Wednesday, 4 December 2019

Happy Birthday Orenda

Happy 5th Birthday Orenda Books here is to many many more years of epic books!



Orenda: A Canadian First Nations word that means: ‘The mystical power that drives human accomplishment’.




If you haven't heard of Orenda books you NEED to go check out their website, I can honestly say, hand on heart, I haven't read a book by Orenda that I haven't liked and they are all so very different.

Today is their 5th birthday, you know I am crap with remembering dates but Jen over at JenMeds book reviews has done a fantastic post to highlight their special birthday.

I want to do a wee something to celebrate so I will give one lucky winner X1 paperback book of their choice from Orenda's titles, Karen is a fantastic person and supports her authors and all the bloggers who come across her. It is nice to celebrate and give a wee something back. To enter just use the Rafflecopter below, good luck.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Art of Dying by Ambrose Parry

The Art of DyingThe Art of Dying by Ambrose Parry
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 416

Publisher - Canongate Books

Source - Netgalley

Blurb from Goodreads

Edinburgh, 1850. Despite being at the forefront of modern medicine, hordes of patients are dying all across the city, with doctors finding their remedies powerless. But it is not just the deaths that dismay the esteemed Dr James Simpson - a whispering campaign seeks to blame him for the death of a patient in suspicious circumstances.

Simpson's protégé Will Raven and former housemaid Sarah Fisher are determined to clear their patron's name. But with Raven battling against the dark side of his own nature, and Sarah endeavouring to expand her own medical knowledge beyond what society deems acceptable for a woman, the pair struggle to understand the cause of the deaths.

Will and Sarah must unite and plunge into Edinburgh's deadliest streets to clear Simpson's name. But soon they discover that the true cause of these deaths has evaded suspicion purely because it is so unthinkable.


My Review

Let me start off saying this is book two in a series, I didn't realise and I don't think I have been hampered by not reading book one. There are a few throwbacks and brief recaps of things that happened with book one so you can get away with starting with this one, if starting mid series doesn't make you twitchy.

The time is 1850, the place is Edinburgh and as is nature, people are dying. However some of them are not as should be and one well respected doctor, doctor Simpson, one of the patients was his. With a smear campaign kicking off and whispers of wrongful death of this patient, his understudy Will Raven reluctantly looks into the case and finds more than he bargained for. Will is prompted into action by Sarah, once a house maid to Doctor Simpson, now married to a doctor herself, Sarah has always been interested in medicine. At a time when women should be seen and not heard, married and tied to the sink, Sarah has always been supported and encouraged by doctor Simpson so she has a dual interest in the case.

The book has quite a few layers to it, Will and Sarah have a past, Sarah is now married, Will is very career focused and being involved with a house maid, for him, would negatively impact his career. Yet now he is back, Sarah is in a very different social standing and Will is having to battle his actions and consequences. Investigating who would have it out for doctor Simpson, the mysterious deaths and one of my fave things about this book, medicine back then! Add to all that we get wee snippets from the killer, an insight into their mind and what they are doing, I think when this is done well it really adds to a story. I do like a book is woven with historical facts, considering I never used to bother with historical fiction I do find myself enjoying them more as I get older. I also like books where you learn stuff as you go coupled with the fact is it set somewhere I have visited! Medicine itself is always evolving, practices changing, attitudes and procedures so I do like when you read of things past and then go off to read more in depth around X subject. I liked this one so much I will be buying book one and looking out eagerly for the next in the series, 4.5/5 for me this time. If you like murder mystery, medicine, books in the past, relationships and investigation this one will tick all the boxes for you!



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Sunday, 1 December 2019

Telling Tales about Dementia by Lucy Whitman and Joanna Trollope

Telling Tales About Dementia: Experiences of CaringTelling Tales About Dementia: Experiences of Caring by Lucy Whitman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2 days as able

Pages - 222

Publisher - Jessica Kingsley Publishers

Source - bought

Blurb from Goodreads

How does it feel when someone you love develops dementia? How do you cope with the shock, the stress and the grief? Can you be sure that you and your family will receive the support you need?


