Book Review

The Raven Coven – Emma Miles

I have the perfect book to end the month on a high note today, as I am reviewing the latest offering from the fantastic Emma Miles, The Raven Coven. This is the sequel to the brilliant The Raven Tower, which you can read my review of here. Many thanks to Emma and to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to be a part of this blog tour, and for providing me with a copy of the book.

BLURB:

Kesta had left her heart across the sea. They were at peace, her people saved from slavery, and yet… her soul was uneasy.

Chem lies in chaos, its people suffering as a result of the death of the ruling sorcerers. Refugees flee the cursed Borrows, begging for help from those they had made their enemy. A Queen unknowingly makes a dark, deadly pact, and new powers rise to fill the seats left empty by the Dunham necromancers.

The Raven Coven Ebook Final

PURCHASE LINKS:

Amazon UK

Amazon.com

REVIEW:

Well, where do I start? Whenever you pick up a sequel to a book that you have loved, there is always the fear that it won’t live up to expectations, or the author will take the characters in a direction which wasn’t how you viewed them at the end of the first book, but I am happy to say that from the first page I knew I had nothing to worry about with The Raven Coven. Everything that I had previously said about The Raven Tower applies to this book as well by the bucket load.

The character development that began in The Raven Tower continues beautifully, as we discover more about their backstories and see new sides to them as they react to the events unfolding around them. Characters that I had overlooked a little initially really grabbed my attention this time round and I found myself developing new favourites as I went along (although it has to be said that Azra remains my number one favourite).

The imagery created around the locations is wonderful, and I found myself totally immersed in the landscape of each of them, to the point where the real world simply melted away around me.

Throughout the book there is a mystery surrounding one of the characters that almost drove me insane. I found I was reading faster and faster just to find out the truth behind what was happening, all the time coming up with my own crazy theories.

The Raven Coven is full of excitement and intrigue, but at the same time it is a book that will, at times, rip your heart right out of your chest and then stomp on it.

I know at the end of The Raven Tower I was begging Emma Miles to hurry up and write book two, but now I have book two I just really, really want a book three. I know, there’s no pleasing some people is there!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

The Raven Coven AuthorI presently live in the stunning county of Dorset where I’m a cat slave to Wolfe and Piglitt. I spend as much time as I can outside in nature and love exploring and learning about new cultures and languages. I’ve visited Greece, Serbia, Transylvania, Sicily and Norway as well as making several road trips around our beautiful United Kingdom. I paint, sculpt, dabble in photography and do a little archery but most of all – whenever I get a chance – I write.

My writing started from a very young age when I often found myself being the one taking charge of and entertaining all my younger cousins. They loved to hear my stories and although they mostly called for ghost stories it was fantasy I fell in love with when I read The Lord of the Rings when I was ten. I went on to write stories and short ‘books’ for my friends through school and college; then one evening whilst I was waiting for my aunt and uncle to visit an image came to my mind of a boy sitting beneath a bridge. I didn’t know who he was or why he was there, but from exploring those questions ‘The Wind’s Children’ trilogy blossomed and grew with roots going back into his far history as well as stretching out to his future. The boy’s name was Tobias.

I have since left Tobias’s world of ‘Naris’ to explore the Valley with Feather in the ‘Hall of Pillars’ which is now available through Amazon. I am now presently finding my way through Elden, the beautiful Fulmer islands, the ravaged Borrows and haunted Chem with Kesta Silene; a shamaness of sorts with a big journey ahead of her. I hope you come along to share her story and join her adventure; she needs you and you won’t regret it.

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Book Review

The Curse of Ragman’s Hollow – Rhys A Jones

I seem to be experiencing a little flurry of books for the younger audience at the moment and I am loving it. Today sees my stop on the blog tour for The Curse of Ragman’s Hollow by Rhys A Jones. Many thanks to Rhys, and to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources, for enabling me to be a part of the tour, and for providing me with a copy of the book.

