Month: December 2017

Goodbye 2017… Hello 2018!

 

 

It’s hard to believe another year is coming to an end and a New Year is beginning!

 

So here’s a look back at 2017 and a few goals to aim for in 2018!

 

 

2017 Stats:

Total Books Read: 242

Longest Book Read: The Storm Sister by Lucinda Riley

Total Pages Read: 71,423

Total Books Read and Reviewed for NetGalley: 142 (Feedback Ratio: 92%) 

 

 

Some of my favourite reads of 2017:

 

General Fiction

                                                           

 

Mystery/Suspense

 

                                                                    

 

Contemporary Romance

                              

 

Goals for 2018:

  • Read and Review fewer books for NetGalley up to a maximum of 100 and keep my Feedback Ratio above 90% (Might be hard with 21 already on the TBR list).
  • Read at least one book per month of a back title that I have purchased and own.
  • Read at least one book per month that I was sent by an author/publisher in the past couple of years that I didn’t get a chance to read/review.
  • Try and read a total of 200 books (no more 😜)

 

And lastly I must thank all the authors, publishers, bloggers, and of course my family who have not only provided me with wonderful books to read but have supported me all year-long. I am truly honoured.

#BookReview #BlogTour Exile by James Swallow @jmswallow @BonnierZaffre

#BookReview #BlogTour Exile by James Swallow @jmswallow @BonnierZaffre Title: Exile

Author: James Swallow

Series: Marc Dane #2

Published by: Zaffre on Jun. 1, 2017

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 496

Format: Hardcover

Source: Bonnier Zaffre

Book Rating: 8.5/10

A vicious Serbian gang whose profits come from fake nuclear weapons

A disgraced Russian general, with access to the real thing.

A vengeful Somali warlord, with a cause for which he’d let the world burn.

A jaded government agency, without the information to stop him.

Only one man sees what’s coming. And even he might not be able to prevent it . . .

Racing breathlessly from uncharted CIA prisons to the skyscrapers of Dubai, from stormbeaten oil rigs off the African coast to the ancient caverns beneath the city of Naples, Marc Dane returns in the explosive new thriller from the internationally bestselling author of NOMAD


Review:

Intelligent, gripping, and chillingly plausible!

Exile is an adrenaline-pumping thrill ride that immerses you in the dark, gritty underworld of arms dealing and terrorism and reminds us that corruption, greed, and revenge often has no limits.

The writing is intense and well paced. The characters are strong-willed, tenacious, and resilient. And the plot is a riveting tale full of twists, turns, action, intrigue, power, violence, duplicity, manipulation, terror, and murder.

Overall Exile is a timely, suspenseful, action-packed thriller that showcases Swallow’s exceptional knowledge of cyber warfare, military weapons, and covert operations.

Exile is the second book in the “Marc Dane” series, and even though there are some references to events from the previous novel, Nomad, it can certainly be read as a standalone.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

            

 

 

Thank you to Bonnier Zaffre for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About James Swallow

James Swallow is a New York Times, Sunday Times and Amazon bestselling author and scriptwriter, a BAFTA nominee, a former journalist and the award-winning writer of over forty-five books, along with numerous scripts for videogames, radio and television.

His writing includes the Marc Dane action thriller series, the Sundowners steampunk Westerns and fiction from the worlds of Star Trek, Warhammer 40,000, Doctor Who, 24, Deus Ex, Stargate, Tannhauser and 2000AD.

