Wednesday 28 December 2022

The Little Christmas Village by Sue Moorcroft

The Little Village ChristmasThe Little Village Christmas by Sue Moorcroft
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 5 days

Pages - 368

Publisher - Avon Books UK

Source - Bought

Blurb from Goodreads

Alexia Kennedy – interior decorator extraordinaire – has been tasked with giving the little village of Middledip the community café it’s always dreamed of.

After months of fundraising, the villagers can’t wait to see work get started – but disaster strikes when every last penny is stolen. With Middledip up in arms at how this could have happened, Alexia feels ready to admit defeat.

But help comes in an unlikely form when woodsman, Ben Hardaker and his rescue owl Barney, arrive on the scene. Another lost soul who’s hit rock bottom, Ben and Alexia make an unlikely partnership.

However, they soon realise that a little sprinkling of Christmas magic might just help to bring this village – and their lives – together again…

Settle down with a mince pie and a glass of mulled wine as you devour this irresistibly festive Christmas tale. The perfect read for fans of Carole Matthews and Trisha Ashley.

My Review

Alexia is helping out the small village, she does interior designing, is pretty good at it and popular, this is her stop before moving onto bigger things. The village has raised funds to finally have their community cafe when disaster strikes and the money is robbed. Alexia finds it hampers her prospects and she feels she needs to do what she can to help.

So I wasn't expecting spice, there is a little bit of romantic/erotica at the start nothing extreme but just a headsup. Ben has recently fled to the village after a disaster in his own personal life, his uncle lives there and he ends up with a little dependent called Barney, oh my I LOVED Barney, you know a wee character that doesn't have a huge part at all in the story but when appears totally steals the show? That's Barney for me. Anyway I digress, so Alexia is at her wits end, Ben steps up to the plate to help where he can and whilst him and Alexia butt heads but have the common goal of trying to help with the cafe getting sorted.

Jodie, Alexia's room mate I really had a hard time with, I found her really unlikeable and I get she has stuff going on and you learn more as you get in but yeah not her biggest fan. We all know a Jodie and I think if you have or had one in your life your eyeball may twitch a tad!

The characters are quite human, they have love, compassion, reactive, some are selfish, some are shady just like real life! It was nice to escape into the village, envelope into other peoples dramas and leave your own for a wee bit, 4/5 for me this time.

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Monday 19 December 2022

The Saviour by J R Ward

The Savior (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #17)The Savior by J.R. Ward
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read -

Pages - 479

Publisher - Gallery books

Source - bought

Blurb from Goodreads

In the venerable history of the Black Dagger Brotherhood, only one male has ever been expelled—but Murhder’s insanity gave the Brothers no choice. Haunted by visions of a female he could not save, he nonetheless returns to Caldwell on a mission to right the wrong that ruined him. However, he is not prepared for what he must face in his quest for redemption.

Dr. Sarah Watkins, researcher at a biomedical firm, is struggling with the loss of her fellow scientist fiancé. When the FBI starts asking about his death, she questions what really happened and soon learns the terrible truth: Her firm is conducting inhumane experiments in secret and the man she thought she knew and loved was involved in the torture.

As Murhder and Sarah’s destinies become irrevocably entwined, desire ignites between them. But can they forge a future that spans the divide separating the two species? And as a new foe emerges in the war against the vampires, will Murhder return to his Brothers... or resume his lonely existence forevermore?

My Review

So this is book 17 in the series, you don't have to have read all the previous ones however it does help as there is so much going on and back stories with the characters. We had seen Murhder referred to previously, he is no longer in the brotherhood and had some problems with his mental health but we don't know everything just he has a history with Xhex John's good lady. Introducing Dr. Sarah Watkins, her partner died she flung herself into work and now that work has brought her into the way of danger and the path of the unthinkable........vampires.

This book gives us a lot of what we have come to expect, there is passion, erotica (graphic adult scenes so not for the easily offended), relationships, cross over of the human into the vampire circle. We learn more about Murhder's back story (did I say that I feel like I said that). There is an interesting look at the cruelty of humans, study of vampires and we touched on this previously in another book in the series.

Love story, violence, family, history, vampires still battling the Lessers but from the previous book we know we also now have a new enemy. For this book, whilst I think this one took a wee bit to get into its groove it is a good part of the series and a few more bits filled in.

The way we rounded out I am looking forward to the next book that picks this thread up, sometimes the book brings in a new character to our established ones and hopefully book 18 picks up where we left this one off, 4/5 for me.

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Friday 16 December 2022

Additional giveaway December

Sorry this is a bit later and it won't be in time for Christmas but it means you have something to look forward to in January. Up for grabs is as pictured below.

