Thursday 31 October 2019

The Lost Ones by Anita Frank

You may have noticed a whole ton of us are sharing our review and love for this book today, enjoy my review.

The Lost OnesThe Lost Ones by Anita Frank
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - as able over 4 days

Pages - 464

Publisher - H Q Stories

Source - Review copies

Blurb from Goodreads

Some houses are never at peace.

England, 1917

Reeling from the death of her fiancĂ©, Stella Marcham welcomes the opportunity to stay with her pregnant sister, Madeleine, at her imposing country mansion, Greyswick – but she arrives to discover a house of unease and her sister gripped by fear and suspicion.

Before long, strange incidents begin to trouble Stella – sobbing in the night, little footsteps on the stairs – and as events escalate, she finds herself drawn to the tragic history of the house.

Aided by a wounded war veteran, Stella sets about uncovering Greyswick’s dark and terrible secrets – secrets the dead whisper from the other side…

My Review

Stella is reeling from the loss of her fiance, mourning and still a bit lost when she is invited to go and stay at the mansion with her pregnant sister Madeleine. Not long after arriving she finds the house and people, bar her sister, to be unwelcoming. Strange happenings that are being dismissed and Madeleine is being more and more alienated when no one believes her. When Stella witnesses something she can no longer deny there is a presence in the house but what does it want and what secrets are the house hiding?

Ooooh I love a ghost story but even for those who aren't huge lovers of this type of stories this one has so much to offer. Tragedy, family, secrets, hostility between the servants and those they serve. Unexplained happenings and the ghost aspects are only small in relation to the whole story. There is so much emotion in this and I love love love Stella, for women of their time they are meant to be meek, serving and non opinionated, Stella doesn't fit into that box and she is a passionate live wire.

Some passages and scenes are so eerie you can't help but being drawn in, emotion is tangled throughout with some hints of unease/spookiness. It is the perfect read for someone who isn't into horror but wishes to dip their toe in. A dark tale intertwined with love, loss, relationships, family and secrets primarily based in a big old house. Perfect for an October read and ticks just about every box for most readers, check it out, something for everything 4.5/5 for me this time.

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Monday 28 October 2019

Living a Lie by Josephine Cox

Living a LieLiving a Lie by Josephine Cox
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2 days

Pages - 480

Publisher - Headline

Source - gift

Blurb from Goodreads

In 1975 Lucinda Marsh throws herself in front of a speeding train leaving her twelve-year-old daughter Kitty alone, confused and abandoned - save for a selfish aunt, a violent father and her childhood sweetheart Harry Jenkins.

When Kitty is sent to an orphanage after the death of her father, she meets Georgie, a lively cockney girl who, through the following difficult years, becomes her loyal friend. Convinced that her feelings for Harry will ruin the brilliant future that lies ahead of him, Kitty turns her back on his love. Together with Georgie, she strives to find fulfilment in other places and other relationships, but when fate throws her back together with Harry she begins to wonder if true love can ever die . .

My Review

We open with a suicide, leaving little Kitty without her mother, a father who is consumed with anger/grief/self pity and an aunt who has enough on her plate without Kitty adding to it. Kitty finds herself being shipped off to an orphanage and this is her story of what comes next.

Living a Lie is all about Kitty's life, her relationships, actions and consequences and family, those by blood and those we choose. Kitty is a good wee soul and the reader finds her being taken advantage of at times provoking rage and a thirst for retribution on her behalf.

A look at the darker side of (some of) humanity, the goodness, endurance and of course love, the good and bad kinds and how it can impact or guide our choices in life. 3.5/5 for me this time, read Cox before and I will read her again.

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Thursday 24 October 2019

Hollow Kingdom by Kira Jane Buxton

Hollow KingdomHollow Kingdom by Kira Jane Buxton
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 320

Publisher - Headline

Source - Review copy

Blurb from Goodreads

One pet crow fights to save humanity from an apocalypse in this uniquely hilarious debut from a genre-bending literary author.

S.T., a domesticated crow, is a bird of simple pleasures: hanging out with his owner Big Jim, trading insults with Seattle's wild crows (those idiots), and enjoying the finest food humankind has to offer: Cheetos ®.

Then Big Jim's eyeball falls out of his head, and S.T. starts to feel like something isn't quite right. His most tried-and-true remedies--from beak-delivered beer to the slobbering affection of Big Jim's loyal but dim-witted dog, Dennis--fail to cure Big Jim's debilitating malady. S.T. is left with no choice but to abandon his old life and venture out into a wild and frightening new world with his trusty steed Dennis, where he discovers that the neighbors are devouring each other and the local wildlife is abuzz with rumors of dangerous new predators roaming Seattle. Humanity's extinction has seemingly arrived, and the only one determined to save it is a foul-mouthed crow whose knowledge of the world around him comes from his TV-watching education.

