Monday 27 February 2023

Midnight Crossroad by Charlaine Harris

Midnight Crossroad (Midnight, Texas, #1)Midnight Crossroad by Charlaine Harris
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - in and out over 4 days

Pages - 305

Publisher - Orion Publisher

Source - Bought

Blurb from Goodreads

From Charlaine Harris, the bestselling author who created Sookie Stackhouse and her world of Bon Temps, Louisiana, comes a darker locale - populated by more strangers than friends. But then, that’s how the locals prefer it...
Welcome to Midnight, Texas, a town with many boarded-up windows and few full-time inhabitants, located at the crossing of Witch Light Road and Davy Road. It’s a pretty standard dried-up western town.

There’s a pawnshop (someone lives in the basement and is seen only at night). There’s a diner (people who are just passing through tend not to linger). And there’s new resident Manfred Bernardo, who thinks he’s found the perfect place to work in private (and who has secrets of his own).

Stop at the one traffic light in town, and everything looks normal. Stay awhile, and learn the truth...

My Review

Welcome to Midnight Crossing, a small town in book one of a new (well new to me) series. We have a psychic or is it a scammer? a witch and a vampire all living in the one wee town because Midnight Crossroad is the perfect place to go when you need to get away. A missing person, a new arrival, a very special wee cat, some small minded people, some trouble and a whole lot of someone has something they are keeping to themselves.

So I haven't read any of her other books, this was my first, I am led to believe some of these characters appear in other series but I don't think any spoilers are here. Friendships, relationships, magic, murder, mayhem, a little bit of mystery and an absolute wee show stealer in the cat. I love animals and this wee pair of paws is a special little star so I hope to see more in the other books.

Short chapters, a bit of a cozy mystery type feel with little snippets dark than a usual cozy. I did like it and will be reading more of her stuff, pretty sure I have the vampire books up the stair, 3.5/5 for me.

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Friday 24 February 2023

Hanging Out by Sheila Liming blog tour

Today is my turn on the blog tour for Hanging Out by Sheila Liming, non fiction.

For my stop I have my review.

Hanging Out: The Radical Power of Killing TimeHanging Out: The Radical Power of Killing Time by Sheila Liming
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 4 days

Pages - 224

Publisher - Melville House

Source - Review copy

Blurb from Goodreads

A smart and funny manifesto about the simple art of hanging out and how our collective social experiences can be transformed into acts of resistance and solidarity, from a brilliant young feminist critic.

Almost every day it seems that our world becomes more fractured, more digital, and more chaotic. Sheila Liming has the answer: we need to hang out more.

Starting with the assumption that play is to children as hanging out is to adult, Liming makes a brilliant case for the necessity of unstructured social time as a key element of our cultural vitality. The book asks questions like what is hanging out? why is it important? why do we do it? how do we do it? and examines the various ways we hang out -- in groups, online, at parties, at work.

Hanging Out: The Radical Power of Killing Time makes an intelligent case for the importance of this most casual of social structures, and shows us how just getting together can be a potent act of resistance all on its own.

My Review

A non fiction memoir style book centred around Liming's life stories centering around hanging out, socialising, social media, parties, the internet. I have taken to reading a bit more non fiction, celebs, mental health, healthcare stories and this one structures and reads different from them all.

Some of the chapters are almost essay like in the structure, approach or theme. She examines the way hanging out has changed, societal pressures - how not having say Facebook can find you excluded from parties/social events when they are advertised/invites via that medium. How it used to be, drop in notes at dookits and some of her own personal stories/experiences woven in.

We have some name dropping, dabbles with fame, philosophical chat. She also pulls reference from books/movies to back up or strengthen some of her own musing/findings.

Like I say its quite different to some of the non fictions I have read, some of the chapters I could read in one go, others I needed to dip in and out of. I have taken a few notes of some of the stories so I can check them out. She makes you reconsider how you hang about and ways to change your currents, putting the phone down, the online interactions and bringing back face to face. It is an interesting read, different.

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Sunday 19 February 2023

The Seven Ages of Death by Richard Shepherd

The Seven Ages of DeathThe Seven Ages of Death by Richard Shepherd
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 5 days

Pages - 408

Publisher - Penguin

Source - Bought

Blurb from Goodreads

Through 24 intriguing, never-before-told cases, Britain's top forensic pathologist Dr. Richard Shepherd takes us on a journey through life in death.

