Book Review

Clara & Olivia – Lucy Ashe

If you enjoy historical fiction and are a fan of the ballet, then I have the perfect book for you as I join the blog tour for Clara & Olivia by Lucy Ashe. Many thanks to Lucy and Magpie Books for providing me with a copy of the book, and to Anne at Random Things Tours for inviting my to join the tour.

BLURB:

SADLER’S WELLS, LONDON 1933

I would kill to dance like her.

Sisters Olivia and Clara rehearse with Ninette de Valois at the recently opened Sadler’s Wells. Disciplined and dedicated, Olivia is the perfect ballerina. But no matter how hard she works, she can never match up to identical twin Clara’s charm.

I would kill to be with her.

As rehearsals intensify for the ballet Coppélia, the girls feel increasingly as if they are being watched. And as infatuation threatens to become obsession, the fragile perfection of their lives starts to unravel.

An exquisite goose-bumping debut from a former ballerina.

PURCHASE LINKS:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

REVIEW:

I adore historical fiction and the ballet, so a novel set during the early years of the Vic-Wells company was always going to capture my attention. I particularly enjoy historical fiction where real people intermingle with the books characters, and in Clara and Olivia, Lucy Ashe seamlessly blends her fictional characters with the stars of the English ballet of the 1930s.

The beauty of the ballet is echoed in the wonderfully atmospheric writing, but the sense of foreboding that begins in the prologue lingers in the corner of the stage like a shadow. In fact, there is an unsettling feeling about the whole book, with the dark spaces of the theatre (not least the well) lending a gothic feel to the story. Something about the girls’ relationship feels dangerous, too close for comfort, as if they could destroy each other, in spite of loving each other dearly, and being prepared to fight to protect each other.

I love the ballet and whilst I usually read in silence, I found myself heading to Spotify to set Coppélia and Swan Lake to play in the background. I thoroughly recommend this, as the beautiful music really adds to the emotion and drama of the book.

Even before reading her author bio (see below), it was easy to see that Lucy Ashe has a great deal of experience with the ballet, and has poured her love for it into every word of Clara and Olivia. This book is an exquisite balance of beauty and tension, of emotion and drama, and it evoked the same feelings in me as if I had just sat through the most wonderful performance of my favourite ballet.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Lucy Ashe trained at the Royal Ballet School for eight years, first as a Junior Associate and then at White Lodge. She has a diploma in dance teaching with the British Ballet Organisation. She decided to go to university to read English Literature at St Hugh’s College, Oxford (MA Oxon), while continuing to dance and perform. She then took a PGCE teaching qualification and became a teacher. She currently teaches English at Harrow School, an all-boys boarding school in North London. Her poetry and short stories have been published in a number of literary journals and she was shortlisted for the 2020 Impress Prize for New Writers. She also reviews theatre, in particular ballet, writing for the website Playtosee.com

LUCY WRITES:

“I have a great love of ballet and am fascinated by its history. I was lucky enough to meet many of the great dancers of the Royal Ballet, even Dame Ninette de Valois when she came to White Lodge to celebrate her 100th birthday. I have performed at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and learnt the repertoire for many of the classical ballets.

My novel is closely researched, re-creating the early years of the Vic-Wells company at Sadler’s Wells, and the story is immersed in ballet history featuring characters such as Ninette de Valois, Lydia Lopokova, Constant Lambert, Alicia Markova and Nicholas Sergeyev. Frederick and Dora Freed and their pointe shoe workshop play a key role, as does the history of Sadler’s Wells theatre itself. In a book shop on Cecil Court, I found beautifully preserved theatre programmes from the 1932-33 season at Sadler’s Wells and it was magical to imagine my characters holding those pages.

One major inspiration for me was my twin sister. We spent the first part of our lives doing everything together: first day of school, first ballet class, first piano lesson. We were a unit, referred to simply as the twins, and we had a very special connection. That connection remains even though our lives are so entirely different now. And so, in my novel, I have been inspired by the connectedness and the bond of twins, Olivia and Clara staying so close despite their lives starting to take them in different directions.”