BLURB:

Just a walk in the countryside. What could possibly go wrong

Sam Jones’s grandmother is training him to be one of the Cunning Folk, like her, and exams are looming.

But Sam’s mother has holiday plans and drags him off to a remote cottage in the middle of nowhere for some country air.  No mobile phone, nettle soup and long walks are the rule. One such walk takes them to Ragman’s Hollow, a place the locals avoid with good reason.

It’s a place where people and animals go missing, never to be found. 

That’s just superstitious nonsense, according to Sam’s mother. But there is no smoke without fire and Sam soon finds himself up against an old, very spiteful, and very tricky enemy.

He’s going to need every ounce of his cunning to stop the Ragman. But can he do it alone?

The Curse of Ragmans Hollow Cover

PURCHASE LINKS:

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REVIEW:

Getting involve with the blog tour for this book was perfectly timed for me, because I now know what to get my friend’s little boy for his next birthday. This book is the third in the series, and although it works perfectly well as a standalone, I just know that the little boy I have in mind would love the whole series. It is a fast paced story with plenty of excitement, and a hint of humour thrown in to the situation that Sam finds himself in, and even with my limited knowledge of children it just feels like the kind of adventure story that little boys would love.

Sam’s holiday companions, the horrible Hollinghursts  just sound like the stuff of nightmares – they are rude and obnoxious, and even as an adult I would balk at the strict no burgers, no phones, no computer games, must wear shorts holiday rules. They were exactly the sort of character that people love to hate.

Sam is an endearing character who I think a lot of children could relate to, or learn things from. He is conscious of how his actions affect other people, and of how much hurt careless name calling can cause. He sets such a good example to the target audience, but at the same time, he has enough spirit to come off as too good to be true.

There is one scene that I just have to mention because it really amused me. Fairly early on, Sam’s mum puts her shoes on the table to wind up Gran, and it reminded me so much of my own Nan. She would have gone absolutely nuts about shoes on the table. She wasn’t overly superstitious other than this (oh and green cars and number plates that added up to thirteen), and it really put a smile on my face to see that other people share her beliefs about it.

I love Arthurian legend and Welsh folklore, so my eyes lit up at the mention of Merlin, and the connection of Merlin to Sam’s own family history. I want to read the rest of the series now to see what other Merlin related stories come to light.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Version 2Rhys A Jones was born in 1955 and grew up in a mining village in South Wales with his nose in a book and his head in the clouds. He managed to subdue his imagination long enough to carve out a career in medicine, writing whenever the chance arose.

The Merryweathers mysteries feature a boy and his more-than-meets-the-eye Granny Merryweather. The Curse of Wihtlea Barrows (previously the Dreables) and The Curse of Borage Doone have just been released as paperbacks with new covers and a new publisher (Wyrmwood). The third in the series entitled The Curse of Ragman’s Hollow is now available at last

Rhys is currently writing The Artefact Quintet featuring eleven-year-old Oz Chambers whose family inherits a ‘haunted’ house. His mother wants to leave, but Oz wants to unlock the house’s mysteries and uncovers a secret that will change his life forever.

Rhys also writes for adults as DC Farmer and Dylan Young

He has three grownup children who have emerged remarkably unscathed into adulthood. When not writing, he practices medicine and lives in darkest West Wales with his understanding (very) wife and dog.

Oh, and the Rhys is pronounced Reece–as in the actor Rhys Ifans of Mr Lovegood (Harry Potter) and The Lizard (The Amazing Spiderman) fame. Or perhaps it’s easier if you just think of Reece Witherspoon, though she is a lady.

