#BookReview | I AM MISSING BY TIM WEAVER

I Am Missing

MY THOUGHTS:

This is the first book I have read by Tim Weaver, and did not realise it was part of a series when i requested it.  Part of the David Raker series, but works extremely well as a stand alone.

I really liked the idea behind the main plot of the story.  Raker is a missing persons investigator, when Richard approaches him and asks him to help Raker agrees.  Who is he to find ? He is to find Richard himself, a sufferer of dissociative amnesia, he cannot remember his real name, date of birth, address, where he is from, he knows nothing.

I really liked how the normal, everyday aspects of this condition were approached.  Because Richard does not know his birth date or national insurance number, he has no access to banks, driving license, rent a house or work amongst other things.  All things that I had not even considered until this point.

There are quite a few plot twists going on in this book, various sub plots all adding up to create a very in-depth and intriguing scenario, that goes far beyond its original point of origin.

There are three distinct stories within this book.  That of Raker and Richard, then the tale of two young girls growing up, and then travelogue extracts from a book.  These three sections provide past stories, histories and accounts, a little confusing at first due to not knowing what part they play, but once you start to realise the links between them and the main story, it makes a lot of sense and adds a real depth to the story.

At times I did feel that there was a lot of extra descriptive passages, and occasionally felt repetitive.  But overall a really interesting read, with some great characters and wonderfully described settings.

I would recommend this book for readers of Crime / Thriller / Mystery genres.

I wish to express my thanks to Netgalley, Penguin Uk-Michael Joseph for allowing me a copy of this book for my honest and unbiased review.

 

SYNOPSIS:

When a young man wakes up bruised, beaten and with no memory of who he is or where he came from, the press immediately dub him ‘The Lost Man’.

Ten months later, Richard Kite – if that is even his real name – remains as desperate as ever. Despite appeals and the efforts of the police, no one knows this man.

Kite’s last hope may be private investigator David Raker – a seasoned locator of missing people. But Raker has more questions than answers.

Who is Richard Kite?

Why does no one know him?

And what links him to the body of a woman found beside a London railway line two years ago?

I Am Missing is the outstanding new novel from Sunday Times bestselling author Tim Weaver.

Product details:

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2113 KB
  • Print Length: 519 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0718181824
  • Publisher: Penguin (27 July 2017)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English

AMAZON LINK

 

I WOULD LIKE TO THANK YOU FOR READING MY POST.

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#BookReview | BLACKWING by ED McDONALD

Blackwing (Ravens' Mark #1)
MY THOUGHTS:
This was a difficult book for me to rate, there is a huge amount of detail and also a lot of things I liked about it, but then some things that left me frustrated.  The characters on the whole were well described, my initial thoughts on the main protagonist and narrator, Galharrow, was that he was arrogant and pompous, but as the story unfolded and more was discovered my opinion changed, thinking him to be tenacious and steadfast.  The other human characters were equally hard and rugged due to the post-apocalyptic style of the setting, living on the edge of the Misery, a  desolate wasteland inhabited by a number of strange and terrifying creatures, sorcerers, wizards and god-like beings.   These creatures I found to be less well described and at times slightly confusing.  When the main defence system goes down. it is responsible for keeping the things that live in the Misery staying in there, it is then up Galharrow and his band of men / mercenaries to help try to save the city.
On the whole I enjoyed this book, but the erratic pace of it and not fully understanding some of the aspects took the edge of it for me, also the lack of description for the creatures in the Misery.  On the plus side the magic, action and human characters were well described.
I think this would appeal to readers of YA Fantasy and Adult Fantasy genres, with a little bit of a horror steam punk feel to it.  Also made me think a little of Frank Herbert and Dune.
I will be keeping my eye out for Book 2 as there were things I enjoyed.
I wish to express my thanks to Netgalley, Orion Publishing Group and Gollancz for allowing me a copy of this book for my honest and unbiased review.

