Saturday, 30 November 2019

Review: The Last Time We Spoke

The Last Time We Spoke The Last Time We Spoke by Fiona Sussman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was so dam good.

The beginning of this book starts off with one huge blast that will keep you turning pages.

I so want to be like Carla, strong and resilient. She shows a part of how strong and determined women can be. Emotionally.

This book impacted on me so much.

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Review: The Black Sheep

The Black Sheep The Black Sheep by Yvonne Collins
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I was in for a change of pace. Some uplifting fun.

This did deliver that, witty, amusing etc especially one of the characters.
So 10/10 for that.

But it’s not an exciting read, it’s a laid back eyes to the ceiling read thinking Oh my word, kind of read.

Don’t expect too much.

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Review: My Lady Deceiver

My Lady Deceiver My Lady Deceiver by Freda Lightfoot
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Freda Lightfoit books I’ve been reading since I was in my twenties. I’m 60 now!

She has a lovely flow with her pen that keeps my attention.

This is about a woman and her dreams, but her dreams cannot come true as she’s needed somewhere else.

Will she get through the life that has been picked for her?
Or will she get her dreams fulfilled?

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Review: A Vintage Year

A Vintage Year A Vintage Year by Rosie Howard
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Vintage Year by Rosie Howard
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am so glad I read book 1 back to back with this one. I would have been so book hanging if not awaiting this one.

We have some different characters to meet in Havenbry and some old faces you will remain comfortable with.

I adore books that are real to life. Relationships that are in trouble or are falling apart.
Counting the pennies and not some miracle that happens and all live happy ever after.

I think, no...I’m sure that’s why I loved this so much.

Everyone has flaws, people can hide things from each other, deceive, lie and sometimes with the best of intentions.

Bella made a vital decision early on in the book that opened up a lot of consequences.

It’s hard to say much as this story has a very good plot to it and no giveaways are coming from me.

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Review: The Staveley Suspect

The Staveley Suspect The Staveley Suspect by Rebecca Tope
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This started off really well then seemed to have lost its way where the mystery bits concerned, but, still an enjoyable read.

It might have been where I was sent this book by the publishers and it really isn’t a standalone. So it had background I wasn’t aware of in some characters.

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Wednesday, 27 November 2019

The Child From The Ash Pits - Chrissie Walsh Blog Tour

The Child From The Ash Pits-Chrissie Walsh


My Review

I’m starting off saying that I really loved this book. A lot.

Cally growing up had it very hard as a miners daughter and later no mom. Her dad struggled.
She later had a “wicked stepmother” to contend with.

I thought her dad at the beginning a very weak and fluid man who got himself into such a pickle he took the easier way out. But then I reminded myself it’s not based around the 20th Century, so of course certain things would be viewed and understood differently.

Later though, as he aged and Cally got older, stronger despite all the hardship and experiences she went through after being ousted out of the family home, he actually came into the light as a better person. To me and for Cally.

Not all is good for Cally, even her stepsister betrays her later in life.

The characters within this stood out a great deal. Each with her own or his own makeup and characteristics.

Cally s husband Red. Later in the book he appealed to me much more.

I took some morals from this story which I think many will see once they read this.

There’s plenty to think about, I’m thinking, communication of feelings, wants, hopes and dreams in your marriage and helping each other to achieve that and support each other.

True friends around you who have your best interests at heart and tell you “as it is”.

I loved this book so much.

If you chose to read it, I hope you do too.

What the books about

In the aftermath of the General Strike, times are tough for coal miners and their families. Can little Cally break free from poverty, and forge a successful life for herself? 

When Cally loses her beloved mum, she hopes her father will comfort and protect her. But instead she soon acquires a cruel and vengeful stepmother, and Cally begins to fear that she is on her own. 
Through uncomfortable years in service, to a terrifying brush with the streets, through hard work and determination, Cally finally finds a place for herself. She even trusts enough in the future to create her own family, despite being so cruelly abandoned by her own. 
At last in a place of peace and contentment, Cally has all she ever hoped for, but with World War 2 looming, how long can she hold on to the people she loves?

Pre order
Amazon uk 

Aria Books


Born and raised in West Yorkshire, Chrissie trained to be a singer and cellist before becoming a teacher. When she married her trawler skipper husband, they moved to a little fishing village in N. Ireland. Chrissie is passionate about history and that passion and knowledge shine through in her writing. The Girl from the Mill is her debut novel.