FROM WIKI:
 Rhys /ˈriːs/[1] is

a Welsh given name (usually male), famous in Welsh history
a surname of Welsh origin that means “Dragon“, “fervour”, “passion”, “ultimate strength”, “king” or “zeal”

It was also my dad’s name!
The name is also anglicised as Rice, Rees, Reese and Reece

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Extracts

Pink Ice Creams – Jo Woolaston

When I read the blurb for Pink Ice Creams, I was disappointed to realise that I wouldn’t have time to read it in time to review it on the blog tour, so you can imagine how happy I was when Jo Woolaston kindly provided me with an extract from the book to share with you all. Many thanks to Jo, and to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to be a part of the blog tour.

BLURB:

Intent on fixing her broken marriage and the alcohol-fuelled catastrophe that is her life, Kay Harris arrives at her grim and grey holiday let, ready to lay to rest the tragedy that has governed her entire adulthood – the disappearance of her little brother, Adam.

But the road to recovery is pitted with the pot-holes of her own poor choices, and it isn’t long before Kay is forced to accept that maybe she doesn’t deserve the retribution she seeks. Will the intervention of strangers help her find the answers she needs to move on from her past, or will she always be stuck on the hard shoulder with no clear view ahead and a glove box full of empties?

Pink Ice Creams is a tale of loss, self-destruction, and clinging on to the scraps of the long-lost when everyone else has given up hope.

Pink Ice Creams - eBook Cover

EXTRACT:

Kay’s excessive drinking brings its own set of problems – memory loss and drunken encounters with strangers who she must then try to extricate herself from. But not all strangers remain so. Pete is not exactly the catch of the century but, if she lets him into her ordinarily closed world, perhaps he could be the diversion that leads her away from it for the better, who knows. But for now, he is just a pair of unfamiliar feet sticking out of the end of her bed…

So do the feet belong to Sanctimonious Sean or Brother Bollock-Head? Maybe neither, there was that toothless old geezer who drew a cartoon of my arse on the bar with spittle and a split finger nail.

‘Not seen you around these parts.’

‘Is that the same as ‘do you come here often’?’

‘On your holidays are ya?’

‘Yes, but not looking for romance.’

‘Drink?’

‘No thanks. And my arse is not that big.’

‘Well, a peanut here and a peanut there and you’ve got yourself a cracking pair of tits.’

People with so few teeth shouldn’t eat peanuts, I can barely read the answers on his quiz sheet under the debris. Quito, whatever that is. Question nine.

I knew Beachy Head was in Sussex not Dorset, and I would have said something but felt such an idiot after saying Di Caprio when I meant Da Vinci so whoever is in my bed I haven’t exactly lured here with my sparkling intellect. I need a plan. If I sneak out of bed and go out, he might get up and leave, avoiding any morning after awkwardness. But then if I move he might wake up. How old are his feet? They’re a bit manky but the toe-nails aren’t yellow and curled up, just a bit unkempt. If I stay still and pretend to be asleep then when he wakes up he can sneak out. But what if he’s pretending to be asleep and waiting for me to sneak out of bed and go out, so that he can get up and leave? Bloody hell Kay, just get up

There, he didn’t even move a muscle, where are my clothes? Quiet, quiet… Eeeeee… sssshhh ssh, ow ow ow, what a stupid place to put a radiator! Same toe as yesterday too, no wonder it hurts, the nail is split right down the middle.

Whoever he is he’s a heavy sleeper, that clang was loud enough to wake the dead. Is he breathing? My God, is he alive? Waking up with a stranger is one thing but waking up with a corpse is another thing entirely, what was that? Oh thank God, thank God! He farted, hallelujah! Jesus, oh for heaven’s sake get out of the bedroom quick, that is quite ripe. Stale ale.

“Mornin’”

Oh no, he’s the conversational type.

“Got any Marmite?”

“No.”

“Bacon? My mouth tastes like a sewer, that landlord ain’t cleaned his pipes for years.”

But you just have, and in my bed you stinky-arsed cretin.

“…Sean..?”

“Pete. The other Bollock-Head. The handsome one.”

“I’m Kay.”

“Oh I know. I know all about you, Jesus, I got your life story last night, over and over and over again.”