SYNOPSIS:

Set on the ragged edge of a postapocalyptic frontier, Blackwing is a gritty fantasy debut about a man’s desperate battle to survive his own dark destiny…

Nothing in the Misery lasts…

Under a cracked and wailing sky, the Misery is a vast and blighted expanse, created when the Engine, the most powerful weapon in the world, was unleashed against the immortal Deep Kings. Across the wasteland, teeming with corrupted magic and malevolent wraiths, the Deep Kings and their armies are still watching—and still waiting.

Ryhalt Galharrow is no stranger to the Misery. The bounty hunter journeys to a remote outpost, armed for killing both men and monsters, and searching for a mysterious noblewoman. He finds himself in the middle of a shocking attack by the Deep Kings, one that should not be possible. Only a fearsome show of power from the very woman he is seeking saves him.

Once, long ago, he knew the woman well, and together they stumble onto a web of conspiracy that threatens to unmake everything they hold dear and end the fragile peace the Engine has provided. Galharrow is not ready for the truth about the blood he’s spilled and the gods he’s supposed to serve…

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 960 KB
  • Print Length: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (27 July 2017)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English

AMAZON LINK

 

MANY THANKS FOR READING MY POST

#BookReview | Perfect Prey by @Helen_Fields @AvonBooksUK @NetGalley

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MY THOUGHTS:

D.I. Luc Callanach is back ! I read the Perfect Remains earlier this year and loved it.  I have been eagerly awaiting this next book Perfect Prey, it has not disappointed !

It still retains the main characters from the first and adds some interesting ones to the cast.  This is brutal, gritty and very well written in this intense thriller.  The plot is vast as is the cast. There was one particular character I hated with a passion,so well has he been written, another one had my heart in my mouth with worry, another I wanted to shake some sense into.  Lesley’s characters bring out emotions  from the reader showing how well she has developed them.

The main premise of the story is with two bodies being discovered.  One is a crowd of 1,000’s at a festival, the other found in a dumpster.  Both victims are good, kind and innocent, the pressure from top brass, press and public to solve the cases add pressure that becomes apparent as frustrations rear up.  An outsider approaches with an offer of help, he has found a clue while doing his own research, not a person you would normally associate with helping, but with him and another unlikely source they work with Callanach, to delve into the murkier world of information gathering.

I was addicted with this book from the very beginning, again Helen as proven that she can grab a reader from the first paragraph.  Her characters are a diverse bunch with various different traits, backgrounds and ethics, and very memorable.  As for the plot, well it is anything but simple, it has been very well planned and thought through with many different twists.  You only work out the plot when Helen allows you to.  I had no idea who or why these murders took place until I was reading as the characters were starting to add things up.  There is some technological aspects in the story, but it is basic and well enough explained so as not to slow the story with too much detail.

This book works well as a stand alone, but I would recommend reading the first one, there are elements in it that help with the second, even though the second does give brief explanations of prior events.

I would highly recommend this book to readers of Crime / Thriller genres.  It is a real page turner. I would like to mention my thanks to NetGalley, Avon Books UK and Helen Fields for my eARC copy of this book.  My views are my own, they are honest and unbiased.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Helen Fields herself is a force to be reckoned with.

An ex Criminal Barrister, she’s used her experiences dealing with some of this country’s most terrifying criminals to create a killer who will strike fear into your soul. Not only that, but she now runs her own film making company (aptly named Wailing Banshee).

Beyond writing, she has a passion for theatre and cinema, often boring friends and family with lengthy reviews and critiques. Taking her cue from her children, she has recently taken up karate and indoor sky diving.

Helen and her husband now live in Hampshire with their three children and two dogs.

Follow Helen Fields on:  Twitter

BOOK DETAILS:

 

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Avon (27 July 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0008181586
  • ISBN-13: 978-0008181581

Amazon Links for: Perfect Remains and  Perfect Prey

 

THANK YOU FOR TAKING THE TIME TO READ MY BLOG.

