The Doll by Yrsa Sigurdardottir #NeyGalley #20booksofsummer #PublicationDay @HodderBooks #suspense #bookreview

Firstly, Happy Publication Day to Yrsa Sigurdardottir on her latest novel The Doll. This is my 6th book choice that I am delighted to share my review for as part of for #20booksof summer reading challenge.

My thanks to the publisher Hodder & Stoughton for my e-copy request via NetGalley. My review is my own. I still get the creeps when I see this cover!!!

It was meant to be a quiet family fishing trip, a chance for mother and daughter to talk. But it changes the course of their lives forever.

They catch nothing except a broken doll that gets tangled in the net. After years in the ocean, the doll a terrifying sight and the mother’s first instinct is to throw it back, but she relents when her daughter pleads to keep it. This simple act of kindness proves fatal. That evening, the mother posts a picture of the doll on social media. By the morning, she is dead and the doll has disappeared.

Several years later and Detective Huldar is in his least favourite place – on a boat in rough waters, searching for possible human remains. However, identifying the skeleton they find on the seabed proves harder than initially thought, and Huldar must draw on psychologist Freyja’s experience to help him. As the mystery of the unidentified body deepens, Huldar is also drawn into an investigation of a homeless drug addict’s murder, and Freyja investigates a suspected case of child abuse at a foster care home.

What swiftly becomes clear is that the cases are linked through a single, missing, vulnerable witness: the young girl who wanted the doll all those years ago.

My Review…

I am so glad I had a digital copy of this book rather than a physical copy. I mean, that cover! It so creepy and unsettling.

The doll is discovered during a fishing trip by a young girl out with her mum and a family friend. Later that night the mother dies, the police agree that is was an accident. Rosa is adamant that she wasn’t and that her mum was murdered. She is ignored and her pleas fall on deaf ears.

This is a slower paced police procedural that is set in Iceland. It is a book in the Children’s House series but can easily be read as a stand alone. It did take me a while to get my head around the characters as initially a few were introduced over a short period. I did soon however remember who was who.

The plot of the story is one that is interesting and I was intrigued as to why the doll was so important. It wasn’t until the latter stages that I eventually got the answers. There is several plots going on in this story and it was complex but it did make sense during the reading.

It looks s heavier on the descriptions and details and even though I did like this it did slow the pace down considerably. Fine is you like a more in-depth procedural. It does add a tension and suspense aspect to the story as you have to wait longer for the clues to connect.

I enjoyed this story, a complex and intriguing crime thriller that I would recommend. 

AND JUST IN CASE YOU WANT TO SEE THAT COVER AGAIN…

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

A Cut for a Cut (Detective Kate Young #2) by Carol Wyer #ACutForACut #DetectiveKateYoung @carolewyer @AmazonPub @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours #PublicationDay #crime #thriller #bookreview

I am delighted to be one of the Book Bloggers to be opening the Blog Tour today and to share my review for A Cut for a Cut by Carol Wyer. This is the second book in the Detective Kate Young series. I read and loved the first book, An Eye for an Eye (full review HERE)and this second is also totally brilliant.

My thanks to Emma at damppebbles blog tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my copy of this fabulous book via NetGalley.

I also want to take the opportunity to wish Carol a very Happy Publication Day xx

DI Kate Young can’t trust anybody. Not even herself.

In the bleak countryside around Blithfield Reservoir, a serial murderer and rapist is leaving a trail of bloodshed. His savage calling card: the word ‘MINE’ carved into each of his victims.

DI Kate Young struggles to get the case moving—even when one of the team’s own investigators is found dead in a dumpster. But Kate is battling her own demons. Obsessed with exposing Superintendent John Dickson and convinced there’s a conspiracy running deep in the force, she no longer knows who to trust. Kate’s crusade has already cost her dearly. What will she lose next?

When her stepsister spills a long-buried secret, Kate realises she’s found the missing link—now she must prove it before the killer strikes again. With enemies closing in on all sides, she’s prepared to do whatever it takes to bring them down. But time is running out, and Kate’s past has pushed her to the very edge. Can she stop herself from falling?

Purchase Links – Amazon – UK or US

My Review…

Having read and loved the first book in this series, An Eye For An Eye I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the second Detective Kate Young book. And Wow! what a story!

