Dark Deception by Amanda James @amandajames61 @Bloodhoundbook #Bookreview


I am absolutely delighted to share my thoughts on Dark Deception by Amanda James. Regulars to my blog will know that I am a big fan of Mandy’s books and they just get better and better.

Let me show you what here latest book is all about…

Who can you trust when the past won’t let you go?

Kerensa and Leo are a happily married young couple who live in Cornwall. Leo works part-time in London as an investment advisor to wealthy businessman, Paul Donaldson. The couple hope to start a family soon and life couldn’t be better.  

But Leo has been stealing from Paul and Paul isn’t the sort of man you steal from.  

When Leo realises that Paul knows what he’s done, he has no choice but to resort to drastic measures.  

Meanwhile, after discovering she is pregnant, Kerensa can’t wait for her husband to return home so she can share her news. But she soon discovers he’s gone missing.  

After receiving a threatening phone call from Paul, Kerensa realises how much trouble her family are in.  

Just how far is Paul prepared to go to get revenge? And will Kerensa ever be happy or safe again? 

Amanda James is also the bestselling author of novels including Another Mother and The Cornish Retribution. Dark Deception is a twisty and suspenseful psychological thriller which will appeal to fans of authors like C.L. Taylor, Claire McGowan and Louise Jensen. 

Well, Mandy James! What a devious lady you are! This is a very deceptive book with a very devious story line. You completely reeled me in with this tale and it was such an addictive read!

The synopsis does a great job of letting you know the basics of this story. The author then weaves a fabulous tale of deception, intrigue and mystery. What starts as a basic story about a married couple gradually turns into something far deeper, each chapter seems to add more intrigue and the suspense is slowly and surely ramped up.

I did have a couple of theories as I was reading, I will admit one of those theories turned out to be right. But the journey to whittle my theories down to the right one was fabulous. Even when I proven right there was more to come, more twists and turns than one of our Cornish lanes!

This author lives in Cornwall and to me this is very obvious in the reading of the setting descriptions. The little inlets, bays, cliffs and beaches all have cameo roles. I know the various places mentioned, and for me this adds the extras that I like in books that have a setting in the county I live.

As I mentioned this is a story of intrigue, deception and suspense. These elements give a fabulous psychological thriller feel. As the past is slowly pieced together the threads get more riveting as the depth of deception is realised.

This is such a brilliant read and I think the author has definitely created a fabulous psychological thriller. The story lines are wonderfully interwoven with the characters involved. Even when I thought I had a handle on the story the author deftly sidestepped me and had me avidly turning pages to discover what was going to happen next.

As I have mentioned, I have read a few books by Mandy, and this is my favourite one to date. It has an edgier feel to it and I feel the author has stepped up her writing. I have always really enjoyed her writing style, but this one just has that extra something to it.

A fabulous book and Amanda James is an author that I will automatically read. When I saw this book being offered as an advanced reader copy I requested it without even looking at the synopsis, for me this author is that good! Dark Deception is, as its title suggests, dark and deceptive, and it is a book I would Highly Recommend.

P.S… if you follow Mandy on Facebook you will know of the long awaited blooming of her Agapanthus,poor Aggie was a little shy at all the attention and it did seem to take forever. Why, I hear you ask, am I mentioning flowers? Well, I chuckled when I saw mention of an agapanthus in Dark Deception! A glimpse into an authors daily life! 🙂

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

Coming Home To Winter Island by Jo Thomas @jo_thomas01 @annecater #randomthingstours #bookreview

I am delighted to share my thoughts on Coming Home To Winter Island by Jo Thomas. I love this authors books so I was so excited to grab a spot on the Blog Tour arranged by Anne at Random Things Tours and thank you so much for my advance copy of this fantastically fabulous book 🙂

Let me show you what it is all about…

Wrap up warm and explore the breath-taking beauty of a remote Scottish island and an old house waiting to unlock enchanting family secrets.

Fans of Jill Mansell and Milly Johnson will love this irresistible new winter novel from Jo Thomas.

Do you need to find out where you’ve come from before you can know what the future holds?

Ruby’s singing career is on the verge of hitting the big time, when her voice breaks. Fearing her career is over, she signs up for a retreat in Tenerife to recover.

But an unexpected call from a stranger on a remote Scottish island takes her on a short trip to sort out some family business. It’s time to go and see the grandfather she’s never met.

City girl Ruby knows she will be happy to leave the windswept beaches behind as quickly as she can, especially as a years-old family rift means she knows she won’t be welcome at Teach Mhor.

