Book Review

The Silent Wife – Karin Slaughter

Today marks a massive highlight in my blogging career for me as I join the blog tour for The Silent Wife by Karin Slaughter, my absolute favourite thriller writer. Many thanks to Karin, to Liz at Harper Collins, and to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours, for inviting me to be a part of the tour, and for providing me with a copy of the book.

BLURB:

Atlanta, Georgia. Present day. A young woman is brutally attacked and left for dead. The police investigate but the trail goes cold. Until a chance assignment takes GBI investigator Will Trent to the state penitentiary, and to a prisoner who says he recognises the MO. The attack looks identical to the one he was accused of eight years earlier. The prisoner’s always insisted that he was innocent, and now he’s sure he has proof. The killer is still out there.

As Will digs into both crimes it becomes clear that he must solve the original case in order to reach the truth. Yet nearly a decade has passed—time for memories to fade, witnesses to vanish, evidence to disappear. And now he needs medical examiner Sara Linton to help him hunt down a ruthless murderer. But when the past and present collide, everything Will values is at stake.

PURCHASE LINKS:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

The Silent Wife Cover

REVIEW:

Well, what can you say about a book that is so great that it leaves you totally lost for words? I finished this book a good few days ago and it has taken this long for me to gather my thoughts enough to write my review. Karin Slaughter is just pure class, and her writing style puts her firmly at the top of my thriller writer list. Her books are instantly addictive and The Silent Wife is no exception.

The Silent Wife sees the return of many familiar faces as Sara and Will’s life together in Atlanta merges with Sara’s old life in Grant County. The dual timeline allows us to see Sara at two very different times in her life – one where we see the tough, resilient Sara we are used to, following her separation from Jeffrey, and another softer side as she shows her vulnerability in her relationship with Will and struggles to come to terms with the ghosts of her past. I loved seeing this side to Sara, as much as I hated to see her hurting so badly. I found it very interesting to explore her relationships with both men and the emotions they stir up in her.

Faith has long been one of my favourite characters from Karin’s books, and I particularly enjoyed her interaction with Lena in this book, and her blatant hatred of a character that, let’s face it, is totally unlikeable, and who we all love to hate. The years have not mellowed Lena and, much like Faith, I found myself really wanting to slap her! She really is a brilliant character to inspire such strong emotions in the reader.

As always, Karin doesn’t pull any punches with the brutality of the crimes featured in her books, or in the detail of the medical exams of the victims. There are some particularly graphic descriptions in The Silent Wife that may not be for the faint-hearted, but they are in no way gratuitous or out of keeping with the story.

As if being part of the blog tour for this brilliant book wasn’t excited enough, Karin was kind enough to take part in a Zoom Q&A session with the bloggers taking part on the tour, which was just amazing. Thank you so much Karin for being so generous with your time, and thanks to Liz at Harper Collins too for making all the arrangements and hosting the chat. It was most definitely the highlight of lockdown for me and a massive boost to my mental health.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Karin-Slaughter-Alison-RosaKarin Slaughter is one of the world’s most popular and acclaimed storytellers. Published in 120 countries with more than 35 million copies sold across the globe, her 19 novels include the Grant County and Will Trent books, as well as the Edgar-nominated Cop Town and the instant Sunday Times bestselling novels Pretty Girls, The Good Daughter, and Pieces of Her.

The Good Daughter and Cop Town are in development for film and television and Pieces of Her is soon to be an eight-part Netflix adaptation, directed by Lesli Linka Glatter (Mad Men), and produced by Charlotte Stoudt (Homeland) and Bruna Papandrea (Big Little Lies).

Karin is the founder of the Save the Libraries project- a non-profit organisation established to support libraries and library programming.

She lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

‘One of the boldest thriller writers working today’ TESS GERRITSEN

‘Fiction doesn’t get any better than this’ JEFFERY DEAVER

‘Passion, intensity, and humanity’ LEE CHILD

Her characters, plot, and pacing are unrivalled’ MICHAEL CONNELLY

‘A great writer at the peak of her powers’ PETER JAMES

‘Karin Slaughter has – by far – the best name of all of us mystery novelists’ JAMES PATTERSON

For information, review copy or interview request

please contact Liz Dawson:

elizabeth.dawson@harpercollins.co.uk / 020 8307 4412

Don’t forget to visit the other blogs taking part in the tour for this fantastic book.