The author does fill in details about Kate and her life from the first book, but in all honesty, I would recommend reading the first book to get a proper idea of what Kate has been and is currently dealing with.

It is often the case that the lead detectives in fiction do have some trouble or scarring from their pasts. With Kate, however, this is something that she is not over dealing with, she is constantly reminded of her loss. I am not going to delve into this too much, but what the author did with this thread at the end of the book left me with goosebumps and also worried about Kate! Such a subtle sentence!

The case itself is brutal. A woman found dead with the word MINE carved into her skin is only the start of the investigation. Having only a small team at her disposal keeps Kate on the back foot to a certain extent. Lacking the resources but still having the pressure from those above doesn’t help her but her tenacity is something that keeps her going.

As the case intensifies the intrigue is built upon. Occasional italicised chapters add a very tense edge giving a more brutal, chilling psychological side to the story.

There is so much I want to say about the case, Kate’s personal life and the story in general. It is a brilliantly woven story and I am only just touching the edge of what happens. Fear of leaving spoilers and ruining it for those who have not yet read this is keeping this review vague.

With a personal story, a family reunion, pressure from the hierarchy it is a wonder Kate holds everything together. Is she holding it together or is she just hanging on? This is where the author has worked some magic, keeping Kate juggling so many things.

This is a brilliantly worked second book in the series and one that had me gripped. It is brutal, chilling, carefully worked and just amazing reading. One for those who like a gritty, crime, thriller and one I would very definitely recommend.

About the Author…

USA Today bestselling author and winner of The People’s Book Prize Award, Carol Wyer writes feel-good comedies and gripping crime fiction.

A move from humour to the ‘dark side’ in 2017, saw the introduction of popular DI Robyn Carter in LITTLE GIRL LOST and demonstrated that stand-up comedian Carol had found her true niche.

To date, her crime novels have sold over 750,000 copies and been translated for various overseas markets.

Carol has been interviewed on numerous radio shows discussing ”Irritable Male Syndrome’ and ‘Ageing Disgracefully’ and on BBC Breakfast television. She has had articles published in national magazines ‘Woman’s Weekly’, featured in ‘Take A Break’, ‘Choice’, ‘Yours’ and ‘Woman’s Own’ magazines and the Huffington Post.

She currently lives on a windy hill in rural Staffordshire with her husband Mr Grumpy… who is very, very grumpy.

When she is not plotting devious murders, she can be found performing her comedy routine, Smile While You Still Have Teeth.

Social Media:

WebsiteBlogFacebookTwitterInstagramPinterestLinkedinGoodreadsYouTube

Check out the other stops on the Blog Tour…

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

Summer Secrets at Streamside Cottage by Samantha Tonge @SamTongeWriter @Aria_Fiction @rararesources #contemporaryfiction #romance #PublicationDay #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Summer Secrets at Streamside Cottage by Samantha Tonge. This is a fabulous read and perfect now that we have more sunny days and the weather is warming up.

My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for arranging my e-copy of this gorgeous book. I would also like to wish Sam a very Happy Publication Day 🙂

Summer Secrets at Streamside Cottage

A new start can come from the most unexpected places…

It’s been years since Lizzie Lockhart spoke to her parents. But she was safe in the knowledge she knew everything about them. Once upon a time, they were as close as could be. Until they weren’t.

After receiving the earth-shattering news of their passing, Lizzie decides it’s time to unearth some family secrets and find out just who her parents really were… starting with Streamside Cottage. A cottage Lizzie never knew existed, in a place she’s never heard of: the beautiful English village of Leafton.

Leaving behind London, and the tattoo parlour she called home, Lizzie finds herself moving to the countryside. Faced with a tight-lipped community, who have secrets of their own, Lizzie is at a loss for what to do, until her rather handsome neighbour, Ben, steps in to help.

As Lizzie finally begins to piece together the puzzle of her family history she realises she has to confront the truth of the past in order to face her future.

Purchase Links – Amazon UK or US Kobo

My Review…

Oh my goodness what a fabulous read Summer Secrets at Streamside Cottage was. Lizzie discovers her parents owned a cottage when their will is read. The cottage is left to her Aunt Fiona, Lizzie knows nothing about the house.