 

 

#BookReview | Morning, Noon & Night Trilogy by @PeterFBartram

Murder in the Morning Edition (Morning, Noon & Night trilogy #1)Murder in the Afternoon Extra (Morning, Noon and Night trilogy #2)Murder in the Night Final (Morning, Noon & Night trilogy #3)

MY THOUGHTS:
My original plan was to read these books in between reading others, well it was a plan that never materialised because as soon as I had read the first, I went straight onto the second, then had to read the final one.
Peter has a very fluid style of writing that had me addicted straight away.  They are set in the 60’s, and this adds to the charm of the books, more relaxed read.  They are humorous and compact, but packed full of detail.
These are a great lazy afternoon read, either sat in the sunshine or by the fire.  A slightly shorter read than most mystery books I have read just recently, rather than taking hours to read, they can be completed in an afternoon.  I read that this was what Peter was trying to achieve.
I am only giving a brief description of each of these books, as I really don’t want to give away any spoilers.
Morning: Colin Crampton a crime reporter in Brighton witnesses a crime, at the time when The Great Train Robbery is all over the news.  Great first book tying up most of the questions and leads, but with something left for the next book.
Noon: This book follows on nicely from where the first left off, with a slightly different setting.  From Brighton U.K to Brighton Beach U.S, his journalistic tendencies still get him into hot water.
Night: With the final book, back to Brighton.  This is where conclusions are made and loose ends are tied up.
I really enjoyed the characters in this books, they are at times funny and considering the shortness of the book, have been very well portrayed.
I would recommend these books to readers of cozy mystery and crime genres.
These books should be read in order. 
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Peter for copies of these ebooks, my thoughts here are my own and are honest and unbiased.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Peter Bartram

Peter Bartram brings years of experience as a journalist to his Crampton of the Chronicle crime mystery series. His novels are fast-paced and humorous – the action is matched by the laughs. The books feature a host of colourful characters as befits stories set in Brighton, one of Britain’s most trend-setting towns.

You can download Murder in Capital Letters, a free book in the series, for your Kindle from www.colincrampton.com.

Peter began his career as a reporter on a local weekly newspaper before editing newspapers and magazines in London, England and, finally, becoming freelance. He has done most things in journalism from door-stepping for quotes to writing serious editorials. He’s pursued stories in locations as diverse as 700-feet down a coal mine and a courtier’s chambers at Buckingham Palace. Peter is a member of the Society of Authors and the Crime Writers’ Association.

Morning, Noon & Night Trilogy on Amazon

THANK YOU FOR READING MY POST.

#BookReview | Oblivion’s Forge by @SWilliamsAuthor

Oblivion's Forge
I would like to say a big “Thank You” to Simon for bringing this book to my attention, for my honest and unbiased review.
This is the first book of Aona Series of, if the initial book is anything to go by, then I cannot wait to read the rest.
MY THOUGHTS:
This is a wonderfully written first book in a series of five.  The detail contained is huge and is a book you will want to savour and not race through.  There is a vast array of well described and developed characters , with the setting as engrossing as the characters themselves and their stories.  As I was reading this I felt myself thinking that there was a strain of Tolkien in the background.
It has an amazingly intricate and complex Good ‘v’ Evil storyline to it. To give a full review without giving away some of the plot is very difficult as it is so tightly entwined.  There are some great characters, I really liked the diversity and memorable nature of those such as Vornen, Jaana, Iyoth, Lyya and Amethyst to name a few.
If in a story you love and relish grim, gripping, addictive sorcery, portals, assassins, mysterious foul and unwholesome beings, shadows and this is only scratching the surface, then you will really want to read this.
I would highly recommend this book to readers of Dark Fantasy.  I look forward to reading the rest of this series in the future.
BOOK SYNOPSIS:
For thousands of years they have sought the world from which they were cast out. Now, at last, Aona has been found. The younger races of this world will all be swept up in a struggle for survival, as their ancient, malevolent masters, guardians of all Aona’s secrets, rise to do battle with their foes, remorseless destroyers of world after world throughout the known Existence.
BOOK DETAILS:
Paperback, 346 pages
Published July 1st 2011 by Completelynovel.com
ISBN 1849141754 (ISBN13: 9781849141758)
Edition Language English
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Simon Williams is an author of dark fantasy with elements of science fiction and horror, and a rather shapeless male of indeterminate age who seems intent on writing about himself in the third person.