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Book Review

And The Stars Were Burning Brightly – Danielle Jawando

Today’s review is for the heartbreaking YA novel, And The Stars Were Burning Brightly by Danielle Jawando. Many thanks to Danielle, and to Simon and Schuster, for providing me with a copy of the book which I received via NetGalley.

BLURB:

An emotionally rich and current story of suicide, mental health, bullying, grief and growing up around social media.

When fifteen-year-old Nathan discovers that his older brother Al has taken his own life, his whole world is torn apart.

Al was special.

Al was talented.

Al was full of passion and light…so why did he do it?

Convinced that his brother was in trouble, Nathan begins to retrace his footsteps. And along the way, he meets Megan. Al’s former classmate, who burns with the same fire and hope, who is determined to keep Al’s memory alive. But when Nathan learns the horrifying truth behind his brother’s suicide, one question remains – how do you survive, when you’re growing up in the age of social media? 

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REVIEW:

Every now and again a book comes along that just feels so important that it should be compulsory reading in all secondary schools, and this is one such book.

Told from the dual points of view of Nathan and Megan, interspersed with snippets of insight from Al himself, and written using the vocabulary each of them would naturally speaking in, I did find the writing style a little tricky to get used to (especially at first as I had assumed the book was written by an American author for some reason and it isn’t), but once I had settled in to it, it was actually rather perfect for the story being told.

From the blurb, I had expected this book to reduce me to tears, but what the author does in fact is capture that numb, empty feeling you get when you lose someone, the feeling that spreads right through your body until it consumes you, the raw pain of a death, in a way that I don’t think I have experienced in a book until now.

And The Stars Were Burning Brightly raises some very important questions about whether being alone is worse than being surrounded by people but feeling lonely because you can’t be yourself. As an adult I know what my answer would be, but back when I was a teenager I am not so sure.

Reading this book, I was once again reminded of how grateful I am that social media was not around when I was growing up so I could escape my bullies at the end of the day. In this book, Danielle serves a devastating reminder of the damage that can be caused by social media and the heartlessness of kids (and adults for that matter) hiding behind their screens. The fact that the events of this book were inspired by the author’s own horrific experiences of bullying at school and attempted suicide just serve to make this book all the more hard hitting.

And The Stars Were Burning Brightly is a painful read but is a book that I would urge everyone to read.

Book Review

The House Guest – Mark Edwards

Happy publication day to Mark Edwards, whose latest thriller, The House Guest, is released today. Many thanks to Mark for providing me with a copy of the book which I received via NetGalley.

BLURB:

A perfect summer. A perfect stranger. A perfect nightmare.

When British twenty-somethings Ruth and Adam are offered the chance to spend the summer housesitting in New York, they can’t say no. Young, in love and on the cusp of professional success, they feel as if luck is finally on their side.

So the moment that Eden turns up on the doorstep, drenched from a summer storm, it seems only right to share a bit of that good fortune. Beautiful and charismatic, Eden claims to be a friend of the homeowners, who told her she could stay whenever she was in New York.

They know you’re not supposed to talk to strangers—let alone invite them into your home—but after all, Eden’s only a stranger until they get to know her.

As suspicions creep in that Eden may not be who she claims to be, they begin to wonder if they’ve made a terrible mistake…

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REVIEW:

The House Guest centres around an impulsive decision by young couple, Ruth and Adam, to invite an unknown woman to stay with them while they are house-sitting in New York. As a regular reader of Mark’s books, I was instantly suspicious of Eden’s motives, although saying that, knowing how often Mark throws me for a loop, it wasn’t long before I was distrustful of pretty much every character.