The village of Leafton has that wonderful community feel and Lizzie feels at home after living in the buzz of London. She had led quite a sheltered childhood as her parents were overly protective, and I mean really over the top protective. Leaving home to go to Uni was an ey opener and this led to her starting to stand on her own two feet causing a rift between daughter and parents. Staying in the secretive property will give Lizzie a chance to find out more about her past and parents. But are the locals of the village willing to share their secrets?

This is such a wonderful read that I absolutely adored from the first few paragraphs. It is told in a now and past format, the way the past is told works well with the Now part of the story. It is told in gradual back steps through the years and links in with Lizzie’s discoveries. There are more secrets to be unearthed than the obvious and these cause more than a few emotional discoveries and admissions for some of the characters.

I really liked how the author used a tattooist as the main protagonist. Even though tattoos are more accepted there is still a stigma attached. It would have been easy to give Lizzie a harder time as she does have artwork adorning her skin, but the author went down a more acceptable route and I liked how it was woven into the story with explanations. I am slightly biased about tattoos as I do have three of my own.

The sense of things being secretive and hidden was wonderful, at times with the sense that there was something much deeper to come. Weaving the locals and their stories into the story of Lizzie was a really good way of adding intrigue. While the locals are supportive there is a feeling that there is more that needs to be told.

I thoroughly enjoyed this story, it is one of family and accepting the past, of heartbreaking discoveries. While it is a rom-com and it has a nice romantic thread, this feels more serious as there are some more serious issues that are dealt with. It is one for those who like a romance with a touch more suspense to it and it is one I would definitely recommend. 

About the Author…

Samantha Tonge lives in Manchester UK and studied German and French at university. She has worked abroad, including a stint at Disneyland Paris, and has travelled widely.
She has sold many dozens of short stories to women’s magazines.

In 2014 her bestselling debut, Doubting Abbey, was shortlisted for the Festival of Romantic Fiction Best Ebook Award.
In 2015 her summer novel, Game of Scones, hit #5 in the UK Kindle chart and won the Love Stories Awards Best Romantic Ebook category.
In 2019 she was shortlisted for the RNA’s Romantic Comedy Award.
In 2020 she won the RNA’s Jackie Collins Romantic Thriller Award with her novel Knowing You, from publisher Canelo.

Social Media Links – Twitter Facebook Instagram Website

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

New Arrivals at Hedgehog Hollow by Jessica Redland @JessicaRedland @rararesources @BoldwoodBooks #boldwoodbloggers #contemporaryfiction #bookreview #PublicationDay

I am delighted to be one of the Blogger to open the Blog Tour and share my review today for New Arrivals at Hedgehog Hollow by Jessica Redland. This is the second book in this gorgeous series and I adored it. My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my e-copy of this book and for my spot on the Blog Tour.

I also want to wish Jessica a very Happy Publication Day xx

Here is more about it…

With new arrivals comes new responsibilities…
The sun is shining, wild flowers are blooming and Hedgehog Hollow is officially open for business.

For Samantha, the proud owner of this beautiful rescue centre, life has never been busier. But with an influx of new hogs and hoglets to take care of, not to mention a full-time job and ongoing family issues, can she accept the possibility that she has taken on more than she can handle?

Fortunately, she has the love of her life, Josh, by her side for support and encouragement. But Josh has his own family troubles to deal with. And soon he must decide if he’s ready to do the one thing he swore he’d never do – forgive his father.

For both Samantha and Josh it’s a season of change and for figuring out whether the past can ever truly be forgotten.

Escape back to wonderful Hedgehog Hollow with top 10 bestseller Jessica Redland for the perfect uplifting read full of love, hope and forgiveness.

Purchase Link – HERE

My Review…

If you have already read the first book in this series, then you know that Samantha is going to run a Hedgehog Sanctuary, and continue the dream of Gwendolen and Thomas. This second book begins on the official opening day of the sanctuary, although there are already a few prickly residents being looked after.

Samantha is not alone in this venture, she has the lovely Josh by her side. These two work well together and while this book sees them taking a step forward together in their relationship. But stepping forward is difficult when there are things that make you uncertain, that make you doubt yourself.

I adored the first book, it had a wonderful warmth to it, this second book continues that heartwarming theme, that also has some very anxious moments and definitely throws up more than a surp[rise or two. Things that have happened in the past for Josh and Samantha individually is still around, things do need sorting properly but they have to find the time, patience and courage. Everything happens in its own time.

