Book Review

March Book Jar

Well, these updates seem to be happening later and later each month don’t they! I can’t believe we are halfway through April already! This year is just romping by. Three books came flying out of the jar and I would like to tell you that I am starting to make a dent in my TBR pile, but one or two other books seem to have snuck on to my Kindle – oops!

41087327First out this month was Gone By Midnight by Candice Fox, which is a book that I received from NetGalley. Now, this book was I think number three in a series, which I didn’t realise when I started reading it. There were a few things that were mentioned that made me wonder if this was the case though, and a quick Amazon search confirmed things. To be honest, this wasn’t really an issue, and this reads just fine as a stand alone. The premise behind this an interesting one, and I enjoyed the characters in it a lot. It was perhaps a little predictable in places, but I still enjoyed it and would read more by this author – probably the ones that came before this one in the series for starters.

39964740My second book was another NetGalley book, and it was the wonderful The Binding by Bridget Collins. I absolutely fell in love with this book, and will be doing a full length review very soon. It is so beautiful that I could do a whole post just talking about the cover and what the inside looks like, never mind how fantastic I thought the story was.

 

 

 

33391439I had to cheat a little with my third book from the jar this month and dig through until I pulled out a paperback to read while my Kindle cooked. The winning book was Black Water Lilies by Michel Bussi, but sadly it just wasn’t for me. The book was originally written in French and at first I just thought that maybe something had been lost in translation. Because of this I was determined to give it the benefit of the doubt and finish reading it. However, when I got to the end I really wished I hadn’t bothered. I don’t want to give anything away, but I felt completely cheated by the ending.

 

If you want any more details about any of these books, here are the Goodreads links for you:

Gone By Midnight

The Binding

Black Water Lilies

I have a feeling that next month could be a little quiet on the book jar experiment, because I have one new release coming that will be jumping the queue the second I get my paws on it, and I seem to have an awful lot of blog tours coming up. What with that and NaNo, it’s going to be a busy month.

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Book Review

Reflected Destinies -Kindle Promo

Hopefully some of you will remember Reflected Destinies by Florence Keeling from my review from back in September. If you were tempted by it back then but haven’t got around to buying it yet, I have exciting news! Until 1st April, this wonderful book is on sale at half price on Kindle, in honour of Mother’s Day (that’s today by the way – if you forgot and want to get out of Mum’s bad books, sneak away and order this book to be delivered to her Kindle. You’ll be forgiven in no time when she starts reading). Here come the details:

Reflected Destinies - Price Drop Promo

BLURB:

Laura is happy and content, she has a new boyfriend and loves her job teaching primary school pupils in London.  But when she inherits a rundown house from a stranger on her 30th birthday, memories of her prom night come flooding back, memories of a scary encounter and an antique mirror in the very same house.

Laura visits the house with all its secrets and as she unravels the clues she reveals the biggest secret of all: her own destiny.  But how can you change the future if it’s already written in the past?

Click here to order your copy. (I am in no way affiliated to this offer, and will receive nothing in return for you following this link).

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Florence Keeling adopted for her pen-name her Great Grandmother’s name, chosen because of the shared birthday of April Fool’s Day.  She is married with two teenage chidren.  Born and raised in Coventry, England she now lives just outside in Nuneaton.  Reflected Destinies is her first novel.

Florence Keeling also writes for children under the name of Lily Mae Walters.

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Blind Date with a Book

It’s always exciting when something book shaped drops onto your doormat (or in this case is handed to you by your postman because he couldn’t get it through the letterbox, but it’s even more exciting when you aren’t even expecting something. This is exactly what happened to me on Tuesday this week.

Picture the scene – it’s Monday and I am busy pretending to work, but really spending more time on Facebook looking at photos from an epic weekend meeting my Fiction Cafe family and a rather cryptic message pops up from my brilliant friend, K T Robson. “Pick a number between one and four,” she says. I opt for number three and then that’s it, she won’t tell me anything more about why I am picking a number, apart from the fact it is for a blog post. Well, that’s me intrigued, and a good part of the rest of the day is spent with me pondering what it could all be about.

I didn’t have to wait long. Through the miracles of the modern postal service (and it truly is a miracle how fast this happened), the very next day I received this through the post:

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How pretty is that! Almost too pretty to unwrap, but of course there is a book tucked inside, so I had no choice but to unwrap it. I have always fancied trying the whole blind date with a book thing, so this was very exciting. It turns out that K T wanted to send me one, but couldn’t decide between four possible “dates” – the number I chose related to the book she was to pick for me.