If you’re especially lucky you may see him half-shambling, half-rolling along the street in his home town of Trumpton. You’ll catch the best view from the other side of the road, which is probably where you’ll be anyway. Small children will point excitedly and turn to their parents to exclaim, “It must have been *one hell of a* spade to do that!”

He is the author of the Aona series (five books in all, and the series is complete) and Summer’s Dark Waters, which is a fantasy / sci-fi adventure aimed more at children and teens although judging by the reviews a lot of adults seem to like it too.

#Review | Deadman’s Tome Monster’s Exist July 2017 Special Issue @tbraun_author

 

MY THOUGHTS:

This is an anthology, 14 authors have contributed shorts stories with the theme of  Monsters Exist ?  The stories explore various monsters, some feature in folklore, myth and urban legends, they are stories we are told as children to keep us in line such as; the monster under the bed, the monster in the lake or in the well.

Monster stories have always been around.  This collection of stories tap into what we believed as children, then challenges what we think we do not believe as adults.  Are we really sure that as adults monsters do not exist? Or do we choose to think this way so that we do not have to admit that really Monster’s Exist?

The stories and there authors are:

Master Vermin-Wallace Boothill

Legend Trippers-Theresa Braun

The Murder of Crows-S.J. Budd

Wicked Congregation-Gary Buller

Playing Dead-S.E.Casey

Lake Monster-Mr. Deadman

Never Sleep Again-Calvin Demmer

The Voice from the Bottom of the Well-Philip.W. Kleaver

Eclipse at Wolf Creek-Syvia Mann

No.7-William Marchese

Criatura-John Palisano

Bitten-Christopher Powers

Kelpies-Leo.X. Robertson

Bloodstream Revolution-M.R. Tapia

At the end of each story there is a mini author bio and website details for each participant.  On the whole I really enjoyed these stories, there were a couple that I didn’t like quite as much.  I believe with anthologies, there will some stories you read that just have that extra something that will connect with the reader on a more personal level.  There is a good selection of ideas and themes, also some very different writing styles.

I find it hard to rate this type of book, some of the stories I would love to give a 5 star to, while others I found good/okay and would only give a 3 /3.5.  So as I read I rated each story and then found the average of 4.5 stars.

I would recommend to readers of short stories, anthologies, horror, adventure, folklore and urban legends.

I would like to thank Theresa for bringing this book to my attention for an honest and unbiased review.  All views expressed are my own.

SYNOPSIS AND DETAILS:

From the time we are young, we fear the monster under the bed or in the closet, making it impossible to sleep without a nightlight. Then, we hear stories of Bigfoot, and maybe even the Mothman around campfires. When we are adults, we wonder if there might actually be supernatural creatures lurking in the shadows. Are these tall tales and urban legends only metaphors for what horrific things humanity is capable of—or do monsters exist?

Go to some terrifying places with this cast of authors. You will be dragged into mystifying realities where demonic fairies hide, where devil monkeys lure carnival-goers to their demise, where Goatmen seek to destroy their prey, and where the goddess of death puts out a hit on victims of her choice. These shocking tales will have you biting your nails and locating that childhood nightlight. Because, in the end, we all know monsters do exist.

Paperback, First
Published July 1st 2017 by Deadman’s Tome
ISBN 9781521468
Edition Language English

THE EDITORS:

Mr Deadman & Theresa Braun

 

Thank you for reading my post.

#BookReview | Brewing Up Murder by @NeilaRocks

Brewing cover art

MY THOUGHTS:

I give this book a happy 4 star rating.

This is a really good lazy day book, perfect, if like me you like to read while sat in the garden or in front of a fire, with a large mug of coffee, or in my case a cafetière full of coffee.  It has a very enjoyable storyline, with a couple of red-herring leads thrown in. As I said this is a more relaxing and refreshing read, a murder /mystery with an extra shot of chick-lit thrown in for good measure, a complete opposite to hard-core gritty and violent murder books.