I really enjoyed the way the backstories of these two characters still had more to share. It added a sense of intrigue to the story as well as filling in pieces that help to give more of an understanding to the characters.

As this is not just about people but also hedgehogs, there are some gorgeous little stories about some of those that need help. There are also some moments that make you frown and also get sad. I do like how the author has kept things realistic with the rescues, not every rescue is going to have a happy ending, but I have to say the way the book finished left me with a lump in my throat.

The author has once again given me a gorgeous book to read, filled with wonderful characters and has developed them further. I know there is still more to come and there are some other characters that have more to tell. I know I have focused on Samantha and Josh, and in some ways, this is very much their story, but there are also many other brilliant characters. After all, you can’t run a sanctuary by yourself, can you?

A gorgeous story that if you really must read as a stand-alone would work, but you would be missing out on such a wonderful start to a series that should be read to get the full picture. Once again I came away from this book learning more about hedgehogs.

A stunning story, with fabulous characters and, is just a gorgeous book to settle down with. I adore this series and can’t wait for the next book. I would definitely recommend it.

About the Author…

Jessica Redland is the bestselling author of ten novels, including The Secret to Happiness, which are all set around the fictional location of Whitsborough Bay. Inspired by her hometown of Scarborough she writes uplifting women’s fiction which has garnered many devoted fans.

Social Media Links – Instagram TwitterFacebook Website BlogBookbub Mailing list sign up

Check out the other stops on the Blog Tour…

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

The Gates of Athens by Conn Iggulden @MichaelJBooks #histfic #publicationday #TheGatesOfAthens #NetGalley #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Gates of Athens by Conn Iggulden. This is one for historical fiction readers and is an author who I really enjoy reading. Let me show you what his latest book is about…

490 B.C.

Two great empires are about to go to war . . .

The momentous struggle between Athens and Sparta as rival powers and political systems will last for twenty-seven years (431 to 404 BC).

It will end in the fall of a dynasty.

Filled with cunning political scheming and astonishing military prowess, invasions and treacheries, plagues and slaughters, passion and power, Conn Iggulden brings to life one of the most thrilling chapters of the ancient world.

Published by Penguin UK Michael Joseph Purchase Link from Amazon UK – HardbackKindleAudiobook (these links are affilaite)

Well, what a brilliantly addictive read this book was. I have read a few books by this author now and he is an author who I can rely on to give a riveting read that is also very well researched. This is an author who definitely knows his history and is also how to weave that historical fact into a story that is an incredible read.

I do like historical fiction and non-fiction books, although my knowledge is only small. What I did find with The Gates of Athens is that it felt right. This is a story that sees the historical battle between the Persians and the Greeks, it is the one that leads up to and includes the stand of the Spartan King at the pass in an attempt to stop the progress of Xerses into Athens.

The story focuses on key figures of the time in Athens, a city of democracy and that no one man can be above all others. It is a city of culture, wealth and politics. Now, wherever politics are involved there is also a certain amount of political wrangling. Of being seen to support certain figures or making a stand against them. I have to say that I really enjoyed this part of the story as I saw how subtle nudges and comments can lead to something much bigger.

There is also a good amount of other details of how people lived, the wealthy households are run from different cultures of the ancient world. Many of the details are brief but they help to show the differences between the various cultures.

If you like historical fiction that is set in Ancient Greece, that is full of battles, intrigue, politics and is simply a fabulous read then this is a book I would definitely recommend.

Image and Bio from Author Page on Amazon UK

Born in London, Conn Iggulden read English at London University and worked as a teacher for seven years before becoming a full-time writer. Married with three children, he lives in Hertfordshire. Since publication of ‘The Gates of Rome’, Conn has written a further thirteen books including the wildly successful ‘The Dangerous Book for Boys’.

Visit Conn on Amazon Author Page

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

What Lies Beneath by Adam Croft @adamcroft #WhatLiesBeneath #crime #publicationday #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for a new series by Adam Croft. The first book is called What Lies Beneath and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I would also like to thank Joanne for my advance copy and to also wish Adam a very Happy Publication Day xx

Let me show you what it is all about…

A peaceful Sunday morning in Rutland is shattered when a dead body is discovered on the rocks at Normanton Church.  

