2018 Annual Blogger Bash Awards : I have been nominated for “Best Overall Blogger” ! @Bloggerbash #Bloggerbash #BookBlogger

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Absolutely stunned and over the moon this morning.  Quite happily scrolling through Facebook and I noticed the voting was open for the Annual Blogger Bash Awards.  Scrolling through the nominations thinking these are great Bloggers, only to discover  “Me and My Books” nestled in amongst the entries for “Best Overall Blogger” category.

“Oh someone has the same blog name as me,  ” I thought to myself, “lets have a look at that Blogger’s page and see what they are like.”

Squeals a high pitched “Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god” and then a few choice un-lady like words, it’s only my blog that has been nominated!!! Then floods of tears, a few more choice words, then re checked the link, checked it again yep still my blog.

I never expected in a million years to see my name on this list.  There are so many amazing Book Bloggers who are so awesome, they do such a fantastic job and are my inspiration. A massive Congratulations to all the other nominees, but also to all the Bloggers Everywhere xxx

When I started putting “My Thoughts” about books out in the world last year I hovered around the fringes, not very confident, not wanting to mess up and in awe of the amazing posts I read and shared on a daily basis. Gradually plucking up the courage and feeling adventurous I decided to push myself a little bit further, trying to find my feet or as some refer to it, finding my voice. This nomination means the world to me and I can honestly say that to be nominated is one of the best moments in my Blogging life.

I want to say a huge “Thank You” for those that nominated me and to those who vote for me.  If you would like to vote for me, or any other Blogger here is the link  ANNUAL BLOGGER BASH AWARD VOTING

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A share or like would be amazing, a vote would be out of this world 🙂

 

 

 

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#Books ~ Me and My Books ~ Some of my favourite Reads of 2017

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I have thought about this post for a little while now, and have iffed and ahhmmed over several weeks.  I have read some of the most amazing books this year that have taken me through a journey of several emotions, to different worlds  and times.

Prior to this year I spent 2015/16 reading a lot of Classics.  So when I decided to read newly published books it was almost like a child in a sweet shop, a lot of the authors were new to me as was the whole world of Book Blogging, and the wonderfully loyal, crazy, supportive bunch of people who inhabit it’s spot in the universe.

So now to my decisions :

I have read nearly 190 books this year and so this decision has been hard.

My “Top 3” I will be popping on a post tomorrow, but I have a selected some that I have loved reading so much over the year. This first list is of books that are not associated with any blog tours, (they are on another list lol 😉 ) and I thought they were amazing.  A mixed bag of fantasy, historical fiction, crime, contemporary, children’s and festive.

Click on book title for my review 🙂

Perfect Remains by Helen Fields.

Hortense and The Shadow by Lauren and Natalia O’Hara

My Husbands Wife by Jane Corry.

1066 : What Fates Impose by G.K Holloway.

Ronaldo The Reindeer Flying Academy by Maxine Sylvester.

The Deaths of December by Susi Holliday.

The Vanishing of Audrey Wilde by Eve Chase.

Melokai by Rosalyn Kelly.

The Uncommon Life of Alfred Warner in Six Days by Juliet Conlin.

How To Stop Time by Matt Haig.

The Little Village Christmas by Sue Moorcroft.

The Sewing Machine by Natalie Fergie.

The Ludlow Ladies Society by Ann O’Loughlin.

The Weight of Shadows by Karl Holton.

The Last Nazi by Andrew Turpin.

Sleigh Rides and Silver Bells at the Christmas Fair by Heidi Swain.

I would also like to add a huge thanks you to all the Blog Tour Organisers who have allowed me a spot on the tours for books over the past few months.  Being new to blogging I appreciate the chance to take part in them. I am going to mention some of the favourites, but there were so many that I really enjoyed.

The Fallen Agent by Oliver Tidy.

The Dead Whisper by Emma Clapperton.

Scream Blue Murder by Tony J Forder.

Absolution by P.A Davies.

Outremer by D.N Carter.

The Marriage Pact by Michelle Richmond.

You’re Next by Michael Fowler,

Christmas at the Little Knitting Box by Helen J Rolfe.

No Bodies by Robert Crouch.

Tall Chimneys By Allie Cresswell.