What was I worried about? No awkwardness here. Just simple, polite conversation taking place amidst the rancid stench-fog of a complete stranger’s innards.

“Well if a bacon butty is off the cards you can just make us a cuppa.”

“No I won’t. I’m sorry, but… I’d like you to leave.”

“Charmin’! You wouldn’t have got home if it wasn’t for me. I only stayed to make sure you didn’t choke on your own vomit, which incidentally is all down my Sunday best. My soaking wet Sunday best from jumping in the brook to save your bloody mobile phone.”

“You should have slept in the bunk room.”

“I’m not six! I was tired and I was pissed, it was the best option available even if it did mean sleeping next to a jabbering crackpot. And I may be neither Leonardo Di Caprio nor Da Vinci, but I can assure you I wouldn’t offer you a walk home again for all the thanks I get.”

He is clearly more adept at manoeuvring around a tight space than me, and is clothed and taking his leave far quicker than I thought imaginable.

“I’m sorry… about the Marmite.”

“Lost my appetite, you don’t get much ventilation in these places, eh? Fuckin’ reeks in here.”

I follow him to the door, all thanks and sorrys and questions about what may or may not have occurred between us sticking in my throat. The sooner he goes the better. I can put this out of my mind, whatever this was. He hesitates at the door. No, please, just go. GO!

“We didn’t… you know”

“Know what?’”

“Me and you. There was none of… that.”

“Oh thank God!”

“Steady on, I’m not that bad!”

“I didn’t mean it like that. I’m married. Happily married.”

“Ha!”

“What do you mean, ‘Ha’?”

“He’s left ya, or if he hasn’t – he will.”

“We had a row, but it’s just temporary.”

“You reckon? After what you’ve done I wouldn’t go near you with a barge pole.”

PURCHASE LINKS:

Hopefully that little snippet has sparked your interest as much as it has mine. If it has you can order your copy of the book here:

Amazon UK – Paperback

Amazon UK – Kindle

Amazon.com – Paperback

Amazon.com – Kindle

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Pink Ice Creams Bio Pic

Jo Woolaston lives in Leicestershire, England with her extreme noise-making husband and two lovely sons. She tries to avoid housework and getting a ‘proper job’ by just writing stuff instead – silly verse, screenplays, shopping lists…

This sometimes works in her favour (she did well in her MA in TV Scriptwriting, gaining a Best Student award in Media and Journalism – and has had a few plays produced – that kind of thing) but mostly it just results in chronic insomnia and desperate tears of frustration. Pink Ice Creams is her first novel, she hopes you liked it.

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Book Review

Cultivating a Fuji – Miriam Drori

I have an extremely thought-provoking book for you today, courtesy of Miriam Drori and Rachel Gilbey at Rachel’s Random Resources. Thank you both for enabling me to be a part of this blog tour, and for providing me with a copy of the book.

BLURB:

Convinced that his imperfect, solitary existence is the best it will ever be, Martin unexpectedly finds himself being sent to represent his company in Japan. His colleagues think it’s a joke; his bosses are certain he will fail. What does Martin think? He simply does what he’s told. That’s how he’s survived up to now – by hiding his feelings.
 
Amazingly, in the land of strange rituals, sweet and juicy apples, and too much saké, Martin flourishes and achieves the impossible. But that’s only the beginning. Keeping up the momentum for change proves futile. So, too, is a return to what he had before. Is there a way forward, or should he put an end to the search now?

Gradually, as you’ll see when Martin looks back from near the end of his journey, life improves. There’s even a woman, Fiona, who brings her own baggage to the relationship, but brightens Martin’s days. And just when you think there can be no more surprises, another one pops up.
 