 

#BookReview A Proposal To Die For by Vivian Conroy @VivWrites @HQDigitalUK

#BookReview A Proposal To Die For by Vivian Conroy @VivWrites @HQDigitalUK Title: A Proposal to Die For

Author: Vivian Conroy

Series: Lady Alkmene #1

Published by: HQ Digital on Sep. 19, 2016

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 162

Format: eBook

Source: HQ Digital, NetGalley

Book Rating: 8/10

The first book in the new Lady Alkmene Callender Mystery series

A murderous beginning

With her father away in India, Lady Alkmene Callender finds being left to her own devices in London intolerably dull, until the glamorous Broadway star Evelyn Steinbeck arrives in town! Gossip abounds about the New York socialite, but when Ms Steinbeck’s wealthy uncle, Silas Norwhich, is found dead Lady Alkmene finds her interest is piqued. Because this death sounds a lot to her like murder…

Desperate to uncover the truth, Lady Alkmene begins to look into Ms Steinbeck’s past – only to be hampered by the arrival of journalist, Jake Dubois – who believes she is merely an amateur lady-detective meddling in matters she knows nothing about!

But Lady Alkmene refuses to be deterred from the case and together they dig deeper, only to discover that some secrets should never come to light…


Review:

Whimsical, suspenseful, and amusing!

A Proposal To Die For is a lighthearted, cozy mystery that transports you back to 1920s London where Miss Lady Alkmene Callender has an abundance of freedom and imagination and where a timely introduction to the devilishly handsome, mysterious ex-con Jake Dubois has them teaming up to solve the suspicious death of the wealthy Silas Norwhich.

The writing style is fluid and smooth. The characters are engaging, endearing, and authentic. And the plot develops nicely and has the right mix of misdirection, deduction, suspects, clues, mishaps, and murder.

If you enjoy straightforward, entertaining mysteries that take you back in time to when forensics was almost nonexistent, social class was everything, and crimes could easily be solved by everyday snooping, shrewd reasoning, and stubborn determination this is a book for you.

If you haven’t already had a chance to read my review of Fatal Masquerade,  Lady Alkmene #4, be sure to check it out here:

 

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

             

For more information on Vivian Conroy follow her on Twitter at: @VivWrites

 

Thank you to Vivian Conroy and HQ Digital for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

 

#BookReview The Vanishing Season by Joanna Schaffhausen @slipperywhisper @MinotaurBooks

#BookReview The Vanishing Season by Joanna Schaffhausen @slipperywhisper @MinotaurBooks Title: The Vanishing Season

Author: Joanna Schaffhausen

Series: Ellery Hathaway #1

Published by: Minotaur Books on Dec. 5, 2017

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 274

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Minotaur Books, NetGalley

Book Rating: 8.5/10

Ellery Hathaway knows a thing or two about serial killers, but not through her police training. She’s an officer in sleepy Woodbury, MA, where a bicycle theft still makes the newspapers. No one there knows she was once victim number seventeen in the grisly story of serial killer Francis Michael Coben. The only victim who lived.

When three people disappear from her town in three years, all around her birthday—the day she was kidnapped so long ago—Ellery fears someone knows her secret. Someone very dangerous. Her superiors dismiss her concerns, but Ellery knows the vanishing season is coming and anyone could be next. She contacts the one man she knows will believe her: the FBI agent who saved her from a killer’s closet all those years ago.

Agent Reed Markham made his name and fame on the back of the Coben case, but his fortunes have since turned. His marriage is in shambles, his bosses think he’s washed up, and worst of all, he blew a major investigation. When Ellery calls him, he can’t help but wonder: sure, he rescued her, but was she ever truly saved? His greatest triumph is Ellery’s waking nightmare, and now both of them are about to be sucked into the past, back to the case that made them…with a killer who can’t let go.


Review:

Clever, disturbing, and highly suspenseful!

In this debut novel by Schaffhausen, The Vanishing Season, we are introduced to the tenacious, scarred Officer Hathaway and the once heroic now spiritless Agent Reed as they hunt for a serial killer with an all-consuming obsession and a penchant for violence.

The writing is taut and precise. The characters are flawed, complex and intriguing. And the plot is an intense, intricate police procedural full of twists, turns, surprises, cunning brutality, manipulation, and murder.

