Reviews for Sept 2018 so far ....

Paris Ever After By K.S.R. Burns

 

Synopsis :   Last April - grieving the death of her best friend, unsure of what her future should be - Amy Brodie set off for Paris .  Just for a few days .  No one needed to know, not even her husband, William .  But Will is not a fool, after all .  Even though he was out of town at the time, he discovered Amy's absence and followed her to France .  They argued .  He returned to Arizona .  After a short delay ( not her fault ), Amy went after him .  Then they had another fight .  A big one .  Taking the gamble of her life, Amy set off alone a second time to Paris, where she's been living all summer long .  It's now early September .  There .  That should get you started .

 

My Review :   This is the second book of a series, the first book being " The Paris Effect " which I have not yet read as I received this one as an ARC copy from the author through Librarything and didn't realise it was a sequel .

 

The synopsis was intriguing .  I love books set in other countries and this one was in Paris, France .  It is well written and you can picture yourself there as you read .  The characters are interesting, Amy is quite adventurous and fun and she meets a group of equally fun friends while she is in France .

It has intrigue, romance, and food, which are all good with me !  Nothing to dislike there !  

 

Rating :   4 out of 5 

 

 

Hero In A Halfling ( Epik Fantasy Book 1 ) By William Tyler Davis

 

Synopsis :   Not all halflings dream of magic ...  But Epik isn't like the rest .

Adventure .  Excitement .  He craves those things .  He would rather learn magic, not follow a wizard on some fool's adventure ... or so he thinks .

 

The problem :  Magic is outlawed .  After setting out for the city, what Epik finds in Dune All-En isn't at all what he'd hoped .  No magic .  And few wizards .

 

Luck, or something more sinister, is on the halfling's side .  He meets Gabby, a wizard who is kind enough to rent him a room or rather, a closet, at his now-defunct magical supply store .  And as a group of mountain trolls threatens the city, Epik sees the opportunity to do something, well, epic .

 

If only the halfling inside him would stop peeking out .

 

My Review :   The first book in the " Epik Fantasy " series .  I really enjoyed this one .  It was a great, fun book and it made me laugh a lot .

I am a huge Terry Pratchett fan and I absolutely loved that a lot of the chapter headings were named after his books and also there were tons of funny references to other well known books and films throughout the story too .

 

The fantasy world is very well imagined and written .  The characters are interesting and fun .  I am certainly looking forward to more books in this series and following Epik and the others on further adventures .

 

Perfect for fans of Discworld and Middle Earth and anyone who like a good, fun fantasy .

 

Rating :  5 out of 5 

 

 

The House On The Beach ( Pilgrim Cove #1 ) By Linda Barrett

 

Synopsis :   Sea View House in Pilgrim Cove offers it's residents the sea, the sun, the sound of the surf and the call of the gulls .  But sometimes serenity is only an illusion ...

 

Laura McCloud has come back to Pilgrim Cove - the source of her fondest childhood memories - to pick up the pieces of her life .  The solitude of Sea View House is just what she needs .  But as she settles in at her rented beach house, a colourful crew of concerned citizens keeps reminding her of the past .  And one resident in particular - single father Matt Parker - takes her back to the thrill of young love and the memory of one perfect summer day ...

 

My Review :   The first book in the four book " Pilgrim Cove " series, this was an OK read, it is a quick read that focuses on having faith, and finding yourself again after life's bad experiences .

 

The story itself was well written but follows the familiar layout of most Silhouette romance books .  I didn't hate this book it was uplifting and very positive in it's message and well worth a read .  The location in the story was very nicely described .  I would like to read more in this " Pilgrim Cove " series as the author Linda Barrett writes wonderful stories that make you feel all sorts of emotions as you read and thats always a big plus for me .

 

Recommended for readers of contemporary and romance .  You will like this series .

 

Rating :  3 out of 5 

 

 

The Language Of Flowers By Vanessa Diffenbaugh

 

Synopsis :   Anyone can grow into something beautiful .

 

The Victorian language of flowers was used to express emotions :  Honeysuckle for devotion, Azaleas for passion and Red Roses for love .  But for Victoria Jones it has been more useful in communicating feelings like grief, mistrust and solitude .  After a childhood spent in the foster care system, her only connection to the world is through flowers and their meanings .

 

Now eighteen, Victoria has nowhere to go and sleeps in a public park, where she plants a small garden of her own .  When her talent is spotted by a local florist, she discovers her gift for helping others through the flowers she chooses for them .  But it takes meeting a mysterious vendor at the flower market for her to realise what's been missing in her own life and, as she starts to fall for him, she's forced to confront a painful secret from her past and decide whether its worth risking everything for a second chance at happiness .

 

The Language Of Flowers is a heart breaking and redemptive novel about the meaning of flowers, the meaning of family and the meaning of love .

 

My Review :   I really enjoyed this book .  It was beautifully written and so emotional .  Several times I had tears in my eyes as I read .

 

It is told by the main character 18 year old Victoria Jones who after a childhood spent in foster care finds herself without a home and living on the street until her circumstances change when she meets a local florist who is interested in Victoria's knowledge of the meanings of different flowers so she employs her .  Victoria experiences a lot of difficult things in her life throughout the book, you really feel for her character .