Tuesday, 26 November 2019

Review: Apple Tree Yard

Apple Tree Yard Apple Tree Yard by Louise Doughty
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This I have watched as a film and read the book.

I much preferred the film.

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Review: The Life List

The Life List The Life List by Lori Nelson Spielman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A really cute loveable read if you want a sincere life goal like this women.

No matter how we plan things, you never know what’s around the corner.

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Review: The Disgrace of Kitty Grey

The Disgrace of Kitty Grey The Disgrace of Kitty Grey by Mary Hooper
My rating: 0 of 5 stars

Just what I needed after reading some intense thrillers.

YA historical fiction it may be, but I loved it.
Set in historical regency time.

This poor woman’s life isn’t easy and you can relate to her emotional upheaval.

A very likeable read for me and a change of pace.

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Review: The Road Home

The Road Home The Road Home by Patrick E. Craig
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Book 2.

Faith ant journeys of life.

This was beautifully written, easy to follow and although I hadn’t read book 1 the author fills you enough so you won’t get lost in the story.

I want to live at Apple Creek as it sure is a DREAM

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Review: The Amish Seamstress

The Amish Seamstress The Amish Seamstress by Mindy Starns Clark
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A quaint little story.

I hadn’t realised at the time it was part of a series and it does matter.

I enjoyed it.

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Review: Lie Still

Lie Still Lie Still by Julia Heaberlin
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I’ve been reading this book for my backlist challenge.

The premise of this sounded to me pretty good.

Alas, the more I read the more disgruntled I became.

If someone had numerous miscarriages and difficulties with that side of things, would you, yes....would you take unnecessary risks? For me, the stupid things she did was beyond my comprehension it became aggravating to me.

I finished it. But not with a smile on my face, more of silly was that!

Plus these other women, so stereotype beyond me not sighing with “how many more pages until the end.”

I think it’s safe to say, I didn’t connect to this book.

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Review: He's Gone

He's Gone He's Gone by Deb Caletti
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I thought the premise of this book sounded pretty dam good.

It’s excellent writing but not much dialogue until about 3/4 into the book, so it was a bit tedious to read as it’s based on reflections of the past.

It’s worth a read. I’m just saying don’t sit eagerly for that “big” reveal.
It’s ok just not overwhelmingly fantastic to make you gasp.

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Review: The Dilemma

The Dilemma The Dilemma by B.A. Paris
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I found this book hard to put down.
Each chapter alternates between Olivia and her husband with everything in between.

Olivia didn’t have a fabulous wedding. She’s longed and planned for her 40th birthday, what seems like, all her life. She’s saved and invested all her years focused on it.

But does her birthday huge party go off with a bang?

It sure does. But not in the way we think.

Olivia is walking around with a secret. And we get to read what she’s really thinking and feeling.

And a dark cloud of revelation is hanging over her husband that day.
And we get to read what’s going on in his head, and his emotions.

They have two grown children.
And we get some tearful times with Dad and his son that brought a lump to my throat. Emotional at times.

Picturing the birthday party in my head was so well played out with top “star” characters being there.
I grew to love Nelson. A best friend of her husband.

The parental family enveloping from her husbands side was lovely and all that it should be. Family support in crisis.

At one time I thought it was a bit drawn out that’s why it has 4* from me. But don’t be misled because I absolutely was invested in this book 100% and more.

We see about communication.
We learn about ‘good intentions’ that can go badly wrong.
We learn about family and relationships.
And we learn about love. Pure unselfish love.
And we learn about grief.

It’s one I’ll remember for quite some time.

This author astounds me with her abilities and insight to human depths of character.

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Sunday, 24 November 2019

Review: The Smell of Other People's Houses

The Smell of Other People's Houses The Smell of Other People's Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock
My rating: 3 of 5 stars


This books been on my book shelf since around 2015 and I always aimed to read it.

So now I have!

It’s based around young people, and coping with circumstances that either are no fault of their own or been reaped wrongly upon them.

It’s not a huge book and I read this in one day. I wasn’t expecting such exquisite writing and the area being around Alaska so that was an experience for me as I knew nothing much about that area at all.

The characters stood out so well, individually and collectively when their lives became intertwined.

So glad I got to this........finally.

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Thursday, 21 November 2019

Review: The Family Upstairs

The Family Upstairs The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Yes, yes, oh yes!

Page turner.
Compulsive characteristic tendencies.
Realistic characters.
And things that twist your mind.

It has it all and more.