I have had a great reading year and would quite happily add so many more books to this list.  I would like to finish by saying to all those that have followed and shared my posts “Thank You Very Much xxx”

Wishing everyone a “Happy Christmas and New Year”, or “Happy Holiday”, (whichever you prefer) see you all in 2018 🙂

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#12DaysofClinkStreetChristmas with @AuthorightUKPR @Authoright @gilbster1000 #BookNews

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I am absolutely delighted to be able to take part in this amazing event for Clink Street.  So many different books, many different authors and a great bunch of book bloggers taking part.

It was like being in a kid in a sweet shop, when Rachel sent me an email asking me if I would like to take part.  Well yep, I am in, that was the easy part.  Now as i have to read all the books I choose as well as all the other book commitments, I limited myself to three.


The Learn  The first is a historical fiction from Tony Halker.  A beautiful and atmospheric read.

Synopsis:

Blending reality, history and legend, about a time when women were considered as important as men, taking power in an oral society that worships the Goddess. A whole Celtic Druid world is laid out before us, incorporating beliefs, technology and the natural environment.
A Celtic boy, a beach scavenger, is pledged to the Learn, a life of endurance, a path to become sworn Druid: scholar and warrior.  Young women and men progress, becoming Priests and Druidii. Friendship, affection, passion and care develop as novices mature, confidence emerging.
Seasonal battles of winter and summer bring rich festivals when seeds of men are taken by women in pleasure to prove fertility. Small damaged, hurt peoples on the margins of Celtic society blend in and out of vision.
At frontiers with Nature, dependent for everything on what the earth gives or takes, an emotional response to the natural environment defines who people are and the values they live by.
A lyrical novel resonating with modern readers through portrayal of character, language and history; arising from a landscape of today, yet centred in the Celtic Bronze Age of North Wales.

Amazon UK Link  | Foyles Link


MollyFish Cover  The second choice, by Jack McMasters,  is quite different in some ways, but again has some wonderful wording.

Synopsis:

When retired architect Arthur Howard receives an unexpected invitation from the elegant businesswoman he has just met, her promise of two weeks of incredible sex is enough to persuade him to forget his stale marriage and follow her to India. Leaving thoughts of his younger wife Ester far behind, Rani leads Arthur into paradise; her home lies in a beautiful valley filled with quiet villages, tranquil lakes, tea plantations and crocus fields, a place where his every need is catered for and his attention sought wherever he goes.
But danger lies hidden here. Arthur discovers that Rani and the other villagers he meets in this rural Indian idyl are the ancestors of an ancient civilization, thought to be merely mythical. From his contact with them, he succumbs to a mysterious illness that keeps him bedridden for a long period in a darkened room. Confused and stricken, Arthur’s days and nights are haunted by wild dreams; when he is unable to sleep, he reminisces about early love affairs and fears for his failing relationship with Ester until he is unable to distinguish dreams from reality.

Amazon Link  |  Barnes & Noble Link


Outremer Cover - Copy   My third choice caught my by surprise when it arrived.  I blooming big book, but Oh so worth it.  Outremer is a historical epic set in high middle ages, crusades, knights templar, the whole works.

Synopsis:

Who Controls The Past Controls The Future
An epic love story must overcome religious divide and a plot to eradicate two blood lines, as the Crusades and the search for the ancient mysteries of the Holy Grail gather momentum.
Raised by his father in La Rochelle, France, Paul Plantavalu is known for his artistic nature, inquisitive mind and Christian faith. He also has an unshakable love for his Muslim childhood friend, Alisha al Komaty. Courageous and outspoken, she returns Paul’s love. But their path is paved with obstacles; religion, war, political chaos and a mysterious enemy determined to destroy their family lines.
Sometime between 1110 AD and 1120 AD in the aftermath of the first crusade, a small band of nine knights — the founding knights Templar — recover ancient precious artefacts left by a former, advanced civilisation, beneath the City of Jerusalem. Ruthlessly guarded, the secrets revealed by this discovery are highly prized by powerful and dangerous forces far and wide; the repercussions of their capture are inextricably linked to Paul and Alisha. As Paul starts to experience dark and vivid dreams and the fragile balance of peace starts to crumble, it will fall to an enigmatic man known as Kratos and his female warrior protégée Abi Shadana, to safeguard Paul and Alisha.
Paul and Alisha’s love story weaves between the threads of our reality and other realms — from the Druids to the Sufi mystics, the Magi of the East, the secret political arm of the Knights Templar and the Isma’ilis, the Assassins. Knights and pilgrims alike will witness some of the darkest battles ever fought. The discovery of a unique sword’s lethal power and whispered connections to King Arthur and the Holy Grail lead Paul and Alisha to question if their lives ever be the same again.
The first of a four-part series, Outremer is an historical epic, which sweeps across England, Scotland and France, to Syria, Jerusalem and Egypt. Discover the truth — and crack the ancient code — behind the great mysteries of the High Middle Ages for yourself.