 

As well as the wonderful story itself, the author has added Victoria's " Dictionary Of Flowers " at the end of the book which is a lovely and interesting extra .

 

I found this book on the 3 for £1 charity bookcase at the supermarket I'm glad I picked it up .

 

Highly Recommended 

 

Rating :   5 out of 5 

 

 

Quite Honestly By John Mortimer 

 

Synopsis :   Giving something back to society by helping those less fortunate than herself is Lucy Purefoy's innocent aim .  And volunteering to help newly released ex-con Terry Keegan to go straight appears to be the perfect first project .  Until she goes just a bit too far in her enthusiastic attempts to get a feel for Terry's lifestyle ...

 

My review :   I picked this up because I was struggling when I picked " Read a book with it's title starting with a Q " category in my book challenge .  It was in a big Reader's Digest book with 3 other books .

 

It was an OK story, the main characters Lucy and Terry were well written and quite amusing .  I liked the twist at the end of the book I didn't think that would happen so it was surprising .

 

Not really my kind of book !  I read it but it was just OK in my opinion .

 

Rating :   3 out of 5 

Reviews For August 2018

Emperor : The Gates Of Rome By Conn Iggulden

 

Synopsis :    On the lush Italian Peninsula, a new empire is taking shape.  At it's head is the city of Rome, a place of glory and decadence, beauty and bloodshed .  Against this vivid backdrop, two boys are growing to manhood, dreaming of battles, fame, and glory in service of the mightiest empire the world has ever known .  One is the son of a senator, a boy of privilege and ambition to whom much is expected .  The other is a bastard child, a boy of strength and cunning, whose love for his adoptive family - and his adoptive brother - will be the most powerful force in his life .  As young Gaius and Marcus are trained in the art of combat - under the tutelage of one of Rome's most fearsome gladiators - Rome itself is being rocked by the art of treachery and ambition, caught in a tug of war as two rival generals, Marius and Sulla, push the empire toward civil war . For Marcus, a bloody campaign in Greece will become a young soldier's proving ground .  For Gaius, the equally deadly infighting of the Roman senate will be the battlefield where he hones his courage and skills .  And for both, the love of an extraordinary slave girl will be an honour each will covet but only one will win .

 

The two friends are forced to walk different paths, and by the time they meet again everything will have changed .  Both will have known love, loss and violence .  And the land where they were once innocent will be thrust into the grip of bitter conflict - a conflict that will set Roman against Roman ... and put their friendship to the ultimate test .

 

My review :   I have read a few books that were set in ancient Roman times and liked most of them very much .  It is a long book but I think historical fiction must be lengthy so we can get invested into the story .  Conn Iggulden writes really well and detailed .  I have only read this one by him but if the others are as good then I want to read those at some point as well .

The scenes of the gladiator combat and the war parts are very bloody and graphic so if you are squeamish then this isn't for you .

 

Recommended to historical fiction fans especially if you are interested in Ancient Rome .

 

Rating :  4 and a half out of 5 

Reviews

INK : A Dark Waters Mermaid Tale By Melanie Karsak

 

Synopsis :  A mermaid princess destined to wed a handsome king ...

It sounds like a fairytale, but the reality is far murkier .

 

Ink, Princess of the Florida Atlantic Mers, is slated to wed the ancient enemy of her tribe, the King of the Gulfs .  After years of war that led to countless mer deaths, as well as the genocide of aquatic shapeshifters and freshwater mers of Florida, Ink's marriage will bring lasting peace .  Or so it seems .

 

Mere hours before she's supposed to leave the ocean for her customary year as a drywalker, Ink meets Hal, an alligator shifter who warns her that a storm is brewing .  There is malicious intent behind Ink's marriage - and worse - meeting Hal has also caused a storm to rage in Ink's heart .  Nevertheless, loyal to her tribe, Ink will put aside her feelings and journey to Miami to marry the decadent King Manx .

 

Ink soon learns that her only hope of surviving the crashing force swelling around her is to tap into a power deep inside - a forbidden power that might destroy them all .

 

My Review :   I haven't read many mermaid books .  This was a novella so it was a quick read but I liked it .

It had mermaids and tribes of shapeshifters which was a bit different to what I have read for a while .

Melanie Karsak writes a variety of different genres very well, I have read another book by her which was a zombie one and liked that too .

 

Ink is a strong female character who is forced into a marriage to bring peace to the merpeople and shapeshifters, she has to make some hard decisions and go through some perilous situations .

The story is short but it is exciting and I would like to carry on with the other books to see what happens to Ink . 

 

I received a free E book copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review .

 

Rating :  3 out of 5

 

 

Kraken By China Mieville

 

Synopsis :  In the Darwin Centre at London's Natural History Museum, Billy Harrow, a cephalopod specialist, is conducting a tour whose climax is meant to be the centre's prize specimen of a rare Architeuthis Dux - better known as the Giant Squid .  But Billy's tour takes an unexpected turn when the squid suddenly and impossibly vanishes into thin air .

