I am delighted to share a promotional post today for Twinkl. This is an educational resources site for Early Years through to 18 years old. They are an unlimited downloads and resources site that provides support to Parents, Home Educators, Child Minders and have a huge range to discover.
One of my reviews is featured along with some wonderful Book Bloggers reviews, check out the other Warm Wintery Reads HERE
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Laura Millington, Contents Executive contacted me to see if I would like to have one of my reviews to be featured in their Christmas Campaign.
The book Laura wanted to include was one I had reviewed and posted on my Blog, Lucy Makes a Wish by Anne Booth, a fabulous book for children aged 6+
I am delighted to be sharing my review today for The Mist by Ragnar Jónasson. This is the final book in the Hidden Iceland Trilogy and I am absolutely gutted to have come to the end of it. This has been such a brilliant literary journey.
Here is more about the final instalment…
1987. An isolated farm house in the east of Iceland.
The snowstorm should have shut everybody out. But it didn’t.
The couple should never have let him in. But they did.
An unexpected guest, a liar, a killer. Not all will survive the night. And Detective Hulda will be haunted forever.
This is sadly the final book in the Hidden Iceland Trilogy. This has been an absolute corker of a series and it has been set out very differently. The series runs back in time, so the first book is set in the present, and the final book set back in time. Running the series this way gives the reader a chance to experience a character from a slightly different perspective. I would advise reading them in the order they are meant to be and the way they have been published.
The main character is Hulda Hermannsdottir, a Detective. Her husband is Jon and they have a daughter Dimma. Family life is strained especially in the run up to Christmas. Hulda is called to a crime scene and then the story goes back in time to just before the events.
I really like the way the author has laid this series and especially this story out. If you are after blood and guts then you are not going to get it. This is a wonderful example of Icelandic noir, its atmospheric, has flawed characters and has a bleakness to it that adds to the overall subtle sense of suspense.
It is in a small part a police procedural, but this is not the main concept of the story. The author gradually builds up a scene, adds characters, develops them, adds a little tweak to them and then develops and adds more as the story progresses. I really enjoy this style and I have to say this author does this so well. The story is more about the interaction of the characters, there are not many but the author uses them so well. He drops links that I didn’t expect and it all works so very well.
The flow is quiet, patient and yet totally gripping from the first few pages. The series has been a wonderful journey and I have absolutely l loved each one. They do have an emotional side to them, not the gushy sort but a more heartbreaking sort, although the first book did have me blubbering.
This is a trilogy that fans of noir, crime, mystery and human relationships and interaction would love. I thought all three books were excellent and I would definitely recommend them all.
Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx
I am delighted to be sharing my review today for The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse. I had been looking forward to reading this one for ages and it didn’t disappoint.
My huge thanks to Anne for my spot on the Blog Tour. Here is more about this excellent book…
You won’t want to leave…until you can’t.
An imposing, isolated hotel, high up in the Swiss Alps, is the last place Elin Warner wants to be. But she’s taken time off from her job as a detective, so when she receives an invitation out of the blue to celebrate her estranged brother’s recent engagement, she has no choice but to accept.
Arriving in the midst of a threatening storm, Elin immediately feels on edge. Though it’s beautiful, something about the hotel, recently converted from an abandoned sanatorium, makes her nervous – as does her brother, Isaac.
And when they wake the following morning to discover his fiancée Laure has vanished without a trace, Elin’s unease grows. With the storm cutting off access to and from the hotel, the longer Laure stays missing, the more the remaining guests start to panic.
But no-one has realized yet that another woman has gone missing. And she’s the only one who could have warned them just how much danger they’re all in…
Pre-order Link – Amazon UKPublication Date 4th February
This is such a good book. It has the isolation of the mountains and that danger of an avalanche to add to the atmospherics. There is a nervous tension and eeriness to what is inside as well. Elin and her other half Will are at the Swiss sanatorium that has been remodelled into a luxury hotel.
Elin is a character who is struggling with life at the moment. She is a Detective from the UK who has been on leave due to a bad case and bad decisions. This has dragged up, memories from the past that she is struggling to get past and hopes that seeing her brother at the hotel will help. As she is trying her best to remain calm and to control her feelings there is something about the sanatorium that is unsettling. It is confirmed when a body is found, and then another person goes missing.
This really does have all the chilling, sinister vibes and I do think the author does a cracking job of bringing the sinister and intriguing history of the sanatorium into the story. It ups the tension and the isolation gives the feeling of a locked-in story.
As I was reading this I did give the odd feeling of The Shining coming through, a story I do love by the way. Sanatorium had that similar feeling of isolation, the feeling of something more going on than meets the eye, that there is a hidden agenda and something really bad has happened.