The victim has been laid out in a crucifixion pose, facing the altar. DI Caroline Hills is certain there’s a religious connection — one which threatens the tranquility of life in the area. 

The killer has gone to extraordinary lengths to make the symbolism clear. And the deaths will continue until Caroline and DS Dexter Antoine uncover the truth behind the dark secret — and what lies beneath.

Purchase Link – Amazon UK (this is an affiliate link)

Also available on – KoboAppleNookGooglePaperback

This is the first book in the Ruland series and I thoroughly enjoyed it a lot. Given that Rutland is a small area to police, the police force is also small, and fictional. When a body is found, its position and placement lead DI Caroline Hills to start looking into the history of the county she has recently moved to.

I did like Caroline a lot, her move from a city into a rural location has been done well and I am looking forward to her starting to find her feet with the squad she works with. Her main sidekick is Dexter and there is already a good working relationship and some good banter going on.

The case causes problems and involves stepping on a few toes, this doesn’t make Caroline popular, but her job is to catch a killer not be polite to people. Her city ways are soon commented on!

I liked the way the author mixed in the local history with the crime, it is an area that has a lot of history when a valley was flooded to create Rutland Water. A police procedural at its heart, but given the smaller scale of the police force it made it feel more like a cosy mystery and this I did really like.

This is a book that is easily one you can sit and read in an afternoon, it is a police procedural so one for the crime fans, but also one that I really do think cosy mystery readers would really enjoy. I liked it a lot and I would definitely recommend it.

With more than half a million books sold to date, Adam Croft is one of the most successful independently published authors in the world, and one of the biggest selling authors of the past year.

Following his 2015 worldwide bestseller Her Last Tomorrow, his psychological thrillers were bought by Thomas & Mercer, an imprint of Amazon Publishing. Prior to the Amazon deal, Her Last Tomorrow sold more than 150,000 copies across all platforms and became one of the bestselling books of the year, reaching the top 10 in the overall Amazon Kindle chart and peaking at number 12 in the combined paperback fiction and non-fiction chart.

His Knight & Culverhouse crime thriller series has sold more than 250,000 copies worldwide, with his Kempston Hardwick mystery books being adapted as audio plays starring some of the biggest names in British TV.

In 2016, the Knight & Culverhouse Box Set reached number 1 in Canada, knocking J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Cursed Child off the top spot only weeks after Her Last Tomorrow was also number 1 in Canada.

During the summer of 2016, two of Adam’s books hit the USA Today bestseller list only weeks apart, making them two of the most-purchased books in the United States over the summer.

Before writing full time, Adam had previously worked as an internet marketing consultant, delivery driver and professional actor.

Adam has been featured on BBC Radio, The Guardian, The Huffington Post, The Bookseller and a number of other news and media outlets.

Follow Adam on – TwitterWebsite

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

Christmas at Ladywell by Nicola Slade @nicolasladeuk @rararesources #Bookreview #Giveaway (open Int)

Happy Publication Day Nicola 🙂

I am delighted to share my thoughts with you today for Christmas at Ladywell by Nicola Slade. I read this for the Blog Tour and wish to thank Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my space on this Publication Day Push!

Let me show you what it is about…

A time for spilling secrets…

Having refurbished her inherited house and upcycled her whole life in the process, Freya – now happily married to Patrick, and with a small child – has to transform her tiny stone barn into a romantic hideaway for a mystery guest who is also looking for change. With Christmas only a week away, things don’t go according to plan…

In the past old uncertainties are resolved when an elderly woman seeks the truth of a legend on Christmas Eve and confesses to a deception; a Tudor wife listens to a story that must never be repeated and is given a precious relic that must never be displayed; and in the early nineteenth century an old woman tells a younger one the story of the hares at Ladywell.

Past and present are only a whisper apart when Freya learns of an astonishing discovery that will make Ladywell famous, but meanwhile her house is full of unexpected visitors, she has a turkey to cook – and a very special secret of her own that must be told.

Purchase links – Amazon – UKUS

This is a lovely novella and so a quick read. A story of a family that spans the generations and has a mysterious, magical and Christmas feel to it.

This is told in two timelines, there is the present setting as I get to know the family currently residing at Ladywell. Then there is the italicised sections that deal with the history of the area and the family through the years.