So, onto the unwrapping. I was as careful as I could possibly be, wanting to prolong the anticipation:

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After much string untying and careful peeling off of sellotape, this little beauty appeared. Not only does it have a gorgeous cover (how great are those colours), it is a book that I have been meaning to read for a while now. Don’t ask me how, but Malorie Blackman’s books have somehow passed me by until now, although I had heard her name a lot.

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I think this might have to be one of the books that bypasses my book jar experiment and jumps straight to, “Read me now!” not least because I have just discovered that there is going to be a TV series made that is based on the book, and I am definitely a read first, watch second kind of girl.

Thank you so much K T for taking me along on your bookish blind date adventure!

Have any of you ever tried the Blind Date with a Book? What book did you discover?

Blog

Book Blogger Hop – 29.03.19


Book Blogger Hop

 

This week’s question is courtesy of Billy at Coffee Addicted Writer and is…

“Name one classic novel you have always wanted to read.”

This is quite a hard question for me to answer because I really struggle with the classics. I have tried my hardest, but I just don’t think they are for me. Don’t all hate me but I have never even read a single Jane Austen or Charles Dickens book. I think my issue with the classics started when I was eleven and had just moved up to secondary school. Without wishing to sound smug, my English teacher could see how much I adored books and that the ones we were reading in class were quite a way below my reading level. As such she set me off on my own with Rebecca and Wuthering Heights. Now, Rebecca I loved and have read many times since – that opening line is one of my all time favourites. Wuthering Heights, that was another story entirely. I think at eleven I was just too young to understand the depths of the book. I have always meant to pick it up again, but have never got round to it. Anyway, I digress…

There are lots of classics that I own and want to read one day – I have collections by Dickens, Austen, Dumas, Conan Doyle. I even have The Canterbury Tales and The Iliad. But they are all sitting unread. I am determined to crack them at some point. Of all my vast collection though, I think the one that I want to read the most is one that is probably the most daunting, not least because it is enormous, and that is Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables. I have lost count of the number of times I have seen the stage show, and whilst I realise the book is going to be vastly different, I think I owe it to my love of the musical to read Jean Valjean’s full story. I have tried a few times, but never made it very far – tiny writing and a heavy book are not great for Spoonie readers. However, I now have a nice shiny version sitting on my Kindle, so those excuses are out the window. As soon as I sit down to tackle it again, I will let you know how I got on.

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Are you a fan of the classics? If you had to choose one classic to read, what would it be?

Blog

Top Ten Tuesday – Audio Freebies

For this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, we are talking about our favourite audio freebies, whether that is audio books, podcasts, music, whatever – as long as it’s free and as long as you can listen to it. Thanks as always to That Artsy Reader Girl for the topic.

This was a bit of a tricky Top Ten for me because I don’t often listen to audio books (I have an annoying tendency to fall asleep) and I have only recently discovered the wonders of the podcast. That said now I have discovered them, I am getting stuck right in.

First up in my Top Ten are a selection of podcasts that I am hoping will be invaluable to my research for my writing:

 

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Photo by Csaba Nagy via Pixabay
  • Celtic Myths and Legends Podcast with Sian Esther Powell
  • Myths and Legends Podcast with Jason Weiser
  • Five Minute Folklore with Bob Shoy
  • Tales of the British Isles

Following hot on their heels, I have also recently found a couple that will help me brush up my writing skills too:

  • Writing Time – BBC World Service
  • The Creative Writer’s Toolbelt with Andrew J Chamberlain

Last but not least, everyone needs some fun free audio in their life:

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Photo by sindrehsoereide via Pixabay
  • Overdrive
  • Spotify
  • Radio 1’s Rockshow with Daniel P Carter – BBC Sounds App

For those of you who haven’t heard of it before, Overdrive is an app that lets you borrow audio and ebooks using your library membership, and download them straight to the app. There are other free apps that do this, but Overdrive is the one that my county libraries use, and I love it.

Listing Spotify separately is a bit of a cheat because to be totally honest, that is where most of my podcasts were found. But, I first started using Spotify for the music, and that is why I still love it. Even better, if you can tolerate the occasional advert, it’s completely free.

Including something from Radio 1 feels really odd because if I am totally honest, I thought my Radio 1 days were well behind me! I tuned in last week to listen to one particular artist who was appearing, and ended up listening to the entire show. Maybe I’m not as old as I thought I was!

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What would make your Top Ten?