Hollow Kingdom is a humorous, big-hearted, and boundlessly beautiful romp through the apocalypse and the world that comes after, where even a cowardly crow can become a hero.

My Review

Y'all know I love a zombie book (my blog has it's own tab just for these types of books) but this one is different from many of the others I have read. In fact is pretty much the first zombie book I have read like this. The main character and narrator of the book is a bird, a domesticated crow called S.T. (Shit Turd). He is a bit of a scardey, doesn't associate with his own kind and his whole world is his human Jim and Jim's daft dog Dennis. When Jim's eye falls out that is the first incline something isn't right. S.T. will need to venture out to try find medicine to help Jim, soon S.T. realises this isn't an isolated incident and him and Dennis will need to head out into the world if they have any chance of survival.

Sooo, humans actually don't play a huge part in the story, yes they are zombies and the animals need to keep out of their grabby, bitey mitts. The story focuses on S.T. and then Dennis as they attempt to make sense of what is/has happened and what they will do next. Some chapters let us hear from other animals as they experience the decline of interaction with their humans. As S.T. gets his head around what has happened he embarks on a mission and interacts with other animals he finds along they way as they try to adjust to a world without humans.

I did quite enjoy this to be honest although as the majority of characters are animals there is some animal fatalities which of course dampened my enjoyment. Even a passing animal I find hard to read if it passes or gets hurt so not a spoiler as much as a headsup. Lets face it a zombie book with humans you know there will be death(s) it is the nature of the story but almost all of our characters are animals.

A really unique approach to a zombie apocalyptic book giving us main characters as animals, I would love there to be a follow up and see what comes next. This is my first time reading this author, I would absolutely read them again, 3.5/5 for me this time.

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Wednesday 23 October 2019

Now We Are Dead by Stuart MacBride

Now We Are DeadNow We Are Dead by Stuart MacBride
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 4 days

Pages - 396

Publisher - Harper Collins

Source - Bought

Blurb from Goodreads

From the No. 1 bestselling author of the Logan McRae series, comes a standalone spinoff featuring DS Roberta Steel
Sergeant Roberta Steel has recently been demoted after being caught fitting up a suspect. The trouble is, the man she got sent down has had his sentence quashed now he’s back on the streets. And women are being attacked again. But if DS Steel goes anywhere near him his lawyers will get her thrown off the force for good.

The Powers That Be won’t listen to her not after what happened last time. Besides, she’s got more than enough ongoing cases to keep her busy perhaps she should focus on solving them instead of harassing an innocent man?

But Steel knows he’s guilty and the longer he gets away with it, the more women will suffer. The question is: how much is she willing to sacrifice to stop him?

My Review

DS Steel lost her title after being exposed of setting up a criminal. Doesn't matter he is a filthy rapist and guilty of sin but not of what she set him up for. Now he is out and women are being attacked again, Steel has to leave him be or be seen as harassing him but when did Steel ever do as she was told.

A wee standalone for Steel with the tiniest cameo of Logan, we see the team working along together to solve cases. The sweary Scottish banter we have come to know and love from MacBride over the years well the police are trying to use some other words to replace the swearies.

Steel is one of those characters you can't help but route for because even when she is in the wrong he heart or morals are still in the right place. She is a good woman with a sailors gob on her and often goes about things the wrong way but with her heart in the right place. I enjoyed it, action, banter, good vs bad, 4 stars for me this time. If you haven't read any of the previous books you can totally get away with picking this up and starting with this one!

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Saturday 19 October 2019

Man At The Door by Desmond P Ryan Blog Tour

Today is my turn on the blog tour, please check out the other stops as we all offer different content. For my stop I have my review, enjoy!

Blurb Man At The Door, the third in Desmond P. Ryan’s Mike O’Shea Crime Fiction Series, Detective Mike O’Shea solves a homicide, juggles an increasingly complex personal life, and continues to hunt for the cop-killer who has remained at large for the past thirteen years.

It all begins at 6:10 a.m. on a Friday morning when Glen Brebeuf calls demanding answers. He had reported his former lover, Elizabeth MacDonald, missing the previous day and Detective Mike O’Shea finds himself cleaning up the mess some rookie had made of the initial call.