Without giving anything away there is definitely more to this than meets the eye. While it is a crime thriller it is also a mystery thriller, Elin’s character as the detective in this story is an interesting angle. She has no jurisdiction as such as she is a detective on leave in a foreign country.
Overall this is a fabulous read and one that definitely captured my attention. I did like the locked-in eeriness and the intriguing storyline. One for readers who like a suspense-filled, intriguing mystery, thriller read and one I would definitely recommend.
About the Author…
Sarah Pearse lives by the sea in South Devon with her husband and two daughters. She studied English and Creative Writing at the University of Warwick and worked in Brand PR for a variety of household brands. After moving to Switzerland in her twenties, she spent every spare moment exploring the mountains and still has a home in the Swiss Alpine town of Crans Montana, the dramatic setting that inspired her novel. Sarah has always been drawn to the dark and creepy – remote spaces and abandoned places – so when she read an article in a local Swiss magazine about the history of sanatoriums in the area, she knew she’d found the spark of the idea for her debut novel, The Sanatorium. Her short fiction has been published in a wide variety of magazines and has been shortlisted for several prizes. You can find Sarah on Twitter @SarahVPearse and Instagram @sarahpearseauthor
Check out the other stops on the Blog Tour…
Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx
Hellooo and welcome. My last blog post was 23rd of December and I decided to take Christmas & New Year off from Social Media as much as I could. As much as I love blogging and keeping up to date with all of your literary journeys, I needed some downtime or screen-free time. So now to catch up with all you good folk and hope you all had a Good Christmas and New Year. I almost want to call it An Alternative Christmas as it was definitely a lot different for some, not so much for me and Him. Rather than dwell on what has passed, let us look forward to the year ahead.
Before I do that though, here’s a round up of the books I read over the my festive social media break… Oh I have realised that my last Weekly “My Week In Books” post was actually 8th December 2020! So here is what I have read since then.
So these 10 books take me up to the end of 2020. This is now the ideal time to update you on my Goodreads final tally…
So a new year sees’ the start of a new Goodreads Challenge. Again I have set it for 200 as this for me is an achievable target over the year. Well, that is unless more like the series Bridgerton arrives on Netflix…
It is a great period drama, erm it has fine acting and some good costumes… who am I kidding it’s a brilliant bodice-ripping drama and I loved it! Only one problem IT WAS TOO SHORT A SERIES!!!!
Deep breath and compose…
I have read a couple of books this year already, I do admit one was a carry over from last year 🙂
I have also been watching an older TV series Steven King’s The Stand ( King appears in this film as well). I have the DVD and it has been years since I last watched it. While this may seem a little random to mention, I do it because there is a new adaption of The Stand. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed the original made in 1978, i can remember hiring a VHS of this film lol!
I am looking forward to the new adaption and here, as with all King’s films there are lovers and haters, they always seems to divide opinion, but it is very much a case of each to their own!
Well this line up works for me 😉😁 I just have to wait until we can watch it here.
So, this is me done for now. Started with a look back and now with my eye towards the future!
I wish you all a great week ahead.
Many thanks for reading my post, alike or share would be amazing 🙂 xx
My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot onthe Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this book xx
I am absolutely delighted to be one of the Book Bloggers to open the Blog Tour for the totally scrumptious Christmas at the Little Waffle Shack by Helen J Rolfe. This is an author who is a regular feature on my site as I have read and reviewed several of her books. This latest one is just perfect for buying today (Sunday) and snuggling down to read this afternoon, or any time.
Let me show you more by starting with the cover…
Heritage Cove is in full swing for the festive season and as the temperature dips, who will be lucky in love this Christmas?
It’s December in Heritage Cove and along with the village Christmas tree, frosty mornings and the promise of the most wonderful time of the year, the new waffle shack is about to open. And its owner isn’t a stranger to the Cove, because after all this time, Daniel is back to make amends with his brother Harvey – as well as a few other locals he might have offended along the way.
Fairly new to the village, local blacksmith Lucy has kept up the pretence of being with her ex for the sake of his gran but she’s fed up with all the lies. Determined to come clean and live the life she wants to live, she’s devastated to find that her attraction to Daniel is tainted by the fact he’s hiding a few things of his own. And his secrets are ones she isn’t sure she’ll ever be able to get past.
Heritage Cove is full of friendship and community; it’s a welcoming place people visit and never want to leave. But will it work its magic for Daniel and Lucy?
A festive read packed with Christmas romance, love and second chances, this is Book 2 in a series of standalone novels set in Heritage Cove, the little village by the sea…
When a mystery log cabin is built no one in the village knows who it belongs to or what it will be. That is until Daniel meets the local blacksmith Lucy for a sign for his new shop, yeah you guessed it he will be making and selling waffles. Sparks aplenty with this story and not just from the forge either!
Daniel has a few hurdles to get over as not everyone will be thrilled at his return to the village. Villages being what they are comments are made and though most are meant for the best, some are definite warnings! Can a person really change and can they turn things around?