X2 bars of chocolate, not everyone likes a particlular brand so I got two different (1 bar each) Milka, my pal raves about and Galaxy. Perfect for sharing?

x1 Peppermint exfoliating foot peel, unisex and most people love peeling.

Deep cleansing skin wipes, everybody is all about skin care these days.

x1 thermal socks as pictured.

x1 adult sized black gloves

Also if you let me know what your fave genre is I will try include a wee extra. Open worldwide, good luck all. As usual use the Rafflecopter below to enter. Please only select the entries you have completed as we have had to disqualified more than a few entries in the past. xxx

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday 14 December 2022

The Real Life Murder Clubs: Citizens solving True Crimes by Nicola Stow

The Real-Life Murder Clubs: Citizens Solving True CrimesThe Real-Life Murder Clubs: Citizens Solving True Crimes by Nicola Stow
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 3 days

Pages - 240

Publisher - Ad Lib Publishers

Source - Netgalley

Blurb from Goodreads

The story behind real-life clubs of ordinary citizens who come together to solve true crime mysteries—including the sleuths behind Don't F**k with Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer

In 2019, Netflix had a hit with documentary series Don't F**k with Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer. It was based on one of Canada’s most infamous crimes: the 2012 murder of thirty-three-year-old Lin Jun by his porn-star boyfriend, Luka Magnotta, in Montreal. Magnotta filmed himself killing and (apparently) eating parts of his victim; he also mailed Jun’s feet and hands to two Canadian political parties and two elementary schools.

Prior to Jun’s murder, though, Magnotta had anonymously posted online videos of himself killing kittens. Horrified Facebook sleuths worked tirelessly to uncover the kitten-killer’s identity and location. Armchair detective Deanne Thompson, a data analyst for a Vegas casino by day, spent countless hours researching Lithuanian doorknobs, among other things, to help identify items in Magnotta’s videos during her quest to unmask him.

Nicola Stow reveals the fascinating stories behind this and and similar cases in which ordinary citizens, in real-life murder clubs, as in Richard Osman’s bestselling fiction, help to investigate crimes, both recent and cold cases. Includes the cases of Casey Anthony, John Wayne Gacy, JonBenét Ramsey, Golden State Killer, Boston Marathon bombings, and many more.

My Review

Just going to say to start off I never watched the Netflix show Don't F*ck with Cats, I heard about what happened and even though it is brief I just couldn't. So with that in mind it does mention in the book what he did to those poor wee kittens and it does mention harm to animals so just an fyi (it is something I struggle with reading so just a headsup. I have read a few books that talk about sleuths but if you haven't heard about them don't worry the book is a fantastic introduction to them and so much.

Ordinary people who have their own lives and often own jobs (some retired) get into sleuthing or armchair detectiving in different ways and reasons. If you like reaching about true crime you will really enjoy this book.

It talks about some very well known serial killers and some cases you may not be overly familiar with. It tells us about their community, forums available, what they do, how they came about (one of Ted Bundy near miss would be victims is involved in one) and some of the Jane and John Doe's they have identified, how they managed to do it. They discuss how they help the police and how some police do not want or avoid their assistance and how some are really grateful and or happy to work with them.

Michelle McNamara was an author (and famous husband actor Patton Oswald) who worked on so much research on The Golden State Killer and was working on her book "I'll Be Gone In The Dark" - I hadn't heard of it really and after reading this book I bought it. It has so much in it and I don't want to go into so as not to spoil anything. Absolutely for fans or true crime and if you are into or interested in sleuthing too its a double reason. 4.5/5 for me this time, first time reading this author, I would read her again.

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Wednesday 7 December 2022

The Dark Game by Jonathan Janz

The Dark GameThe Dark Game by Jonathan Janz
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 3 days

Pages - 352

Publisher - Flame Tree Press

Source - Bought

Blurb from Goodreads

Ten writers are selected for a summer-long writing retreat with the most celebrated and reclusive author in the world. Their host is the legendary Roderick Wells. Handsome, enigmatic, and fiendishly talented, Wells promises to teach his pupils about writing, about magic, about the untapped potential that each of them possesses. Most of all, he plans to teach them about the darkness in their hearts.

The writers think they are signing up for a chance at riches and literary prestige. But they are really entering the twisted imagination of a deranged genius, a lethal contest pitting them against one another in a struggle for their sanity and their lives. They have entered into Roderick Wells’s most brilliant and horrible creation...The Dark Game.

My Review

Ten writers are selected (invite only) to go to one of the most successful but recluse authors mansion/private grounds. They are under strict instructions, secrecy to get there, no phones but the prize, one of them will have ultimate success just like one lucky author who won before. Fame, riches, success, the challenges will be grueling, the demands far more than any of them could imagine but it will be worth it right?