Within hours, Mike takes over the investigation and is on the doorstep of the missing elderly woman’s home, determining that Elizabeth MacDonald—Sibby Mac to her friends—is not missing.

Sibby Mac has been murdered.

Along with Detective Ron Roberts and Detective Sergeant Amanda Black, Mike kicks the investigation into high gear. Very quickly, the ex-lover and a high-profile political figure become prime suspects, but, without a body, would there be enough evidence to charge either of them?

A day spent sifting through rancid garbage at one of the city dumps comes up empty for Mike and Ron, but a foul-smelling steamer trunk reported in another jurisdiction provides the eureka moment they need to proceed.

Meanwhile, Mike is doing double-duty, still investigating what he believes to be a link between the accused he has up in court now and his old partner’s killer.

And then there is his mother. Sensing that her son needs her, Mary-Margaret O’Shea has moved into Mike’s home—and his personal and professional life—pending further notice.

As the pieces of the Sibby Mac investigation start to fall into place, Mike follows up on a hunch and decides to take a detour on his way to work one morning. Using every trick in the book, he ends up saving a life, nearly ending another, and almost getting himself killed in the process.

Whether as a stand-alone or as your next step in the Mike O’Shea Crime Fiction Series, Man At The Door will keep you reading far too late into the night following Detective Mike O’Shea through the twists and turns of a homicide investigation. Once you’re done, take a breath and get reading for Blind Spot, coming out in early 2020!

About The Author

For almost thirty years, Desmond P. Ryan began every day of his working life with either a victim waiting in a hospital emergency room, or a call to a street corner or a blood-soaked room where someone had been left for dead. Murder, assaults on a level that defied humanity, sexual violations intended to demean, shame, and haunt the individuals who were no more than objects to the offenders: all in a day’s work.

It was exhilarating, exhausting, and often heartbreaking.

As a Detective with the Toronto Police Service, Desmond P. Ryan wrote thousands of reports detailing the people, places, and events that led up to the moment he came along. He investigated the crimes and wrote synopses for guilty pleas detailing the circumstances that brought the accused individuals before the Courts. He also wrote a number of files to have individuals deemed either Not Criminally Responsible due to mental incapacity, or Dangerous Offenders to be held in custody indefinitely.

Now, as a retired investigator with three decades of research opportunities under his belt, Desmond P. Ryan writes crime fiction.

Real Detective. Real Crime. Fiction.

The Man at the DoorThe Man at the Door by Desmond P. Ryan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages -

Publisher - Ryan Publishing

Source - Review copy

Blurb from Goodreads

It has been a long road for Detective Mike O'Shea who is still recovering from a beating. He is on half duty when a call comes in from an elderly man. He says that his best friend, Elizabeth MacDonald is missing and he presumes she is dead.

Mike is skeptical but agrees to look into the case. When he enters the home, there is no one home and everything looks OK but it isn't. Very small dots of blood are found.

The neighbor who reported the woman missing says he goes to have lunch with her every week but this time he met a man at the door who said he was there to water her plants since she was away. That was always Glen's job and he immediately knew something was wrong.

Mike uncovers a lot of clues in his search. Many of the clues he finds have nothing to do with the crime, it has to do with him and how he will live his life now.

My Review

This is the second book I have read by this author featuring Detective Mike O'Shea, I think I read book one and maybe missed the book inbetween. Anyways a good many years has passed since I left Mike and a lot has transpired. He is back to work after a horrific beating and still suffering from the side effects. Technically on light duties he investigates a "missing person" an older lady called "Sibby" Elizabeth MacDonald but the reported, her friend Glen, believes she is dead. Mike starts digging and soon finds himself in the midst of a proper investigation.

So we have a lot more of the personal side in this book, recovering from long lasting injuries, his wife has left him, he just wants to do his job and now his mother, Margaret, has come to stay to look after him. Not going to lie, his mum Margaret who isn't a main character absolutely steals the show. I LOVED the parts she was in, she is an absolute hoot, she cracks me up and I laughed out loud more than a few times at some of the lines she comes away with.

Glen seems a bit of a dodgy character and something just a bit not right feeling with him, Mike has that impression right off. Like, dislike or loathe all of the characters are well carved and we learn a bit more about Mike, I think I need to get the book I haven't read to fill some of my timeline gaps between the two stories. I tweeted when I was reading and the author says Mike's mum WILL be getting her own wee cozy type serious, I am delighted, she is bloody fabulous often much to Mikes's embaressment. A fun, well paced read with skullduggery, investigation, family, cops personal lives and a bit of well timed humour but the scene stealing mother. I do hope she does get her own series and look forward to whatever lies ahead for these characters, 4/5 for me this time.