But as she arrives at the big house overlooking the bay, she finds things are not as straightforward as she might have thought.

There’s an unexpected guest in the house and he’s not planning on going anywhere any time soon …

Praise for Jo Thomas:

‘Magically romantic…best read in front of a crackling log fire’ Milly Johnson

‘The characters went straight to my heart’ Katie Fforde

‘A sparkling, heartwarming hug of a story’ Miranda Dickinson

‘Like the best kind of holiday’ Lucy Diamond

What happens when you mix a remote island, a voiceless singer, a sitting tenant, and a unknown grandfather and a lost gin recipe? You get the most amazing story by the fabulous Jo Thomas that is what you get! This is the third book I have read by this author and every time she transports me with her descriptions, story lines, characters and theme of the story.

Coming Home To Winter Island is a stunning read as I followed the devastating and catastrophic bad luck that fell on Ruby Mac, she lost her voice as she and her band are on the verge of being signed by a record company. She then gets a mysterious phone call and changes her plans ending up on a wintry Scottish island.

The author weaves in a story that takes quite a few surprising turns and I have to say they were brilliantly executed. Music, gin, recipes, dementia, local community and family history are all fabulous additions to Ruby’s story. There are a couple of other main characters of Hector and Lachlan, they are again so well developed and give a heartwarming and also a nervous and tentative feel to the story.

The descriptions of Christmases past and memories that are intertwined in the story add an extra special feeling to this story. It has a definite foothold in memories and these then help the progress forwards to the future. There are also some wonderful setting descriptions that definitely added extra sight, sound and smell senses to the story.

I will admit to not being a big fan of gin, I’m more of a whiskey drinker, but I have to say the sound of the gin mentioned in the book sounds amazing.

This is yet another book I absolutely devoured as I have with the previous books I have read by this author. If you are a fan of books that have a wonderful story, fabulous characters, sumptuous settings, that has many surprises, unexpected friendships and that does not take a direct route then I think this is the book for you. If you have already read Jo’s books then you will know where I am coming from because she is a fabulous author.

Coming Home To Winter Island is yet another book by Jo Thomas that I would Highly Recommend.

Jo Thomas worked for many years as a reporter and producer, first for BBC Radio 5, before moving on to Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour and Radio 2’s The Steve Wright Show. In 2013 Jo won the RNA Katie Fforde Bursary. Her debut novel, The Oyster Catcher, was a runaway bestseller in ebook and was awarded the 2014 RNA Joan Hessayon Award and the 2014 Festival of Romance Best Ebook Award. Jo lives in the Vale of Glamorgan with her husband and three children.

See what other Book Blogger think by following the Blog Tour…

Many thanks for reading my post 🙂 xx

Darkest Hour by Rachel Churcher @Rachel_Churcher @rararesources #Bookreview

I am delighted to share my review for Darkest Hour by Rachel Churcher. This is the third book in this series and it is just getting better, more intriguing and addictive with each each book. It is a series that really should be read in order. My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this book.

Let me show you what it is all about…

Bex Ellman and Ketty Smith are fighting on opposite sides in a British civil war. Bex and her friends are in hiding, but when Ketty threatens her family, Bex learns that her safety is more fragile than she thought.

The Battle Ground series is set in a dystopian near-future UK, after Brexit and Scottish independence.

Purchase Link

Darkest Hour is the 3rd book I have read in the Battleground series. The first book was mainly about Bex, the 2nd about Ketty and the 3rd book joins them both together again. Now these two young girls are not friends, Ketty was a trainer at the Recruit Training Service, a government run organisation. Bex was a recruit until she decided to turn to the rebels side.

The series is set in the UK and is set in the future after Brexit and Scottish Independance. Britain has isolated itself and all those living in Britain are under a Big Brother style regime. Ketty has gained promotion and has moved to London whereas Bex and her friends are in a safe house.

This is such a brilliant series and feels very topical given the state of the British Goverment at the moment with Brexit looming ever closer. There is a divide between people as well as the UK and there is an ever present feel of a country that is struggling.

I love the way the author describes the very different ways in which propaganda is used to justify people being taken prisoner and held as terrorists. The author balances it well with the side of the terrorists/ rebels that are trying to overthrow and reveal the truth behind the government forces actions.