The Vanishing Season is truly a gripping, sinister page-turner that had me on the edge of my seat from the very first page and left me hoping this isn’t the last but only the first case for Hathaway and Reed.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                        

 

 

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press – Minotaur Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Joanna Schaffhausen

JOANNA SCHAFFHAUSEN wields a mean scalpel, skills developed in her years studying neuroscience. She has a doctorate in psychology, which reflects her long-standing interest in the brain—how it develops and the many ways it can go wrong. Previously, she worked for ABC News, writing for programs such as World News Tonight, Good Morning America, and 20/20. She lives in the Boston area with her husband and daughter. She is also the author of The Vanishing Season and No Mercy.

It’s Monday (December 18, 2017)! What Are You Reading! #IMWAYR

 

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? hosted by Kathryn at Bookdate is a weekly post to share what you’ve recently finished reading, what you’re currently reading, and what you plan on reading this upcoming week.

It’s hard to believe that another year is almost over.

Thank you to all the authors and publishers who sent me books to read. I am truly honoured!

And thank you to all the wonderful bloggers who shared, commented and supported me this year. You are an amazing group and I’m proud to be one of you.

Wishing you all a lovely holiday and a Happy New Year! 

 

What I Read Last Week:

 

Title: Insidious Intent (Tony Hill & Carol Jordan #10)

Author:  Val McDermid

Immediate Thoughts: Great police procedural with intriguing character development and lots of twists, turns and intensity!

Rating: 8.5/10

Publication Date: December 5, 2017

 

 

Title: And The Next Thing You Know (Why You? #2)

Author:  Chase Taylor Hackett

Immediate Thoughts: Enjoyable, entertaining and full of humour, chemistry and witty banter!

Rating: 8/10

Publication Date: February 6, 2018

 

 

          

 

What I’m currently reading:

 

       
 

 

What I’m reading next:

 

                                

 

Have you read any of my upcoming reads? What do you have coming up?

Happy Reading!

#BookMail #MakeaDateWithHarlequin Thank You @HarlequinBooks @HQIntrigue @dfossen

Look at my wonderful book mail this week!

 
Thank you, Harlequin Books for sending me five copies of Lone Wolf Lawman by Delores Fossen to share with my friends!
It was extremely generous of you!
😘😘😘
For more information about Harlequin Books and their upcoming releases check out their website at harlequin.com

Happy Holidays!

 

#CoverReveal The Wonder of You by Harper Kincaid @HarperKincaid @InkSlingerPR

 

Today we are sharing the cover of

THE WONDER OF YOU by Harper Kincaid.

This is a modern-day, romantic re-telling of Alice in Wonderland.

Check out the teasers and blurb below.

Follow Harper’s newsletter for exclusive excerpts and giveaways.

 

Pre-order Now on Amazon for a special price of $1.99

Price goes up after release!

The Wonder of You by Harper Kincaid

Modern Alice in Wonderland Re-telling

Releasing February 13, 2018

Synopsis:

What if Alice didn’t fall down the rabbit hole, but instead, traveled through Lincoln Tunnel into another kind of Wonderland: New York City.

The best day of twenty-five year old Alice Leighton’s life was the day she got to put her nothing special, lil Southern town in her rear-view mirror. Good-bye to phony ‘bless your hearts’ and ‘I’ll pray for you’ crap, all while talking trash behind her back. She’s New York City’s latest addition and she’s going to work her ass off proving she earned her spot in the country’s top grad program.

Never again will she let some jerk derail her future and break her heart. Oh, and no more players. She’s D.O.N.E with the ‘cool guys’.
Getting caught up in Dare Grangeworth, the art world’s resident bad boy, was not part of her Alice 2.0 plan, even if he is just her type, with his beard, tats sleeves and intense green eyes. When he’s not dodging the press or his cultish fan base, Dare’s making art that makes a statement. Women seem to lose their heads around him – all the more reason why he finds Alice’s candor refreshing. He’s used to women giving in – not giving attitude.

He has to get to know this girl, even if it means allowing himself to be the subject of her research. Before too long, he becomes more than a simple outlier she can explain away. And for him everything starts to feel larger than life and upside down, like a heady rush, all while desperately trying not to lose his heart.