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Thursday 17 October 2019

The Secrets of Midwives by Sally Hepworth

The Secrets of MidwivesThe Secrets of Midwives by Sally Hepworth
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 320

Publisher - Pan

Source - possibly a gift?

Blurb from Goodreads

A novel about three generations of midwives (a woman, her mother, and her grandmother) and the secrets they keep that push them apart and ultimately bind them together

THE SECRETS OF MIDWIVES tells the story of three generations of women devoted to delivering new life into the world—and the secrets they keep that threaten to change their own lives forever. Neva Bradley, a third-generation midwife, is determined to keep the details surrounding her own pregnancy—including the identity of the baby’s father— hidden from her family and co-workers for as long as possible. Her mother, Grace, finds it impossible to let this secret rest. For Floss, Neva’s grandmother and a retired midwife, Neva’s situation thrusts her back 60 years in time to a secret that eerily mirrors her granddaughter’s—a secret which, if revealed, will have life-changing consequences for them all. Will these women reveal their secrets and deal with the inevitable consequences? Or are some secrets best kept hidden?

My Review

Meet Neva, Grace (Neva's mum) and Floss (Grace's mum) three generations and all of them are midwives. They could not be more different, in personality, in their approach to their job, in their lives and how they interact with each other. Neva is private, contained, calls Grace Grace instead of mum, closer to her dad. Grace is very much loud, about and in among everything and Floss, Floss is 80 and goes with the flow. Family is everything, we all have secrets and some secrets threaten everything we have, know and love.

When Neva announces her pregnancy but states there is no father Grace will stop at nothing to know who is the dad and make sure Neva's baby has a father. Floss finds her granddaughter facing some of the issues she did and bringing back some memories she would much rather leave in the past.

In among all of that we have some glimpses of the actual job of midwives and at least one scene was really heart wrenching, I held my breath whilst reading it. The author creates a fabulous story with family dynamics, friendship, love, secrets, relationships, work ethics and actions and consequences. The women in the story are so different but have similarities and have a strong family unit despite being at arms length. I sank into the story pretty much from the first chapter and couldn't wait to see where it was going. 4/5 for me this time, this is my first time reading this author but it won't be my last!

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Thursday 10 October 2019

Vegas themed giveaway

As you guys know we recently went to Las Vegas, I love Las Vegas, think that was our 6th or 7th trip. I brought a few wee goodies back with me specifically for a wee giveaway.

Up for grabs, as pictured, is a big reg totebag, x1 mardi gras beads, x1 sleep mask and a Las Vegas beer cooler holder. Or if like, for your WKD bottle and it stops all the condensation soaking your hand.

Do not disturb mask.

Beads blue x1.

Drinks holder x1 with the Last Vegas strip on it, so pretty at night.

To enter, just use the Rafflecopter below, open to all, good luck.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday 8 October 2019

A Beautiful Corpse by Christi Daugherty

A Beautiful Corpse (Harper McClain, #2)A Beautiful Corpse by Christi Daugherty
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time take to read - in & out over 1 week (busy week)

Pages - 384

Publisher - Harper Collins

Source - Review Copy

Blurb from Goodreads

It’s a thin line between love and murder…

A murder that shocks a city…
Shots ring out on one of Savannah's most famous streets. A beautiful law student lies dead.

A case full of secrets and lies…
Three men close to the victim are questioned. All of them claim to love her. All of them say they are innocent of her murder.

An investigation that could prove deadly…
As crime reporter Harper McClain unravels a tangled story of obsession and jealousy, the killer focuses on her. He's already killed one woman. Will he kill another?

My Review

So this is book two in a series, you can get away with starting with this one but I would recommend the first. It is a good read but also it does give you a bit more understand why there is so much animosity and grief between McClain and the police. It is covered in the book but obviously not in depth like book one. Anyways back to this one, a young law student/bar maid is murdered and the police have their obvious suspect. With a little digging it isn't as clear cut as it initially seemed, following the story McClain is doing her best but is getting the cold and aggressive shoulder from most of the police. Her previous relationship is still hanging over her and she appears to be the target of unwanted attention. Danger is lurking everywhere for McClain but nothing will get in the way of a good story!

This is one of the few times I found book two actually better than the first, that said I did like book one I just found this one gave me much more. Maybe because I got to know the character(s) in book one and this one has a more personal side as well as murder/investigation. McClain has so much happening and is facing a lot of backlash and snash from what happened in book one. A lot of it unjustly so in my opinion, she is facing obstacle after obstacle and we see a more emotive side to her this time. In book one I thought she was quite harsh in how she went about her job, covering a story but this time I actually felt a bit for her.

