Book Review

The Wildest Hunt – Jo Zebedee

I have the honour of kicking of the blog tour for the dark fantasy novel, The Wildest Hunt by Jo Zebedee. Many thanks to Jo for providing me with a copy of the book, and to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for inviting me to be a part of the tour.

BLURB:

A long-dead child.

An artist who paints the fae.

An ancient estate on blood-filled land.

The commission was close to Amelia’s dream: a cosy cottage in Donegal over Christmas and the chance to paint the beautiful Glenveagh estate. But when the weather closes in and the country shuts down, a ritual begins – one that traps Amelia in its circles of magic.

Stranded in a place where iron is power, her heart can no longer be trusted and the land itself is a weapon, Amelia’s survival depends on unravelling the truth of a decades-old death.

Even if it draws the same ancient danger to herself.

PURCHASE LINKS:

Amazon UK

REVIEW:

Anyone who knows me knows that I find it hard to resist a book about the fae, and if there is even a sniff of the Wild Hunt, then I am totally sold. Add in the tempting combination of Christmas, snow and a trip to Ireland, and The Wildest Hunt was always going to be headed straight for the top of my TBR list!

The Wildest Hunt is a book that is chilling in more ways than one right from the appearance of the Grey Lady, through to the Donegal snowbomb. I always enjoy books where adverse weather becomes almost a character in its own right, especially when that weather is snow. Jo Zebedee’s snow covered landscape is so very atmospheric and the thought that something “other” was affecting the weather and the wildlife to prevent Amelia and Joe leaving gave me shivers. It gave the entire book a dark, malevolent air so that by the time the Hunt make their appearance, I was already on edge and expecting the worst.

The dual perspective kept me gripped and I was equally eager to be in both parts of the story, to uncover Jean’s secret and to see what was happening to Amelia and why. This is actually something that is quite unusual for me with books told from multiple points of view as there is usually one that I am more drawn to than the other. Because I was so invested in both women’s tales, I flew through this book in my enthusiasm to find out what was going to happen and what secrets were going to be revealed.

This is a beautifully crafted book that is tinged with sadness alongside the tension and drama as the heart-breaking truth of events at Glenveagh come to light.

The Wildest Hunt is a great Christmas read when you need a detox from all the sugar, and the sweet festive romances.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Listed as one of the Guardian’s Top 10 Irish Sci-Fi authors, Jo writes stories based both in her native Northern Ireland and her fictional world of Abendau.

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Make sure you visit the other blogs joining me on the tour.

Book Review

Horsing Around – Lexi Rees

I am delighted to be welcoming Lexi Rees back to my blog today with another fab activity book. Many thanks to Lexi for providing me with a copy of the book, and to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to take part in the blog blitz.

BLURB:

Calling all pony fans!

This journal and activity book is bursting with pony-fuelled fun. Whether you’re preparing for your first lesson or out collecting rosettes every weekend, this book has everything you need. 

✓ set your riding goals and track your progress

✓ record your best riding moments

✓ tackle the horsey games and puzzles

✓ test your equestrian knowledge

✓ giggle at the funniest horse jokes

✓ try the fun pony-themed arts and crafts

✓ save your precious pony memories

Can you complete all the challenges and become a riding superstar?

PURCHASE LINKS:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Win a signed copy of Horsing Around (UK Only)

https://kingsumo.com/g/1sg5yd/giddy-up-pony-fans

REVIEW:

There’s no denying that when I was a horse mad tween, I would have killed to have had a book like this to log my riding adventures in each week. In fact, it makes me want to dust off my riding boots and get back in the saddle, just so I can fill in all the fun activities and journal pages.

I absolutely love the weekly and monthly pages with lots of space to record your progress, illustrated with cute pictures, jokes and fun horsey facts. I was itching to dive in to the beautiful colouring pages and to try my hand at the fun activities that are featured throughout the book.

What is particularly great about this book is that it is completely gender neutral, a big step away from the abundance of pink pony books aimed solely at girls that you usually see. I wasn’t a particularly girly girl growing up, so the colour scheme of this book would have been right up my street, and I know it would have appealed to the boys that I rode with too.

If you have a pony crazy young person in your life, this book would make the perfect Christmas present, ready for them to log an entire year of riding fun in 2022.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Lexi Rees was born in Scotland but now lives down south where she’s slave to a carrot obsessed gelding, a frisky mare, a dog who’s convinced he’s not been fed in a month, and a house of hungry boys.

She writes action-packed adventures and fun activity books for children.

She wrote Horsing Around in response to a predominance of pink in the existing pony book market which her own son found off-putting.

She’s passionate about developing a love of reading and writing in children and, as well as her creative writing workbook, she has an active programme of school visits and other events, is a Book PenPal for three primary schools, and runs a free online #kidsclub and newsletter which includes book recommendations and creative writing activities.

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Book Review

Psychopaths Anonymous – Will Carver

Today I am joining the blog tour for Psychopaths Anonymous by Will Carver. Many thanks to Will and Orenda for providing me with a copy of the book, and also to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

BLURB:

When AA meetings make her want to drink more, alcoholic murderess Maeve sets up a group for psychopaths.

Maeve has everything. A high-powered job, a beautiful home, a string of uncomplicated one-night encounters. She’s also an addict: a functioning alcoholic with a dependence on sex and an insatiable appetite for killing men.

When she can’t find a support group to share her obsession, she creates her own. And Psychopaths Anonymous is born. Friends of Maeve.