Bex is on the run and holds a huge amount of guilt for those she has left behind at training camp and also at a previous safe house. She struggles to come to terms with her emotions. The author delves into this characters fears and guilt well, even little victories have a price to pay. Ketty however is constantly frustrated at not being able to find Bex and her friends. She is always one step behind, but there is also an added pressure of having to prove her worth and show that she is worthy of her new promotion. She also ups in the game in this one, and the bait is dangled very provocatively to tempt the rebels into a false move.

The author weaves a good amount of suspicion and corruption into her stories. But this book has something else that has started to creep in, its realisation. The realisation that is unsettling that maybe things are not quite right.

This is a series that should be read in order, there are so many details that explain where this series is up to. Histories and backgrounds as well as different perspectives and points of view have been explored and each book paves the way to the next. I cannot wait to see where the author goes next.

This is a book, in fact a series that is set in the future and has a great dystopian, big brother vibe to it. It is aimed as a Young Adult / Teen but this adult is loving it and Highly recommends it. Roll on December when the next book is due out 🙂

achel Churcher was born between the last manned moon landing, and the first orbital Space Shuttle mission. She remembers watching the launch of STS-1, and falling in love with space flight, at the age of five. She fell in love with science fiction shortly after that, and in her teens she discovered dystopian fiction. In an effort to find out what she wanted to do with her life, she collected degrees and other qualifications in Geography, Science Fiction Studies, Architectural Technology, Childminding, and Writing for Radio.

She has worked as an editor on national and in-house magazines; as an IT trainer; and as a freelance writer and artist. She has renovated several properties, and has plenty of horror stories to tell about dangerous electrics and nightmare plumbers. She enjoys reading, travelling, stargazing, and eating good food with good friends – but nothing makes her as happy as writing fiction.

Her first published short story appeared in an anthology in 2014, and the Battle Ground series is her first long-form work. Rachel lives in East Anglia, in a house with a large library and a conservatory full of house plants. She would love to live on Mars, but only if she’s allowed to bring her books.

Follow Rachel on – TwitterInstagramGoodreadsBlog

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Bollywood Wives by Alex Khan @alexkhanauthor @rararesources #Bookreview

I am delighted to be one of the Book Bloggers who are opening the tour for Bollywood Wives by Alex Khan as part of the Blog Tour by Rachel’s at Rachel’s Random Resources.

Let me show you what this is all about…

The biggest scandals happen off-camera…

Zara Das is Bollywood’s hottest property, her every move watched by the eyes of the press. Riding high from the success of a string of blockbusters, she has the world at her feet, but the scandal from her latest film threatens to dethrone her as Bollywood’s reigning queen. 

So when superstar director Raj Dillon stages a lavish retelling of Pride and Prejudice, moving the shoot from Mumbai’s soundstages to London, Zara knows this is the role that could put her back on top. Coming with them are the Bollywood Wives – Jackie, Sasha, and Rani – bringing their own off-screen drama. 

But behind the diamonds, designer clothes and seven-star hotels lies the truth of how Zara reached the top. And when a dead body is found in her hotel room, it seems that someone is determined to take Zara down – and will stop at nothing to expose her darkest secrets. 

Zara has spent years running from her past. But now it’s caught up with her…

This book came as a pleasant surprise to me. I was a little unsure as to whether it would be a book I would enjoy, but I have to say the author did such a fabulous job adding intrigue, mystery and so much more into the story.

The story is of Zara Das, a Bollywood film-star who is very successful and sought after. While she is a star she is not accepted by the other wives of Bollywood actors, they are bitchy and see themselves as elite and come across as entitled.

This took me a while to get into, a slow burner of a start, but then I found myself addicted and thoroughly enjoying the read. The author has done a fabulous job of bring the glamour and sparkle I associate with Bollywood and also shown a darker secretive side that is not pretty. It is bitchy, a full of snide comments and those glances that make you feel small and inferior. It was an eye-opener to say the least!

There is a quite a bit of steamy scenes and these were very well done, again it adds something to the overall story. It took me back to books I read when I was younger like Jackie Collins and Jilly Cooper and Bollywood Wives is just as good if not better!

There are various strong female characters in the story and with a good array of backgrounds. Their interaction with each other was fabulous and had me smirking several times at their acerbic conversations, I know I shouldn’t really enjoy this sort of behaviour and in real life I would find it horrible, but in a story, well…

While there is a fabulous glamorous side to this story there is also the tale of Zara, this adds such a good balance to the story. Add into this the discovery of a body and you the get a suspense and thriller element to the book as well. It is one of those books that has something for everyone.

Given my apprehension when I first began this book, by the end I was so glad I read it. It is dark, secretive, seductive, atmospheric and deceptively intriguing and I loved it a lot! Once I got started and got to grips with the characters I could not put it down and devoured it easily in one sitting.