In Telling Tales About Dementia, thirty carers from different backgrounds and in different circumstances share their experiences of caring for a parent, partner or friend with dementia. They speak from the heart about love and loss: 'I still find it hard to believe that Alzheimer's has happened to us,' writes one contributor, 'as if we were sent the wrong script.' The stories told here vividly reflect the tragedy of dementia, the gravity of loss, and instances of unsatisfactory diagnosis, treatment and care. But they contain hope and optimism too: clear indications that the quality of people's lives can be enhanced by sensitive support services, by improved understanding of the impact of dementia, by recognising the importance of valuing us all as human beings, and by embracing and sustaining the connections between us.


This unique collection of personal accounts will be an engaging read for anyone affected by dementia in a personal or professional context, including relatives of people with dementia, social workers, medical practitioners and care staff.


My Review

Dementia, Alzheimer's - these are words that everyone recognises. Be it from personal experience, through their work, campaigns on tv or even in books and movies now. We will all be touched by it in some form or another, this book gives a very raw and emotive look into the journey's of their own, their loved ones and how they coped and or what they experienced.

There are also, within some of the stories, the very stark reality of what these conditions do, how it progresses and how differently it affected their loved ones and their own lives. They mention Admiral nurses, an amazing and free resource for families who are supporting someone with Dementia. https://www.dementiauk.org/get-suppor... is the website and has a free telephone number 0800 888 6678.

The book looks at some of the horrific failings these people encountered, the heartbreaking journeys with their loved one(s) and how horrific this condition is, what it takes and how they managed to survive watching their loved ones disappear from them, piece by piece.

I would recommend everyone read this book, if it helps one person be a bit more understanding or gives an additional resource/lifeline for people to reach out to, it has done it's job. It also gives the reader insight into how we can help, be supportive or maybe even learn some coping techniques ourselves, 4/5 for me this time.



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Tuesday, 26 November 2019

The Devil Upstairs by Anthony O'Neill

The Devil UpstairsThe Devil Upstairs by Anthony O'Neill
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - in and out over 2 days

Pages - 304

Publisher - Black & White Publishing

Source - from the book group for discussion

Blurb from Goodreads

In a quiet corner of Edinburgh, Cat Thomas is going through hell.
She’s tried everything. He respects nothing.

If your neighbour was making your life hell ...
Would you call upon the devil?

Cat Thomas, a brilliant fraud investigator, has just relocated from Florida to a dreamy flat in historic Edinburgh. Everything seems perfect. Everything seems serene. Except for the unbelievably noisy wannabe rockstar upstairs.

Soon Cat’s blissful new life is in ruins. Desperate, she's willing to try anything. When all else fails, she makes an appeal ... to Satan.

And suddenly everything is eerily quiet. But her nightmare has only just begun ...



My Review

Cat Thomas has already had her fingers burned, she is a fraud investigator and her last case saw her safety being threatened by some big wig criminals. Moving to Scotland, Edinburgh is perfect for her, new job, new flat at a bargain price she is ready for good things. However she moves underneath a singer, the flooring between the two is almost non existent and she can hear EVERYTHING. When polite attempts to get him to stop become hostile, Cat is losing sleep, it is impacting her new job, her health and she can take no more. Desperate she goes to an "event" with new work colleague Agnes, where Satan is worshipped because when you are desperate you will try anything and straight laced no nonsense Cat knows it isn't real anyway, it is?

So the book kind of breaks down into a few parts, the sensible lady with the absolute nightmare neighbour and the passive aggressive battle. You feel her anxiety as she becomes more sleep deprived and the war upstairs has really just began. But when it seems to have worked and Cat no longer has to worry about the musician she starts to worry about the cost. Everywhere she turns there seems to be a thread, the good stuff doesn't seem to come without strings and on top of all that she is investigating a potential fraud case that will see her in even bigger trouble than her last one.

Satanism, murder, friendship, sex, lust, devil worship, witches - there is a lot going on in this book. I think I liked it so much because Cat stays so grounded, a realist that even when things start to go a bit spooky she comes at it with a realist attitude. Often in books like this that can be missing so it was a refreshing change, I thought, and I liked how she was drawn into everything. A book that keeps you guessing is always a good shout, there was one or two things I was left a bit hanging with but that is going to be grand for the book chat discussion, reader speculation!

This was my first time reading this author and I would absolutely read them again, creepy vibes weaved in and out an "ordinary" every day person facing an every day issue, nightmare neighbour and the old actions and consequences scenario, I do like that. 3.5/5 for me this time, I would have liked a bit more insight into a few things within the story and I wonder if the author will ever revisit any of these characters, I certainly would like to read more on them!