Amazon UK Link


See the calendar below for a list of dates, books and bloggers.

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Many thanks for reading my post.  If you liked it, please give it a share.  Better still, go and buy one of these great books.

#BookReview : Behind the Lie by Amanda James @akjames61 : @HQDigitalUK

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This book was published 21st April 2017 by HQ Digital and is available as an eBook.

Synopsis:

Who can you trust, when you can’t trust yourself?

Holly West has turned her life around. She’s found a successful and loving husband in Simon and is expecting twins. She is definitely a woman who has taken back control of her future.

Until she gives birth, only for one twin to survive. Holly can’t let it go.

Holly’s world is in a tailspin and suddenly she can’t trust herself or anyone else. No one believes her, not her husband or her best friend. Because she thinks she knows the truth…her son is still alive and she won’t stop until she finds him.

My Thoughts:

Well what a book, I do admit to falling for the synopsis, and it did it’s job and did not disappoint.  We meet Holly and Simon West, husband and wife and expecting twins.  But they only take their daughter Iona home, their son, who was to be called Ruan, didn’t survive. Holly has had a troubled past, and when she starts to think and then believe Ruan is actually alive her husband and her best friend Demi start to believe her past is not quite her past and believe she is suffering from depression, well some people try to be supportive.

There are a quite a few characters in the story that have known Holly and Simon before they were married, and they have different opinions that are expressed throughout, this gives a really good background to the characters and the dynamics between them.  The plot was good, but I do admit to being correct on a few thoughts as I was reading, but to be perfectly honest that really didn’t matter as I was more interested in how Holly dealt with the situations as they arose.  It was Holly on her journey that was intriguing me as well as my being a witness as she transformed from a self doubting, beholden to her husband type of woman, to a strong, resilient woman who is willing to put her family first regardless of the risk.  There were also a few things I didn’t expect and and a couple of great twists.  It was all told at a good pace that kept me frantically reading until the last page.

This is a book that would appeal to readers of contemporary fiction as well as general fiction, who like an element of mystery and thriller with a little dash of romance.  I will definitely be reading more by this author.

I would like to thank Mandy James for accepting my request via NetGalley to read and share my thoughts on her book.  My thoughts are my own and are unbiased.

About the Author:

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Amanda James (aka Mandy) was born in Sheffield and now lives in Bristol with her husband and two cats. In her spare time, she enjoys gardening, singing, and spending lots of time with her grandson. She also admits to spending far too much time chatting on Twitter and Facebook! Amanda recently left her teaching role to follow her ambition to live her life doing what she most enjoys—writing.

Follow Mandy on Facebook | Blogspot | Twitter

Book Details:

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 775 KB
  • Print Length: 208 pages
  • Publisher: HQ Digital (21 April 2017)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English

Purchase from Amazon UK

Many thanks for reading my post.  If you liked it give it a share.

#BlogTours #Reading #October #BookNews #TBR #BookPost

Hello everyone.  Its a wet and windy day so rather than venture outside I have decided to start a new monthly post; for some of the upcoming books in my reading schedule, in the gaps between I will go through the mountain that is my TBR pile. I have a few books that I am due to read this month, they are a varied and mixed bunch.  I thought I would share with you the ones I will be reading in this post, they are a mix of blog tours, books sent via the author or publisher as well as Netgalley.  Some are already out there to read and some are awaiting their release dates.

This is something I am hoping to keep up and continue to do , but you know how life can sometimes get in the way, especially as I am going back into education to start a degree, now this is where it gets interesting, not sure whether it will be History or creative writing, though I must admit to leaning towards the History, as it is a subject I dearly love reading about, but as I have a little while to decide.


51WYG+nzQwL My Blog Tour date : 11th October.

Synopsis: Lady Alkmene and Jake Dubois are back in a gripping new adventure facing dangerous opponents at a masked ball in the countryside.

Masked danger…

Lady Alkmene Callender has always loved grand parties, but when she receives an invitation to a masked ball thrown by Franklin Hargrove – oil magnate, aviation enthusiast and father of her best friend, Denise – she’s never seen such luxury. The estate is lit up with Chinese lanterns in the gardens, boats operated by footmen float across the pond and the guest list features the distinguished, rich and powerful!