SOCIAL MEDIA:

Twitter

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Make sure you pay a visit to the other blogs that are joining the tour for this fantastic book.

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Fifth Birthday

Happy blog birthday to me! I can’t believe that it has been five years since I first set up my little book blog. I have absolutely loved getting to know new authors, discovering new books, and generally sharing the book love far and wide. What I thought would be a little hobby has turned into a huge part of my life, culminating in 2022 with my being a part of the judging panel for the Book Bloggers’ Novel of the Year Award. That was an absolute blast to be involved with and I loved chatting with the other bloggers on the panel.

Five years feels like a bit of a milestone, so I thought now would be a good time to look back over some of my blogging statistics.

  • I have had the honour of sharing 65 author Q&As and guest posts. The first of these was Jennifer Gilmour right back in January 2018, and the most recent was Val Penny in January 2022. I would love to host more of these types of post, so if you are a writer and would like to be featured, please get in touch!

I found it so interesting looking back over my first five years as a book blogger, and I am excited to see what the next five years bring! Thanks for taking this little trip down memory lane with me!

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Bookish Christmas Book Tag

The quiet period between Christmas and New Year seemed the perfect time to hop on to the Bookish Christmas book tag. Thanks to Danni at For Book’s Sake for tagging me to do this. If you haven’t already, make sure you check out her blog!

This tag was originally created by Callum McLaughlin.

Father Christmas: Name a book you received as a child that you treasure to this day.

The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by CS Lewis. I adore the Chronicles of Narnia, but this was my first introduction to the world, a gift from my much loved godmother.

The ghost of Christmas past: Is there a book or series you like to revisit each year at Christmas time?

Fittingly for the start of this question, I always like to experience A Christmas Carol in some way at Christmas, whether that be reading the book or watching one of the many screen adaptations. This year, I was lucky enough to attend an interactive dramatic reading of the book at a stately home near where I live, which was so much fun (if this sounds like your kind of thing, check out their website – Torchlight Tours)! I do keep a folder of festive books on my Kindle as well to dip into if I fancy it. Some of the books on there include Midnight in Everwood by M.A. Kuzniar, The Gift by Cecelia Ahern, and Terry Pratchett’s Hogfather.

Christmas tree: Name a series that reaches new heights with every entry.

This has to be Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunter Chronicles. I am absolutely addicted, and I am currently counting the days until the next instalment releases (35 days including today, in case you were wondering).

Friends and family: Name a book with fantastic characters.

Oh so many! As this is a friends and family question, I think I will say the Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo. The characters there may not be blood, but they are still very much a family.

Decorations: Name a book with a gorgeous cover you would proudly display on your shelves.

I see so many absolutely beautiful books being published these days, but I think that the Blood Web Chronicles by Caedis Knight take some beating – especially all lined up together. Designed by Jacqueline Silvester, one half of Caedis Knight, the colours are simply stunning, and the detail in each globe is spectacular. Find out more about this spicy series HERE.

Christmas cards: Name a book that carries a great message.

Life of Pi by Yann Martel. I remember a friend telling me that I had to read this book, but not telling me anything much else about it. At the time, I thought this was a bit strange, and when I started reading and found it was a book about a boy on a boat with a tiger, I thought it was an even stranger book to recommend. However, I ended up being absolutely blown away by it. I can’t say much more about it, or the message it carries, without spoiling it for anyone who is yet to read it, but it really is an astonishingly good book.

Ice and snow: Name a book that you were hoping to love, but which ultimately left you feeling cold.

Oh no, there’s no ice and snow here this Christmas, just hot chocolate and lebkuchen for all!

Christmas lunch: Name a book that was big and intimidating but oh so worth it in the end.

I love a big chunky book, so I don’t tend to find a high page count intimidating, and to be honest, I read mainly on Kindle, so I often don’t even know how long a book is before starting to read it. According to Goodreads, the longest book I read in 2022 was The Stone Monkey by Jeffrey Deaver at 657 pages. I really enjoy his Lincoln Rhyme series, so I am sure this didn’t feel anywhere near as long as it is.