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Monday, 25 November 2019

A Purrfect Alibi by Leighann Dobbs

A Purrfect Alibi (The Oyster Cove Guesthouse Book 3)A Purrfect Alibi by Leighann Dobbs
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 219

Publisher - Bookouture

Source - Review copy

Blurb from Goodreads

Fortune tellers and mediums have descended on the Oyster Cove Guesthouse, determined to solve the mystery of local seafarer Jedediah Biddeford’s murder 300 years ago... especially if it leads them to the treasure he buried on the guesthouse grounds. New owner Josie Waters has suddenly got bigger problems than burning the breakfasts: she’s up to her elbows in tarot cards and tea leaves…

When one of the mediums is found dead with an ominous note nearby, everything points to Jedediah’s ghost being the culprit. Suddenly, Josie finds that the fate of her guesthouse depends on not one murder but two, and she’s not going to rely on a crystal ball for answers. Despite the fact that cookbooks and candlesticks keep mysteriously falling off tables, Josie is sure there’s no such thing as ghosts. But guesthouse cats Nero and Marlowe know better…

Aided by her mom and eccentric family friend Millie, Josie sets out to prove the identity of the killer without summoning any spirits. Luckily Nero and Marlowe know the truth about ghosts, ghouls and things that go bump in the night and they are on the case! Can they make Josie realize she is scratching up the wrong tree before the killer strikes again?



My Review

I came to this series with book two, I still need to read the first one but this picks up from pretty much where book two left off. I would advise reading book two as so many characters from that book are in this one and totally relevant to just about everything in this book.


We are back at the Oyster Cove Guesthouse, after the body of Jedediah Biddeford’s was uncovered (he went missing 300 years ago) a bunch of mediums and psychics have descended to solve the murder or more likely, find clues of his hidden treasure. Tensions are high, Josie Waters - the new owner of Oyster Cove is glad of the business but just wants to get by with no murders, mayhem or trouble.

When one of the group is murdered Josie finds the police and press and her place, business is under threat and she is in fear of her loan being pulled. Her resident cats Nero and Marlowe are at the ready to help the clueless humans as well as a ghost this time!

I do love this wee series, the cats get some chapters too where they discuss the ongoing investigation, the police one and their own. Whilst this may be off putting for some I absolutely love it, I love animals and these two and their wee pals trying to help the clueless humans - whats not to love.

These books remind me of murder she wrote, a fair few suspects along the way, some personal aspects and there isn't gore or anything. Just a bit of crime with some attitudey cats and lets not forget Josie's mum and her pal who do a bit of amateur investigating of their own.

This wee book has everything, murder, secrets, lies, a ghost, investigating cats, meddling relatives, psychics and ever searching for Jedediah's treasure (from the previous book). 4/5 for me this time, this is absolutely a series I will be following and hope it runs for years.


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Saturday, 23 November 2019

The Chain by Adrian McKinty

The ChainThe Chain by Adrian McKinty
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2 days

Pages - 357

Publisher - Mulholland Books

Source - Bought copy

Blurb from Goodreads

You just dropped off your child at the bus stop. A panicked stranger calls your phone. Your child has been kidnapped, and the stranger explains that their child has also been kidnapped, by a completely different stranger. The only way to get your child back is to kidnap another child within 24 hours. Your child will be released only when the next victim's parents kidnap yet another child, and most importantly, the stranger explains, if you don't kidnap a child, or if the next parents don't kidnap a child, your child will be murdered. You are now part of The Chain.



My Review

Rachel has a lot going on, health issues hanging over her, her ex husband and his new girlfriend and now her child has been kidnapped. The kidnappers inform her she is now part of the chain, they have had to kidnap her daughter to get their kid back. Any attempt to contact the police or anyone who could risk the chain will result in her child being killed. It isn't about the money, it is about the chain and in order to get her child back Rachel will need to bring this parental hell down on another family. She has no choice, Rachel needs to kidnap another child!

Ohhh the book kicks off really quickly to be honest, we flip between mostly Rachel and her struggling to come to terms with her predicament and everything she has to do. We hear little bits from her child, from just before to during her kidnapping as well as another character we know don't really know much about until later and a wee bit from the "bad guys", all told in third person.