I found this to be a slightly slower burning book than others I have read by Mark, with the tension and intrigue gradually building towards a very dramatic climax. This book has reignited an old interest in cults stemming from my college days, and I am sure will lead to me delving back into reading about them. Hopefully I won’t fall quite as far down the rabbit hole as eccentric Wanda, although I did absolutely love her as a character.

This really is a read in one sitting kind of book, so make sure you clear your schedule and stock up on snacks before diving in.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

5267328Mark Edwards writes psychological thrillers in which scary things happen to ordinary people.

He loves love hearing from readers and always responds. Mark can be contacted in the following ways:
Email: mark@markedwardsauthor.com
Twitter @mredwards
Facebook: www.facebook.com/markedwardsbooks

You can download a free box set of ‘Short Sharp Shockers’ by visiting www.markedwardsauthor.com/free

Mark has sold over 2 million books since his first solo novel, The Magpies, was published in 2013. Since then he has topped the bestseller lists several times. His other novels are Because She Loves Me, Follow You Home, What You Wish For, The Devil’s Work, The Lucky Ones, The Retreat and In Her Shadow. He has also published A Murder of Magpies (a short sequel to The Magpies) and six books co-authored with Louise Voss.

Mark lives in the West Midlands, England, with his wife, their three children, two cats and a golden retriever.

 

Book Review

Mageborn – Jessica Thorne

Today I am reviewing the wonderful Mageborn by Jessica Thorne. Many thanks to Jessica, and to Bookouture for providing me with a copy of the book, which I received via  NetGalley.

BLURB:

In the name of the crown I arrest you and charge you with the crime of being an unregistered and unsworn mageborn. You will yield up your magic for the greater good, or face certain death…

Raised on the streets, orphan Grace Marchant has always questioned the harsh laws of the Kingdom of Rathlynn. Confronting Prince Bastien Larelwynn – keeper of a dark, golden and deadly magic – was never her plan, but when her closest friend is the next mageborn taken away to the shadowy dungeons, she has no choice but to act.

Deep in the castle, Grace discovers that the Queen of Rathlynn has a devastating plan to use the mageborn’s stolen powers to cement her rule forever. Begging the coldly handsome Prince Bastien to spare her friend’s life, Grace is surprised to see a flicker of compassion in his obsidian black eyes, and the fire in her blood calls out to him… but if he senses the luminous mageborn power secretly unfurling within her like liquid sunlight, it’s only a matter of time before she too will be imprisoned.

But Grace is shocked when Bastien, with a mysterious smile, keeps any knowledge of her powers to himself. Despite his duties to the realm, Bastien pities the mageborn, and the two hatch a plan that could change everything.

As raging fire melts blackest ice, passion and desire quickly quiet her fear and suspicion. But with her golden mageborn light growing stronger every day, Grace must ask herself if she can really trust her former enemy… and with betrayal at every turn, will they save the mageborn and get out alive?

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REVIEW:

Regular readers of my blog will know just from reading the blurb that this book couldn’t have been more up my street if it had been written specifically with me in mind. It is full of all my favourite things, and to cap it all, it’s the first book in what promises to be an excellent series.

I know there is a lot of debate about prologues, but I love them, and the one in this book positively drips with sinister images and intrigue. I was hooked from page one and couldn’t put it down!

There are so many wonderful characters in this book who, despite the fantastical setting, remain deeply human and relatable, each flawed in their own way. Jessica Thorne’s skill at creating these characters meant that my heart broke for one character despite only having known them for a few pages. Bastien is a character that led to many conflicting emotions that I obsessed over like a teenage fangirl even when I wasn’t reading. I fell for him at first sight, and desperately wanted to discover that he was not the feared Lord of Thorns, but was in fact misunderstood, but I have been hurt by literary characters before who turned out to not be what they seemed after I fell for them, and I was scared that Bastien was going to turn out the same way. Whether he did or not, I will leave for you to find out for yourself.

I could honestly gush about this book for days. I loved the premise of magic being outlawed for the masses, but stolen and treated as a game by the nobility. I loved all the twists and turns, and non-stop action.