 

As Billy soon discovers, this is the precipitating act in a struggle to the death between mysterious but powerful forces in a London whose existence he has been blissfully ignorant of until now, a city whose denizens - human and otherwise - are adept in magic and murder .

 

There is the congregation of God Kraken, a sect of squid worshippers whose roots go back to the dawn of humanity - and beyond .  There is the criminal mastermind known as the Tattoo, a merciless maniac inked onto the flesh of a hapless victim .  There is the FSRC - the Fundamentalist and Sect-related Crime Unit - a branch of London's finest that fights sorcery with sorcery .  There is Wati, a spirit from Ancient Egypt who leads a ragtag union of magical familiars .  There are Londonmancers, who read the future in the city's entrails .  There is Grisamentum, London's greatest wizard, whose shadow lingers long after his death .  And then there is Goss and Subby, an ageless old man and a cretinous boy who, together, constitute a terrifying - yet darkly charismatic demonic duo .

 

All of them - and others - are in pursuit of Billy, who inadvertently holds the key to the missing squid, an embryonic god whose powers, properly harnessed, can destroy all this is, was, and ever shall be .

 

My Review :   The first book I've read by China Mieville and I think that I've found another favourite author .

I absolutely loved it !  His writing is wonderful, this book was a mixture of genres it was horror, fantasy and sci-fi .  It was a joy to read . 

 

It begins with the theft of a preserved giant squid from the Natural History Museum in London and takes us on a weird and wonderful trip through an alternative London in search of it with the main character, Billy Harrow and a bunch of interesting characters including Wati, a spirit from Ancient Egypt and other magical people and creatures .

 

There were some funny pop culture references which I picked up on especially the Star Wars ones .

 

I recently started another book by this author, Perdido Street Station which I will review soon .

 

Rating :  5 out of 5

 

 

Midway ( The Harvesting #1.5) By Melanie Karsak

 

Synopsis :  Step right up, ladies and gentlemen, for the beginning of the end .

Carnie . Ride jockey . Roustabout .  White trash .  Tilt girl . Gypsy .   Cricket has been called a lot of things, but she never thought survivor of the zombie apocalpse would be one of them .  One day she's barking on the Midway, and the next day, the world is eating itself alive .

 

Cricket, along with Vella, a tarot reader, and Puck, Cricket's mangy mutt, find themselves running for their lives, but where can you hide when mankind has fallen ?  Cricket will need help if she hopes to survive .

Luckily for her, we were never really alone, and apparently, magical forces want to keep this tilt girl alive .

 

My Review :   This is a novella which I think comes between the first and second books in the Harvesting series .

It is a zombie book which begins in a fairground .  I love books featuring fairs and circus settings . I'm not a big fan of zombies though .  This book was very fast paced and intense .

 

I'm not sure if this was YA or adult but the zombie attack scenes are scary and gory, as expected but not for sensitive or younger readers ! 

 

I received a E book copy from the author in exchange for an honest review .

 

Rating :  3 out of 5 

 

 

Morrigan's Cross ( Circle Trilogy #1 ) By Nora Roberts

 

Synopsis :   In the last days of high summer, with lightning striking blue in a black sky, the sorcerer stood on a high cliff overlooking the raging sea ...

 

Belting out his grief into the storm, Hoyt Mac Cionaoith rails against the evil that has torn his twin brother from their family's embrace .  Her name is Lilith .  Existing for over a thousand years, she has lured countless men to an immortal doom with her soul-stealing kiss .  But now, this woman known as vampire will stop at nothing until she rules this world - and those beyond it ...

 

Hoyt is no match for the dark siren . But his powers come from the goddess Morrigan, and it is through her that he will get his chance at vengeance .  At Morrigan's charge, he must gather five others to form a ring of power strong enough to overcome Lilith .  A circle of six; himself, the witch, the warrior, the scholar, the one of many forms and the one he's lost .  And it is in this circle, hundreds of years in the future, where Hoyt will learn how strong his spirit - and his heart - have become ...

 

My Review :   I have kind of avoided Nora Roberts' writing for ages because I thought they were your typical Mills and Boon kind of romance, I hadn't realised she wrote other genres too .  I have read two by her now and really enjoyed them .

 

This one is set in a fantasy world with time travel to the present day which is very interesting to read .

It has a wide array of different supernatural characters, vampires, gods, goddesses, magicians and witches .  I loved the different world settings in the book we go to Ireland, America and the fantasy world .  The back of the book contains a glossary of Irish words, characters and places which is interesting and informative.  

This is a trilogy .  I can't wait to read the other two in this series .

 

Rating :  5 out of 5 

 

 

Bleeding Heart By Taylor Holloway

 

Synopsis :  " They say I'm a ruthless, arrogant, playboy who doesn't have a weakness . And they're right .  Until Madison Clark walked back into my life . "

 

I grew up surrounded by unspeakable wealth.  Palatial estates, private jets, and a world where everyone wants to be your friend .  Friends that want to squeeze you for everything you've got .

 

Madison was the opposite .  Her passion was helping others .  My passion was her .

 

It's been years since I last laid eyes on her, but fate has brought us together .  She's no longer the naive little girl I knew growing up .  Now she's a smart, young attorney with a bleeding heart, trying to make the world a better place .