So a mix of two different styles as such, historical fiction and mystery as they are combined to create an enchanting and almost magical story. The present setting in Ladywell sounds lovely and a wonderful place to be at Christmas. While the past shows similarities and I gradually saw mysteries and secrets starting to emerge.

This is a charming read that has a folk lore-ish feel to the historical and a warm and generous family feel in the modern time. If you want a quick read then this is ideal, it had a nice flow and had some surprises within its pages and it is a short story that I would recommend.

Nicola Slade is an award-winning, bestselling author of historical and contemporary mysteries and romantic fiction, all set in and around Winchester and Romsey in Hampshire – which is where she lives. The House at Ladywell – a contemporary romantic novel with historical echoes – won the Chatelaine Grand Prize for Romantic Fiction at the CIBA awards in April 2019.

She is the author of the mid-Victorian Charlotte Richmond mysteries and the contemporary Harriet Quigley mysteries and The Convalescent Corpse, published November 2018, is the first in a new series, The Fyttleton Mysteries, set in 1918.

Media Links – WebsiteBlogTwitterFacebookPintrest


Now then! Are you ready for a chnace to win a copy of The Convalescent Corpse by Nicola? You are! Well, ideal 🙂

I read The Convalescent Corpse a while ago and you can see what I thought of it HERE 🙂

Giveaway to Win a .mobi or PDF of The Convalescent Corpse by Nicola Slade (Open INT)

*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 Rachel’s Random Resources reserves 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 Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

ENTER HERE – Good Luck

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

The Bandit Queen by Natalia and Lauren O’Hara #PublicationDay #BookReview

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I am delighted to be sharing my thoughts today on The Bandit Queen by Natalia and Lauren O’Hara. Natalia is the author and Lauren is the illustrator for The Bandit Queen. My thanks to Puffin Books for inviting me to read a copy of this book via NetGalley, my thoughts are my own.

It is published by Puffin Books in Hardback today, its available from Amazon UK.

Last year I read Hortense and The Shadow by Natalia and Lauren you can read my review HERE and buy a copy HERE

Synopsis:

“O Bandit Queen!” the bandits cried. 
“Little horror! Poison weed!
We’ll give you everything a queen could ever need…”

The bandits give their queen treasure, tigers, mischief and mayhem. But sometimes a little girl needs something more…

A book about finding family in unexpected places, from the creators of Hortense and the Shadow.

My Thoughts:

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The Bandits are a mad bunch getting up to all sorts of things such as pinching forks, shouting and crashing about until three in the morning. On one trip the Bandits steal things from an Orphan School, in one box is a baby. They care for her, spoil her, give her their version of an education and make her their Bandit Queen. She grows tired of their childish behaviour and goes to get a proper education, she then realises she misses her bunch of Bandits and they also miss her.

This is a fun read with rhyming sentences that would be great to be read out loud. At the beginning of the story there are a few onomatopoeia words, ideal for engaging a child when being read to, or for that child to sound out.

The story is engaging and while the Bandits are quite naughty they are also fun. At the end of the book there is almost a cliffhanger of sorts, it could be the end or there is the clue that there could be more to come. I like this as it is a way to encourage a child to think about what could happen next, giving them a chance to develop their own imaginative story.

The pictures in this book are fabulous, they are detailed and are relevant to each part of the story and are bright and vivid in their colour, while still holding a slightly whimsical style.

Last year I read Hortense and The Shadow by the O’Hara sisters and while that is a different style of book it does have some similarities, rhyming verse, good illustrations and a storyline that would appeal to young readers.

This is a book that I as and adult enjoyed and think would definitely appeal to readers from around 5 and up, perfect to be read aloud and one I would definitely recommend.

About the Author and Illustrator:

Natalia O’Hara (Author) 
Natalia and Lauren are two sisters from the North of England. In the daytime they edit scripts and design sets, and at night they draw and write together. As children they loved fairytales, animal fables and the stories their Polish grandmother told on snowy nights. Hortense and the Shadow is their first picture book.

Lauren O’Hara (Illustrator) 
Natalia and Lauren are two sisters from the North of England. In the daytime they edit scripts and design sets, and at night they draw and write together. As children they loved fairytales, animal fables and the stories their Polish grandmother told on snowy nights. Hortense and the Shadow is their first picture book.

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

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