I was so excited to discover as I wrote this review that Nightborn, book two in The Hollow King series has just been released a couple of days ago, and couldn’t resist a quick dash to Amazon to download my copy!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Jessica Thorne watched far too much sci-fi and read far too much fantasy at an impressionable age. And it was awesome. She writes fantasy and sci-fi romance with a steampunk edge and just refuses to face reality.

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Book Review

Mix Tape – Jane Sanderson

Come with me on a musical journey as I review Mix Tape by Jane Sanderson. My thanks to Jane, and to Penguin Random House, for providing me with a copy of the book which I received via NetGalley.

 

REVIEW:

My friends will tell you that I am not a massive reader of women’s fiction, especially when it leans towards romance. Books from this genre have to have that little something different about them to catch my eye, and with Mix Tape it was my own love of music that made me want to read on. I come from the generation who would spend Sunday nights waiting patiently for their favourite song to come up in the Top 40, fingers poised on the record button on the stereo, so growing up, I was all about the mix tape. Imagine my excitement when I discovered that Mix Tape comes with its very own Spotify playlist (which then led me on a voyage of discovery of other books with their own playlists).

I loved the combination of changes in point of view and flashbacks that make up Mix Tape, with Dan and Ali each having a distinctive voice that you can see change throughout their experiences. The carefully selected songs that they send each other are a mixture of both shared memories and of where their lives are currently at, and this simple, yet heartfelt, communication is beautifully curated by the author.

As the story unfolded and long held secrets were revealed, I found I was really rooting for Dan and Ali to have their happily ever after together, and this led to a really strong dislike for both Katelin and Michael, even though they had really done nothing wrong apart from getting in the way of what I wanted to happen.

I fell in love with the entire premise of this book, and I will be keeping an eye out for more from Jane Sanderson in the future.

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Book Review

Ash Mountain – Helen Fitzgerald

Today I am joining the blog tour for the brilliant Ash Mountain by Helen Fitzgerald. Many thanks to Helen, Orenda Books, and to Anne Cater at Random Things Blog Tours, for inviting me to be a part of the tour, and for providing me with a copy of the book.

BLURB:

Fran hates her hometown, and she thought she’d escaped. But her father is ill, and needs care. Her relationship is over, and she hates her dead-end job in the city, anyway.

She returns home to nurse her dying father, her distant teenage daughter in tow for the weekends. There, in the sleepy town of Ash Mountain, childhood memories prick at her fragile self-esteem, she falls in love for the first time, and her demanding dad tests her patience, all in the unbearable heat of an Australian summer.

As past friendships and rivalries are renewed, and new ones forged, Fran’s tumultuous home life is the least of her worries, when old crimes rear their heads and a devastating bushfire ravages the town and all of its inhabitants…

Simultaneously a warm, darkly funny portrait of small-town life – and a woman and a land in crisis – and a shocking and truly distressing account of a catastrophic event that changes things forever, Ash Mountain is a heart-breaking slice of domestic noir, and a disturbing disaster thriller that you will never forget…

PURCHASE LINKS:

Order here.

Ash Mountain Cover Image

REVIEW:

From reading the blurb, I had assumed that Ash Mountain would be a family saga type novel, with secrets being revealed, rifts being healed, and the bushfire providing a little bit of background drama to it all. I was right in part, but my goodness was I wrong about the fire. It is almost a character in its own right as it advances on the town, leaving a trail of devastation in its wake.

Ash Mountain flits back and forth between the day of the fire, the days leading to the fire, and events thirty years previously, as we get to know Fran and her dysfunctional family. Everything about their stories and experiences feels very raw as they come to terms with their new lives, and, for Fran at least, the memories that returning to Ash Mountain stirs up. This human story on its own would be enough to keep me gripped by this book, as Helen creates a community of strong, relatable characters.

Like many other people, I watched the news of the recent bushfires in Australia, and I thought I had an understanding of what it was like over there, but this book brings the reality to life in ways that no news story did. Helen Fitzgerald captures the raw terror caused by an unstoppable, deadly fire in a way that caused an almost visceral reaction in me. It was painful to read about the utter destruction of lives, homes, wildlife, as the fire rips through the area.