Mince pies: Name a book you found sweet and satisfying.

A food based question at Christmas? There is only one possible answer that I could give – Twinkle, Twinkle Little Bar by Isabella May. It is an absolute delight featuring all the Christmas loveliness that your heart could desire. Read my review HERE.

Presents: What book do you wish you could give everyone to read?

The Toymakers by Robert Dinsdale. I read this book way back in way back in February 2018, and I still find myself thinking about it. It is just such a beautiful book in every single way. You can read my review of it HERE.

Spreading the festive cheer: Tag some friends to help spread the festive bookish love.

K T Robson

Kate Kenzie

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The Fall Cover Reveal

I have the honour of being part of the cover reveal for the latest thriller from the wonderful Louise Jensen today. The Fall is due to be published in April 2023, and is available to pre-order now. The eagle-eyed among you may have already spotted the cover on my social media, but before I share it here, check out the all important blurb, which I am sure you will agree sounds amazing. I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy!

BLURB:

She promised she wouldn’t tell. They made sure she couldn’t…

At her surprise 40th birthday party, Kate Granger feels like the luckiest woman in the world but just hours later her fifteen-year-old daughter, Caily, is found unconscious underneath a bridge when she should have been at school.

Now, Caily lies comatose in her hospital bed, and the police don’t believe it was an accident. As the investigation progresses, it soon becomes clear that not everyone in the family was where they claimed to be at the time of her fall.

Caily should be safe in hospital but not everyone wants her to wake up. Someone is desperate to protect the truth and it isn’t just Caily’s life that is in danger.

Because some secrets are worth killing for…

If that sounds like it might be up your street, you can pre-order here.

Now, who is ready to see the cover? Here goes!

I think this is an absolute gorgeous cover, and I am so excited for the release – my 2023 TBR has this book on it already!

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BBNYA Spotlight – You Need Me – Sharon Bairden

This year, the Book Bloggers’ Novel of the Year Award (BBNYA) is celebrating the 50 books that made it into Round Two with a mini spotlight blitz tour for each title. BBNYA is a yearly competition where book bloggers from all over the world read and score books written by indie authors, ending with 10 finalists and one overall winner.

If you want some more information about BBNYA, check out the BBNYA Website https://www.bbnya.com/ or take a peek over on Twitter @BBNYA_Official. BBNYA is brought to you in association with the @Foliosociety (if you love beautiful books, you NEED to check out their website!) and the book blogger support group @The_WriteReads.

Today’s spotlight is for the psychological thriller, You Need Me, by Sharon Bairden.

BLURB:

Your secret didn’t die with me.’

The mysterious note tucked inside the pages of a recently returned book leaves librarian, Morag McLaughlin, chilled to the bone. She knows it was meant for her.

Someone out there knows her darkest secrets and they could destroy everything.

Torn apart from her own family, she will stop at nothing to create a perfect new one.

Why are they all so ungrateful? She’s only looking after them…

Isn’t she?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

By day Sharon Bairden manages in a small local independent advocacy service and has a passion for human rights; by night she has a passion for all things criminal. She blogs over at Chapterinmylife and is delighted to be crossing over to the other side of the fence to become a writer.

Sharon’s debut novel, Sins of the Father, was published in November 2020 and is published by Red Dog Press

You Need Me, was released on October 2021, also published by Red Dog Press

SOCIAL MEDIA:

Twitter

Website

Book Review

Suicide Thursday – Will Carver

Today is an exciting day as I am joining the blog tour for Suicide Thursday, the latest novel by the amazing Will Carver. Many thanks to Orenda Books 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:

If words could kill.

Eli Hagin can’t finish anything.

He hates his job, but can’t seem to quite. He doesn’t want to be with his girlfriend, but doesn’t know how to end things with her either. Eli wants to write a novel, but he’s never taken a story beyond the first chapter.

Eli also has trouble separating fact from fiction.