Throughout his life, people have laughed at ‘weirdo’ Martin; and you, as you read, will have plenty of opportunity to laugh, too. Go ahead, laugh away, but you’ll find that there’s also a serious side to all this…

Cultivating Cover - Front

PURCHASE LINKS:

http://mybook.to/cultivatingafuji

REVIEW:

Confession time – this is possibly one of the hardest reviews that I have had to write, as this book left me with seriously conflicting emotions. It is also incredibly hard to explain this without giving away the ending, which I really don’t want to do, so please bear with me a little bit on this one.

Not knowing what a fuji is, the title of this book made little sense to me at first, so I was pleased to see an explanation of just what a fuji is right at the start of the book. If you are wondering, a fuji is a Japanese dessert apple of a variety with a crisp, sweet flesh and an orange flush to the skin. Even knowing this, I had to read the whole book before that eureka moment when the title suddenly makes sense. I must admit I get a great sense of satisfaction when that moment hits.

We first meet Martin, our main character, in a care home as he reflects back on a life with crippling social anxiety. My heart went out to him, as someone who clearly has a brilliant mind, but will always be over-looked or laughed at because his lack of communication skills and social niceties. The treatment he suffered at school broke my heart, as did the attempts made by colleagues to draw him out, which really came to late in life for Martin to be able to respond to them.

Although I enjoyed reading about Martin’s trip to Japan, and it was wonderful to see how the formalities of Japanese culture gave Martin the freedom to discover his true character, I found the pointed spelling of how the Japanese characters mispronounced English words a little uncomfortable. After all, how many of us can speak Japanese fluently and without an accent? That said, I can understand why the author chose to write in this way, as we were viewing the visit through Martin’s eyes and this would be something he would fixate on.

Even when I wasn’t reading the book I found I was thinking about it and counting down to when I could pick it up again. This is unusual for me with a book that isn’t full of fast-paced action but I found that Martin really got under my skin and touched my soul. As someone with a few social anxieties of my own, this book gave me hope that it was possible to overcome anything if you really put your mind to it. I think it was the fact that Martin’s story affected me so deeply that made the ending something of a struggle for me and left me feeling a little disconcerted by it all.

Despite my misgivings about the ending, I still think this is an extremely important book for helping people gain an understanding of social anxiety, and just how deeply it can affect the entire lives of sufferers.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Cultiveating Author Photo

Miriam Drori has decided she’s in the fifth and best stage of her life, and she’s hoping it’ll last for ever. It’s the one in which she’s happiest and most settled and finally free to do what she wants. Miriam lives in a delightful house and garden in Jerusalem with her lovely husband and one of three children. She enjoys frequent trips around the world. She dances, hikes, reads and listens to music. And she’s realised that social anxiety is here to stay, so she might as well make friends with it. On top of that, she has moved away from computer programming and technical writing (although both of those provided interest in previous stages) and now spends her time editing and writing fiction. NEITHER HERE NOR THERE (currently unavailable), a romance with a difference set in Jerusalem, was published in 2014. THE WOMEN FRIENDS, co-written with Emma Rose Millar, is a series of novellas based on the famous painting by Gustav Klimt. SOCIAL ANXIETY REVEALED (non-fiction) provides a comprehensive description of social anxiety from many different viewpoints. CULTIVATING A FUJI takes the social anxiety theme into fiction, using humour to season a poignant story.

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Win copies of Neither Here No There and Social Anxiety Revealed  (Open Internationally)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter link 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.

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Book Review

The Whisperers of Evernow – Heidi Catherine

Today marks my stop on the blog tour for the first book in an exciting new fantasy series. Many thanks to Heidi Catherine and to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to take part in the tour, and for providing me with my copy of the book.

BLURB:

When the King owns your words, who will own your heart?

Manipulated by a vicious King, Jeremiah is stripped of his identity and forced into a life of silent submission as a Whisperer. Allowed only to speak at the command of the King, one thousand Whisperers must line up in rows and chant their sadistic ruler’s darkest desires. As each evil wish comes true, the King’s power over his impoverished kingdom grows.