Become lost and found in this re-imagined story of Alice and her cast of characters, in a world where Wonderland meets Sex-and-the-City.

 


Pre-order Now on Amazon for a special price of $1.99

Price goes up after release!

————–

About the Author:

 

Born in California and raised in South Florida, Harper Kincaid has moved around like a gypsy with a bounty on her head ever since. For years, she was a jill of all trades and a master of none, but is now tickled hot pink to pen stories that break and mend people’s hearts for a living. Kincaid believes seduction occurs from the neck up, which is why her characters are smart, sexy, and slightly quirky – and definitely worthy to be your next hard-core book crush.

When not writing, she adores listening to indie, lo-fi, complaint rock played on vinyl, the theater, well-informed optimism, happy endings (both kinds), and making those close to her laugh ’til they snort. She is a self-admitted change junkie, loving new experiences and places, but has now happily settled in the cutest lil’ town, Vienna, Virginia.

AUTHOR LINKS:

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#BookReview Birdcage Walk by Helen Dunmore @PGCBooks @groveatlantic

#BookReview Birdcage Walk by Helen Dunmore @PGCBooks @groveatlantic Title: Birdcage Walk

Author: Helen Dunmore

Published by: Atlantic Monthly Press on Aug. 1, 2017

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 416

Format: Hardcover

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 7.5/10

It is 1792 and Europe is seized by political turmoil and violence. Lizzie Fawkes has grown up in Radical circles where each step of the French Revolution is followed with eager idealism. But she has recently married John Diner Tredevant, a property developer who is heavily invested in Bristol’s housing boom, and he has everything to lose from social upheaval and the prospect of war. Soon his plans for a magnificent terrace built above the two-hundred-foot drop of the Gorge come under threat. Tormented and striving Diner believes that Lizzie’s independent, questioning spirit must be coerced and subdued. She belongs to him: law and custom confirm it, and she must live as he wants–his passion for Lizzie darkening until she finds herself dangerously alone.

Weaving a deeply personal and moving story with a historical moment of critical and complex importance, Birdcage Walk is an unsettling and brilliantly tense drama of public and private violence, resistance and terror from one of our greatest storytellers.


Review:

Poignant, ominous, and remarkable descriptive!

Birdcage Walk takes us back to Bristol in the late 1790s when France was full of unrest, war was on the horizon, and the British people struggled with impoverishment, scarcity, impending disaster, and financial ruin.

The prose is expressive and raw. The main characters include the maternal, independent, supportive Lizzie and the jealous, iron-fisted, ruined Tredevant. And the plot, although a little slow in the middle, is laced from start to finish with an underlying feeling of despair and a real, palpable bleakness as the ongoing drama, social strife, economic uncertainty, marital tension, and increasing violence unravels.

I have to admit that even though Birdcage Walk is not my favourite novel by Dunmore, it is still a beautiful, haunting tale that highlights her talent of writing historical fiction that moves, informs, and leaves a lasting impression. The passing of Dunmore earlier this year is certainly a tremendous loss for the literary world and to quote from the inscription on the grave of her fictional character in this novel, “Her Words Remain Our Inheritance.”

If you haven’t had a chance to read my review for “The Lie” by Dunmore be sure to check it out here:

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                            

 

 

Thank you to PGC Books & Grove Atlantic for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Helen Dunmore

Helen Dunmore is the author of twelve books, including The Greatcoat, The Betrayal, a New York Times Editors’ Choice; The Siege, a best seller and finalist for the Whitbread Novel of the Year Award; and A Spell of Winter, winner of the Orange Prize.

Helen Dunmore (1952 – 2017)

It’s Monday (December 11, 2017)! What Are You Reading! #IMWAYR

 

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? hosted by Kathryn at Bookdate is a weekly post to share what you’ve recently finished reading, what you’re currently reading, and what you plan on reading this upcoming week.