When his best friend kills himself, Eli is motivated, for the first time in his life, to finally end something himself, just as Mike did…

Except, sessions with his therapist suggest that Eli’s most recent “first chapters” are not as fictitious as he had intended … and a series of text messages that Mike received before his death point to something much, much darker…

PURCHASE LINKS:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

REVIEW:

I am no stranger to Will Carver’s writing and yet each time I pick up one of his books, I am startled by the brutality of his stories as he explores they greyer areas of humanity. In Suicide Thursday, Will’s trademark dark humour remains front and centre, so even when he takes you to the darkest of places, you go there willingly and with a smile on your face.

The clever little nods to previous books that are dotted among the pages are a real treat for regular readers of Will’s books, and really made me like I was part of a secret club.

Despite the fact that I found the characters largely unlikeable, Will somehow succeeded in making me care about them, and triggered a lot more emotion in me than I expected.

As the name suggests, Suicide Thursday is not a light, happy read. What it is, is a masterpiece of an examination of human life in all its ugly glory. Will Carver really is a genius!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Will Carver is the international bestselling author of the January David series and the critically acclaimed, mind-blowingly original Detective Pace series that includes Good Samaritans (2018), Nothing Important Happened Today (2019) and Hinton Hollow Death Trip (2020), all of which were ebook bestsellers and selected as books of the year in the mainstream international press. Nothing Important Happened Today was longlisted for the Goldsboro Glass Bell Award 2020 and Theakston’s Old Peculiar Crime Novel of the Year. Hinton Hollow Death Trap was longlisted for the Guardian Not the Booker Prize, and was followed by three standalone literary thrillers, The Beresford, Psychopaths Anonymous (both optioned for TV) and The Daves Next Door. He lives in Reading with his family.

SOCIAL MEDIA:

Twitter

Facebook

Website

Don’t forget to visit all the other blogs taking part in the tour for this brilliant book!

Book Review

The Hike – Susi Holliday

Today I am hopping over to Switzerland as I join the blog tour for The Hike by Susi Holliday. Many thanks to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part, and to Susi for providing me with a copy of the book.

BLURB:

Four hikers enter the mountains. Only two return. But is it tragedy? Or treachery?

When sisters Cat and Ginny travel with their husbands to the idyllic Swiss Alps for a hiking holiday, it’s not just a chance to take in the stunning scenery. It’s an opportunity to reconnect with each other after years of drifting apart—and patch up marriages that are straining at the seams.

As they head into the mountains, morale is high, but as the terrain turns treacherous, cracks in the relationships start to show. With worrying signs that someone might be following them, the sun begins to set and exhaustion kicks in. Suddenly, lost high on a terrifying ridge, tensions spill over—with disastrous consequences.

When only two of the four hikers make it down from the mountain, the police press them for their story—but soon become suspicious when their accounts just don’t add up.

What really happened up on that ridge? Who are the survivors? And what secrets are they trying to hide?

PURCHASE LINKS:

REVIEW:

When two couples with more than their fair share of secrets head off on a hiking holiday in the Alps, what could possibly go wrong? Well, a whole lot as it happens! As Cat’s carefully planned trip unravels around her, this particular hike is packed full of drama.

Whilst none of the main characters are particularly likeable, I found them to be an intriguing group of people, and I struggled to put the book down as I was so eager to learn their secrets and understand the motives behind their actions.

Much like Ginny, a hiking trip is my idea of hell, and I can’t say that reading The Hike has changed my opinion on this. Although Susi’s descriptions of the landscape sounded incredibly beautiful, the terrain is definitely not for the faint hearted, and it was easy to see where inspiration struck for the Alps to be a prime location for “accidents” to happen.

In typical Susi Holliday style, The Hike is a book that will keep you guessing until the last. I have learnt from experience to not even bother trying to guess the twists in Holliday’s books and now I just enjoy the ride.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Susi (S.J.I.) Holliday is the bestselling Scottish author of 8 novels, a novella and many short stories. By day she works in pharmaceuticals. She lives in London (except when she’s in Edinburgh) and she loves to travel the world.