From old to young, murder to misadventure, and from illness to accidental death, each body can reveal something: about human development, about mortality, about its owner's life story, and even about Shepherd himself.

From the author of comes a powerful, moving and above all reassuring book uncovering the secrets of death - how to understand it, postpone it, and, when our time comes (as it must), how to embrace it as the last great adventure.

My Review

I have read his first book and seen the tv programmes where he discusses famous autopsies so I knew I was buying this when I seen it. I just want to warn/heads up that the start of this book discusses a baby death and in the mortuary and details, the book is about death/autopsies etc and I know some people find children hard to read.

The book covers different cases and at least one high profile (I had to Google as I didn't know of them), you get details about the body, how areas works depending on what he is discussing at the time. This is all known if you are familiar with his works.

What I would say is this one gives you a bit more about the author, he admits to some medical stuff of his own, things happening and going wrong with his own body as he ages. Some people will like this change some won't, I didn't mind but I did find this book had less pathology/cases than the first or maybe just less depth. For me it had a different feel, Still interesting, still would read another book if he puts it out but for me 3/5 this time.

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Wednesday 15 February 2023

Reprieve by James Han Mattson

ReprieveReprieve by James Han Mattson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2 days

Pages - 416

Publisher - Bloomsbury Publishing

Source - Bought

Blurb from Goodreads

A chilling and blisteringly relevant literary novel of social horror centered around a brutal killing that takes place in a full-contact haunted escape room—a provocative exploration of capitalism, hate politics, racial fetishism, and our obsession with fear as entertainment.

On April 27, 1997, four contestants make it to the final cell of the Quigley House, a full-contact haunted escape room in Lincoln, Nebraska, made famous for its monstrosities, booby-traps, and ghoulishly costumed actors. If the group can endure these horrors without shouting the safe word, “reprieve,” they’ll win a substantial cash prize—a startling feat accomplished only by one other group in the house’s long history. But before they can complete the challenge, a man breaks into the cell and kills one of the contestants.

Those who were present on that fateful night lend their points of view: Kendra Brown, a teenager who’s been uprooted from her childhood home after the sudden loss of her father; Leonard Grandton, a desperate and impressionable hotel manager caught in a series of toxic entanglements; and Jaidee Charoensuk, a gay international student who came to the United States in a besotted search for his former English teacher. As each character’s journey unfurls and overlaps, deceit and misunderstandings fueled by obsession and prejudice are revealed, forcing all to reckon with the ways in which their beliefs and actions contributed to a horrifying catastrophe.

An astonishingly soulful exploration of complicity and masquerade, Reprieve combines the psychological tension of classic horror with searing social criticism to present an unsettling portrait of this tangled American life.

My Review

An escape room where it is more than one room, the players can touch/hit you and big money available to win. A team of four head in to tackle it, to win, when one of the group is murdered. The book goes back and forward in time and we meet the characters. Kendra, teen, lover of horror is uprooted and off to live with her cousin and aunt and where the ultimate escape room horror house. Jaidee Charoensuk a gay exchange student who can never quite forget the teacher he felt a connection with, Bryan who is Kendra's cousin and we meet Leon - a business guy who is having a bit of a time of it.

The thing with the book is, the house of horror and having to get through the cells and the tasks (X amount of envelopes and you must collect so many to be allowed to pass to the next cell, if it gets too much shout the safe word and it stops as does your chance of winning the cash). The book flip flops about a fair bit, we go between the characters and get huge backstories on them. We also have statements from the actual players of the game in the lead up to/post murder.

I think I thought it was going to be more horror, it isn't, no doubt the escape room bits are a wee bit gore giving, lots of blood, show and tell, sure only one group has ever won despite the money lure so you know it isn't a walk in the park. However that is all it really is, the greater focus is on the characters, their back stories and the players in the game.

It took me out the story a lot because we bounced so much and was it really relevant to know XYZ although some parts absolutely yes. I got the special edition and love the look of it, the inside has a map of sorts showing you a visual of the cells. It was ok, I didn't love it, I didn't hate it so 3/5 for me.

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Friday 10 February 2023

The Sound of Violet by Allen Wolf Blog Tour

Today is my turn on the blog tour for "The Sound of Violet" by Allen Wolf.

About the author:

Allen Wolf has won multiple awards as an author and filmmaker. He is also the host of the popular Navigating Hollywood podcast where he interviews film and TV professionals about what it takes to thrive in entertainment.