It is set in Wilton, Missouri, its claim to fame being a 50 year unsolved serial killer case.  This attracts visitors, researchers and amateur sleuths to town, hence the number coffee shops.  Sisters Blake and Kyle are residents, Blake a coffee shop owner and Kyle a Police officer.  Throw in various family members and friends, that contribute in various ways, especially when the body of an employee is found on the premises.  When other events occur, it takes Kyle and interfering sister Blake to find any evidence of a link, but with no actual real evidence it becomes difficult.  Difficulties get worse as friends are looked at under a different light, and are effectively suspects.

There are quite a few characters in this book, there are some very well described quirky traits and characteristics given to the cast.  It has made them memorable and easy to identify as you progress through the story.  It is set at a very good speed and I found it to be a thoroughly enjoyable read.

I would recommend to readers who enjoy a light-hearted murder mystery and chick-lit genres.

I would like to take the opportunity to thank the author Neila Young for bringing this book to my attention.  My opinions are my own, they are unbiased and honest.

BOOK SYNOPSIS:

As the owner of Mystery Cup Café in Wilton, Missouri, a town made famous by a string of long-ago murders, Blake Harper is used to the mysterious. When her barista is found strangled in a mound of coffee beans, Blake vows to find the killer, even though her sister, the town’s lead police detective, tells her to stay out of it.

Blake finds plenty of suspects, like the owners of a rival coffee shop and the handsome new bookstore owner. But when new threats are made, she soon realizes the danger is centered around Mystery Cup and someone is targeting her personally.

Will Blake be able to solve the murder, find a new barista, and perfect her recipe for espresso brownies before she becomes the next victim?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Neila Young is a Midwestern girl and a lover of coffee, live music, and horror movies, not necessarily in that order.
Writing (and reading) mysteries are Neila’s passion, and she approaches each day by thinking, “everything is a story.” She has been writing all her life and can’t remember a time when she wanted to do anything else. She loves to take notes and spin tales about the quirky characters she meets, and she has found that she can create some great stories by asking “what if” and “suppose that…”

Neila studied journalism at the University of Kansas then spent many years suffering the trials of corporate America, writing about everything from financial risk management to software user manuals to website copy about radiators (sadly, that’s not a joke). She finally decided to take the plunge and write the cozy mysteries she loves so much, complete with recipes!

When Neila is not writing, she’s probably hanging out at a coffee shop or fighting evil with the help of her very supportive husband, two awesome children, who constantly ask to have characters named after them, and the most lovable dog in the world, Dizzy.

Social media links:

http://www.neilayoungbooks.com/

Facebook.com/NeilaYoungAuthor

Twitter.com/NeilaMystery

Instagram.com/NeilaRocks

Pinterest.com/NeilaRocks

 THANK YOU FOR TAKING THE TIME TO READ MY BLOG.

The Shield: The Finders Series: Book One by @CJBentleyAuthor #Blogtour #QandA #Review

The Shield 3 pencil sketch

I am pleased to be taking part in the Blog Tour for The Shield by author C.J.Bentley The Shield. The release date 18th July 2017 and published by Clink Street Publishing.  The first in a series of books, I am already waiting for more.

A massive thank you to Rachel Gilbey for giving me a spot on this tour, I have enjoyed the journey immensely. I would also like to thank C.J. Bentley for taking the time to answer a few questions, they can be seen below.

MY THOUGHTS:

This book begins in Durham in 1340, with a knight laying injured whilst on a mission of delivering an important letter to King Edward III.  It then switches to 1962, a young girl Peggy and a group of friends find a shield while out exploring in their school summer holidays.

Peggy’s world is going to change, she will have the biggest adventure she could ever have imagined.  The adventure of your wildest dreams is actually going to be a reality. She has a destiny to uphold, a kingdom and a King to help save, a Lady to rescue and all will take place in 1340 England.

Plots, plans and schemes are plentiful in this book, will Peggy be able to complete her destined quest and reunite the shield with its rightful owner ?

As an adult reading this book, I was taken back to my childhood days, summer holidays described in this book are how I used to spend my time, though I never found a shield. Because I was taken back by the story, it made me think about all the books I used to read as a child. If I had been given this one to read I would have been beside myself with excitement.  It really would have appealed to me.

I loved everything about this book, the story was well thought out and executed.  There was no confusion over characters or settings. I think it would be a brilliant book for children to read, as it kept me engrossed as an adult.