Now in a serious relationship, Maeve wants to keep the group a secret. But not everyone in the group adheres to the rules, and when a reckless member raises suspicions with the police, Maeve’s drinking spirals out of control. She needs to stop killing. She needs to close the group. But Maeve can’t seem to quit the things that are bad for her, including her new man…

PURCHASE LINKS:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

REVIEW:

When I signed up for the blog tour for Psychopaths Anonymous, I didn’t realise that it was connected to Will Carver’s other books, most of which I have read, but one or two I haven’t. However, that really isn’t an issue and you do not need to have read them for this book to be a great read. That said, if you have read them, keep your eyes peeled for Easter eggs tucked within the pages of Maeve’s life.

Maeve is a character who I found difficult to relate to, although that is probably no bad thing as she is, by her own admission, a murdering psychopath. At first, the lack of connection made for slow reading but it wasn’t long before I found her (mis)adventures utterly compelling. By the conclusion of the book, I really didn’t want it to end because I was desperate to discover what was going to happen next in Maeve’s life – I am really hoping for a follow up at some point in the future.

Usually, the cover of a book is one of the first things I notice, but for some reason (I am blaming it on a medication change) I completely didn’t register what the cover of Psychopaths Anonymous actually was. It was only when I was reading another review that it clicked and I am so glad it did, because it is utterly brilliant.

Entering into a new Will Carver book, you can never be too sure exactly what you are going to get, as he is the master of surprises. The one thing that is guaranteed though is that you will never be disappointed by what you find.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Will Carver is the international bestselling author of the January David series. He spent his early years in Germany, but returned to the UK at age eleven, when his sporting career took off. He turned down a professional rugby contract to study theatre and television at King Alfred’s, Winchester, where he set up a successful theatre company. He currently runs his own fitness and nutrition company, and lives in Reading with his two children. Will’s latest title published by Orenda Books, The Beresford, was published in July. His previous title, Hinton Hollow Death Trip, was longlisted for the Not the Booker Prize, while Nothing Important Happened Today was longlisted for the Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year. Good Samaritans was book of the year in Guardian, Telegraph, and Daily Express, and hit number one on the ebook charts.

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Don’t forget to visit the other blogs taking part in the tour.

Book Review

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Bar – Isabella May

I am delighted to be kicking off the blog tour for the latest book by one of my favourite authors, the lovely Isabella May. Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Bar sees us heading back to Glastonbury with old friends, and is a book I was desperate to get my hands on from the very second it was announced! Many thanks to Isabella for providing me with a copy of the book, and to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to be a part of the tour.

BLURB:

River and Alice miss Somerset. Christmas isn’t Christmas without family and friends, even when you live in quaint Cornwall.

When River’s Aunt Sheba dies unexpectedly, leaving him her ancient VW campervan, nostalgia nudges him and Alice back to Glastonbury – and the surrounding villages – to rediscover their roots whilst serving the most decadent hot chocolate and delectable gingerbread from their renovated ‘bar on wheels’.

A bar on wheels complete with a fold-up stage to host local talent competitions rivaling anything Simon Cowell could dream up, even if he’d gorged on a truckle of Cheddar cheese!

As the villagers sip their cocoa and ice their gingerbread houses amidst the festive backdrop of song, dance, and slightly more unconventional talents, River and Alice find themselves in an unexpected race against time:

Zara, their chocolate supplier is leaving Glastonbury on the twelfth day of Christmas, keen to put a string of disastrous relationships behind her to make a fresh start.

Bruno, their gregarious and gorgeous baking supplier is secretly smitten with Zara – ticking every box on her New Year’s wish list.

If only they can get them together for one experimental kiss under the mistletoe…

They’ve even enlisted their customers’ help in their mission to wrap this budding romance up in all the jingle bells and whistles. How hard can it be?

So, ho, ho VERY tricky, as it turns out…

PURCHASE LINKS:

Order here

REVIEW:

When I was choosing my next read recently, I was feeling decidedly not okay and in need of something to lift my spirits. Remembering I had the new Isabella May cheered me up almost instantly – her books always feel like a big hug anyway, and one about hot chocolate and Christmas, featuring one of my favourite former rock stars was just what the doctor ordered. River’s thoughts on the correct way to apply cream and jam to a scone had me chuckling to myself just a few sentences in to the book (he’s doing it wrong, by the way), and I knew this book would have me feeling better in no time. It was wonderful being back with River and Alice, meeting up with friends old and new, friends who I laughed with and even shed a tear or two with.

In Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Bar, Isabella May has captured my ideal Christmas, full of warmth, love, and the magic that can be created when communities come together. I could practically smell the hot chocolate and gingerbread as I was reading. I adore the attention to the smaller details that Isabella adds to her books – a prime example here, and I am potentially showing my age here, is the fact that Alice’s ponies all had My Little Pony names. I absolutely loved this, largely because the name’s Alice had chosen almost perfectly matched my own My Little Pony collection as a child.

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Bar is a read in one sitting kind of book, as long as that sitting involves a cosy blanket, an enormous mug of hot chocolate and a pile of sweet treats. Move over The Cake Fairies, I do believe I have a new favourite Isabella May book.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Isabella May lives in (mostly) sunny Andalusia, Spain with her husband, daughter and son, creatively inspired by the mountains and the sea. She grew up on Glastonbury’s ley lines and loves to feature her quirky English hometown in her stories.

After a degree in Modern Languages and European Studies at UWE, Bristol (and a year working abroad in Bordeaux and Stuttgart), Isabella bagged an extremely jammy and fascinating job in children’s publishing… selling foreign rights for novelty, board, pop-up and non-fiction books all over the world; in every language from Icelandic to Korean, Bahasa Indonesian to Papiamento!

All of which has fuelled her curiosity and love of international food and travel – both feature extensively in her cross-genre novels, fused with a dollop of romcom, and a sprinkle of magical realism.

Isabella is also a Level 4 Pranic Healer and a stillbirth mum.

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Make sure you visit the other blogs taking part in the tour for more about River and Alice’s adventures.