He married his Persian princess, and they are raising their kids in Los Angeles. Allen loves traveling around the world and hearing people’s life stories. He is an avid fan of Disneyland. Allen wrote, directed, and produced the feature film adaption of The Sound of Violet, which is now available on Apple TV, Prime Video, Vudu, Google Play, Blu-ray, or DVD.

The Sound of VioletThe Sound of Violet by Allen Wolf
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 194

Publisher - Morning Star Publishing

Source - Review copy

Blurb from Goodreads

Desperate to find his soulmate, Shawn goes on one awkward date after another until he encounters the alluring Violet. He starts dating her, but his autism keeps him from realizing that she’s actually a prostitute.

Shawn thinks he’s found a possible wife while Violet thinks she’s discovered her ticket to a brand new life. This hilarious and dramatic award-winning story takes all kinds of twists and turns and has been adapted into a major motion picture.

My Review

Shawn is our main character he just really really wants a wife and family, he works within a dating style agency and sees the success of his co-worker with the ladies. Shawn is desperate to get past first dates but it always seems to go wrong when it seemed to be going well. Shawn is also autistic and tends to say things as he sees them which often ends up landing him in some hot water with his dates and as an observer (reading) the story I did chuckle, bless him. When a seemingly chance meeting brings Violet into Shawn's life he thinks he has finally found the one. However Shawn's unique outlook means he misses all the clues to exactly who and what Violet is, will finding out the truth change anything?

Aw Shawn is the kind of character you cannot help but like and feel endeared to, he has elements of Sheldon Cooper and looks at things differently than we do. he is autistic working as a programmer, living with his grandma. He is close to his brother who couldn't be more different and they are a sweet trio.

Some of the book is funny, I almost spat my juice out at one of Shawn's comments on a date, he doesn't miss a beat because he is just being him, observing whereas the lady in question is not pleased, bless him. The book itself for only being just under 200 pages actually packs a lot in and whilst we have humour and light heartedness we also touch on some really dark topics and horrible scenes/sides of humanity. Violet is a prostitute which opens a lot of dark doors, human trafficking is touched upon, violence, drugs, exploitation but there is also love, friendship, loyalty, sweetness, innocence in parts.

The book is also a major motion picture I am hoping to watch soon. The characters are broad and range from quirky, sweet, loveable to those you want to shake, slap, scream at. As I say it is a lot packed into a small book and I would like to read more of Shawn's antics and adventures, 4/5 for me this time. This was my first dance with this author I would read him again!

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Tuesday 7 February 2023

Sneak Peek for New book "Never Never" by Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher

Out to buy February 28th, published by Harper Collins & you can pre order from AMAZON.

Thanks to HQ for giving us (and a few select others) an exclusive to the first chapter of the new book. Enjoy.


Charlie Wynwood and Silas Nash have been best friends since they could walk. They've been in love since the age of fourteen. But as of this morning… they are complete strangers. Their first kiss, their first fight, the moment they fell in love… every memory has vanished. Now Charlie and Silas must work together to uncover the truth about what happened to them and why. But the more they learn about the couple they used to be… the more they question why they were ever together to begin with.

Forgetting is terrifying but remembering may be worse…

The Number One Sunday Times bestselling author of It Ends with Us joins forces with the New York Times bestselling author of The Wives for a gripping, twisty, romantic mystery unlike any other.

Chapter 1


A crash. Books fall to the speckled linoleum floor. They skid a few feet, whirling in circles, and stop near feet. My feet. I don’t recognize the black sandals, or the red toenails, but they move when I tell them to, so they must be mine. Right? A bell rings. Shrill. I jump, my heart racing. My eyes move left to right as I scope out my environment, trying not to give myself away. What kind of bell was that? Where am I? Kids with backpacks walk briskly into the room, talking and laughing. A school bell. They slide into desks, their voices competing in volume. I see movement at my feet and jerk in surprise. Someone is bent over, gathering up books on the floor; a red-faced girl with glasses. Before she stands up, she looks at me with something like fear and then scurries off. People are laughing. When I look around I think they’re laughing at me, but it’s the girl with glasses they’re looking at. “Charlie!” someone calls. “Didn’t you see that?” And then, “Charlie…what’s your problem…hello…?” My heart is beating fast, so fast. Where is this? Why can’t I remember? “Charlie!” someone hisses. I look around. Who is Charlie? Which one is Charlie? There are so many kids; blond hair, ratty hair, brown hair, glasses, no glasses…