Also at the end of the book was a very thoughtful and educational section on the history of York and the Royals at the time.  I think this is a wonderful idea for inclusion, again this section is basic and not overly complicated.

I would recommend this book to readers of Children’s’ fantasy.

BOOK SYNOPSIS:   The Shield

People lose their belongings. That is a fact of life. It can happen by accident, but sometimes it can happen when you put them in a very safe place and forget where that safe place is. Not many people are good at finding them again.
A young, gutsy girl with a kind heart, who’s searching for her own identity growing up in the 1960s, just happens to be very good at finding things. Can she be the one to help return whatever is lost – anywhere and at any time – to its original owner?
With the help of a beautiful yet mysterious wise woman and a chivalrous knight she does just that. She finds and returns his shield, lost in battle, which unbeknown to her holds a secret that is important to his King, the safety of the Kingdom and the life of the daughter of his best friend.
The Shield is the first story in The Finder Series, taking our heroine on extraordinary journeys back in time. Her first adventure takes place in Medieval England in 1340 where she meets King Edward III, his wife Philippa and their son, who will later become the Black Prince.

About the author:

CJBentley_AuthorPhoto2.jpg  Originally heralding from the North of England, C.J Bentley has travelled extensively and enjoyed living in a variety of countries across the world from Dubai to Doha, Qatar and now the countryside in the South of France. A background in teaching and childcare she has always enjoyed creating adventure short stories. However, it was when she became a grandma and with her grandchildren growing up  that she discovered that books seemed to contain only stories of vampires, zombies and farts that she decided seriously to take matters into her own hands and put pen to paper which today she calls The Finder Series.

Website – https://www.cjbentleyonline.co.uk/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/CJBentleyAuthor/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/CJBentleyAuthor

Q and A with the author:

  1. Is this how you spent your summer holidays as a child, fishing that is, rather than time travel ? If so, how much of your childhood is in Peggy ?

I think all writers must include some of their experiences within their writing, you have to write about things you know as well as what you can imagine.  As children growing up in the sixties we used to fish for newts and small fish called sticklebacks, jam jars with string handles and nets bought from earlier trips to the seaside in hand.  We were very lucky in that time as children, lots of freedom to roam and play outside during the long summer holidays from school.  A lot of my own experiences are experienced by Peggy, (would that I could have experienced time travel like her). 

  1. What or who sparked you interest in history ?

I have always been interested in history.  I enjoyed reading books about periods of history, “Children of the New Forest” by Captain Marriott being one book I remember enjoying, taking me back in time to the Civil War in England.  Teachers have a huge influence on their pupils, I was lucky to have been taught by some amazing teachers who encouraged my love of reading and my curiosity about history. 

On a visit to Durham Cathedral as a young child I remember pressing my head against the metal bars of a gate leading down stairs to a vault.  A priest who happened to be passing saw me and following a chat he opened the gate and gave quite a few people who had gathered around an impromptu tour of the crypt below and the old roman road leading to the river.  It was a magical experience never forgotten.   

Later, whilst fishing in a local stream myself and a friend found a shield in the silt.  Due to its weight and difficulty in moving it from the silt and there being only two of us we chose to put it back, Peggy chose to pull it free and what happens after is told in “The Shield”.

  1. Who in history would you like to have been able to meet, and why ?

This question is a difficult one to answer as I have so many questions for so many people, a bit like that question, if you could choose six people who would you choose to have to dinner with?   

The obvious person would be Jesus Christ, I have so many questions to ask. 

King Charles the first, again so many questions for this much maligned man. 

Charles Dickens, his legacy being such an insight into the social problems of his time with his books. 

Martin Luther King, his words were the inspiration for a generation, I could go on …. 

I am currently being fascinated by my research on Ibn Batutta for book four in the series, “The Ring”.  He is a little known but fascinating intellect, explorer and traveller, originally from Morocco, who lived during the fourteenth century.  He travelled extensively throughout the Middle East to Africa, Sri Lanka, China, India, The Maldives, in fact probably further than the better known traveller Marco Polo. 