This is the first time I have read anything by this author and am looking forward to reading more based on this book. Bollywood Wives is a book I would Highly Recommend.


Check out the Blog Tour for this book and see what other Book Bloggers thought of the book…

Alex Khan has spent his life dreaming of writing and starring in Bollywood movies while traveling the world visiting some of the most glamorous and exciting locations. Moonlighting as a crime writer he finally got the courage to pen the novel he wanted to write all his life-Bollywood Wives. Taking you into the glamorous sexy thrilling environment of the world’s biggest movie stars and the secrets they hide.

Alex also writes crime under the name ALEX CAAN.

Follow Alex on TwitterWebsite


Many thanks for reading my post 🙂 xx

Blackpool’s Angel by Maggie Mason @AuthorMary #Bookreview

I am delighted to share my thoughts today for Blackpool’s Angel by Maggie Mason. I love this authors books so much and if you love historical fiction then you will love her books. Mary Wood writes as Maggie Mason so do check her out as her books are brilliant.

Let me show you what Blackpool’s Angel is all about…

Blackpool, 1893

Tilly has come a long way from the run-down tenements in which she grew up. She has a small but comfortable home, a loving, handsome husband, two beautiful little’uns – Babs and Beth – and she earns herself a little money weaving wicker baskets. Life is good.

Until the day Tilly returns home to find a policeman standing on her doorstep. Her Arthur won’t be coming home tonight – nor any night – having fallen to his death whilst working on Blackpool tower. Suddenly Tilly is her daughters’ sole protector, and she’s never felt more alone.

With the threat of destitution nipping at their heels, Tilly struggles to make ends meet and keep a roof over her girls’ heads. In a town run by men Tilly has to ask herself what she’s willing to do to keep her family together and safe – and will it be enough?

The perfect read for fans of Mary Wood, Kitty Neale, Val Wood and Nadine Dorries

Maggie Mason you have done it again! Every book I have read by this author has been a absolute pleasure to read. Whether writing as Mary Wood or Maggie Mason I know I am in for a wonderful read.

Blackpool’s Angel is the first book in the planned Sandgronians trilogy and Wow what a start it was. This is the story of Tilly, born and bred in Blackpool and mother to twins and very happily married until a change in circumstances see’s her put out of her home.

Poor Tilly just seems to attract the wrong sort of attention. She is taken advantage of and ends up on the wrong foot time after time. My heart really went out to this character and also I really wanted to give her a shake and tell her to wise up. I do however understand how she acted. She did posses an inner strength that she herself was not aware of.

Tilly as I have mentioned has a real tough time of it, and I am desperate to shout about all the things I loved about this book, but in doing that I will let out spoilers. But things get bad for her to say the least and she finds herself in some very serious situations that as tough as they are actually give her the kick up the rear she needs. Tilly is a character who had to hit rock bottom before she could then see a back up again. What a drop it was though, my emotions went through the wringer once again as I followed our heroine.

I have never been to Blackpool, but the author does a great job with her descriptions and imagery in her writing that I can imagine the sights, sounds and smells of the era she sets her books in. I am really looking forward to reading the following books in the trilogy. The author knows Blackpool and this shows in her writing, she also researches for her books and this adds a realism to her stories in a historical fiction sense that is. The history of Blackpool and of the conditions of those living and working in the area before the Golden Mile was wonderful. A little snapshot back in time to an era of excitement for its visitors but of extreme hardship for its residents.

This is a tale that revolves around Tilly, her lifestyle and the lifestyles of the various people she meets. It has the atmosphere of despair as she loses what she values most and yet there is a hope that balances things out. This is a must read for fans of historical fiction and I would absolutely recommend it. If you have not yet read anything by this author before then may I suggest picking up this one as it s the start to a new series. I know that you will then want to check out her other books.

In case you had not realised I loved this book, I am a huge fan of this author and obviously I Highly Recommend Blackpool’s Angel 🙂


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The Death of Justice by Tony J Forder @TonyJForder @Bloodhoundbook #bookreview

I am absolutely delighted to welcome you to read my thoughts on The Death of Justice by Tony J Forder. This is #5 in the DI Bliss series and I want to say a huge thank you to Heather at Bloodhound Books for arranging for an e-copy of Tony’s latest book.

I am a huge fan of this series and the author, and this latest book is bloody brilliant!