A man walks in carrying a briefcase. He sets it on the desk. The teacher. I am in a classroom, and that is the teacher. High school or college? I wonder. I stand up suddenly. I’m in the wrong place. Everyone is sitting, but I’m standing…walking. “Where are you going, Miss Wynwood?” The teacher is looking at me over the rim of his glasses as he riffles through a pile of papers. He slaps them down hard on the desk and I jump. I must be Miss Wynwood. “She has cramps!” someone calls out. People snicker. I feel a chill creep up my back and crawl across the tops of my arms. They’re laughing at me, except I don’t know who these people are. I hear a girl’s voice say, “Shut up, Michael.” “I don’t know,” I say, hearing my voice for the first time. It’s too high. I clear my throat and try again. “I don’t know. I’m not supposed to be here.” There is more laughing. I glance around at the posters on the wall, the faces of presidents animated with dates beneath them. History class? High school. The man—the teacher—tilts his head to the side like I’ve said the dumbest thing. “And where else are you supposed to be on test day?” “I… I don’t know.” “Sit down,” he says. I don’t know where I’d go if I left. I turn around to go back. The girl with the glasses glances up at me as I pass her. She looks away almost as quickly. As soon as I’m sitting, the teacher starts handing out papers. He walks between desks, his voice a flat drone as he tells us what percentage of our final grade the test will be. When he reaches my desk he pauses, a deep crease between his eyebrows. “I don’t know what you’re trying to pull.” He presses the tip of a fat pointer finger on my desk. “Whatever it is, I’m sick of it. One more stunt and I’m sending you to the principal’s office.” He slaps the test down in front of me and moves down the line. I don’t nod, I don’t do anything. I’m trying to decide what to do. Announce to the whole room that I have no idea who and where I am—or pull him aside and tell him quietly. He said no more stunts. My eyes move to the paper in front of me. People are already bent over their tests, pencils scratching. Fourth Period History Mr. Dulcott There is a space for a name. I’m supposed to write my name, but I don’t know what my name is. Miss Wynwood, he called me. Why don’t I recognize my own name? Or where I am? Or what I am? Every head is bent over their papers except mine. So I sit and stare, straight ahead. Mr. Dulcott glares at me from his desk. The longer I sit, the redder his face becomes. Time passes and yet my world has stopped. Eventually, Mr. Dulcott stands up, his mouth open to say something to me when the bell rings. “Put your papers on my desk on the way out,” he says, his eyes still on my face. Everyone is filing out of the door. I stand up and follow them because I don’t know what else to do. I keep my eyes on the floor, but I can feel his rage. I don’t understand why he’s so angry with me. I am in a hallway now, lined on either side by blue lockers.

“Charlie!” someone calls. “Charlie, wait up!” A second later, an arm loops through mine. I expect it to be the girl with the glasses; I don’t know why. It’s not. But, I know now that I am Charlie. Charlie Wynwood. “You forgot your bag,” she says, handing over a white backpack. I take it from her, wondering if there’s a wallet with a driver’s license inside. She keeps her arm looped through mine as we walk. She’s shorter than me, with long, dark hair and dewy brown eyes that take up half her face. She is startling and beautiful. “Why were you acting so weird in there?” she asks. “You knocked the shrimp’s books on the floor and then spaced out.” I can smell her perfume; it’s familiar and too sweet, like a million flowers competing for attention. I think of the girl with the glasses, the look on her face as she bent to scoop up her books. If I did that, why don’t I remember? “I—” “It’s lunch, why are you walking that way?” She pulls me down a different corridor, past more students. They all look at me…little glances. I wonder if they know me, and why I don’t know me. I don’t know why I don’t tell her, tell Mr. Dulcott, grab someone random and tell them that I don’t know who or where I am. By the time I’m seriously entertaining the idea, we’re through a set of double doors in the cafeteria. Noise and color; bodies that all have a unique smell, bright fluorescent lights that make everything look ugly. Oh, God. I clutch at my shirt. The girl on my arm is babbling. Andrew this, Marcy that. She likes Andrew and hates Marcy. I don’t know who either of them is. She corrals me to the food line. We get salad and Diet Cokes. Then we are sliding our trays on a table. There are already people sitting there: four boys, two girls. I realize we are completing a group with even numbers. All the girls are matched with a guy. Everyone looks up at me expectantly, like I’m supposed to say something, do something. The only place left to sit is next to a guy with dark hair. I sit slowly, both hands flat on the table. His eyes dart toward me and then he bends over his tray of food. I can see the finest beads of sweat on his forehead, just below his hairline. “You two are so awkward sometimes,” says a new girl, blonde, across from me. She’s looking from me to the guy I’m sitting next to. He looks up from his macaroni and I realize he’s just moving things around on his plate. He hasn’t taken a bite, despite how busy he looks. He looks at me and I look at him, then we both look back at the blonde girl.