When Jeremiah’s fears for the family he left behind are confirmed, he turns in desperation to the most unlikely person for help—the King’s eldest daughter. But is Princess Rose as kind as she is beautiful, or will she lure him into a trap?

To save those dearest to him, Jeremiah has no choice but to put his trust in Rose, whose own life is threatened as her father prepares to clear the path to the throne for his newborn son. Together they embark on a bold plan to overthrow the King and set the Whisperers free.

As love blossoms in this most unlikely place, Jeremiah and Rose must discover how to use the power of the spoken word to conquer more than just the kingdom. They will need to conquer their hearts.

The first book in the spellbinding The Kingdoms of Evernow series, this is a must-read by award-winning author, Heidi Catherine.

The Whisperers Cover

PURCHASE LINKS:

Amazon.com

Amazon UK

REVIEW:

In the Game of Thrones era of epic battles and powerful warriors, The Whisperers of Evernow stands out from the crowd in the fantasy genre, focusing instead on the power and importance of words. The army of Whisperers are not skilled sword fighters or even particularly physically strong. Their strength is in their combined voices sending wishes out into the world. This unusual premise caught my attention straightaway and I couldn’t wait to find out more – so much so that I actually read this book from cover to cover in one day.

Heidi Catherine creates the perfect bad guy that you will love to hate in the ruthless, chauvinistic King Virtus. From his control of the Whisperers through their total stripping of self, their name, their hair, their clothes, and even their voices unless he needed them, to the brutal treatment of his daughters, here is a character without a single redeeming feature and a true villain.

In stark contrast to the king, you have kind, loyal Jeremiah, a character who put me in mind of Katniss Everdeen as he sacrificed his own freedom to save his family. Alongside Jeremiah, I challenge you not to fall in love with impetuous, fearless Micah, and the young princess who is stronger than even she could realise.

Heidi Catherine has taken the old saying that the pen is mightier than the sword and turned it into a fantasy reader’s heaven, creating a world that just proves how important words are, and how they can be used to manipulate the world around you.

I don’t know about you, but I am off to find out more about book two in the series!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

The Whisperers - Heidi Catherine

Heidi Catherine is an award-winning fantasy author and hopeless romantic.

Her debut novel, The Soulweaver, won Romance Writers of Australia’s Emerald Pro award and was published by Crooked Cat Books as the first book of a trilogy. After being named as a highly commended author in The Hope Prize, Heidi’s story, The Extra Piece, was published by Simon & Schuster in a collection of stories about disadvantage in our community. She was also a finalist in Romance Writers of Australia’s Little Gems competition four times.

She lives in Australia, not able to decide if she prefers Melbourne or the Mornington Peninsula, so shares her time between both places. She is similarly pulled in opposing directions by her two sons and two dogs, remaining thankful she only has one husband.

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Book Review

The Suspects – Katharine Johnson

Today marks my stop on the blog tour for The Suspects by Katharine Johnson. Many thanks to Katharine, 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:

Shallow Grave meets The Secret History in this quirky psychological thriller

Bristol, 1988. Five young graduates on the threshold of their careers buy a house together in order to get a foot on the property ladder before prices spiral out of their reach. But it soon becomes the house share from hell.

After their New Year’s Eve party, they discover a body – and it’s clear they’ll be the first suspects. As each of them has a good reason from their past not to trust the police, they come up with a solution – one which forces them into a life of secrets and lies. But can they trust each other? 

“The hugely talented Katharine Johnson has, again delivered a tense thriller! This is a compelling novel – up there with Erin Kelly and Sophie Hannah.”

Val Penny, author of The Edinburgh Crime Mysteries.

“Gripping and frighteningly realistic. The twists and turns kept me guessing to the very end.”

Jo Fenton, author of The Brotherhood.

