loved it. So rich and claustrophobic’ – RENEE KNIGHT, author of DISCLAIMER

‘The most original thriller of the year’ – NETGALLEY

‘Expertly constructed, highly entertaining and thought-provoking’ – Cloggie, Amazon reviewer

‘If you’re looking for a thriller with psychological insight, I highly recommend this one’ – Marjorie, Amazon reviewer

‘Not your usual thriller’ – Fiona, Amazon reviewer

About the Author:

Dirk Kurbjuweit is deputy editor-in-chief at German current affairs magazine Der Spiegel, where he has worked since 1999, and divides his time between Berlin and Hamburg. He has received numerous awards for his writing, including the Egon Erwin Kisch Prize for journalism, and is the author of seven critically acclaimed novels, many of which, including FEAR, have been adapted for film, television and radio in Germany. FEAR is the first of his works to be translated into English.

 

Many thanks for reading my post, if you liked it please give it a share.  Better still go and grab a copy of this book xx

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Finally a few books from my TBR Pile.

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

 

 

 

 

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

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

#BookReview : Sweet Maple by Michelle Visser @SoulyRested

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

About Sweet Maple:

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

My Thoughts:

Now my curiosity got the better of me when I saw Michelle’s book “Sweet Maple”.  I have a bit of a background in the catering industry and had not put much thought into the process of extracting maple syrup.  As I read this book I was amazed at how intricate, time-consuming this process is and all the factors that come into play, that can help or hinder the process.

As I started reading this book, I was struck by the humble nature of the author.  Here is a lady who quite freely admits to making, and still making mistakes, but how she learns from each one and moves on.  Her failures in making maple syrup has given her a basis for this book, or,  she refers to it as “being the heart of it”.

With her family in a 14 acres wooded homestead in New England, Michelle tells how as a family they live with and within a beautiful area.  She shares the area with her husband and children, as well as a  dog, cows, chickens and other animals.  Having access to suitable trees for tapping and extracting is only part of the process.  When I read this book it became quickly apparent that I know absolutely nothing about the process.  But with Michelle’s wit and humour she has explained all the ins and outs, and also included a list of supplies, suppliers.  It is quite an intensive book, but does not feel like it.  That is only the beginning, she also explains what trees can be tapped, and it’s not just maple trees!

At this point I am loving this book, it is informative, well laid out and has warmth and humour to it.  Then comes the yummy section, the recipes.  Two words here “MAPLE CREAM”, I think I may need this in my life.  It sounds amazing. The are some really good basic recipes, as yet I have not tries them, but I feel they would be a good starting point for using the syrup.  I am definitely going to be having a go at maple scones, as well as a “snickerdoodle” (I love this word, never heard of it before), it looks very similar to a light, airy gingerbread biscuit.  A nice array of recipes for home baking, nothing flask or fancy, that fits in well with what I have learnt from this book.

This to me was a wonderful, delightful read.  There are some beautiful pictures in this book that are interspersed around the writing.  It is informative, but light-hearted, a joy to read. I have also been having a good look around Michelle’s website, and found that also a mine of information, links and also extra recipes, and the opportunity to sign up to her newsletter.

I would like to take this time to express my thanks to Michelle, for allowing me a copy of her book.  My thoughts are honest and my own.  I wish you all the very best Michelle xx

About the Author:

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Michelle Visser is a homesteader in rural New England. She’s a fourth-generation gardener, an author and photographer, mom to four daughters, and the sugarmaker’s wife. In their 200-year-old farmhouse and on their 14 rocky tree-filled acres, her family makes an effort to live life a little more simply by growing some of their own food, raising a few farm animals, and making their own all-natural maple sugar.

Author Links:

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

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Check out my maple syrup books and video course here.

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

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

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

 

Ligali_TheBigEvent_Ebook

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

Synopsis:

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

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

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

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

My Thoughts:

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

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

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

Happy Publication Day Anne xxx

About the Author:

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

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

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

You can connect with Anne on the links below

AUTHOR BLOG: http://annejohnligali.com/

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

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

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

BLOGSITE: www.booksandauthors.co.uk

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

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

Book Details:

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

                                                                                    Giveaway Prize - Verigo-Tea

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

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

 

 

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

#MyBookWeek : What I have reviewed this Week : on “Me and My Books” @yvonnembee

 

Book week nov 1

 

This week has been an interesting mixed bunch.  From the heartbreaking, fun, quirky and mysterious, covering Victorian England to Europe and America with a space trip.  These books are from a variety of sources.  Direct from the author, NetGalley eARC, blog tour ARC’s and one I had bought.


“The Things We Learn When We’re Dead” by Charlie Laidlaw. 

The things we learn COVER FINAL  Synopsis: On the way home from a dinner party she didn’t want to attend, Lorna Love steps into the path of an oncoming car. When she wakes up she is in what appears to be a hospital – but a hospital in which her nurse looks like a young Sean Connery, she is served wine for supper, and everyone avoids her questions. It soon transpires that she is in Heaven, or on HVN. Because HVN is a lost, dysfunctional spaceship, and God the aging hippy captain. She seems to be there by accident. Or does God have a higher purpose after all? At first Lorna can remember nothing. As her memories return – some good, some bad – she realises that she has decisions to make and that she needs to find a way home…

 I was fortunate to be sent this book by the author.  It is available from Amazon UK  Amazon US  see my thoughts HERE


“The Winter’s Child” by Cassandra Parkin.

winters child Blog Tour Banner jpeg  Synopsis: Five years ago, Susannah Harper’s son Joel went missing without trace. Bereft of her son and then of her husband, Susannah tries to accept that she may never know for certain what has happened to her lost loved ones. She has rebuilt her life around a simple selfless mission: to help others who, like her, must learn to live without hope.