Let me show you what it is all about…

To keep a secret hidden you must bury the truth

One night. Two shootings. Two victims.

When DI Bliss arrives at the scene of the second murder, he recognises the same three-shot pattern as the first. But there is one major difference: the second victim has been decapitated, the head nowhere to be found. When a second headless corpse is discovered the following day, Bliss and his team realise the killer is on a spree – and he’s not done yet.

After Bliss links the killings and forms a task force with officers from Lincolnshire, they uncover further disturbing news: the murders are not the first in the series – there are four more headless victims, and the Lincolnshire team believe they know why. Not only that, they are also convinced that more potential victims are on the killer’s list.

In a race against time to save further loss of life, Bliss constantly finds himself one step behind and chasing shadows. In order to flush out the hired assassin, he and his team have no choice but to put their own lives at risk. But will everyone survive? 

This is the latest in the DI Bliss series, and you know I am going to say that Yes you should read this series in order. There are smaller personal stories that are running through the series, and they are mentioned in the books but obviously are much better when read in order.

Oh Wow, what a book! This for me see’s a real step up for this author, I have always been a fan of his books, but this one just knocks the socks off what I have read by him… so far! This author always provides a good solid read and I have enjoyed reading the developments with the characters and the addictive story lines. For me, The Death of Justice sees this author step things up big time.

The case begins with a shooting, it is then followed by a decapitation. This is only the beginning! Bliss and his team realise that this could be the start of something much bigger and things could spectacularly spiral out of control. There is a sense of not having much time as Bliss and his department have to cross into another county and co-operation is required across the county borders. Bliss has never really been one for tact and diplomacy and is often found stamping on toes within the hierarchy, but this time he is going to have to hold back, well to a certain extent!

The author has definitely ramped up the complexity in the case as Bliss finds himself in an investigation that has him pulled from pillar to post and is struggling to be everywhere he wants to be. Yet while the case is complex for Bliss, it is not for the reader. I found it easy to follow and I like the logical progress the author uses for Bliss.

Bliss is old school and knows about grey areas and experienced in reading people. He is one of those characters that does interact well with his team, they are valued and respected by Bliss and they have a bond that has been built up over time. This is where I back up my statement about reading in order.

As well as the complex case , the author has injected a great pace to this story. There is definitely a “race against time” aspect to the investigation. It adds to the dramatic and tense that is present throughout. The unusual nature of the case means Bliss is given a little more leeway than usual, he has this with the blessing of his superiors. This is the grey area that Bliss seems to thrive in, and he is definitely well placed to think outside the box as far as protocol and procedure is concerned.

This story starts dramatically and ends spectacularly dramatically. I was able to get up to date with the smaller personal stories in the lives of the regular characters, while they are not major storylines and they do fade during the investigation, they make an appearance again at the end. They are poignant and I like them a lot.

In between the main story there is also some chapters from the perspective of another character. Oh my goodness are they chilling and creepy or what! This adds a great psychological suspense to the story and definitely gets the spine tingling as I read these particular chapters.

Emotions… well… Yes Mr Forder you broke me! That means you got it absolutely right! The author mentions in a note at the end of the story about the balance of this story, my floods of tears meant that for me it was right. Yes it was balanced, the investigation is obviously the main focus, but in with that there was drama, suspicion, tension, emotion and complexity and they all have an important part to play.

This is without doubt THE best book I have read by this author. So many things I loved about it and even though there is a sadness it also made sense because not everything is finite and there are things that happen in daily life that is life itself. I also feel that this is a huge step forward in a series I already love and has left me with such a feeling of “WOW that was bloody good!”

I would have happily read this book in one sitting, instead I had to read it over a couple of days, it’s so annoying when you have to work a night shift ad you would rather be sat at home with your head in a book!

This is a book that , as if you need telling at this point, that I would absolutely would Highly Recommend!

Tony J Forder is the author of the critically acclaimed and international bestselling crime thriller series featuring Peterborough based detectives Jimmy Bliss and Penny Chandler. The first four books, Bad to the Bone, The Scent of Guilt, If Fear Wins, and The Reach of Shadows, will be joined on 9 September by The Death of Justice.

Tony’s dark, psychological crime thriller, Degrees of Darkness, featuring ex-detective Frank Rogers, was also published by Bloodhound Books.

Scream Blue Murder was written as a standalone, but even before it was published back in November 2017, he had decided to write the sequel, Cold Winter Sun, which was released on 1 November 2018.

Tony lives with his wife in Peterborough, UK, and is busy working on book six in the DI Bliss series, as well as another novel, Fifteen Coffins. 