 

My business interests have suddenly collided with her humanitarian ones .  But this deal and our lives could go up in flames if the Columbian drug cartel has its way .

 

I'll exploit any weakness, fight any battle, and pay any price to protect her .

 

My review :   The first book I've read by this author and I enjoyed it .  The story alternates between Alexander's and Madison's points of view .  Some of the conversations and situations they get into are quite funny but there is also a thrilling part to the storyline which was exciting to read .  The romance parts are incredibly hot and steamy as expected in this kind of book .

 

All in all I really liked it, it was well written, it had good characters, some I liked and some I hated .

 

I will definately be reading more by this author .

I received an E copy from the author in exchange for an honest review .

 

Rating :   4 out of 5 

 

 

Ragged Heroes : An Epic Fantasy Anthology By M.L Spencer,  Phil Tucker,  Daniel Parsons,  Joshua Robertson,  L.F Oake,  Sara C. Roethle,  Stevie Collier,  Brandon Barr,  Megan Haskell,  Jonathan Yanez, Laura Greenwood, Logan Keys, David Estes, J.T Williams, Jason Paul Rice, Andy Peloquin, Susan Faw and Oz Monroe 

 

Synopsis :   These aren't your typical heroes 

 

Heroes aren't defined by shining armour, golden crowns, or noble virtues .  Beggars, thieves, killers, children and fools -- a hero is anyone who takes a stand against oppression, abuse, and evil .  Ragged though they may be, they hold their ground, defy hopeless odds, and conquer the impossible no matter the personal cost.

 

Eighteen bestselling and award winning authors give you a look at what it truly means to be a hero ;  the simple act of standing up and making a difference, even to just one person .  

 

My Review :    A good collection of 18 short fantasy stories featuring not the typical heroes .

 

I liked all of them, they were all different and the " Heroes " were all thrust into being brave by a variety of situations .

Some of the stories were very dark and quite gory .  They were all exciting and I liked reading this book a lot .

 

Anthologies are a great way to discover authors who are new to you .  I will be looking for more books by the authors included in this collection .

 

I received a free ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review .

 

Rating :  4 out of 5 

 

 

Festival Turmoil ( Sweetfern Harbor Mystery Book 7 ) By Wendy Meadows 

 

Synopsis :  Brenda Sheffield Rivers and her husband Detective Mac Rivers have returned from their honeymoon in Italy.  They arrive in the depth of winter, ready to prepare for the upcoming Winter Festival . Tourists begin to flood the town and Sheffield Bed and Breakfast is filling up fast .  There is only one vacant room due to a cancellation .  Brenda is sure her young reservationist Allie Williams will have it filled before the day is over .

 

An older couple arrives and introduces themselves as Marilyn and Richard Martin .  They are assigned the available room once occupied by the slain actress Ellen Teague .  Rachel and Thomas Wellington check in followed by photographer Philip Turner .  Philip is good looking and an obvious flirt .  Allie is caught up in his compliments and hopes his attentions won't deter her from winning the coveted skating contest she will compete in at the festival .

 

Mac returns to work the next day and expects a long day when he discovers there has been a rash of petty thievery going on around Sweetfern Harbor while on his honeymoon .  Two days later he is found stuffed in a closet on the back stairwell of the bed and breakfast, semi-conscious .  To add to the tragedy, his daughter who is owner of Jenny's Blossoms is missing .

 

Brenda is torn between worry over Mac's condition and her beloved step-daughter's disappearance .  As the mystery begins to unfold Mac recovers and he and Jenny's fiance Detective Bryce Jones are detemined to find Jenny .  In the meantime, Brenda is horrified to learn her guests aren't who they pretend to be .  Her concern turns to dread when she wonders if Jenny is alive or dead .  Above all, the hunt to find her is imperative .  Mac has two suspects, guests of Brenda's, in custody .  It is a matter of which one or if either, will confess to what happened to Jenny Rivers .

 

Brenda vows to uncover the motive for their crimes and deception .  She must find Jenny at all costs .

 

My Review :   This is the first book I've read by Wendy Meadows, I really liked it and I need to read the first six in the series now because I enjoyed this story so much .

I've become a big fan of cozy mysteries lately, they are so fun to read .

 

The characters in this one are interesting and well written, the storyline is intriguing and exciting it kept me guessing until the reveal of who was commiting the crimes, I didn't guess who it was .

 

It's set during the winter just as Sweetfern Harbor is going to have its Winter Festival so it is perfect for the winter months . 

 

I received a free ARC copy in exchange for an honest review .

 

Rating :  4 out of 5 

Reviews -- July 2018

Bedlam : London And It's Mad By Catharine Arnold 

 

Synopsis :  The mad have always been with us, Bethleham Hospital, or " Bedlam " as it became in Cockney slang, is the world's oldest psychiatric hospital .  Founded in 1247 it developed from a ramshackle hovel to the magnificent ' Palace Beautiful ', where visitors could pay to gawp at the chained inmates, through to the great Victorian hospital in Lambeth, now the Imperial War Museum .