I did wonder how a person could be manipulated so fast. In hindsight, who are we to judge. We can never expect someone to react the same way we might, or, would like to think we might. Right?

Because of the way this was written with snappy chapters it was easy to get caught up in doing nothing else except read and someone shouting “what’s for dinner” geez, is it that time.

I just love this authors style of writing and how quickly I become invested in her stories.
This one was really good though on the thrills it gave me.
The creepy sinister vibes.

The emotions it brought out in me from hob snacking disbelief that a character could do that. But oh yes, there’s brutes in the real world let alone fictional.

Each character had a star part. I applaud them all.

The twisting relaying of it all was an exact revelation l

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Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Review: The Things I Know

The Things I Know The Things I Know by Amanda Prowse
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Amanda Prowse is one of the authors that can take life circumstances and turn them into a flipping great read!

We have a young girl to young woman who has several deformities that have haunted her life thus far. It’s even caused her to be called a nick name related to one of her deformities.
Not a good or kind way either which made my blood boil.

Meeting her in this book was lovely . What a sweet, kind helpful person she was. To me she was lonely. Her “friends” being chickens she collected eggs from with her being brought up on a farm.

She had hopes, dreams, ambitions and a need to be loved and give love.

When her brother flew the nest she too questioned her own future.......

To make ends meet they would open up the farm for guests.

So one day, a young man comes who befriends her, he doesn’t see from the outside, he sees her beauty inside. They connect.

It’s such a wonderful story in this day and age of acceptance of diversity and teaches us some home truths.

I loved it.

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Sunday, 17 November 2019

Review: The Secret by the Lake

The Secret by the Lake The Secret by the Lake by Louise Douglas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I jumped, I kept the lights on!

What a fascinating story that went from suspense, mystery to verging on the supernatural.

That’s all I’m saying as the reviews speak for themselves and I’m pretty late to the table with this, so, if you’ve not read it either and love spooky, tight thrillers that keep your attention, this is certainly it.

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Review: Mothers

Mothers Mothers by Cath Weeks
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The start of this was pretty slow for me, I must admit I love this authors books normally so I kept on reading.

A very interesting premise. Relationships with your children. This focuses more on the relationship between a mother and young daughter who is talented as a ballet dancer. But tragedy happens.

I didn’t enjoy this as much as I wanted to, but nevertheless it was a pleasant read as the author writes so well.

So a 3.5 for me, more than ok.

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Review: The Bitter Season

The Bitter Season The Bitter Season by Tami Hoag
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I listened to this book on audio, and I liked it.

Although I’ve not read the previous books in this series (which I advise you to do) the plot was very very intriguing and mind blowing which more than made up for my lack of back story on the characters.

I think this is a series I’d go back on once I’ve caught up on some books I need to read.

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Friday, 15 November 2019

Review: My Dark Vanessa: A Novel

My Dark Vanessa: A Novel My Dark Vanessa: A Novel by Kate Elizabeth Russell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I just need to give this 5* for so many reasons.
It’s a disturbing unsettling read, but it’s also completely compulsive.
It’s a topic that is both daunting and happens although this is a fiction novel.

A taboo subject that messes with your head.
A teacher perverted who messes with a 15 year olds head.

Vanessa hasn’t many friends, she seems lonely at times (to me)

A start of her teacher “grooming” Vanessa sent the hair on the back of my neck up on end.

What was twisted was the “affair”. When she finds out others had been ‘approached ‘ by him too, that was wrong, in Vanessas eyes, but her relationship with him (again in her eyes) was different, he cared about her, it was live, he loved her.

It π–Žπ–˜ unsettling, you can easily see what’s going on and I wanted to call him out.
Report him. Challenge him. Punish him and protect Vanessa.

How did she equate in her mind that he could do this?
Because he loved her.
Yet, sometimes he repulsed her.

There are so many sides, views, aspects and divisions of this story that on the last page you will sit and reflect on what you’ve just read. I’m sure you will.

This is such a well written book, it tackles this so well all the mindsets were interesting as I could see that although some things were plain and simple to me, to others, we view things differently.

Will he be brought to account?
Will Vanessa view what he did as abuse etc ?

This is released in January 2020 and I for one just 𝓱π“ͺ𝓭 to read it.

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Wednesday, 13 November 2019

A Mrs Miracle Christmas blog tour

Get into the spirit of Christmas with this great read from Debbie Macomber.

My Review

Although this is part of a series you can actually read this as a stand-alone.