“Did something happen that we should know about?” she asks. “No,” we say in unison. He’s my boyfriend. I know by the way they’re treating us. He suddenly smiles at me with his brilliantly white teeth and reaches to put an arm around my shoulders. “We’re all good,” he says, squeezing my arm. I automatically stiffen, but when I see the six sets of eyes on my face, I lean in and play along. It’s frightening not knowing who you are—even more frightening thinking you’ll get it wrong. I’m scared now, really scared. It’s gone too far. If I say something now I’ll look…crazy. His affection seems to make everyone relax. Everyone except…him. They go back to talking, but all the words blend together: football, a party, more football. The guy sitting next to me laughs and joins in with their conversation, his arm never straying from my shoulders. They call him Silas. They call me Charlie. The dark-haired girl with the big eyes is Annika. I forget everyone else’s names in the noise. Lunch is finally over and we all get up. I walk next to Silas, or rather he walks next to me. I have no idea where I’m going. Annika flanks my free side, winding her arms through mine and chatting about cheerleading practice. She’s making me feel claustrophobic. When we reach an annex in the hallway, I lean over and speak to her so only she can hear. “Can you walk me to my next class?” Her face becomes serious. She breaks away to say something to her boyfriend, and then our arms are looped again. I turn to Silas. “Annika is going to walk me to my next class.” “Okay,” he says. He looks relieved. “I’ll see you…later.” He heads off in the opposite direction. Annika turns to me as soon as he’s out of sight. “Where’s he going?” I shrug. “To class.” She shakes her head like she’s confused. “I don’t get you guys. One day you’re all over each other, the next you’re acting like you can’t stand to be in the same room. You really need to make a decision about him, Charlie.” She stops outside a doorway. “This is me…” I say, to see if she’ll protest. She doesn’t. “Call me later,” she says. “I want to know about last night.” I nod. When she disappears into the sea of faces, I step into the classroom. I don’t know where to sit, so I wander to the back row and slide into a seat by the window. I’m early, so I open my backpack. There’s a wallet wedged between a couple of notebooks and a makeup bag. I pull it out and flip it open to reveal a driver’s license with a picture of a beaming, dark-haired girl. Me. Charlize Margaret Wynwood 2417 Holcourt Way New Orleans, LA

I’m seventeen. My birthday is March twenty-first. I live in Louisiana. I study the picture in the top left corner and I don’t recognize the face. It’s my face, but I’ve never seen it. I’m…pretty. I only have twenty-eight dollars. The seats are filling up. The one beside me stays empty, almost like everyone is too afraid to sit there. I’m in Spanish class. The teacher is pretty and young; her name is Mrs. Cardona. She doesn’t look at me like she hates me, like so many other people are looking at me. We start with tenses. I have no past. I have no past. Five minutes into class the door opens. Silas walks in, his eyes downcast. I think he’s here to tell me something, or to bring me something. I brace myself, ready to pretend, but Mrs. Cardona comments jokingly about his lateness. He takes the only available seat next to me and stares straight ahead. I stare at him. I don’t stop staring at him until finally, he turns his head to look at me. A line of sweat rolls down the side of his face. His eyes are wide. Wide…just like mine.

Wednesday 1 February 2023

February's giveaway

Happy February you guys. Whether you enjoy the month of love or just need an excuse for some self indulgance our Feb competition is now live.

As pictured

2 in 1 Mills & Boon book, medical, "Heart surgeon to single dad" by Janice Lynn and "NY Doc Under the Northern Lights" by Amy Ruttan.

X1 design your own pattern bookmark & the wee wooden pencil to create the pattern/design & the tassel. I advise either laminiating it when done or cellotaping as the pattern will wear as it is rubbed against.

x1 wee loveheart candle

and x1 packet of detox foot pads, they are with Rose.

Open worldwide and will run until the end of the month. Good luck if entering.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Soulmates

Well from I first started reviewing

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