 

Catharine Arnold takes us on a tour of Bedlam and examines London's attitude to madness along the way .  We travel through the ages, from the barbaric ' exorcisms ' of the Medieval period to the Tudor belief that a roast mouse, eaten whole, was the cure .  We see the reforming zeal of eighteenth century campaigners and the development of the massive Victorian asylums .  This was the era of the private madhouse, run by ' traders in lunacy ' who asked no questions and locked up insane and sane alike at the behest of greedy relatives .  But it was also the age of the determined reformers who eventually made their way into Bedlam and exposed conditions of terrible deprivation and brutality .

 

My Review :  A really interesting non fiction book about the history of Bethlehem Hospital or Bedlam as it became called and also how they viewed mental health issues back in history .

It was quite shocking in parts how people were viewed and treated by the people who were supposed to be helping them and also how the public were regarding them .

 

I don't read a lot of non fiction but I'd seen this being talked about on Youtube by quite a few people so when I saw it for 50p in a charity shop I decided I must give it a read .  I'm glad I did, it was certainly an eye opener !

 

My Rating :  4 out of 5

 

 

Dead Until Dark : ( Sookie Stackhouse # 1 ) By Charlaine Harris

 

Synopsis :  Sookie Stackhouse is just a small town cocktail waitress in small town Louisiana .  Until the vampire of her dreams walks into her life - and one of her co-workers checks out ...

 

Maybe having a vampire for a boyfriend isn't such a bright idea .

 

My Review :  The first book in the series based on the ' True Blood ' TV show which I have not seen .

I read it in one sitting, it was really fun, I enjoyed it .

Charlaine Harris writes great paranormal romance .  I haven't read anything else by her yet but after reading this first one I want to see how the story develops and what other situations Sookie gets into .

She had to deal with a lot in this first book including getting involved with vampires and a murder mystery too .

It's pretty exciting stuff !!

 

My Rating :   4 out of 5 

 

 

Heartless By Marissa Meyer

 

Tagline :  Before she was the Queen of Hearts she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love 

 

Synopsis :  Long before Alice fell down the rabbit hole ...

And before the roses were painted red ...

The Queen of Hearts was just a girl, in love for the first time .

 

From Marissa Meyer, the New York Times bestselling author of the Lunar Chronicles, comes a vision of Wonderland like none you've seen before, telling the untold story of the girl who would become the notorious Queen of Hearts .

 

My Review :  I really enjoyed this one !!  I read it in a couple of days it had been waiting on my shelves to be read quite a number of months before I picked it up .

 

It was magical !!  A re-imaging of Wonderland by a very talented author .  I was entertained, amused and emotional while reading this .

 

Catherine Pinkerton ( who will become The Queen of Hearts ) is the main character and she has dreams and ambitions of opening her own bakery before unforeseen circumstances happen and she is changed into the cold, heartless Queen of Hearts .

 

From reading this and other books that have kind, good characters who get mentally scarred by bad people and perhaps bad choices in life, I can see how someone would become cold and unfeeling .

 

I can see me re-reading this a number of times !!

 

My Rating :  5 out of 5

 

 

Hazel ( Colorless # 0.5 ) By Rita Stradling

 

Synopsis :  Fifteen year old Hazel Hampton expects many things from her coming out ball .  Laughter .  Joy .  A full ballroom .  An overflowing dance card .  And most precious of all, the chance to steal a dance with the forbidden boy whom she loves .  What she doesn't expect is to be arrested on the charge of sorcery and murder .

 

My Review :  The prequel novella to ' Colorless ' .  It was short at 100 pages so I read it quickly .  It was a well written prequel and introduces us to the characters and settings wonderfully .

 

It is a YA historical fantasy story which includes magic and gods, which I enjoy reading very much .  I have not read Colorless yet but it is waiting on my Kindle when i'm wanting to read it, hopefully soon because the story intrigued me and I want to know what happens next to Hazel and Warren .

 

I received an exclusive copy from the author by subscribing to her newsletter in exchange for an honest review .

 

My Rating :  4 out of 5

 

 

How To Find The Time To Write : For Busy People Who Want To Be Authors By Lizzie Jay 

 

Synopsis :  Have you always wanted to write a novel but found there are never enough hours in the day ?

Are you a stay at home parent struggling to find time to write or in a job with long hours that leaves little time for anything else ?

 

The problem is, you know you'd be fantastic at writing a novel but when could you possibly fit it in ?  

This E book contains everything you need to know to help you find that time to write -

 

- By showing you how to rearrange tasks you already do so that none are missed but you still have time to write .

- How to make the most of those pockets of time that you do find .

- What to write when you do find the time and how to go about it in the most efficient way .

- How to plan so that you can progress even if you can only find a few minutes to write .

 

It lists and explains everything you need to write a best-selling novel so that you can get started with the business of writing it straight away .

 

Learn how to discover the time you didn't think you had by re-prioritising and re-scheduling - leaving you free to write your novel without adding more stress to your already busy life .

 

My Review :  This little book was wonderful !  Only 42 pages but packed full of really inspiring and useful advice .

It was clearly written by a mum as she is constantly saying about her child .  I am not a parent but I got a lot out of reading this book .