Follow tony on his – Website Twitter

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Jakob’s Colours by Lindsay Hawden#20Booksofsummer #BookReview

I am delighted to share my thoughts with you today on Jakob’s Colours by Lindsay Hawden, This is a fantastic read that is set during WWII

Let me show you what the synopsis says…

This heartbreaking and tender novel will appeal to readers who loved Sophie’s ChoiceSchindler’s Ark, and The Book Thief. Austria, 1944: Jakob, a gypsy boy—half Roma, half Yenish—runs, as he has been told to do. With shoes of sack cloth, still bloodstained with another’s blood, a stone clutched in one hand, a small wooden box in the other. He runs blindly, full of fear, empty of hope. For hope lies behind him in a green field with a tree that stands shaped like a Y. He knows how to read the land, the sky. When to seek shelter, when not. He has grown up directing himself with the wind and the shadows. They are familiar to him. It is the loneliness that is not. He has never, until this time, been so alone. “Don’t be afraid, Jakob,” his father has told him, his voice weak and wavering. “See the colors, my boy,” he has whispered. So he does. Rusted ochre from a mossy bough. Steely white from the sap of the youngest tree. On and on, Jakob runs. Spanning from one world war to another, taking us across England, Switzerland, and Austria, Jakob’s Colours is about the painful legacies passed down from one generation to another, finding hope where there is no hope, and color where there is no color.

When I think of Hitler and his plan to create his perfect race, I immediately think of the persecution of the Jews. This story is about persecution but this time of the Gypsies.

The story is told in a style that alternates between chapters that are headed “This Day”, “Before” and “Long Before” and they are spread across five sections that gradually take you through the story. It is a style that is very easy to follow.

This is a story about 8 year old Jakob, a boy who is half Roma (Gypsy) and half Yenish (Swiss Gypsy). It is also about his parents and tells their life-story. With the alternating timelines it is a chance to build up valuable insight and knowledge of the family and their experiences. It also gives meaning to the importance of colour in the lives of this family.

This is a story that has been well researched, this research has then been woven and incorporated into an absolutely amazing story. It is a story that is heartbreaking as you would imagine, but it also has something that has a special balance to it. It shows people at their best as well as at their very worst. This means that not only do you get the desperation and plight of a persecuted people, you also get the balance of those willing to go out on a limb and by doing that they instil a sense of hope.

This is a very special book that has been so well written that I am really struggling with a review. It is a book, that as I read, I wanted to highlight and quote every single sentence. It is beautifully worded and it’s one of those books that will stay with me for a very long time indeed.

If you want to read about the plight of a people who were persecuted and almost wiped out, then this is the book to pick up. If you want a story about the balance of life and death, then pick this book up. If you want a story that is beautifully written and yet harrowing and heartbreaking then pick this book up.

It is a book that once I had read, I just knew I would not be able to do justice to when it came to write a review. I just hope that as you read this, it sparks a little curiosity in you and you go and pick this book up and read it.

Highly Recommended Book.

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share is always appreciated xx

Book 8 of 20

The Last Spell Breather by Julie Pike #BookReview

I am delighted to share my thoughts on The Last Spell Breather by Julie Pike. This is a Young Adult book that is full of magic and that this Adult Reader enjoyed as well!

Let’s have a look and see what it is all about…

A stunning fantasy debut, enter the unique world of the Spell Breathers. 


Spell Breathing does not come naturally to Rayne – she loathes the hours of practice, the stacks of scrolls, and the snapping mud devils that cover her mothers precious spell book. 


But it is spell breathing that keeps her village safe from the dreaded monster curse that plagues their world. It is ancient powerful magic, but as Rayne learns to her horror . . . it is also fragile. 


In one clumsy move, the magic that keeps them safe is broken, her village is plunged into danger, and an incredible adventure begins . . .

12 Year old Rayne is learning to be a Spell Breather and is an apprentice to her mum. They live in Penderin, a village hidden behind an invisible barrier that keeps them hidden from the world outside. The world is one where monsters roam. Raynes mother has to make a journey out of the village and leaves Rayne in charge of the Spell Book for safekeeping. It is not very long before there is an accident, the only person to help is her mum. So Rayne decides she will have to go after her.

This is a wonderful story that Older, as well as Young Adult Reader, will enjoy. The author has built up a magical story with an array of goodie and baddies and has a nice balance between the good and evil in the story. Magical is a pertinent word for this story as there are spells that are woven and spoken, being cast on the breath of the speaker. The spells are used to help people in their ailments, problems and also to provide protection, or at least that is what Rayne’s mum uses them for! On the flip side of this is what happens when the spells are used for self-empowerment.