But below the glamour, evil is lurking. When a dead body is discovered, it forces Lady Alkmene to throw off her mask and attempt to find the true killer before Denise’s family are accused. If only her partner, Jake Dubois, weren’t hiding something from her…

This case might just be more dangerous than either of them could have imagined.

Amazon link Click Here


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My Blog Tour date: 11th October.

Synopsis:  Jess Albion has recently started a new life on the other side of the world with a new identity. She used to be MI5. Then a job went bad, someone died and she was made an example of in the British courts. But MI5 look after their own. Or they did until rumours of a planned Al Qaeda biological terror attack on London started circulating. Now someone in the British security services is giving agents up in return for information. No price, it seems, is too high to save London from the ultimate threat.

When Jess’s fresh start is compromised she has a choice to make: run and hide and spend the rest of her life looking over her shoulder or go looking for the threat and snuff it out. On her own, she’d run, but she has Nick on her side.

The Fallen Agent is a story of love and hate, of loyalty and betrayal, of revenge and callous disregard for human life in the pursuit of satisfaction.

Amazon Link Click Here


The Second Son Cover

My Blog Tour date: 12th October

Synopsis:  As the second son of the Duke of Hampshire, Grenville St John Hampton isn’t likely to inherit his family’s title or estate, leaving him pondering an empty, aimless future. During the summer break from university, he impulsively decides to go backpacking with one of his oldest friends, Johnathan; their destination is Belize.

One sultry night on the Central American coastline, Grenville and Johnathan meet Tom. A game of darts takes a vicious turn. Realising he has nothing to look forward to back at home, Grenville decides to stay on in Belize with Tom, in pursuit of adventure. Together, the new friends establish an import business, and for the rst time in his life, Grenville has a sense of purpose.

But back in England all is not well. The sudden death of his brother leaves Grenville with an unexpected – and now unwanted – inheritance, with new consequences and responsibilities. He will return to claim the family’s seat with a dark secret in tow.

Andy Blackman is the author of For the Love of Grace (published by Clink Street, 2016).

Amazon link Click Here


The Watcher Cover

My Blog Tour date 13th October

Synopsis: It’s 1949 when Netta’s father Max is released from a Siberian POW camp and returns to his home in occupied Germany. But he is not the man the little girl is expecting – the brave, handsome doctor her mother Erika told her stories of. Erika too struggles to reconcile this withdrawn, volatile figure with the husband she knew and loved before, and, as she strives to break through the wall Max has built around himself, Netta is both frightened and jealous of this interloper in the previously cosy household she shared with her mother and doting grandparents. Now, if family life isn’t tough enough, it is about to get even tougher, when a murder sparks a police investigation, which begins to unearth dark secrets they all hoped had been forgotten.

Amazon link Click Here


Sent via author: H. Max. Hiller  51nea48+cPL

This is the 4th in The Cadillac Series.

Synopsis: The oath Detective Cooter “Cadillac” Holland swore to defend his home against foreign and domestic enemies is put to the test when evil men from both sides of the border start a war on the eve of Mardi Gras, an election, and the first Super Bowl in Saints’ history. A shadowy operation has resurrected the blueprints for the classified operation that nearly got Detective Holland killed in Iraq, and now threatens his life again. When Detective Holland’s friends and family are also put at risk, he is forced to call upon the skills and mind-set learned as a Special Forces and Intelligence operative to keep the peace between local heroin dealers and a violent Mexican drug cartel, outsmart a defense contractor, and take on a loose-cannon Federal official out to cover the tracks of a deal gone bad to avert a bloodbath when New Orleans can least afford it.

Amazon Link Click Here


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Sent via publisher:  Duckworth Overlook.

 Synopsis: The riveting, masterfully told historical thriller set in ancient Rome

The body of a Vestal Virgin is dragged out of the River Tiber. A senator bleeds to death in his bath.

As the authorities turn a blind eye, Hortensia, daughter of the capital’s most celebrated orator, feels compelled to investigate a trail of murders that lead to the dark heart of Rome.

Flying in the face of her husband’s and father’s attempts to protect her, rebelling against the constraints imposed upon her sex, she is drawn ever deeper into the corrupt underworld that lurks in the shadows cast by the city’s all-powerful elite.