As well as writing advice it is great at explaining time management and giving advice on how to priortise so that you can do the things you need to instead of using the world's most worst and widely used excuse of  "  I don't have time !! " 

This is a rubbish excuse but we are all guilty of using it and we need to stop and be more honest by just telling the truth and saying to people  " Sorry no I can't go there " or  " I can't do that for you today " 

 

I highly recommend this to anyone who wants to write or indeed anyone who needs help with time management .

 

My Rating :  4 and a half out of 5 

 

 

A Literary Tea Party - Blends And Treats For Alice, Bilbo, Dorothy, Jo and Book Lovers Everywhere By Alison Walsh

 

Synopsis :  Tea and books :  the perfect pairing .  There's nothing quite like sitting down to a good book on a lovely afternoon with a steaming cup of tea beside you, as you fall down the rabbit hole into the imaginative worlds of Alice In Wonderland, The Hobbit, and Sherlock Holmes ...

 

Fire up your literary fancies and nibble your way through delicate sweets and savouries with A Literary Afternoon Tea, which brings food from classic books to life with a teatime twist .  Featuring fifty-five perfectly portioned recipes for an afternoon getaway,, including custom homemade tea blends and beverages, you will have everything you need to plan an elaborate tea party .  Cook up and enjoy turkish delight while sipping on the White Witch's hot chocolate from The Chronicles Of Narnia .  Drink Me tea with the Queen of Hearts painted rose cupcakes from Alice In Wonderland .  Eeyore's " Hipy Bthuthday " cake with Hundred Acre hot chocolate from Winnie The Pooh . Hannah's sweet potato bacon pastimes and Jo's gingerbread from Little Women .  Tom Sawyer's whitewashed jelly doughnuts from Tom Sawyer and more !   Accompanied with photographs and book quotes, these recipes inspired by the great works of literature, will complement any good book for teatime reading and eating .

 

My Review :  A really beautifully presented cookbook full of delicious recipes inspired by classic books .  The illustrations are lovely, it has book quotes too .  The recipes would be perfect for tea parties and birthdays or get togethers with book friends .  I liked that at the back of the book it had recipes for tea blends and other drinks you could make to go with your teatime foods .

 

I received a free E book copy in exchange for an honest review .

 

My Rating :  5 out of 5 

Book Reviews - May 2018

Tomorrow Factory : Collected Fiction By Rich Larson

 

Synopsis :  Welcome to the Tomorrow Factory

 

On your left, Post-human hedonists on a distant space station bring diseases back in fashion, two scavengers find a super-powered parasite under the waves of sunk Seattle, and a terminally-ill chemist orchestrates an asteroid prison break .

 

On your right, an alien optometrist spins illusions for irradiated survivors of the apocalypse, a high-tech grifter meets his match in near-future Thailand, and two teens use a black market personality mod to get into the year's wickedest, wildest party . 

 

My Review :  A collection of Sci-Fi short stories and poetry .

As I read this I was thinking how much better this would of been without the almost constant and often unnessecary ' F ' words !  I'm by no way easily offended and it didn't bother me as such but other readers probably would have an issue with it .

The stories and poems themselves are very imaginative and well written apart from the curse words .  I can understand the ' F ' word being used in perilous situations and in some arguments but it was just casually used in the most unnessesary circumstances as if the author didn't know what to put so he ust inserted a swear word .  Good otherwise though ! 

 

I received an e book copy in exchange for an honest review 

 

Rating :  3 and a half out of 5 

 

 

Creative Writing Career Starter Guide : Becoming A Writer Of Film, Video Games And Books By Justin Sloan

 

Synopsis :   Your guide to postioning yourself for a career as a creative writer .  Based on a lifetime of struggling to make it as a creative writer, " Creative Writing Career " is a guide for aspiring writers to help them position themselves in an extremely competitive field .  The book includes information on the writing process and ways to improve one's craft, but mostly focuses on how to get discovered and where to concentrate energy in the meanwhile .  The content of the book is supplemented by writer interviews, featuring some incredibly, gifted people who share the wisdom they have gained .  With writing, as with most aspects of life, The author has chosen to rely on those with demonstrated wisdom to move ahead .  This book presents that wisdom for the reader to do the same .  Includes interviews with the following : Stephen Bugaj ( Pixar and Beyond ), Jerri Bell ( 0-Dark-Thirty managing editor ), Anthony Burch ( Borderlands 2 ), Kelly Ann Jacobson ( Cairo In White ), Joshua Rubin ( Assassins Creed 2 ), Tomiko Breland ( Editor with Zharmae ), Allen Warner ( Ninja Boy ), Joyce Lee ( Paper Words ), Will Wight ( The Traveler's Gate Trilogy ) and many more ! 

 

My Review :  An informative and useful book for writers .  It has different interviews full of advice from a variety of writers . It is not purely for book writers, this has information about other avenues of creative writing too such as film and video games .

I think it will be very useful for a wide range of people .

 

The first half of the book is advice by the author about becoming a full time writer and everything involved with that .  It is very inspiring .  The second part is the interviews the author conducted which were also interesting and useful 

 

Rating :  4 and a half out of 5 

 

 

Designer Dirty Laundry ( Samantha Kidd Mystery # 1 ) By Diane Vallere

 

Synopsis :  In the seamy world of designer clothing, you're bound to find dirty laundry ...