The Suspects Cover

 

PURCHASE LINKS:

Amazon UK

Amazon.com

REVIEW:

I jumped at the chance to take part in the tour for The Suspects having read and loved one of Katharine’s previous books, The Secret. I found that this book had a very different feel to it than The Secret, but this is not a bad thing. It just proves how wonderfully versatile and talented the author is.

Set in the 1980s, this is a book full of secrets and lies, and with so many different personalities living together, I found that it was reminiscent of the Nineties drama This Life, which I loved (showing my age now I know!). Seeing the mention of Shallow Grave in the blurb brought the film back to me, and it is actually a great comparison.

I was totally transfixed by this book, and really felt like I knew the characters, and that they could easily have been friends of mine. I mean, I was only ten by the end of the Eighties, but you know what I mean. They were all so well developed, and I found my loyalties switching between all of them as I tried to work out who to root for and who I thought was the guilty party. From my memories of Eighties, and even student life in the Nineties, it felt like Katharine had really captured the essence of the time, and the whole book dripped with atmosphere.

Another triumph from an author who is fast becoming one of my favourites.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

The Suspects Author Photo

Katharine Johnson was born in Bristol and now lives in Berkshire. She’s worked as a journalist on lots of magazines and has written a history book about Windsor. When not writing you’ll usually find her with a book in one hand and a coffee in the other, restoring a house in Italy, walking her spaniel or playing netball (although not usually at the same time.)

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1st Prize – signed paperback of The Suspects

2nd Prize audiobook of The Silence – any region

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter link 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.

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Book Review

April Book Jar

I was actually organised in April, and added my book jar reads to this post as I read them in the hope that I would at least get my experiment round up posted before the middle of May! April saw two books come out of the jar, both of which had ended up on my TBR list after I watched the TV programmes that were based on them (and also both of which seem to have had lead actresses cast who don’t look an awful lot like their literary counterparts, but never mind).

32263First up was The Surgeon by Tess Gerritsen, which is the first book in the Rizzoli and Isles series. Now, I love the TV series that came from these books, and I think Angie Harmon is fantastic in it. Unfortunately that did mean that it jarred a little bit every time Jane Rizzoli is referred to as being petite and not terribly attractive. Once I had got used to that though, I thoroughly enjoyed the book. It was hard-hitting, at time chilling, read and felt a lot more intense than I had expected – some of the descriptions of what happened to the victims were pretty grim. One thought that kept coming back to me was that I am not sure that the author intended this book to be the first in a series about two women – for a start, Maura Isles doesn’t appear at all, and also Jane didn’t ever really feel like the main character. For me that was more Thomas Moore, who I really liked. I am slowly collecting the whole series of books on my Kindle, so expect to hear more about them in future posts.

162085The second book from the jar was Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepherd. I was absolutely hooked on this show, and have just started watching the spin off, The Perfectionists. I am not quite so addicted to that yet, so I was pleased to pull this book out of the jar to help with my PLL withdrawal. The book threw me straight back into the world where the Liars are haunted by the mysterious A, and I was pleased to see that the TV show had stuck pretty much exactly to the script – for the first book anyway. Like the Rizzoli and Isles books, this is another series I have been collecting, so it will be popping up again, hopefully soon!

 

30295312April also marked the release of a book that it feels like I have been waiting for since the dawn of time! This is one of my books flagged as “Read Immediately!!!”, so the very second I got home from the bookshop I jumped straight in and didn’t emerge until I had finished the very last page. The book in question is The Red Scrolls of Magic, the latest instalment of Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunter Chronicles, and the first in The Eldest Curses trilogy, which focuses on my absolute favourite characters from the Chronicles, Alec Lightwood and Magnus Bane. This was aimed at a slightly older audience than the other books, and it was sweet, and funny, and exciting, and just filled with everything (and everybody) that I had hoped for. I had thought that The Infernal Devices would always be my favourite of the Chronicles, but I think it may have just been pushed into the number two slot.

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

The Surgeon

Pretty Little Liars

The Red Scrolls of Magic