The pacing of the story is good, the story flows nicely and it meant I wasn’t rushing the reading to find out what was going to happen next and still kept me turning pages eagerly.

There is a good range of characters, some good, some bad and some that left me which side they were on! Enough to provide a depth to the story but without being confusing trying to remember who was who and what role they played. They added diversity to the story that at times felt like a fairy tale.

I liked the focus on the words themselves that are included in the spell making. Not only using alternative words but also including the feeling a certain spell should feel like. It is a way of accessing feelings for younger readers. At the end of the book, the author has a great few pages about words and how you would create a spell. Using a thesaurus to find different words and then putting them together. I liked this inclusion because it encourages the younger reader to use their imagination and also learn new words at the same time. This is something that would have really appealed to me as I began my reading journey as a younger reader.

A great story that I, and older reader, thoruoughly enjoyed and would highly recommend.

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

Wanderers by Chuck Wendig #CompulsiveReaders @Tr4cyF3nt0n #BookReview

I am excited to share my review for Wanderers by Chuck Wendig. My huge thanks to Tracy at Compulsive Readers for my spot on the tour and organising a copy of this book.

Let’s have a look and see what it is all about…

A decadent rock star. A deeply religious radio host. A disgraced scientist. And a teenage girl who may be the world’s last hope. In the tradition of The Stand and Station Eleven comes a gripping saga that weaves an epic tapestry of humanity into an astonishing tale of survival.

Shana wakes up one morning to discover her little sister in the grip of a strange malady. She appears to be sleepwalking. She cannot talk and cannot be woken up. And she is heading with inexorable determination to a destination that only she knows. But Shana and are sister are not alone. Soon they are joined by a flock of sleepwalkers from across America, on the same mysterious journey. And like Shana, there are other “shepherds” who follow the flock to protect their friends and family on the long dark road ahead.

For on their journey, they will discover an America convulsed with terror and violence, where this apocalyptic epidemic proves less dangerous than the fear of it. As the rest of society collapses all around them–and an ultraviolent militia threatens to exterminate them–the fate of the sleepwalkers depends on unraveling the mystery behind the epidemic. The terrifying secret will either tear the nation apart–or bring the survivors together to remake a shattered world.

Wow! Wow! Wow! This was such a brilliant read. It’s a genre I enjoy but, don’t read that often. A story that surpassed my expectations by miles and one that I would like everyone to read. This is a book that will quite possibly feature in my Top Reads of the Year! Yes,I loved it!

The basics are that, some people have mysteriously joined up in a sleepwalking state, they are unaware of their condition, they cannot be woken and, bad things happen when they are restrained. They just walk. Towards where and why is not evident until you get further into the story.

While the world ponders the sleepwalkers, there is something far bigger looming on the horizon, a threat, that is unseen initially. But there is of epidemic of extreme proportions. This epidemic and the sleepwalkers’ fuels fear misunderstanding and extremist reactions as the world falls into disarray and society starts to collapse.

This is a book that has so many things that I love in a story and, the fact that it has a scarily possible realness to it adds something to the tension it exudes. We are all aware that antibiotics don’t always work, that we have superbugs and things are evolving. Add to this global warming, a reliance on technology, politicians that seem to have their own agendas! These worrying trends are something that the author touches on to create a completely addictive read.

In amongst the various themes, he has incorporated many social viewpoints. Conspiracy theories are always a favourite of mine in books and several theories are banded around in this book at the start of each chapter. Other society viewpoints show people in fear of the unknown or believing in a higher purpose. Some of the views are political, religious, racist and range from a basic comment to a more extreme stance.

With so many ideologies, ideas and theories included, I found myself thinking that here is an author who has really thought this book out and from many different angles. In doing this he has created a story that moved and evolved the further I read.

This is a story of a group of people have been brought together. They have family and loved ones who are distraught by what is happening. The families walk alongside those who are afflicted, they care for them as best they can, they do what they can. They form their own group. The main focus of the story is Shana because her sister is the first of the walkers. There are obviously many other characters and some play a far bigger role than others. This is a big story but so very easy to follow. There are some science, tech and abbreviations included and they are explained in terms that I could understand.

By the end of the book, I was stunned, in a good way! I worried about how a big story like this would end, which way the author would go. There could have been various way of ending it, and the way he did, worked so well for me. It felt right as it came to a satisfactory conclusion.