 

Samantha Kidd, ex-buyer turned trend specialist, designed her future with couture precision, but finding the fashion director's corpse on day one leaves her hanging by a thread .  When the killer fabricates evidence that puts the cops on her hemline, her new life begins to unravel - with humorous results .

She trades high fashion for dirty laundry and reveals a cast of designers out for blood .  Now this flat foot in heels must keep pace with a diabolical designer before she gets marked down for murder .

 

My Review :   This book was really fun to read , I am a big fan of cozy mysteries at the moment and this one didn't disappoint .

It is set in the world of fashion and is exciting also very funny . 

Some of the situations Samantha finds herself involved in are really hilarious .  I had a lot of fun reading this first book in the series and will definately be reading more in the future . 

 

I received a free E book copy from the author in exchange for an honest review .

 

Rating :  4 out of 5 

 

 

Hearts And Minds ( Crown Of Blood Book # 6 ) By Gwynn White 

 

Synopsis :  All odds are against the light-bearer fulfilling the Dmitri Curse .

 

Axel's attempt to rally an army to march against Emperor Lukan Avanov has failed .  His only hope is to smuggle Nicholas into the palace undetected .  No easy task when the palace is crawling with guardsmen programmed to die protecting their Emperor .  But Axel has come too far and sacrificed too much to let Lukan and his empire win .  

 

Although Nicholas has finally been reunited with his family, he has never been more alone .  An ice crystal monitors his every thought .  High-risk, he is left in the dark as plans are made for the final attack on his father, Lukan ,  Yet it is up to him to kill Lukan if the world is ever to know peace .  And now the one ally he has trusted to help him in his grisly task is called into question .

 

Was the Dmitri Curse truly to bring down the Avanov family and to resolve peace to the world ?  or has Nicholas the Light Bearer been nothing more than a pawn in a high stakes game of revenge ?

 

My Review :  This is the sixth book in The Crown Of Blood series, even though I have missed a few books I was able to follow the characters and story well enough in this one . 

 

The author, Gwynn White writes very imaginative fantasy worlds and characters that are always very engaging and exciting to read . 

 

I look forward to book seven .   I really recommend this author to any fantasy readers, you will love her writing ! 

 

A big thank you to the author for sending me an E copy of her book in exchange for an  honest review .

 

Rating :  4 out of 5 

 

 

Dark Storm ( Dark #23) By Christine Feehan

 

Synopsis :  Awakening after all this time in a world of absolute darkness and oppressive heat, Dax wonders in how many ways the world above must have changed .  But it is how he has changed that fills him with dread and loathing . Buried alive for hundreds of years in a volcano in the Carpathian Mountains, Dax fears that he has becomes the full-fledged abomination that every Carpathian male fears, a victim of the insidious evil that has crept relentlessly into his mind and body over the centuries .  But there are some things that never change .

 

His name is Mitro, the vampire Dax had hunted all these long centuries .  Second in command to the Prince of the Carpathian people he is the epitome of everything malevolent, and perpetrator of one of the most shocking killing sprees known to man and beast .  Even his friends and family weren't safe from Mitro's bloodlust . Neither was Mitro's lifemate, Arabejila, an extraordinary woman with extraordinary gifts .  But now that Dax has re-emerged so too has Mitro .  The ultimate battle between good and evil has begun - one that has marked Riley Parker, the last descendent of Arabejila, as the reward . 

 

My review :  Book 23 in the Dark ( Carpathian ) series, I haven 't read any of Christine Feehan's books until this one but I knew what to expect from the author's work .

 

It was a paranormal romance featuring a variety of different characters namely vampires but also shifters who become dragons .  I really enjoyed the story it was quite different from other vampire books I'd read before .  It is adult paranormal so there are scenes of sex, and gory battle and injury scenes .

The characters are well written and the locations in the book are well described .

 

Highly recommended to all paranormal romance readers ! 

 

Rating :  4 out of 5 

Book Reviews - April 28th 2018

The Smoke Thieves By Sally Green

Synopsis :   A princess, A traitor, A hunter and A thief .  Four teenagers with the fate of the world in their hands .  Four nations destined for conflict .

In Brigant, Princess Catherine prepares for a loveless political marriage arranged by her brutal and ambitious father .  In Calidor, downtrodden servant March seeks revenge on the prince who betrayed his people .  In Pitoria, feekless Edyon steals cheap baubles for cheaper thrills as he drifts from town to town .  And in the barren northern territories, thirteen year old Tash is running for her life as she plays bait for the gruff demon hunter Gravell .

As alliances shift and shatter and old certainties are overturned, our four heroes find their past lives transformed and their futures inextricably linked by the unpredictable tides of magic and war .  Who will rise and who will fall ?  And who will claim the ultimate price ?

My Review :   I hadn't read anything by Sally Green before but I have heard a lot of good things about this one so I had to give it a try .

I am a big epic fantasy reader, I love the world building and character developments and I do love a chunky book to get lost in .  This one ticked all those boxes .  I actually read it quite quickly considering the size, I was really into the story .