When fires begin to rage in the slums and other key witnesses are silenced, only one man can save Hortensia from becoming the next victim of a conspiracy to destroy the Republic: Lucrio, the damaged ex-gladiator to whom she already owes her life. But will the secrets of his own tragic past threaten to subsume them both…

Buy from Duckworth Overlook


Sent via Author: Sara Cobb 51QpleK8bhL

Synopsis: She’ll do anything to unearth the secrets.
They’ll stop at nothing to silence her.

Hundreds of years after WWIII, Smithsonian archeologist Roslin Williams has uncovered an old Air Force One plane containing human remains. It is the greatest historical discovery of her lifetime, one that raises more questions than answers. Roslin is determined to dig up any information about the plane that she can and unravel the secrets behind it.

However, the dangerous powers behind this age-old scandal have plans of their own. Keeping facts buried is their number one priority and Roslin is getting in their way. With an assassin closing in to silence her once and for all, Roslin teams up with Special Agent Mark Appleton to unravel this ancient conspiracy. But with time running out, will they unearth the truth before they’re the next buried fatalities?

Even the best kept secrets can’t stay buried forever.

Amazon Link Click Here


Sent via NetGalley :

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Synopsis:

A dramatic new departure for international bestselling author Bernard Cornwell, FOOLS AND MORTALS takes us into the heart of the Elizabethan era, long one of his favourite periods of British history.

Fools and Mortals follows the young Richard Shakespeare, an actor struggling to make his way in a company dominated by his estranged older brother, William. As the growth of theatre blooms, their rivalry – and that of the playhouses, playwrights and actors vying for acclaim and glory – propels a high-stakes story of conflict and betrayal.

Showcasing his renowned storyteller’s skill, Bernard Cornwell has created an Elizabethan world incredibly rich in its portrayal: you walk the London streets, stand in the palaces and are on stage in the playhouses, as he weaves a remarkable story in which performances, rivalries and ambition combine to form a tangled web of intrigue.

Amazon Link Click Here


A book I won in a giveaway. 51xlAYyI9wL

Synopsis: Told from both daughter and father’s perspectives, Far Cry From The Turquoise Room is a coming-of-age, riches-to-rags tale of loss, resilience, and self-discovery, just before the millennium. It is also about the passage of childhood into puberty.

Leila is the eight-year-old daughter of Hassan Nassiri, a wealthy Iranian property owner, and younger sister to the adored Fayruz, her father’s favourite daughter.

But a holiday narrowboat tragedy has far-reaching consequences for the surviving family. Hassan withdraws into reclusive grief, when he’s not escaping into work, or high jinks with his men friends at his second home in Hampstead, leaving Leila to fend for herself in a lonely world of nannies, chess and star-gazing.

Leila eventually runs away from home and joins a family of travellers in Sussex, and so follows a tale of adventure, danger and romance – and further anguish for her surviving family. But how will she fare at such a young age and will her family ever find her?

Amazon Link Click Here


Sent via publisher : Duckworth Overlook  o

Synopsis :

Flavia was born with a birthmark covering her face, in the shape of a bird in flight. A dyer’s daughter, she grows up in a little house in the woods, far away from prying eyes. Ashamed of the mark, her mother makes Flavia hide her face behind a veil on the rare occasions she is allowed to be seen in public. But on the night before her younger sister’s wedding, Flavia does something drastic, something that will draw her into a much wider and stranger world than she could have imagined: the convent of Santa Giuliana, just outside the city walls.

There she meets Ghostanza, a courtesan turned widow, whose white-lead painted face entrances Flavia, and whose beauty and cruelty are unmatched. Flavia becomes her ornatrix: her hairdresser and personal maid. But as white-lead paint rots the flesh below it, the bustling city, and Santa Giuliana, is rotting below the shimmer of wealth and privilege. And Flavia is drawn into a world of desire and jealousy that has devastating consequences.

Set in sixteenth-century Italy and rich in description and character, Kate Howard’s stunning debut novel is perfect for fans of Patrick Süskind’s Perfume, Kate Mosse’s The Taxidermist’s Daughter and Jessie Burton’s The Miniaturist. Painted against a vivid historical landscape with themes and characters relevant today, it tackles issues of belonging, female identity and the perception of beauty and cannot fail to move.

Buy from Duckworth Overlook Click Here


 Sent via “the muse” for the author: Estelle Leboucher 41UJdpZl-XL

Synopsis:

In this collection, meet:
Guillaume, who gives up everything to protect his child; young Mathew, who stakes his life to save his home; and François, who makes the biggest sacrifice to rescue his grandson.