SOCIAL MEDIA:

Website

Twitter

Instagram

Facebook

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

Book Review

Reading Challenge Update – April – August

Oh dear, I have fallen so far behind with my reading challenge updates! Life has not been the easiest just recently, but things are looking up again now, so I finally have the spare brain space to catch everyone up with what I have been reading. Brace yourselves, this post is going to be a long one!

READING CHALLENGE BOOKS:

Witches Steeped in Gold – Ciannon Smart

It feels as though I read this book an absurdly long time ago to be talking about it now, especially as I have its sequel on my list to read in September. I absolutely loved this book, and I will be writing a full review of it, together with Empress Crowned in Red very soon, but in the meantime, I give you my selection for a book with a colour in the name.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky

This is a very helpful challenge book, as it fits beautifully with a prompt from each challenge, being both a book that was made into a movie and a book written in epistolary style. I have been putting off watching the film adaptation as I always prefer to read the book first, but now I can finally sit down to watch.

Murder at the Vicarage – Agatha Christie

No huge surprise here that this book is for the prompt to read a book by Agatha Christie. I must confess that this is only the second Agatha Christie book I have ever read, the first being And Then There Were None. I have also never watched any of the Miss Marple adaptations, so this was my first real encounter with the amateur detective. I don’t think it will be my last though.

Lark Rise – Flora Thompson

Okay, I am cheating a little bit here. Whilst this book nicely fits the  book that is more than 20 years old prompt, it has a slightly more tenuous link to the other prompt I am using it for – a book set in your city/town. I live somewhere pretty small, so I couldn’t find a book that was actually set here, but Flora Thompson did live in the village for some years, and was actually the post mistress for a while.

A Secret History of Witches – Louisa Morgan

For my book set in the 1800s, I took advantage of the broad nature of the prompt to head back to the witchy books that I love so much. I read and loved Louisa Morgan’s The Age of Witches a couple of years back, so I was keen to read this book which spans the generations of a family of witches, and it didn’t disappoint one bit.

The Raven Spell – Luanne G Smith

This was my choice for a book suggested by a member of the Fiction Cafe (if you aren’t already a member, look us up on Facebook!) within the last seven days, and actually, I had seen it recommended by more than one member, so it seemed the obvious choice. Again, this author is one I have read previously and enjoyed, so I was glad to find a way to fit another of her books to my challenges.

The Queen of Nothing – Holly Black

I chose this as both a book that is part of a series and a book that is the last in a series – as you will see below, I actually binge read the entire series whilst on holiday in Dorset. YA fantasy is my absolute favourite genre, and I adore Holly Black, so it was a no-brainer for my holiday reading.

The Ghost of Ivy Barn – Mark Stay

This is a book that I was reading for a blog tour when I realised it was the perfect choice for my book with chapter titles. I absolutely love Mark’s Witches of Woodville series, and you can read my full review of The Ghost of Ivy Barn here.

Call the Midwife: A True Story of the East End in the 1950s – Jennifer Worth

I am absolutely addicted to the Call the Midwife TV series, so I was delighted when I realised that Jennifer’s book was the perfect choice for a book that features a compass direction in the title. It absolutely made my day that I could so easily recall the characters and events in this book from scenes in the TV series, and I am looking forward to reading more of Jennifer’s writing.

OTHER BOOKS READ:

My New Superjob and Post-molecular Comfort Food  by Anton Eine – these are fantastic, quick reads by Ukrainian author Anton, and you can read my review of both here.

The Fatal Oath – Michael L Lewis – I thoroughly enjoy this series about elite boys school, Blackleigh, (more on that soon), and you can read my review of this instalment of the boys adventures here.

Snow Blind – P.J. Tracy – I love the Twin Cities series and I am slowly making my way through them. I like to dot them between other reads so I don’t run out too soon!

With This Kiss – Carrie Hope Fisher – this delightful romance with a sprinkling of magic was another book that I read for a blog tour, and you can read my full review here.

The Fossil Beach Murders – Rachel McLean – if you don’t know by now that I love everything Rachel has written, then you must have been living under a rock. I can’t recommend her books highly enough

The Magicians – Lev Grossman – this was a book club read that I actually had mixed feelings about, mainly because it didn’t match my recollections of the TV series (I watched that before I knew there were books), but I will still be reading the second book because I have to know what happens next!