I also love her name is McClain, always conjures up images from Die Hard and who doesn't love Die Hard! There are some shady characters in this one and it is a busy wee book, investigation into the murder, interviewing those close to the deceased, McClain's personal/work life woes and everything in between. I am so looking forward to book three, I hope there is a book three, quite invested in some of the characters and want to know what is coming next. Sometimes with books when you are left with an unfinished story line or two (I don't mean a cliffhanger, no spoilers) I usually get annoyed or frustrated, the way things have been done I am just looking forward to what may or may not come next, 4/5 for me this time!

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Friday 4 October 2019

Meet Miss Luna

2 weeks ago tomorrow this little fluff ball came into our lives, this piccy was taken an hour ago.

We had been to the Cats Protection for the first time that day and I was devastated. Just brought it home that Princess Trixie was never coming home and some of the stories and wee cats, it is just so so sad.

We had just arrived in Stirling when I got a message from a girl whose purse I had found and reunited her with, 5 years ago, had sent me a message on FB she had added me on there back when I reunited her purse. On the Tuesday she had uploaded a piccy asking what we thought she should call her new wee kitten, I opted for Luna (black and white, wee half moon) as did a few others, so Luna it was. Anyway long story short she was highly allergic and knew we had lost Trixie so sent a wee message in the hope we may be able to rehome wee paws. I couldn't believe it, so immediately after the show we drove to her home and brought home this wee ray of light.

She has settled right in, rules the roost, has the Mr wrapped around her wee paws (not that he would ever admit it). We have never had a kitten, Trixie was our first cat and she was 8 when we got her so this is a whole new ballgame for us.

She has no fear, no awareness of danger and can fit into the tiniest of spaces so we are on high alert all the time and she can't be left alone unsupervised but she is the cutest wee riot. My newest blogging assistant is super cute but needs a lot of training and constantly reminded we do not eat or bite books!

She is a fab wee snuggle buddy (when she is exhausted out by playing!).

We are so happy and blessed to be able to give a home to this wee love and once she is bigger (she is only 8 weeks old just now) we will see about adopting a sibling for her. Tomorrow is her first visit to the vet. So just thought I would introduce you to Miss Luna Paws incase you don't follow the other blog accounts and hadn't seen her yet.

Wednesday 2 October 2019

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E Harrow

Today is my stop on the blog tour for "The Ten Thousand Doors of January" by Alix E Harrow, how fabulous is that cover!

The Ten Thousand Doors of JanuaryThe Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2 days

Pages - 384

Publisher - Orbit

Source - Review book

Blurb from Goodreads

In the early 1900s, a young woman embarks on a fantastical journey of self-discovery after finding a mysterious book in this captivating and lyrical debut.

In a sprawling mansion filled with peculiar treasures, January Scaller is a curiosity herself. As the ward of the wealthy Mr. Locke, she feels little different from the artifacts that decorate the halls: carefully maintained, largely ignored, and utterly out of place.

Then she finds a strange book. A book that carries the scent of other worlds, and tells a tale of secret doors, of love, adventure and danger. Each page turn reveals impossible truths about the world and January discovers a story increasingly entwined with her own.

Lush and richly imagined, a tale of impossible journeys, unforgettable love, and the enduring power of stories awaits in Alix E. Harrow’s spellbinding debut–step inside and discover its magic.

My Review

You know how many times we have all wanted to find a magical world or door way to another place, welcome to "The Ten Thousand Doors of January" a debut that takes you on that journey. All January wants is to go travelling with her dad instead she is stuck behind in the big house with the beautiful artefacts and her guardian, Mr Locke. As the chapters go on we discover what January's dad does for Mr Locke, the society Mr Locke is part of and some of the items dottered around the house.

The book has different timelines, different worlds and characters and it took me a wee bit to get into the flow when we weren't following January. I love the idea of doors to other times/worlds and there is a lot of emotion as well as magic and creativity in this story. It absolutely does not read like a debut, beautifully created and themes that cross over, like an onion there are many layers.

The book covers race, grief, societal classes, family, loss, love, secrets, history, magic, evil and that is just the surface. I love mystical, magic with sentiment but adventure, action and a story that keeps you from knowing where it is going or what is coming next, Harrow gives all of that. I will be keeping an active eye out for her next offerings and whilst there isn't a follow up in the plans I like in hope, 4/5 for me!

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