The author:
Indrajit lives in France with his family. ‘The Sacrifice’ is his first work of fiction.

Amazon Link Click Here


Sent via author : Amanda James51iUSZb-9tL

Synopsis :

‘One of the best books of it’s genre so far this year.’ – Julia (Netgalley)

Who can you trust, when you can’t trust yourself?

Holly West has turned her life around. She’s found a successful and loving husband in Simon and is expecting twins. She is definitely a woman who has taken back control of her future.

Until she gives birth, only for one twin to survive. Holly can’t let it go.

Holly’s world is in a tailspin and suddenly she can’t trust herself or anyone else. No one believes her, not her husband or her best friend. Because she thinks she knows the truth…her son is still alive and she won’t stop until she finds him.

What reviewers are saying about BEHIND THE LIE

‘Fast paced and tense!’ – Shaz (Goodreads)

‘a very exciting psychological thriller.’ – Andrew (Netgalley)

Amazon Link Click Here


My Blog Tour Date : 31st October Winters_Child_High res.jpg

Synopsis:

Five years ago, Susannah Harper’s son Joel went missing without trace. Bereft of her son and then of her husband, Susannah tries to accept that she may never know for certain what has happened to her lost loved ones. She has rebuilt her life around a simple selfless mission: to help others who, like her, must learn to live without hope.

But then, on the last night of Hull Fair, a fortune-teller makes an eerie prediction. She tells her that this Christmas Eve, Joel will finally come back to her.

As her carefully-constructed life begins to unravel, Susannah is drawn into a world of psychics and charlatans, half-truths and hauntings, friendships and betrayals, forcing her to confront the buried truths of her family’s past, where nothing and no one are quite as they seem.

A ghostly winter read with a modern gothic flavour. A tale of twisted love, family secrets and hauntings.

Amazon Link Click Here


Via NetGalley : from Severne House Publishing. 51DtittLHML

Synopsis: ‘So where exactly did Albert Campion stand on the Abdication?’ ‘Behind the throne, slightly to the left?’ suggested Commander Charles Luke.

Margery Allingham’s Mr Campion finds himself masquerading as technical advisor to a very suspicious but glamorous Italian film producer and her crew hunting for buried treasure that never was in the Suffolk village of Heronhoe near Pontisbright which used to host trysts between Edward VIII and Mrs Wallis Simpson.

‘When it came to the Abdication Crisis in ’36 those dirty week-ends in Heronhoe were quickly forgotten, except not by the Prince. The story goes – that when he married Mrs Simpson, in 1937 that would be, he actually sent a valuable thank you gift to Heronhoe. That was what became known as the Abdication Treasure although there’s no record of anything going to Heronhoe Hall, or of anybody ever receiving anything from the Duke of Windsor and nobody anywhere claims to have actually seen anything resembling treasure.’

‘So how is Albert Campion involved? You said the treasure doesn’t exist.’

‘It doesn’t,’ Lord Breeze said firmly, ‘and I have been instructed to tell you to tell Campion, that unless he wants to risk embarrassing Buckingham Palace, he’d better lay off. There’s no such thing as the Abdication Treasure, so there’s nothing to find and Campion had better make sure he doesn’t find it!’

Amazon Link Click Here


Many thanks for reading my post.

#BookReview – Stranger by David Bergen @Duckbooks

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My Thoughts

This follows the story of Iso, a young Guatemalan fertility clinic worker.  After an affair with one of the doctors, whose life changes after an accident, Iso finds herself pregnant. Her lover is back in the US with his wife.  It is when Iso has given birth to her daughter that this story takes a change, her child is abducted and she knows who took her.  She makes the decision to take her daughter back at all costs.

This is a very simply written story, but very effective.  Iso is a very determined character with her heart and mind-set on one thing, her daughter.  For me the author has tentatively gone into illegal border crossings, illegal immigration and exploitation, but the story is not about these issues, it is about a young girl.  I found this simplistic approach kept the story moving and didn’t get bogged down in the politics.

I would recommend to readers of crime/ mystery,  it does border on thriller occasionally, but this is a story about a young girls journey of determination.  It is a quiet story rather than the blood and guns, guns blazing one. A simple story, simply told but very profound.

I would like to thank Duckworth Publishers for my copy of this book.  My thoughts are unbiased, honest and my own.