Confessions of an Alleged Good Girl – Joya Goffney – another blog tour book and one that I just thought was beautiful and important in equal measure. Read my full review here.

The Write Balance – Bonni Goldberg – although my writing has taken a backseat recently, I couldn’t resist signing up for the blog tour for this fab book. Read my review here.

Hotel Magnifique – Emily J Taylor – this is a book that I received via NetGalley and really need to get the review written for. If you are a fan of the Caraval series, I thoroughly recommend this book, and even if you aren’t, how gorgeous is that cover!

The Missing Girls of Alardyce House – Heather Atkinson – I got a bit more than I bargained for with this gothic historical novel. Sadly, it wasn’t my cup of tea, but I have seen a lot of positive reviews for it.

Fantasy Short Stories – Suzanne Rogerson – another favourite author making an appearance. I love Suzanne’s full length novels, so I knew I wanted to be a part of the blog tour for her short story collection. Read my review here.

The Trial – S.R. Masters – I took part in the One More Chapter readalong for this thriller and had an absolute blast sharing thoughts with everyone else taking part. My review is long overdue, but is coming soon.

The Seawomen – Chloe Timms – this is another book that I read on holiday, and it is gloriously atmospheric. I can’t wait to share my thoughts in my review which will be available soon.

Bad Things Happen Here – Rebecca Barrow – and another holiday read, (we had a very lazy holiday by the river), this time a YA thriller for which the review is coming up.

The Cruel Prince, The Wicked King, and The Lost Sisters – all Holly Black – as mentioned earlier on, I adore Holly’s writing and binged all four of these (including The Queen of Nothing) whilst on holiday.

Her Majesty’s Royal Coven – Juno Dawson – another witchy book (is anyone sensing a theme yet?), and this one is an absolute cracker. The review of this one will be up soon, but in the meantime, just know that I am VERY excited for the sequel.

The Wedding Cake – Isabella May – well, you all know I love the Foodie Romance Journeys and dive into them just as soon as I can get my little hands on them. Read my review of Isabella’s latest showstopper here.

The Name She Gave Me – Betty Culley – this is a beautiful novel in verse about finding yourself no matter the obstacles. My review is coming soon.

Blood and Money – Rachel McLean – well, I did say earlier that I love Rachel’s books, and here she is making another appearance on this epic round up!

The Hike – Susi Holliday – I got a bit ahead of myself reading this because I was so excited to have it, so you will have to wait until October for my review!

Equinox – Paul McCracken – another blog tour, and this time I am making one of my occasional forays into sci-fi. Read my review here.

The Temple House Vanishing – Rachel Donohue – much the same as anything with witches in, I also find it very hard to resist books based at boarding schools – although this convent school in Ireland is a bit bleaker than the elite boarding schools that I seem to normally read about.

All Eyes On Us – Kit Frick – well, I haven’t quite finished this one yet, but I am nearly there so I am including it for August – more to come when I reach the end.

Phew, we made it to the end of the list! As you can see, I have a LOT of reviews to catch up, so keep your eyes peeled for those coming soon!

If you need a reminder, these are the challenges that I am aiming to complete this year. I think I am a little behind schedule!

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Top Ten Tuesday – 12th April 2022

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday question comes from  Deanna at A Novel Glimpse who has requested a list of the authors I haven’t read, but want to. I found this a lot harder than I thought because there are so many wonderful authors out there that I just haven’t got round to trying yet. I decided to split my list between some authors whose books I own, but still need to read, and some authors who come highly recommended, but whose books I am yet to purchase.