I liked all the characters, they were well invented and written .  The fantasy world was interesting especially due to the demons and how their " smoke " was almost like a drug to some people in the world and they would risk their lives to harvest it from the dying demons .

This one had a cliffhanger ending so I eagerly await book 2 to carry on with the story .

I received a free ARC copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review .

Rating :    4 out of 5 

Book Reviews -- 13th April 2018

Bleeding Heart By Taylor Holloway

Synopsis :   " They say I'm ruthless, arrogant, playboy who doesn't have a weakness .  And they're right, until Madison Clark walked back into my life "

" I grew up surrounded by unspeakable wealth .  Palatial estates, private jets, and a world where everyone wants to be your friend .  Friends that want to squeeze you for everything you've got "

" Madison was the opposite .  Her passion was helping others .  My passion was her " .

" It's been years since I last laid eyes on her, but fate has brought us together .  She is no longer the naive little girl I knew growing up .  Now she's a smart, young attorney with a bleeding heart, trying to make the world a better place " .

" My business interests have suddenly collided with her humanitarian ones .  But this deal and our lives could go up in flames if the Columbian drug cartel has its way " .

" I'll exploit any weakness, fight any battle, and pay any price to protect her " .

My Review :   The first book i've read by this author and I enjoyed it .  The story alternates between Alexander's and Madison's points of view .  Some of the conversations and situations they get into are quite funny but there is also a thrilling part to the storyline which was exciting to read .

The romance parts are incredibly hot and steamy as expected by this kind of book .

All in all I really liked it, it was well written, it had good characters some I liked, some I hated .  I will definately be reading more by this author .

I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review 

Rating :  4 out of 5 

 

Ragged Heroes : An Epic Fantasy Anthology 

Synopsis :   These aren't your typical heroes .

Heroes aren't defined by shining armour, golden crowns, or noble virtues .  Beggars, thieves, killers, children and fools --  a hero is anyone who takes a stand against oppression, abuse and evil .  Ragged though they may be, they hold their ground, defy hopeless odds, and conquer the impossible no matter the personal cost .

Eighteen bestselling and award winning authors give you a look at what it truly means to be a hero :  The simple act of standing up and making a difference, even to just one person .

My Review :  A good collection of 18 short fantasy stories featuring not the typical heroes .  

I liked all of them, they were all different and the " Heroes " were all thrust into being brave by a variety of situations .  Some of the stories were very dark and quite gory .  They were all exciting and I liked reading this book a lot .

Anthologies are a great way to discover authors who are new to you .  I will be looking for more books by the authors included in this book .

I received a free ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review .

Rating :  4 out of 5 

 

Paris Ever After #2 By K.S.R. Burns 

Synopsis :  Last April - grieving the death of her best friend, unsure of what her future should be -  Amy Brodie set off for Paris .  Just for a few days .  Noone needed to know, not even her husband, William .  But Will is not a fool, after all .  Even though he was out of town at the time, he discovered Amy's absence and followed her to France .  They argued .  He returned to Arizona .  After a short delay ( not her fault ), Amy went after him .  Then they had another fight .  A big one .  Taking the gamble of her life, Amy set off alone a second time to Paris, where she's been living all summer long . It's now early september .  There, that should get you started .

My Review :  This is the second book of a series, the first book being " The Paris Effect " which I have not yet read as I received this as an ARC copy from the author through LibraryThing and I didn't realize it was the sequel .

The synopsis was intriguing I love books set in other countries and this one is set in Paris .  It is well written and you can picture yourself there as you read .  The characters are interesting .  Amy is quite adventurous and fun and she meets a group of equally fun friends while she is in France .

It has intrigue, romance and food which are all good with me .  Nothing to dislike there ! 

Rating :  4 out of 5 

 

Hero In A Halfling - Epik Fantasy Book 1 By William Tyler Davis

Synopsis :   Not all halflings dream of magic ...  But Epik isn't like the rest .  Adventure . Excitement . He craves those things .  He would rather learn magic, not follow a wizard on some fool's adventure ...  or so he thinks .

The problem :  Magic is outlawed . After setting out for the city, what Epik finds in Dune All-En isn't at all what he'd hoped .  No magic .  And few wizards .

Luck, or something more sinister, is on the halfling's side .  He meets Gabby, a wizard who is kind enough to rent him a room or rather, a closet, at his now-defunct magical supply store .  And as a group of mountain trolls threatens the city, Epik sees the opportunity to do something, well, Epic .

If only the halfling inside him would stop peeking out .

My Review :  The first book in the " Epik Fantasy " series .  I really loved this one .  It was a great, fun book and it made me laugh a lot .

I am a huge Terry Pratchett fan and I absolutely loved that a lot of the chapter headings were named after his books and also there were tons of funny references to other well known books and films throughout the story too .

The fantasy world is very well imagined and written, the characters are interesting and fun .

I am certainly looking forward to more books in this series and following Epik and the others on further adventures .

I received an ARC copy from the author in exchange for an honest review .

Perfect for fans of Discworld and Middle Earth and anyone who likes a good, fun fantasy .

Rating :   5 out of 5