Synopsis

Íso Perdido, a young Guatemalan woman, works at a fertility clinic at Ixchel, named for the Mayan goddess of creation and destruction. Íso tends to the rich women who visit the clinic for the supposed conception-enhancing properties of the local lake. She is also the lover of Dr. Mann, the American doctor in residence. When an accident forces the doctor to leave Guatemala abruptly, Íso is abandoned, pregnant. After the birth, tended to by the manager of the clinic, the baby disappears.

Determined to reclaim her daughter, Íso follows a trail north, eventually crossing illegally into a United States where the rich live in safe zones, walled away from the indigent masses. Traveling without documentation, and with little money, Íso must penetrate this world, and in this place of menace and shifting boundaries, she must determine who she can trust and how much, aware that she might lose her daughter forever.

In David Bergen’s Stranger, with its uncanny lake, human monsters, and a stolen child, an ageless story is freshly recast in a modern setting, where themes of dislocation and disruption, exploitation and vulnerability, rich and poor collide. Intense and beautifully rendered, Stranger is a powerful and affecting novel for our times.

About the Author

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Born in Port Edward, British Columbia, author David Bergen worked as a writer and high school English teacher in Winnipeg, Manitoba, before gaining a great deal of recognition in Canada when his novel The Time In Between won the 2005 Scotiabank Giller Prize, one of Canada’s most prestigious literary awards. The novel also received a starred review in Kirkus Reviews and was longlisted for the 2007 IMPAC Award.

Bergen’s debut novel, A Year of Lesser, was a New York Times Notable Book, and a winner of the McNally Robinson Book of the Year award in 1997. His 2002 novel The Case of Lena S. was a finalist for the Governor General’s Award for English language fiction, and won the Carol Shields Winnipeg Book Award. It was also a finalist for the McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award and the Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction.

Additionally, Bergen has received the 1993 John Hirsch Award for Most Promising Manitoba Writer, and the 2000 Canadian Literary Award for Short Story.

In 2008, he published his fifth novel, The Retreat, which was longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, and which won the McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award and the Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction.

Many thanks for reading my post.

 

 

#BookReview : THE BLUE GAROU by H.MAX HILLER

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MY THOUGHTS:

This is the second book I have read by this author, the first being BLOWBACK a prequel that paves the way for the books that follow.  Again we meet Detective “Cadillac” Holland and his team as they have a strange case to deal with.

In the first book Cadillac is called in to help clear up the back log of cases that mounted up after Katrina, and is still on loan and helping. He is called to a case of local rapper Biggie Charles Lynley.  The suspect is still in the vehicle with Biggies body. It is an American Pit Bull, rather than have the dog shot Tulip Holland, Cadillac’s sister, asks that he not shoot the dog, as it could hold vital information to an investigation.  Well Tulip was not wrong, Biggie is an ex-convict but on his release he managed to set up a music studio.  Enquiries lead the team through the life of Biggie and the lives of others around him, it is very obvious that the team are not being told the whole truth.

This story is set 4 years after Hurricane Katrina  and once again Hiller incorporates the devastation that she left in her wake into the story.  He briefly explores issues in the poorer neighbourhoods and projects, mentioning how insurance companies fail to pay out on policies as well as those not being insured because of financial restraints.  For me the inclusion of these details work very well in the main story, it gives something extra as they are peppered throughout, not overbearing but enough, they have been worked very well and not over-used.  The main characters are now starting to make themselves known more, they are very memorable and have been well-developed.

There are various elements going on in this book, they expand on details mentioned in Blowback, such as the reason for Cadillac coming back home after his injury in Iraq, the disappearance of his father, the case itself and obviously Katrina.  It would be easy to think that there could be some confusion, but there is not.  Hiller has a very logical way of telling this story, it makes sense and has a very well laid out style to it.  There is no big fan fare of a conclusion, instead it has simply, logically and naturally been brought to a very satisfying conclusion.

I would definitely recommend this book to readers of Crime, Mystery

I had not come across the word “Garou”, but don’t worry Hiller explains the term.  But I did a little googling and found some rather interesting further reading.

I would like to express my thanks to the author for bringing this book to my attention, my review is my own and is unbiased and honest.

To read my review of Blowback Click Here !