In Ash Mountain, Helen Fitzgerald captures something that would previously have been unimaginable for people who haven’t lived through it and makes it real. This is a book that will stay with me for a long time.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Helen Fitzgerald Author PicHelen FitzGerald is the bestselling author of ten adult and young adult thrillers, including The Donor (2011) and The Cry (2013), which was longlisted for the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year, and is now a major drama for BBC1. Her 2019 dark comedy thriller Worst Case Scenario was a Book of the Year in both The Guardian and Daily Telegraph. Helen worked as a criminal justice social worker for over fifteen years. She grew up in Victoria, Australia, and now lives in Glasgow with her husband.

SOCIAL MEDIA:

Twitter

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Website

Make sure you pay a visit to the other blogs taking part in the tour for more information about the book.

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Book Review

The Perfect Couple – Jackie Kabler

Today I am joining the blog tour for psychological thriller, The Perfect Couple by Jackie Kabler. Many thanks to Jackie 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:

The perfect couple … or the perfect lie?

A year and a half ago, Gemma met the love of her life, Danny. Since then, their relationship has been like something out of a dream. But one Friday evening, Gemma returns home to find Danny is nowhere to be seen.

After two days with no word from her husband, Gemma turns to the police. She is horrified by what she discovers – a serial killer is on the loose in Bristol. When she sees the photos of the victims she is even more stunned … they all look just like Danny.

But the police aren’t convinced by Gemma’s story. Why has no one apart from Gemma seen or heard from Danny in weeks? Why is there barely a trace of him in their flat? Is she telling them the truth, or are there more secrets and lies in this marriage than meets the eye?

PURCHASE LINKS:

Amazon UK

The Perfect Couple Cover

REVIEW:

Right from the start of this book, I was suspicious – can any relationship be as perfect as Gemma would have us believe? With no signs of Danny ever having even been in Bristol, I must admit the old grey matter was working overtime coming up with questions and possible answers as to what was really going on.

I enjoyed the writing style of alternating between Gemma telling her story in the first person and the police investigation being unveiled in the third person. For me this switching back and forth really helped me to build an image of Gemma and had me wondering how much her account could be trusted, and at times whether she even knew the answer to that herself.

The Perfect Couple is an intricately woven story that keeps building and building as more and more discoveries about a supposedly perfect relationship are made. It is my favourite type of psychological thriller – I thought I had it all worked out and knew exactly where the story was going, but my goodness, I was wide of the mark! I would love to know if other people found themselves in the same boat.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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Jackie Kabler was born in Coventry but spent much of her childhood in Ireland. She worked as a newspaper reporter and then a television news correspondent for twenty years, spending nearly a decade on GMTV followed by stints with ITN and BBC News. During that time, she covered major stories around the world including the Kosovo crisis, the impeachment of President Clinton, the Asian tsunami, famine in Ethiopia, the Soham murders and the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. Jackie now divides her time between crime writing and her job as a presenter on shopping channel QVC. She has a degree in zoology, runs long distances for fun and lives in Gloucestershire with her husband.

SOCIAL MEDIA:

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Why not have a look at the other blogs taking part in the tour for this book?

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Book Review

52 Weeks of Writing Author Journal & Planner – Mariëlle S. Smith

I’ve got a treat for all the writers out there today, as I join the blog blitz for 52 Weeks of Writing by Mariëlle S. Smith. My thanks go to Mariëlle, and to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources, for inviting me to take part in the blitz, and for providing me with a copy of the book.

BLURB:

Are you ready to become the writer you were always meant to be?

52 Weeks of Writing will get you cracking by making you plan, track, reflect on, and check in with your progress and goals an entire year long.

52 Weeks of Writing will help you dig deep by offering questions and writing prompts designed to unravel whatever truths about your writing you’re ready for.

52 Weeks of Writing will keep you inspired by delivering a thought-provoking writing quote every week.

  • Do you struggle with setting goals that reflect your daily reality?
  • Do you want to practise breaking goals down into manageable chunks?
  • Would you like more insight into your writing habit(s) and figure out why you keep getting in your own way?
  • And do you want to create a sustainable writing practice that honours your needs and desires as a writer?

