Friday, April 16, 2021

Pigeon-Blood Red by Ed Duncan REVIEW

Pigeon-Blood Red
by Ed Duncan


🌕🌕🌕🌕🌑

Synopsis:

For underworld enforcer Richard "Rico" Sanders, it seemed like an ordinary job: retrieve his gangster boss's stolen goods, and teach the person responsible a lesson. But the chase quickly goes sideways and takes Rico from the mean streets of Chicago to sunny Honolulu. There, the hardened hit man finds himself in uncharted territory, when innocent bystanders are accidentally embroiled in a crime. As Rico pursues his new targets, hunter and prey develop an unlikely respect for one another. Soon, he is faced with a momentous decision: follow his orders to kill the very people who have won his admiration, or refuse and endanger the life of the woman he loves?

Review:

Thank you to the author and Book Publicity Services for sending me a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.

One thing I didn't like is how we kept going into little side stories. I thought these were unnecessary because they were either about an insignificant character, or it was about a significant character with unnecessary information.

This one had a lot more twists than I expected. I thought it was going to be something more straightforward but I was pleasantly surprised. It had drama, action, adventure and lots of murder. It was quite exciting.

This is really well written. There are quite a few characters in this story, and usually the more characters a book has, the harder they are to keep track of. However, I didn't find that to be an issue here. Each character was distinct enough to be tracked with just a normal thought effort.

This is the first book in a trilogy. I thought it wrapped up nicely with no loose ends. I'm looking forward to what happens next in the series.

Overall, I enjoyed it quite a bit. I'd recommend it to anyone who enjoys crime fiction.

Purchase Links:

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

A Girl Named Mister by Nikki Grimes REVIEW

 A Girl Named Mister

By Nikki Grimes


🌕🌕🌕🌕🌕

Synopsis:

Mary Rudine, called Mister by almost everyone, has attended church and sung in the choir for as long as she can remember. But then she meets Trey. His long lashes and smooth words make her question what she knows is right, and one mistake leaves her hiding a growing secret.

Another Mary is preparing for her upcoming wedding and has done everything according to Jewish law. So when an angel appears one night and tells her that she—a virgin—will give birth, Mary can't help but feel confused, and soon finds herself struggling with the greatest blessing the world will ever know.

Feeling abandoned, Mister is drawn to Mary's story, and together both young women discover the depth of God's love and the mysteries of his divine plan.

Review:

I absolutely loved this book. Once I started reading it I simply couldn't stop and ended up reading it all at once.

A Girl Named Mister is the story of a 14 year old girl who breaks her promise of abstinence to God and finds herself pregnant after her first time having sex. Throughout the book we go back and forth from Mister's perspective and a book of poetry called Mary Mary. The author is able to dance back and forth between these two flawlessly. The writing is beautiful and lyrical. I really can't say enough about how amazing the book is.

Mister is one if the best characters I have ever read about. I related to her on such a crazy level. Granted I was also a christian teen mom so I may be a little bias. Either way, I absolutely adore her and she is one of my favorite fictional characters. Also, this is now one of my all time favorite books.

I recommend this to everyone. If you like books in verse, try it! If you like stories about teen moms, try it! If you want a quick read, try it! It's written in verse and only takes about 2 hours from start to finish so what have you got to lose?

Sunday, April 11, 2021

The Sister-In-Law by Pamela Crane REVIEW

 The Sister-In-Law

by Pamela Crane


Synopsis:

EVERYONE IN THIS FAMILY IS HIDING SOMETHING…

THE WIFE: It was a whirlwind romance and a shotgun wedding, but weeks into their marriage, Candace realizes that moving in with Lane also means moving in with his possessive, uptight sister. And there’s not room for three in this marriage…

THE SISTER-IN-LAW: Harper is the kind of woman who cooks homemade meals and dusts under the furniture – it’s the least she can do for her brother as he’s been sharing his home with her and the kids since her husband’s mysterious death. But then Candace showed up, and started asking questions…

THE HUSBAND: All Lane has ever wanted is a white-picket-fence life. The wife. The two-point-five kids. The happy little family. And everything seemed to be falling into place with Candace until Harper’s jealous streak got in the way, again. But choosing between his sister and wife will be costly – and knowing Harper, the price could be blood…


**This synopsis was used from Netgalley**

Review:

Thank you to Avon Books UK and Netgalley for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own. 

Wow! I really freaking enjoyed this book! There were so many plot twists, some of which I did see coming but some good ones I didn't expect at all. The writing was absolutely fantastic. I was drawn into this story from the start and stayed captivated on the edge of my seat until it was over. I ended up finishing this book in two sittings, I didn't want to put it down the first time but I just couldn't stay awake. It wrapped up so beautifully. There was no drag or over explanation of what happened after, it was literally just enough. 

So let's talk characters. I didn't like any of them. I thought they were fleshed out enough so that I got to get to know each one a little bit but I still didn't know who I could trust and who I couldn't. We get the story from the perspective of Candace, the wife; Lane, the husband; and Harper the sister-in-law. I loved seeing into each one of their perspectives. Each character voice was distinguishable. Floating back and forth from perspective was effortless and smooth. 