 

What I Read Last Week:

 

Title: So Much Love

Author:  Rebecca Rosenblum

Immediate Thoughts: Moving story about survival and the true definition of living.

Rating: 7/10

Publication Date: March 14, 2017

 

 

Title: Dreaming of Florence

Author:  T.A. Williiams

Immediate Thoughts: Lovely story full of romance, good food and wonderful imagery.

Rating: 8.5/10

Publication Date: January 8, 2018

 

 

 

 

What I’m currently reading:

 

          
 

 

What I’m reading next:

 

                                 

 

Have you read any of my upcoming reads? What do you have coming up?

Happy Reading!

#BookReview #BlogTour Ours is the Winter by Laurie Ellingham @LaurieEllingham @HQDigitalUK @NeverlandBT

#BookReview #BlogTour Ours is the Winter by Laurie Ellingham @LaurieEllingham @HQDigitalUK @NeverlandBT

#BookReview #BlogTour Ours is the Winter by Laurie Ellingham @LaurieEllingham @HQDigitalUK @NeverlandBT Title: Ours Is the Winter

Author: Laurie Ellingham

Published by: HQ Digital on Nov. 17, 2017

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 384

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: HQ Digital, NetGalley

Book Rating: 9/10

Journeying across the Arctic, their pasts are about to catch up with them.

Erica, Molly and Noah are embarking on the challenge of a lifetime, driving Siberian huskies across the frozen wilderness of the Arctic. Cut off from the world and their loved ones and thrown together under gruelling conditions, it isn’t long before the cracks start to show.

Erica has it all. A loving husband, a successful career and the most adorable baby daughter. But Erica has been living a double life, and as she nears her fortieth birthday her lies threaten to come crashing down.

Molly was on her way to stardom. But when her brother died, so did her dreams of becoming an Olympic champion. Consumed by rage and grief, she has shut out everyone around her, but now she’s about to learn that comfort can come from the most unexpected places.

Noah has a darkness inside him and is hounded by nightmares from his past. Tortured, trapped and struggling to save his fractured relationship, he knows this journey is not going to help, but try telling his girlfriend that.

As their lives and lies become ever more entwined, it becomes clear that in the frozen wilds there is nowhere to hide.


Review:

Riveting, affecting, and atmospheric!

Ours is the Winter is an emotive, absorbing novel that takes us on a journey into the icy, cold, Arctic where friendships will be formed, love will be lost, past tragedies will haunt, and secrets will surface and bind people forever.

There are three main memorable characters in this novel. Erica, a career woman, struggling with the pressures of being a good mother, wife, and sister. Molly, a young woman, crippled with grief over the loss of her brother. And Noah, a man grappling with extreme guilt and a relationship in tatters.

The writing is eloquent and vivid. The plot is well crafted and uses a past/present style to create a little suspense and a lot of emotion as it unravels all the histories, personalities, and relationships within it. And the characterization is well done with a cast of characters that are troubled, scarred, and raw; a group of Huskies that are intelligent, athletic and lovable; and a setting, the arctic wilderness, that is a character itself with its harsh weather, isolation, and physical challenges.

Ours is the Winter is a clever, poignant novel that reminds us that survival of any form takes strength and courage and the greatest gift we can give ourselves and others is forgiveness.

This book is available now. 

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from the following link.

 

 

Giveaway:

 

Prize: 1 signed paperback of Laurie’s previous book, “One Endless Summer”.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Thank you to Laurie Ellingham, HQ Digital, and Neverland Blog Tours for providing me with a copy in an exchange for an honest review.

 

About Laurie Ellingham

When I’m not running around after my two children, my husband, our Cockerpoo Rodney, or just plain running, I love nothing more than disappearing into the fictional world of my characters preferably with a large coffee and a Twix (or two) to hand.

When I am in the thick of a character crisis, I can often be seen walking around the village with my jumper on inside out and back to front, chatting (and occasionally laughing) away to myself.

I have a first class honours degree in psychology and a background in Public Relations, both of which help in everything I do.

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