  1. What was your favourite book as a child ?

Again this is such a difficult question to answer because as a child I read extensively and was lucky to have a set of the classics bought as a Christmas present by my parents.  Kidnapped, Children of the New Forest, The Coral Island were all firm favourites but I think the one book, if I have to chose just one, would be “The Wind in the Willows” by Kenneth Graham.  As a year five pupil one of my inspirational teachers, Miss Allen, read from this book on a Friday afternoon.  She was a wonderfully dramatic reader, each character  given a different voice.  She took us to the river bank with Ratty, the middle of the road when Toad fell in love with cars, to Toad Hall and the attempted take over by the weasels, badger who was so very wise.  We all sat enthralled for the last half hour, if we had been especially good during the week and finished our work for her she would extend the reading by another half an hour, what an incentive was that.

  1. I see from your blog you have grandchildren, did you write this book with them in mind as the primary readers, or was writing a book something you always wanted to do?

Yes we have three grandchildren, two girls, now aged fifteen and thirteen and a boy aged eleven.  I have always written short stories, I remember writing one for the eldest when she was two and refusing to wear a beautiful white silk dress which had to be pulled over her head for her Aunts wedding.  I wrote a story for our son to read to her about her being able to wear her favourite blue dinosaur wellies under the dress as a secret thinking this might work.  He read it, it didn’t, she screamed as they held her arms down and forced said dress over her head.  The screams changed to smiles once she caught sight of her mirrored reflection and she became the most photographed person at the wedding, a pretty little one with huge eyes and long curly hair, whirling around in her beautiful dress.

I have always taken notes, a small notebook kept in my handbag and when thoughts occurred hastily added in the book with my observations of human nature.  I spend a lot of time waiting around in airports and they are an excellent source for people watching. 

Our grandchildren visit us in France each summer and having read our way through the saved children’s books we have down here with them I tried to find a story online to read to our grandson, he was nine at the time.  I couldn’t find a story for a nine year old boy that didn’t feature Zombies, vampires or farts, in my mind not good bedtime reading for a nine year old boy.  This was the moment when I decided to write my gathered ideas into story form and having moved to Qatar with my husband’s job, where I decided not to work, I finally had the time to do so.

 

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog.

 

 

 

#Review | The Vanishing of Audrey Wilde by Eve Chase | @MichaelJBooks

cover.jpg.rendition audrey wilde.460.707

 

MY THOUGHTS:

I rate this book with 5 stars.

This is a beautifully written story and well detailed. The characters and their individual traits have been well described giving them an easily identifiable presence. The plot has been worked very well into the threads and topics that appear in the story. The disappearance of Audrey has a devastating affect on her parents, Sybil and Perry, and deals with how the parents live with the aftermath of this awful scenario. I really enjoyed the way the story came together from two different eras into a final conclusion in the present day. There were a couple of very good plot twists at the end that I didn’t expect, and have to say, really enjoyed.

The story spans two different eras, the first is set in 1959, the second is set in present day with the arrival of Jessie and Will. Will has a daughter Bella, her mother, his wife, was tragically killed, leaving the two of them to deal with her death and their lives. Jessie met Will at a party of a friend, they eventually marry and together have a daughter, Romy. So in this modern setting there is the telling of how two separate families have come together to make one. The problems that are encountered along the way, and how Jessie believes she has to be sensitive about Bella’s mother, watching what she says during conversation. Bella is a teenager who doesn’t feel that she quite fits in. Their only common ground is Will, loving father and loving husband.

So as the story develops, we are told the story of the sisters’ stay, during the summer holidays at Applecote Manor, five years after Audrey’s disappearance. The sisters are Flora, Pam, Margot and Dot Wilde. Their Aunt Sybil and Uncle Perry are dealing with life, never leaving the house or grounds, just in case Audrey should ever return. Also how Jessie, Will, Bella and Romy move from London to start afresh in Applecote, how they discover the mystery of the past, but more importantly how, as a slightly nervous and edgy family work through problems and find common ground.

I would highly recommend this book to readers of historical fiction, mystery and fiction genres. I also think there are some very good discussion points for Reading Groups and Book Clubs. I would like to express my thanks to Netgalley, Michael Joseph and the author for my eARC of this book. My opinion is my own, it is honest and unbiased.