Then the 52 Weeks of Writing: Author Journal and Planner is for you.

52 Weeks of Writing brings together every lesson Mariëlle S. Smith has learned as a writing coach and writer. Wary as she is of comparisonitis and unhealthy competition, this author journal and planner was designed to help writers develop and fine-tune a practice that works for them.

If you’re ready to get out of your own way and become the writer you’re meant to be, pick up your copy of 52 Weeks of Writing today.

PURCHASE LINKS:

Purchase here

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REVIEW:

I can’t resist a journal. Honestly, I am drawn to them like a moth flapping around a lightbulb! I have reading journals, diet journals, craft journals – you name it I probably have a journal for it. However, I am absolutely rubbish at actually using them. I’ll fill in maybe the first couple of pages, and that will be it. 52 Weeks of Writing though feels different, and I am confident that I will keep it up. This combination of planner and journal is exactly what I need to keep my writing on track and achieve my goals.

With sections for clarity, goals, planning (complete with a weekly timetable), and tracking, as well as weekly writing prompts, this journal feels so structured, it is like having your own personal writing coach sitting next to you. Mariëlle’s coaching style shines through as she guides you through the year, without adding extra pressure, or making you feel like a failure if you don’t complete every single writing prompt. I think this is where I have strayed from the path with other journals in the past, thinking that because I have missed one section, what is the point in carrying on? There is no judgement in this journal as Mariëlle coaxes you through the year, making sure to include celebrations for targets met.

I love the idea of having an accountability partner to work through the journal, and my writing journey, with and I have already had a conversation with a close writing friend about putting this relationship in place.

I feel that in recent months, I have lost my way with my writing and it has slipped into the background, but this journal has got me fired up and excited to get going again. I am inspired to get back to it and make progress on each of my WIPs, which now there are three of!

I would recommend this journal to writers at all stages of their journey.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

52 Weeks - Author PhotoMariëlle S. Smith is a coach for writers and other creatives, an editor, (ghost) writer, and custom retreat organiser. In 2019, she moved to Cyprus, and island in the Mediterranean Sea, where she organises private writer’s retreats, is inspired 24/7, and feeds more stray cats than she can count.

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Book Review

The Word-Keeper -Veronica Del Valle

It’s my stop on the blog tour for the charming book, The Word-Keeper by Veronica Del Valle today. Many thanks to Veronica and to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to be a part of the tour, and for providing me with a copy of the book.

BLURB:

What would happen if words disappeared forever?

Set in a whimsical town called Inkwell, a place with an ancient secret history, this fairytale-like adventure will uncover the key to the power hidden within words.

The Word-Keeper is a tale about a savvy bookmark named Ben that unwillingly becomes an evil imp with only one objective: follow the orders of his master and destroy the words that live inside books.

Only one girl can stop him. Her name is Florence Ibbot. She is eleven years old, oddly eloquent and a quiet observer of the world. But above all, Florence is a keen logophile and is willing to sacrifice everything to protect the words.

She sets out to discover who is behind all this. The journey will take her to the origins of writing and inspiration. But she’ll also have to face the most treacherous adversary, Zyler, a ruthless sorceress whose sole mission is to ruin one of humankind’s most precious possessions: the gift of language.

As the final battle approaches, Florence will have to learn how to wield words instead of the sword. Is Florence brave enough to become who she was born to be?

The Word-Keeper Cover

PURCHASE LINKS:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

REVIEW:

Although The Word-Keeper is aimed at readers from the pre-teen market, there are important messages for all ages, from the consideration of the words we use, and the good or harm they can do, through to the way that Florence herself deals with her bullies at school. In light of the times we find ourselves in, this book felt incredibly relevant, and should be on all school reading lists to help children understand the power of the language they use.

The language of this book was so wonderful and just flowed off the page. In my mind I could just picture readers of Florence’s age reaching for their own dictionary to discover the meanings behind the beautiful words used. It is almost as though the author has selected the most beautiful words, and the most fun words to say, and used as many of them as possible so that when they start to vanish it comes as a hammer blow as you have so recently been reminded of the wonder of the human language.