Roderick Wells is the man of the moment, older author, been around a long time and keeps away from the world so all of these authors cannot wait to get started. Wells can be rude, abrupt but he is an old man and amazing at his craft. The authors note his older appearance and signs of ailing health but the longer they spend the more they notice changes.

We hear from the individual authors and they show sides of their personalities and motives/hopes for personal gains than what they present infront of the group. They are not the nicest of people and those we do like we hear more about as the book goes on, they all have something in their past and or struggles with their writing.

As one by one authors *drop out* of the competition the others, at least some, start to question their absence/disappearance. The book gets dark quite quickly and horrors come from the pages to terrorize the authors and us readers. We get a story within a story as Well's pushes them to create stories that push their abilities and tap into darker/raw talent. The staff and house have creepy tones and whilst it is a completely different story it gave me an echo of that movie with Vincent Price where they have to stay/survive overnight to win the cash. This is over the summer rather than overnight and instead of a creepy house the things in here are far darker and dangerous. I think this is my 2nd or 3rd book by this author (I even have a wee bookmark of him to go with it) I have another one or two on my tbrm and look forward to reading them. Creepy, dark, shocking and absolutely of the things that go bump in the night although for Janz horror things they don't always wait for the nighttime, 4/5 for me.

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Saturday 3 December 2022

Christmas comp x1 bookmark

The competition is for ONE of the three bookmarks shown. 1 - snowman 2. snowflake 3. stocking.

The competition is open worldwide.

It will run for one week only as so many postal strikes and ideally we want the bookmark to get to the winner asap. Please comment which bookmark you would choose should you win.

Good Luck all, use the Rafflecopter below to enter. As usual the more entries you complete the more chances you have xxx

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday 1 December 2022

A Mother's Christmas Wish by Glenda Young

Today is my stop on the blog tour for A Mother's Christmas Wish by Glenda Young, for my stop I have my review, non spoiler as always, enjoy.

About the author:

Glenda Young credits her local library in the village of Ryhope, where she grew up, for giving her a love of books. She still lives close by in Sunderland and often gets her ideas for her stories on long bike rides along the coast. A life-long fan of Coronation Street, she runs two hugely popular fan websites.

Social Media Links

For updates on what Glenda is working on, visit her website and to find out more find her on Facebook/GlendaYoungAuthor and Twitter @flaming_nora.

Buy links for the book (out now) Amazon UK click HERE or Amazon US click HERE.

A Mother's Christmas WishA Mother's Christmas Wish by Glenda Young
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2 days

Pages - 401

Publisher - Headline

Source - Review book

Blurb from Back cover

"I hope this Christmas is better than last year's."

Following a scandalous affair, wayward Emma Devaney is sent in disgrace from her home in Ireland to Ryhope, where she will live with her widowed aunt, Bessie Brogan, and help run her pub. Bessie is kind but firm, and at first Emma rebels against her lack of freedom. Struggling to fit in, she turns to the wrong person for comfort, and becomes pregnant.

Accepting she must embrace her new life for the sake of her baby, Emma pours her energy into making the pub thrive and helping heal the fractured relationship between Bessie and her daughters. She catches the attention of Robert, a gruff but sincere farmer, who means to win her heart.

As December approaches, thankful for the home and acceptance she's found, Emma is determined to bring not just her family, but the whole Ryhope community, together to celebrate - and to make one very special mother's Christmas dreams come true.

My Review

Set in 1923 lordy lord Emma is a bit of a riot, totally wild. Living in a small town with her mum (her dad ran off a while back causing local tongues wagging), a proud lady Emma does one of the worst things ever. Not only caught frolicking in a secret relationship but the person ooft huge scandal. Shipped off to her aunt even her trip and arrival there is shocking and sets tongues wagging. She is not like a lady of her time, she has fire, attitude and a longing for adventure!

The book covers a lot of issues and I have to be honest I wasn't a huge Emma fan to begin with. Knowing she left her mum and village in a scandal you think she would be super set on making a good impression and wow is her entrance to her aunts anything but. That being said I think the author did a pretty good job because we seem her go on a pretty big personal journey. She still remains spikey and noones doormat however she is very focused on family and doing the right thing.

The book has some shady characters, people taking advantage, people struggling with grief, family troubles, money troubles but it also deals with community, love, redemption, health, friendship. I loved Bessie and I think she stole the show, despite Emma being the forefront main character I felt Bessie was right up there with her, she is such a good egg. Very unjudgmental, warm, mothering, supportive but also stubborn and doesn't suffer fools. It was nice to see strong women for the time period and doing things like running a bar, dealing with the things that come with it. Emma really shone in parts too, being sent there by her mum was the making of them all and I loved the family themes that ran strongly throughout. This was my first book by Young, it won't be my last. Emotive, moving, engaging and characters you either love or hate, 4.5/5 for me!

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