BOOK SYNOPSIS:

‘An enthralling story of secrets, sisters and an unsolved mystery’ Kate Morton, Number One Sunday Times bestselling author of The Lake House

From the present day . . .

Applecote Manor captivates Jessie with it promise of hazy summers in the Cotswolds. She believes it’s the perfect escape for her troubled family. But the house has an unsettling history, and strange rumours surround the estate.

to the fifties . . .

When teenage Margot and her three sisters arrive at Applecote during the heatwave of ’59, they find their aunt and uncle still reeling from the disappearance of their daughter, Audrey, five years before.

The sisters are drawn into the mystery of Audrey’s vanishing – until the stifling summer takes a shocking, deadly turn. Will one unthinkable choice bind them together, or tear them apart?

Step back in time for a richly evocative mystery, where the beauty of a Cotswolds summer is vividly contrasted with the violence which shatters it.

Available from  Micheal Joseph Books

#BlogTour #BookReview @Orendabooks : Dying to Live by Michael Stanley @detectivekubu

Published by Orenda Books41nOG-aCIyL._SX324_BO1,204,203,200_

It is my pleasure to participate in the blog tour on July 17th for this book,  “Dying to Live” by Michael Stanley, published on 30th July by Orenda Books  My thanks to Anne Cater for allowing me spot on the tour for this book.

 

This is the 6th instalment of The Detective Kubu Books by the writing duo of Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip.

MY THOUGHTS :  Detective David “Kubu” Bengu is called to investigate the death of a bushman.  Initial thoughts of natural death are soon changed to murder, with further investigation of the body.  The bushman is somethnig of a mystery, his internal organs do not match his exterior.  As the investigation progresses, Kubu realises there is far more to this case than meets the eye, especially when the body is stolen.  Kubu has a good team to help with this ever confusing and ever-changing case.    Samantha Kharma is the first female detective in the branch of Botswanna CID and along with Constable Ixau, a bushman, they will have to use all of their previous knowledge and experience to discover the truth surrounding the death.   Do not for one moment think that this story is just about a murder.  It is a lot bigger and more involved than you could ever imagine.

I have never read any books by this writing duo before, so had no prior expectations, but was very intrigued by the synopsis.  It works very well as a stand alone read, leaving me wanting to read more.  This is a great detective story discussing various other topics, these have been cleverly woven into the main story. The story is set out in quick chapters to a very satisfying end.  The characters were very memorable and well-developed, they show good traits.

There are several things I really enjoyed and found useful in this book.  One of those was that after I finished this book, was the amount I had learnt, for example “Kubu” is the Setswana word for hippopotamus, Setswana is the language of the people of Botswana.  Also various cultural aspects and traditions were discussed, making a very insightful read.  Some very useful inclusions in this book are an informative glossary at the end of the book, basic, but invaluable.  Also a list of characters and their roles that is included at the beginning.

I would recommend this book to readers of crime and mystery genres.  Also adding that there are cultural themes, if like me you know nothing much of this country.

BOOK DETAILS :

Published by Orenda Books

EBook
ISBN 978-1-910633-77-9
RRP £5.99
Published 15 July 2017
Paperback
ISBN 978-1-910633-76-2
RRP £8.99
Published 15 July 2017

ABOUT THE AUTHORS:

thumbnail_Michael Stanley photo

Michael Stanley is the writing team of Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip. Both were
born in South Africa and have worked in academia and business. On a flying trip to
Botswana, they watched a pack of hyenas hunt, kill, and devour a wildebeest,
eating both flesh and bones. That gave them the premise for their first mystery, A
Carrion Death, which introduced Detective ‘Kubu’ Bengu of the Botswana Criminal
Investigation Department. It was a finalist for five awards, including the CWA
Debut Dagger. The series has been critically acclaimed, and their third book,
Death of the Mantis, won the Barry Award and was a finalist for an Edgar award.
Deadly Harvest was a finalist for an International Thriller Writers’ award, and book
5, A Death in the Family, was an international bestseller.