The author has such a wonderful way of describing her settings and also food. I mean waffles, toppings, sauces, icecreams and yes this book should not be read on an empty stomach! It seems that with all this mention of sweet things there is something that balances it out and this is the blacksmith’s descriptions. I liked how the author doesn’t just mention a piece of metal being shaped, but a specific material and why it was chosen, yeah I think there is some good research in this to add another plus to an already great story.
So, Christmas, Waffles, handmade gifts, friends, trees, decorations and animosity in the air between Daniel and his older brother. What actually happened in the past does eventually start to emerge, but finding the right time and place is problematic given the busy run-up to Christmas.
This is a gorgeous read that has plenty of Christmas feels, heartwarming moments, the tension between characters, sparks and sparkles galore and waffles… oh yes the waffles! Sorry! If you are after a festive fiction that you will not want to put down, well apart from to pick up a waffle, then this is a book that should be on your list. I absolutely recommend this one.
About the Author…
Helen J Rolfe writes romantic fiction and contemporary women’s fiction and enjoys weaving stories about family, friendship, secrets, and community.
Location is a big part of the adventure in Helen’s books and she enjoys setting stories in different cities and countries where she thinks her readers might like to escape to.
I am delighted to share my review today for The Chalet by Catherine Cooper. I received an e-copy of this via NetGalley and all opinions are my own.
Let me show you what this debut is all about…
Four friends. One luxury getaway. The perfect murder.
French Alps, 1998
Two young men ski into a blizzard… but only one returns.
20 years later
Four people connected to the missing man find themselves in that same resort. Each has a secret. Two may have blood on their hands. One is a killer-in-waiting.
Someone knows what really happened that day.
And somebody will pay.
Purchase Link – Amazon UK ( this is an affiliate link)
This is a debut for this author and it had me hooked from the very first page and left me unable to put it down, I read it in one sitting.
The setting is a ski resort in the French Alps and flits back and forth between 2 timelines that are separated by 20-years. I like this back and forth style and the author used it very well to inject a mysterious and intriguing story.
20 years ago there was an accident as two men go out skiing and only one returns. In the present, the author brings in characters that may have a connection to the past, but exactly who they are and what their connection to the past is kept back from the reader.
I did have an inkling about one of the characters but I wasn’t completely sure and what the connection was but the build-up to the conclusion was brilliantly done. The author kept up the air of mistrust and gradually wove more details into the story.
I really enjoyed this story and how the author put it together, it was addictive and a joy to read. There are some serious subjects dealt with in this story and I thought the author dealt with these well. I am very interested to see what this author writes next as I really enjoyed this story.
I thoroughly enjoyed it and I would definitely recommend it to readers who like a mysterious crime story that is full of doubt, mistrust and intrigue.
About the Author…
I am a freelance journalist living in the South of France with my husband and two teenage children. We moved from London in 2009 so that the children could grow up bilingual and we could all ski more, and to enjoy a more relaxed pace of life.
I learned to ski on a school trip when I was 14 and have loved it ever since.
I’m an avid thriller reader and have been since I discovered Agatha Christie as a child.
The Chalet is my first published full-length novel, though I have also written several (unpublished) thrillers for teens and a (what used to be called) chick lit novel set in TV production.
Other than skiing and reading I love travel, rollercoaster, and I spend far too much time on social media. Some of my other favourite things include Alan Partridge, sparkly flip flops and salt and vinegar crisps.
Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx
So a couple of weeks ago I saw a fellow Blogger saying how much they enjoyed the #20booksofsummer Reading Challenge. She decided that it would be great to have one that went through the winter months as well. I know some Bloggers take part in Blogtober and Blogmas and so this could run in conjunction with them as well.
If you took part in the Books for Summer Challenge, then you will see it is the same format. It runs from tomorrow 1st October until the 31st December. The books Do Not have to be Christmas books, but are books that you may recommend for Christmas gifts or ones that seem to be falling down the TBR. Again 10, 15 or 20 books, its up to you.
Now you may be thinking that these are not exactly Christmassy books, but they are books that have more of of autumnal feel. So, as I am already reading some more festive feeling reads as part of blog tours ,I am going to include a couple of them as well 🙂
And for a few more from my TBR that are more festive…
So there we have it 15 books to read in 3months 🙂
I decided to choose 15 as I do have Blog Tour reads as well. 15 just seems do-able and also gives a chance to catch up with previous festive as well as TBR reads that I have neglected.
Don’t forget to tag Jo in your introduction and summing up posts as she will share your posts.
If you are joining in with this Reading Challenge or others then I wish you Happy Reading. If you are not joining in Happy Reading as well 🙂 xx
That’s all from me, and I thank you for reading my post, a like or share is always appreciated xx