This story is told in only the way that this well known author can, superbly. 
It’s rich characters come to life in your head and chipped in with some painful realty problems which you as the reader get involved with and feel their pain, their frustrations and later the joy.

Joy within this family unit comes from an unexpected corner. Mrs Miracle.

This was an enchanting read with plenty to get your teeth into and enjoy Christmas feelings.


What the books about

Debbie Macomber is a popular author with many series. One being a televised drama series. 
Hallmark has many films based on stories from this author. 
There are over 170 million books of hers Mrs. Miracle shows an ordinary family that they are blessed beyond belief in this uplifting holiday tale from #1 New York Times bestselling author Debbie Macomber.

As the holiday season begins, Laurel McCullough could use some good news. She and her husband, Zach, have been praying for a baby that seems more and more like an impossible dream, and they've had to move in with her beloved grandmother, Helen, who's having trouble taking care of herself. But when Laurel contacts a local home-care organization for help, there are no caregivers available.

Then Mrs. Miracle appears at her door. No stranger to lending a helping hand to a family in need, Mrs. Miracle reveals herself to be nothing short of a godsend. Helen's even convinced she's an angel! Still, Laurel has to admit that Helen has become noticeably happier and more engaged, decorating the family Christmas tree and setting up the nativity with Mrs. Miracle's companionship. In the meantime, Laurel and Zach begin to encounter curious signs, all pointing toward the arrival of a special baby.

With Christmas approaching, there appears to be even more to Mrs. Miracle than meets the eye. In a classic turn of Debbie Macomber's signature seasonal magic, Laurel, Zach, and Helen experience a holiday of heavenly proportions.

Monday, 11 November 2019

Review: The Year We Fell From Space

The Year We Fell From Space The Year We Fell From Space by Amy Sarig King
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So yep, I’ve just read a Middle Grade book that was so good I’d recommend to adults. A lot can be learnt from this story.

A family that breaks up.

The constellation in the sky seems on track, planned and focused.

But when the parents split, a rock falls to earth. A heavy burden for the kids in that relationship to handle.

Dad has his mental health problem that afflicts him. But did they really break up because of that?

This is a well written well thought out story that I flew through within two evenings.

There’s a lot I can say about this story but I’m reluctant as you need to experience this for yourselves if you choose to read it.

The physical book is quite beautiful, the sections/parts have black pages with stars on.
The chapters a fast and snappy giving you a feel of reading very quickly.

Loved it.

I need to find more middle grade books!
Any recommendations, let me know.

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Sunday, 10 November 2019

Review: Tin Man

Tin Man Tin Man by Sarah Winman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

First off I wasn’t sure I was getting off to a good start with this book. The style of writing was different to what I was used to. Peoples speaking parts didn’t have any speaking symbols “”.
Once I got that and was past the first few chapters my brain adjusted and I found myself loving this book.

It’s sad, it’s poignant, it’s about friendships that last a lifetime, it’s about sexual diversity and sometimes loneliness.

When I got to Michaels part it affected me.
The part where someone is dying in hospital and the closeness that comes through the pages, the emotions and kindness.

I’m not going to quote anything but, there were these words that stood out to me.

G had died.
The griever hadn’t cried, but he felt like his veins were leaking, as if he’s drowning from the inside.

Who has ever lost someone they loved and hasn’t felt like that?

Another thing.....
Talking of “coming out”
There’s a paragraph, although short....
‘We all have to come out of the dark and sing”

How should a boy with a handbag feel.

It’s definitely poignant and an undertone of desperation in parts.

A read I won’t forget.

I’ve had this book on my shelf for a while and other books got in the way (as they do)
That’s why I am carrying on with my back challenge again next year, I’ve read some gems that would have been missed.

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Friday, 8 November 2019

Review: emileen and jilly bean

emileen and jilly bean emileen and jilly bean by A. R. Taylor
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Lots of lovely colourful illustrations in this book. I think children would be drawn to that.

It’s written in verse, and cleverly done. However, I did love the book but I wouldn’t buy it. Borrow from the library yes, but not one I’d keep.

It’s got a hint of Shakespearean English there but totally lost on me, so was wondering if it would be lost on a child.

38 pages of beautiful pictures though

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Sunday, 3 November 2019

Review: Bedtime Tales of Horror: The Commons

Bedtime Tales of Horror: The Commons Bedtime Tales of Horror: The Commons by Bradley Poage
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a short story read with a blurb that spans the story.

If I say much else, then not much for you to read.

I’m saying one word.....


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