[Featured image courtesy of Free-Photos via Pixabay]

Book Review

Sea of Lies – Rachel McLean

The very talented Rachel McLean is making another appearance today, as it is publication day for Sea of Lies, the sequel to Thicker Than Water. Thank you so much to Rachel, and to Rachel Gilbey at Rachel’s Random Resources for enabling me to be a part of the publication day activities, and for providing me with a copy of the book.

BLURB:

He abducted her. He fell in love with her. He helped her escape. Can she trust him?

Sarah Evans has returned home after being abducted and held in a dilapidated farmhouse by a group of men.

With her is Martin, who turned against the other men to help her escape. He says he’s not like them, and claims to be in love with her.

Can Sarah trust Martin? Does she share his feelings? Or should she listen to her father, himself deceitful and abusive, and turn her back on the relationship?

Sea of Lies is a chilling psychological thriller about secrets, trust, and a family falling apart.

A standalone sequel to Thicker Than Water

Sea of LIes (large)

PURCHASE LINKS:

Amazon UK

Amazon.com

REVIEW:

Following straight on from the end of Thicker Than Water, Sea of Lies picks up the action from a different angle, with the main characters from Thicker Than Water stepping somewhat into the sidelines, and some of the supporting cast picking up the lead. I thought this was a really interesting way to continue the story, as it would have been so easy to just carry it on from the same perspective. I was fascinated to find out more about characters that I had met before, and formed judgements about that were perhaps not entirely accurate. Getting to know the Evans family, in particular, better and coming to understand their dynamic really made me see how different characters perceive situations so very differently.

I found Sea of Lies to be a faster paced book than Thicker Than Water, with a lot of toing and froing from the village going on. I devoured the first half of the book in just a couple of hours before real life dragged me away.

I said it in my review for Thicker Than Water (which you can read here) and I stand by my comment, these books would make a seriously good TV series!

Although Sea of Lies is the sequel to Thicker Than Water, it can also be read as a standalone novel as enough of the action from Thicker Than Water is included for everything to make sense to a new reader, but not so much that someone who has read Thicker Than Water will be bored by it.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

rachel mcleanMy name’s Rachel McLean and I write thrillers that make you think.

What does that mean? In short, I want my stories to make your pulse race and your brain tick.

Do you often get through a thriller at breakneck pace but are left with little sense of what the book was really about? Do you sometimes read literary fiction but just wish something would damn well happen?

My books aim to fill that gap.

If you’d like to know more about my books and receive extra bonus content, please join my book club at rachelmclean.com/bookclub. I’ll send you a weekly email with news about my writing research and progress, stories and bonus content for each book. And I’ll let you know when my books are on offer.

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Book Review

Let’s Make Pom Poms – Katie Scott

I have a really fun craft book to tell you all about today. As you all know, I love all things crafty so I am so happy to be on this particular blog tour. Many thanks to Katie, and to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to take part, and for providing me with a copy of the book.

BLURB:

Fun and easy makes for all the family. Get crafty with pom poms with 15 easy to follow step by step guides. Make your own set of fluffy dice, sushi that looks good enough to eat and an everlasting Christmas tree as well as many other exciting projects.

by Katie Scott

PURCHASE LINKS:

Amazon UK

Amazon.com

REVIEW:

I love making pom poms, there is something very therapeutic about it, and had hoped to be able to share a couple of pictures of some of my creations from Katie’s book. However, my pesky pom pom kit has gone into hiding (probably made a run for it after being over used!). As soon as I hunt it down, I will share my makes with you all. In the meantime, let me just share with you my thoughts on the book.

This looks a really lovely book, full of ideas for all the family to get involved with. I am particularly excited about Flurry the snowman and snowy Christmas tre (I do love Christmas), although I am quite tempted to try the sushi too, as well as the floral burst, and of course the bookmarks. Who am I kidding? I want to try all the projects!

The photographs that accompany each project are bright and eye-catching, and the detailed instructions are easy to follow. I seriously can’t wait to get stuck in, and I just know that my friends’ children of all ages would love this book just as much as I do. In fact, I might borrow them for an afternoon to help me out with a project or two.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Katie Scott is a craft and book blogger who lives in the county of Kent, UK. Living at home with her husband and infant daughter, Katie loves nothing more than long evenings in with a good book, a pile of crafting goodies and a very large pot of tea.

Let’s Make Pom Poms is her first crafting book.

Find more work from Katie Scott on her blog.

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Don’t forget to have a look at the other blogs taking part in the tour.

Let's Make Pom Poms Full Tour Banner