SYNOPSIS:

SILVER MEDAL WINNER 2016 GLOBAL E-BOOK AWARDS.
Detective ‘Cadillac’ Holland left the intelligence community and joined the Louisiana State Patrol to find the answer to his father’s disappearance in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Four years have passed and he hasn’t found the answer. Now his sister wants him to prove that a pit bull is the murder weapon and not the murderer of New Orleans’ most notorious criminal. The dog’s tracks lead to the murder victim’s young son, angry fiancée, and shady bodyguard. The investigation ultimately turns up Federal investigations into a rap music label and a cache of missing firearms, a dog fighting ring, the blackmailing of a famous actress, and exposes far more things about Cadillac’s background than William Avery, NOPD’s Chief of Detectives, ever wanted to know when he assigned the Detective to find a solution to the case which would “reach a conclusion in line with everyone’s perception of justice”.

BOOK DETAILS:

 

  • Paperback: 232 pages
  • Publisher: dba H Max Hiller (29 April 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1634156323
  • ISBN-13: 978-1634156325

 

 

BLOWBACK :  Amazon UK     Amazon US

THE BLUE GAROU : Amazon UK     Amazon US

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

H. Max Hiller

My relationship with New Orleans began with a job cooking in a cafe on Bourbon Street at the age of seventeen. My food service resume now includes many of New Orleans’ iconic music and dining destinations. I no longer reside in New Orleans full-time but I keep to the expat creed of “Be a New Orleanian wherever you are.”
A devoted reader of detective and crime novels, I have worked as a chef on a boat traveling the inland waterways since Hurricane Katrina and began thinking up stories about a detective living in post-Katrina New Orleans, which I now write in my spare time.
My life is divided between working on the water and preserving a Victorian-era home in Hannibal, Missouri that I share with my wife and our rescue pets, which include a neurotic wolfhound/terrier mix and too many cats.

FOLLOW AUTHOR ON FACEBOOK HERE

Many thanks for reading my post.

 

 

#BookReview | THE SCANDAL by Fredrik Backman published by @MichaelJBooks

The Scandal by [Backman, Fredrik]

MY THOUGHTS:

Based in Beartown.
Well this turned out to be a very surprising read based on how it started. There were a lot of characters, that at times left me feeling bombarded with a barrage of names, best friends names, their parents, parents careers, other adults and their positions, as well as other school friends. There was also a lot of narrative for the main characters, the groups they associated with, the town and it’s obsession with Ice-Hockey and the up coming semi-final match.

Then suddenly from out of nowhere, this book that I was struggling with, had me hooked. Because I had persevered with it initially, I then found I had a better understanding of the characters and their actions and reactions after “The Scandal” took place. Without this background, the story would just be a story about a town that plays ice hockey. But instead it is a whole lot more.

To summarise the story without giving anything away: The town lives and breathes for ice hockey, the pressure from sponsors, parents and supporters for the teenage boys ice hockey team to win is immense. The town is gradually dwindling, ice hockey is the one thing that gives them hope for future prospects. After an event occurs the town is in uproar, how dare anyone put their family before ice hockey! But the actions of a few individuals soon divides opinion and true colours are shown. The popularity of the best players and their parents is based on hockey, and because of this some people will always put hockey first. But others realise that their family and friends are the important things in life, they give the support and loyalty that will serve you well later in life.

As I said at the beginning, this book contains a lot of detail and narrative, but builds up some brilliant characters that are well-developed, especially once you get your head around them, as there are a lot. The narrative gives some great detail into the thoughts, ideas, dreams and hopes of the residents of Beartown.

I would recommend this book to readers of contemporary fiction, mystery, sports fiction. I would like to thank Netgalley and the publisher for my ARC of this book, in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

SYNOPSIS

Beartown is a small town in a large Swedish forest.

For most of the year it is under a thick blanket of snow, experiencing the kind of cold and dark that brings people closer together – or pulls them apart.

Its isolation means that Beartown has been slowly shrinking with each passing year. But now the town is on the verge of an astonishing revival. Everyone can feel the excitement. Change is in the air and a bright new future is just around the corner.

Until the day it is all put in jeopardy by a single, brutal act. It divides the town into those who think it should be hushed up and forgotten, and those who’ll risk the future to see justice done. At last, it falls to one young man to find the courage to speak the truth that it seems no one else wants to hear.

With the town’s future at stake, no one can stand by or stay silent. Everyone is on one side or the other.

Which side would you be on?

BOOK DETAILS:

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1488 KB
  • Print Length: 421 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0718186575
  • Publisher: Penguin (10 Aug. 2017)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English

#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 | 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.