Florence is a wonderful, quirky little character, but it was Ben the bookmark who stole my heart. I loved his interaction with the bookworms, and his chats with the words in the book each night, each of whom had a personality to match their own meaning. As for Grandpa Davey, he really is the grandfather that every child should have, and Inkwell is the town where all book lovers should live.

The book is littered with illustrations that made me wish I was reading the book in hard copy, rather than on my Kindle, so that I could examine them in closer detail.

Veronica Del Valle’s love of language is obvious in every page of this book, and I would urge people of all ages to read it.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

The word keeper author imageVeronica Del Valle grew up in Argentina, but life eventually led her to live in London, the city that was her home for many years.

Veronica’s always had a fondness for words, language and the magic of storytelling. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Kingston University.

Veronica currently lives in Buenos Aires with her husband, Ale, and her daughter, Tomiko. She teaches creative writing at Universidad de San Andres and is a contributing editor and writer for one of Argentina’s leading news organizations.

When she’s not writing or teaching, she’s either a) meditating or b) enjoying life with her family (which, in a way, is another beautiful way to meditate).

The Word Keeper is the first novel she’s written.

SOCIAL MEDIA:

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Make sure you pay a visit to the other blogs taking part in the tour for this beautifully crafted book.

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Book Review

Empire’s Hostage – Marian L Thorpe

Today marks the return of Marian L Thorpe, with Empire’s Hostage, book two in her Empire’s Legacy series. Many thanks to Marian, and to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources, for inviting me to take part in the blog tour, and for providing me with a copy of the book. You can read my review of Empire’s Daughter, book one in the trilogy here.

BLURB:

For fifteen months, the Empire and the northern people have been at war, but a truce is finally at hand. As part of this treaty, Lena, now a Guardswoman on the Wall, is asked to stand as a hostage, to go north to live and learn among the people of Linrathe. But not everyone there will welcome her. As Lena learns more of the history of both her land and the north, a new threat emerges, one that will test her loyalty to its limits, and in the end, demand a price she could not have envisioned.

PURCHASE LINKS:

Purchase here

Hostage ebook cover

REVIEW:

As Lena’s adventures take her north of the Wall, as a hostage to the people of Linrathe, Empire’s Hostage becomes a voyage of discovery through the history of the Empire, Linrathe and beyond. Whilst this could easily have become a dry information dump, Marian Thorpe weaves the story in such a way that instead it becomes a fascinating history lesson. I loved learning the customs of people of Linrathe and uncovering the secrets of the Eastern Empire. Lena’s dramatic learning curve that began in Empire’s Daughter continues, and it feels like you are riding right along with her. I enjoyed the little touches that I recognised from our own history, such as the song about the rash caused by the Eastern Fever, and the Celtic and Scandinavian influences on the ways and language of the people of Linrathe and Marai respectively. The whole book just made my inner historian dance with glee.

I warmed instantly to the students and teachers of the Ti’ach na Perras, so welcoming to their hostage. It felt like a safe, restful place to be, a stark contrast to the conflict of Empire’s Daughter, and the drama that Lena was yet to face.

Empire’s Hostage is a beautifully crafted book, easing you gently along as it lulls you into a false sense of security before reaching it’s dramatic climax.

Empire’s Hostage has left me eager to find out more about the mysterious Eastern Empire and the fever that led to it being lost to history, and I can’t wait to read the final book in the trilogy.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Empires Hostage AuthorNot content with two careers as a research scientist and an educator, Marian L Thorpe decided to go back to what she’d always wanted to do and be a writer. Author of the alternative world medieval trilogy Empire’s Legacy, Marian also has published short stories and poetry. Her life-long interest in Roman and post-Roman European history informs her novels, while her avocations of landscape archaeology and birding provide background to her settings.

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GIVEAWAY:

Win a Paperback copy of Empire’s Legacy, the complete trilogy (Open Internationally)

Empires Legacy ebook

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