  1. Victoria/V.E. Schwab – I own The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue and I have watched numerous online chats that Victoria has given and her books all sound right up my street, but for some reason I have never got round to reading any of them.
  2. Jay Kristoff – I have owned the Nevernight series for a while, but even though I haven’t read a single page, I was totally won over by Jay in an online interview he gave, and went dashing out to buy the hardback edition of Empire of the Vampire from my nearest bookshop. It is a beast of a book though, and so far I just haven’t managed to squeeze it in between review commitments. I love Jay though – if you don’t already follow him on social media, I highly recommend it.
  3. Katherine Arden – In Katherine’s case, I have purchased the entire Winternight trilogy before even reading the first book, purely off the back of an interview that I read with her about the first book. It just sounded so wonderful and exactly the kind of book I love. In my head, they are books to be read curled up under a blanket in the middle of winter, so I think I will be setting aside some time this winter to really immerse myself in them.
  4. Stuart James – now, this is a tricky one. I know Stuart through a Facebook book group and have even met him (lovely guy), and I really want to support his writing. I have heard amazing things about his books, but quite frankly, I am a big fat chicken and I worry that they will freak me out! Just as soon as I can work up the courage though, I will be reading them!
  5. Holly Bourne – I have picked up various book by Holly Bourne, but something has always stolen my attention away from them for a variety of reasons. I am determined that 2022 will finally be the year that I will check her out!
  6. Colleen Hoover – I have added Colleen Hoover simply because her books seem to be everywhere I turn right now. I know very little about her writing, but with so many people talking about them, I feel a little bit like I am missing out.
  7. Meredith Russo – Meredith is an author who was recommended to me by a friend, and whose work I am interested to discover more about.
  8. Shea Ernshaw
  9. Elizabeth Acevedo
  10. Lara Avery

These last three entries on my list were recommended by my oldest, dearest friend, the one person in this world who knows me better than I know myself. I can guarantee, without a shadow of a doubt, that if she thinks I should read a particular author, then I will absolutely love them. As such, all three of these authors have made it onto my “Must Read in 2022” list.

Have you read any of the authors on my list? If you were to recommend one of their books as the best one to start discovering the writing through, which would it be? Which authors would make your Top Ten of authors you haven’t read yet, but want to?

As always, thanks to Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl for hosting!

Book Review

Reading Challenge Update – February

I can’t believe that’s another month gone already! I just ticked a couple more books of my challenges this month – it was more a month of catching up on reviews and reading for relaxation than picking challenge books this month. The books I did read for the challenges this month though are all firm favourites of mine.

The Island – Victoria Hislop

This was my choice for the “read a book inspired by a place in a movie you’ve watched and enjoyed.” I am pushing things a bit here because I chose the setting of Crete taken from the “In-Betweeners” film, which I didn’t love, but the location was beautiful and I have been meaning to reread The Island for a while to refresh my memory before reading One August Night.

The Embroidered Book – Kate Heartfield

This little beauty is my selection for “a book with a magical element.” To be honest, I could have chosen any number of books off my shelf for this prompt as magical books are my “go to,” but I was lucky enough to be gifted a copy of this gorgeous book by the publisher as part of the blog tour, so I just had to include it. You can read my full review HERE.

Carry On – Rainbow Rowell

I choose this as my “book that makes me happy.” I read this during a power cut in aftermath of Storm Eunice when I really needed a comfort read. I first read this book years ago, and have been meaning to re-read it for ages to jog my memory before diving into the rest of the trilogy, and honestly, I had forgotten how much I loved it.

Man’s Search for Meaning – Viktor E Frankl

This was my “book that is a memoir” selection, and is a book that was recommended to me years ago, but that for some reason I had never got round to reading. I am only halfway through, so I will share more in next month’s round-up, but for now I can just say that it is a very powerful book.

OTHER BOOKS READ THIS MONTH:

The Millionaire Murders by Rachel McLean

The Hemlock Cure by Joanne Burn (read review HERE)

The Stone Monkey by Jeffrey Deaver

Rock Paper Killers by Alexia Mason (review coming soon)

The Silent Girl by Tess Gerritsen

A Lesson in Vengeance by Victoria Lee (review coming soon)

Last to Die by Tess Gerritsen

The Butterfly Garden – Dot Hutchinson

Sparks and Shadow – Ceara Nobles (review coming soon)

In case you would like a reminder, here are the challenges that I am following.