But then, on the last night of Hull Fair, a fortune-teller makes an eerie prediction. She tells her that this Christmas Eve, Joel will finally come back to her.

As her carefully-constructed life begins to unravel, Susannah is drawn into a world of psychics and charlatans, half-truths and hauntings, friendships and betrayals, forcing her to confront the buried truths of her family’s past, where nothing and no one are quite as they seem.

A ghostly winter read with a modern gothic flavour. A tale of twisted love, family secrets and hauntings.

I took part in the blog tour promotion for this book. It is available from Amazon UK  and you can see my thoughts on this book HERE.


“Absolution” by P.A Davies.

Absolution - P.A. Davies - Book Cover  Synopsis: When the Militia entered the peaceful village of Nyanyar Ngun, South Sudan in 1992 – amidst the backdrop of a bitter civil war – it wasn’t in peace.

Soldiers of the SFL committed untold atrocities in that small farming village, before finally razing it to the ground. From a line of terrified children, boys were chosen to become recruits of the Militia, whilst girls were taken for selling within a market of odious buyers. Those who weren’t selected were either left to perish or murdered where they stood.

In a field of high maize next to the village, sixteen-year old Jada lay hidden and afraid, witnessing the merciless slaughter of his parents and the capture of his sister Kiden; powerless to stop it, too frightened to try.

But now – tortured by grief, consumed with shame and driven by guilt – Jada must embark on a long & arduous journey to rescue his sister from a sinister world and earn his absolution…or die trying!

Another blog tour promotion I took part in.  The book is available from Amazon UK and my thoughts HERE.


 

Dinner at The Happy Skeleton by Chris Chalmers.

cover  Synopsis: Dan is the kind of gay man for whom the Noughties might have been named. Warm, witty and serially promiscuous, his heart melts at the sight of a chocolate brown Labrador – but with men, it’s a different matter. He’s thirty-nine and as single as ever, not counting the couple he just met online. An arrangement that looks oddly like it’s going somewhere until Dan gets fired from his job in advertising. With time out from his career and a payoff in his pocket, the summer presents a world of possibilities; just as the memories surface of the ex he blames for the thinly-veiled chaos of his life.

From London to Ljubljana, a yen for closure sets Dan on the trail of the man who fed his ego into a shredder. Through an eerie encounter at the home of the Olympiad and a sleepover at the Dutch Embassy, run-ins with a fading porn star and the celestial manifestation of Margaret Thatcher, he ultimately confronts his past. Until, with his Big Four-Oh rapidly approaching, destiny beckons from where he least expects it.

I was fortunate to be sent this book by the author. I was able to post my review on publication day for this book.  Available from Amazon UK see my thoughts HERE.


“Wormwood” by Larry Enmon.   

Larry-Enmon---Wormwood_cover_high-res  Synopsis: In Dallas, Texas, Katrina Wallace goes missing. As the mayor’s daughter, her kidnapping triggers mounting political pressure and forces the Chief of Police to put two senior detectives on the case. Rob Soliz and Frank Pierce have done the impossible in the past, but their methods are unconventional.

The only evidence at the scene is a Bible found in the girl’s car and soon Frank and Rob find themselves involved in a disturbing investigation shrouded by Bible prophecy, doomsday cults, and murder.

Is Katrina still alive? And what exactly is Wormwood?

As the trail leads them into the woods of rural East Texas, Frank must deal with his lingering religious doubts and solve the case. His worst fears will be realised when he must discover the ugly truth about Wormwood. But he and Rob will have to get out alive to tell the story…

Another blog tour promotion book.  It is available from  Amazon UK Amazon US and my thoughts are HERE.


“The Price of Silence” by Delores Gordon-Smith.

34758406  Synopsis: A thrilling World War One spy story from the author of the acclaimed Jack Haldean series.

Working for the British Government as a secret agent, Anthony Brooke wants to expose the people responsible for blackmailing innocent people and gruesome murders. But when the gang plots a kidnap, Anthony finds himself in the race to reach the little girl before they do. However, Milly will not be easy to retrieve, for she is in a Belgian convent, in German-occupied territory.

To rescue her, Anthony must go behind enemy lines, crawl under the wire, face ruthless German guards and break into a convent. But, even if he can save her, what possible use could an orphan girl be to a violent gang? Anthony must find out soon, as countless more lives than just the little girl’s are in danger…

This was an eARC from Severn House Publishing via NetGalley.  It is available from Amazon UK Amazon US and my thoughts are HERE.


“Dr Jekyll and Mr Seek” by Anthony O’Neill 

36175083  Synopsis: The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde Continues…

Seven years after the death of Edward Hyde, a stylish gentleman shows up in foggy London claiming to be Dr Henry Jekyll. Only Mr Utterson, Jekyll’s faithful lawyer and confidant, knows that he must be an impostor – because Jekyll was Hyde. But as the man goes about charming Jekyll’s friends and reclaiming his estate, and as the bodies of potential challengers start piling up, Utterson is left fearing for his life … and questioning his own sanity.

This brilliantly imagined and beautifully written sequel to one of literature’s greatest masterpieces perfectly complements the original work. And where the original was concerned with the duality of man, this sequel deals with the possibility of identity theft of the most audacious kind. Can it really be that this man who looks and acts so precisely like Dr Henry Jekyll is an imposter?

This is a book I purchased for a Facebook group called A Love of Books “Book Night Read”. Available to buy from Amazon UK Amazon US and my thoughts are HERE.


 

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