For me I just couldn't see where this was going, where it would end, how it would resolve and it is always good when a book keeps you guessing like that. You feel the utter distraught Rachel is feeling and the horrific choices forced upon her. I am not even a parent and I had baited breath at points.

It isn't action action action as we follow the parent but there is plenty to keep you hooked and firing through page after page. I couldn't wait to see where it would end and I believe this is being made into a tv series or movie, cannot wait to see it. I have heard some grumbles about how it was round up and you know I have had a few flinging my toys out the pram at how some books end but I really liked this and thought it was done well. I had a few gasp out loud moments as well as a bit of rage at some characters. Some of the plot is a bit out there but it made for brilliant reading and sometimes truth is stranger than fiction so anything goes! Always good when a book gets reactions from you, 4/5 for me this time, I think this is my first by this author but I will be checking out their other stuff!

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Friday, 22 November 2019

Into The Dark by Karen Rose Blog Tour




Today is my stop on the blog tour for Into The Dark by Karen Rose, please check the other stops as we all offer different content. For my stop I have my review, enjoy!





About the book:

Sunday Times bestselling author Karen Rose is back with the gripping fifth installment of the Cincinnati series. Fans of James Patterson, Karin Slaughter and Tess Gerritsen will love this unputdownable race to stop a serial killer out for revenge.

When Michael Rowland saves his younger brother Joshua from the clutches of his stepfather, he runs for his life with his brother in his arms. From his hiding place he sees the man who has made their lives a misery taken away in the trunk of a stranger's car, never to be seen again. Doctor Dani Novak has been keeping soccer coach Diesel Kennedy at arm's length to protect him from her dark secrets. When they are brought together by the two young brothers who desperately need their help, it seems they might finally be able to leave their damaged pasts behind them.

But as the only witness to the man who kidnapped and murdered his stepfather, Michael is in danger. As Diesel and Dani do all that they can to protect him, their own investigation into the murder uncovers a much darker web of secrets than they could have imagined. As more bodies start to appear it's clear that this killer wants vengeance. And will wipe out anything that gets in his way...

Into the Dark (Romantic Suspense #23; Cincinnati #5)Into the Dark by Karen Rose
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - < 3 days as able

Pages - 480

Publisher - Headline

Source - Review copy

Blurb from Goodreads

When Michael Rowland saves his younger brother Joshua from the clutches of his stepfather, he runs for his life with his brother in his arms. From his hiding place he sees the man who has made their lives a misery taken away in the trunk of a stranger's car, never to be seen again.

Doctor Dani Novak has been keeping soccer coach Diesel Kennedy at arm's length to protect him from her dark secrets. When they are brought together by the two young brothers who desperately need their help, it seems they might finally be able to leave their damaged pasts behind them.

But as the only witness to the man who kidnapped and murdered his stepfather, Michael is in danger. As Diesel and Dani do all that they can to protect him, their own investigation into the murder uncovers a much darker web of secrets than they could have imagined.

As more bodies start to appear it's clear that this killer wants vengeance. And will wipe out anything that gets in his way...




My Review

All Michael has ever done is look out for his wee brother Joshua, their mother is more interested in her addictions and husband than she is in her children's well being or needs. Michael has suffered horrific abuse at his stepdad's hands and won't allow the same to happen to his brother. When he stops his stepfather from bringing harm to Joshua he unwittingly comes onto the radar of a killer who will stop at nothing to remain free.

If you have followed the series you will know the the main characters Dani and Diesel, we have all bee rooting for them from the earlier books but Dani keeps Diesel at arms length. In this book we get a bit more insight into why and hope that maybe this time we will get the union we have all been hoping for. Michael and Joshua end up crossing paths with Dani and Diesel, the killing is hunting down people who threaten his freedom and the boys need protecting, Dani, Diesel and the team are the perfect candidates for the job.

There is abuse mentioned in the book, sex scenes, love, relationships, friendships and if you have followed the previous books and series we get wee snippets of some of our previous much loved characters. The book is deep in some areas and some of the topics a bit hard hitting, sexual abuse, the impact of having a health condition that impacts on so many areas of your life but it has so many positives too. Strength, love, unity, friendship, personal growth and so much more. If you enjoy Rose's previous books you will love this, action, character growth/development, hearing from the bad guy's point of view. I look forward to Rose's next book and seeing what is in store for the characters we have grown to love along the years, 4.5/5 for me this time.

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