This is a sci-fi story as such, but it definitely didn’t feel like one because it had an air of possibility about it. There are some wonderful characters who become memorable for the part they play. Whether they are good, bad or indecisive, you will make your own mind up. A story that has heart, a story of family, loyalty, doing the right thing and also of fear, anger, extremism, society breakdown, and an apocalyptic, end of days message. It is a fabulous story that I was hooked into immediately and flew through. It is a thriller in some ways, but also of family. It really did not feel like 780 pages at all.

Wanderers by Chuck Wendig is a book I would Absolutely and Highly Recommend!

Chuck Wendig is a novelist, a screenwriter, and a freelance penmonkey.
He has contributed over two million words to the roleplaying game industry, and was the developer of the popular Hunter: The Vigil game line (White Wolf Game Studios / CCP).

He, along with writing partner Lance Weiler, is a fellow of the Sundance Film Festival Screenwriter’s Lab (2010). Their short film, Pandemic, will show at the Sundance Film Festival 2011, and their feature film HiM is in development with producer Ted Hope.

Chuck’s novel Double Dead will be out in November, 2011.

He’s written too much. He should probably stop. Give him a wide berth, as he might be drunk and untrustworthy. He currently lives in the wilds of Pennsyltucky with a wonderful wife and two very stupid dogs. He is represented by Stacia Decker of the Donald Maass Literary Agency.

You can find him at his website, terribleminds.com.

See what other Book Blogger think by following the Blog Tour…

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

The Teashop on the Corner by Milly Johnson #20Books0fSummer (2/20) #ReadingChallenge #Review

After having las week away from blogging and social media to rest the old brain cells, I am delighted to share my review for The Teashop on the Corner by Milly Johnson. This is the 2nd book in my 20 Books of Summer Reading Challenge.

Let’s have a look and see what it is all about…

At her beloved husband’s funeral, Carla Pride discovers that Martin never divorced his first wife and has been living a double life with her. And his other wife, Julie Pride, is determined to take everything from Carla – her home, her money, and her memories.

When Will Linton’s business goes bust he at least thinks that with the support of his trophy wife Nicole he will rise to the top again. But Nicole isn’t going to stick around with ‘a loser’ and Will finds himself at rock bottom.

Molly Jones is being bullied into going into a retirement home by her ‘concerned’ daughter-in-law Sherry and son Gram. Then the love of Molly’s life walks in through her door – a man who broke Molly’s heart into little pieces many years ago. But he says he is dying and wants to spend the time he has left with her.

All people in need of a little love and compassion which they find by chance in the stationery and teashop on the corner run by the ever-cheerful Leni, a woman that site developer Shaun McCarthy finds annoying beyond annoying for her ability to remain unrealistically upbeat about everything.

But is the world of Leni Merryman as full of rainbows and sparkles as everyone thinks? Or is her smile papering over many cracks in her heart that will soon be shattered unwittingly by her new friends?

The synopsis does a great job of giving the basics for some of the characters of this book, giving them a basic introduction if you like. These characters are then added to and then are gradually drawn together.

The story is focused around the Teashop run by the warm, generous and kindhearted Leni. Her Teashop is not just a teashop, it is also a stationery magpie’s dream, with literary themed notebooks, cards, pens, cufflinks, writing blocks and other wonderful memorabilia. Along with this, there are also sumptuous cakes, teas and of course my favourite coffee. I could quite easily see myself sat in this Teashop reading, perusing and of course filling my face on the cake!

As I gradually learnt more about the characters I became aware of how things for each of them has un-steadied them. Things happening out of the blue and unexpectedly, knocking their confidence or making them feel guilty or ashamed and, often not of their own doing. Whatever their predicament, they all somehow seem to drift towards the warm and inviting Teashop. Gradually friendships and confidences are formed, they are able to talk about what has happened this, in turn, makes them realise they are not alone, others are struggling and sometimes talking about things can help ease the burden. Well almost everyone talks about their problems through…

The descriptions of the characters are absolutely on point, as it the wonderful sounding Teashop. The story is totally captivating, sad and heartwarming and by the end of the book, I found myself yet again with tears. Tears of sadness as well as joy!

This is the second book I have read by this author. It is also the second time I have read it in one sitting!

The Teashop on the Corner is a perfect read for lovers of heartwarming reads with a touch of romance, with wonderful characters and a story-line that had me guessing and wondering what was going to happen next.

It gets a Highly Recommended from Me!


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