At this point I feel like I'm just gushing, which I totally am. however I'm going to leave this here with this final thought. I've never read Pamela Crane before but dammit I can't wait to devour another one of her books.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Dreams of the Dying by Nicolas Lietzau REVIEW

 Dreams of the Dying

Nicolas Lietzau


🌕🌕🌕🌑🌑

Synopsis:

If your mind is the enemy, where do you run?

Years after a harrowing war experience, ex-mercenary Jespar Dal'Varek has taken to drifting. It's a lonely existence, but, barring the occasional bout of melancholia, he has found the closest thing to peace a man like him deserves. Life is "all right."

Or so he believes. Hoping to turn the page, Jespar accepts a mysterious invitation into the beautiful but dangerous archipelago of Kilay-and everything changes.

Plagued by explosive social tensions and terrorism, the tropical empire is edging ever closer to civil war. Kilay's merchant king is the only person able to prevent this catastrophe, but he has fallen into a preternatural coma-and it's Jespar's task to figure out what or who caused it. As the investigation takes him across the archipelago and into the king's nightmares, unexpected events not only tie Jespar's own life to the mystery but also unearth inner demons he believed to be long exorcised.

Battling old trauma while fighting for his life, his sanity, and the fate of Kilay, the line between dream and reality blurs until only one question remains: If your mind is the enemy, where do you run?

Review:

Thank you to the author for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.

I'll start off with what I didn't particularly enjoy with the book. The romance was a little bland. There was little to no chemistry within any romantic relationships we get throughout the book. I think the book would have been just as good had most of the romantic parts left out.

The characters in this story are ordinary. The situations they find themselves in are entertaining but the characters themselves are just regular people. Dreams of the Dying is plot driven which is perfect as the plot is fantastic. 

What initially drew my attention towards reading this book was the dream aspect of it. I was certainly not disappointed by what I received. The writing is great. I devoured this book within just a few days as I hated to put it down. The fantasy and horror aspects swirl and blend together beautifully to create a horrifying experience. I was absolutely thrilled at how everything, including flashbacks, flowed so beautifully to create such a delicious story.

The presentation of this book is amazing. There was so much detail put into the book after the story ends that it just has to be recognized. It comes complete with a glossary, a break down of words to help with pronunciation, illustrations of creatures and characters and so much more. It really added to my overall experience of the book. It's a beauty of a book that I'm proud to display on my shelves.

If you are someone who enjoys a slow burn fantastical horror I highly recommend you pick this one up.

Purchase Links:


Monday, April 5, 2021

The Backups: A Summer of Stardom by Alex de Campi REVIEW

 The Backups: A Summer of Stardom

written by Alex de Campi

illustarted by Lara Margarida


🌕🌕🌕🌕🌑

Synopsis:

Spending an entire summer on tour as a backup singer for pop star Nika Nitro? What?! That's the DREAM, right? Especially for Jenni, Lauren, and Maggie, three misfit performing arts students with hopes of making it in the music world.

But being twenty feet from fame isn't easy. Between crushes, constant rehearsals, Nika's sky-high expectations, and their own insecurities, this dream is starting to feel more like a nightmare. And that's before they accidentally start a beef with a rival band threatening to reveal a secret that could end Nika's career.

Can this trio of new friends come together to save the tour, or will the Backups be kept out of the spotlight forever?

Expected publication: April 13, 2021

Review:

Thank you to Macmillan Children's Publishing Group for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.

The Backups: A Summer of Stardom is a sweet and wholesome story of three girls who come together to become the backup singers for Nika Nitro, the popular beautiful popstar. Jenni, Lauren and Maggie couldn't be more different, however that doesn't stop them from becoming fast friends. These girls are all charming, lovable and unique. Their story of friendship and first love is one that is sure to have any reader smiling. 

The artwork is absolutely beautiful! The bright and colorful style really captures the feel of the story. It adds a fun element to the overall reading experience. 

If you like fun graphic novels where the characters grow and learn a little this is something you should definitely give a try. It's cute, it's fun and so so sweet. 

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Women Don't Owe You Pretty by Florence Given REVIEW

 Women Don't Owe You Pretty

by Florence Given


🌕🌕🌕🌑🌑

Synopsis:

WOMEN DON'T OWE YOU PRETTY will tell you to...
love sex, hate sexism,
protect your goddamn energy,
life is short, dump them,
And that you owe men nothing, least of all pretty.


Florence's debut book will explore all progressive corners of the feminist conversation; from insecurity projection and refusing to find comfort in other women's flaws, to deciding whether to date or dump them, all the way through to unpacking the male gaze and how it shapes our identity.

WOMEN DON'T OWE YOU PRETTY is an accessible leap into feminism, for people at all stages of their journey who are seeking to reshape and transform the way they view themselves. In a world that tells women we're either not enough or too much, it's time we stop directing our anger and insecurities onto ourselves, and start fighting back to re-shape the toxic structures of our patriarchal society.

Florence's book will help you to tackle and challenge the limiting narrative you have been bombarded with your whole life, and determine feminism on your own terms. After all, you are the love of your own life.

Review:

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.

I didn't get what I expected from Women Don't Owe You Pretty. Maybe I set the bar too high and that's on me. I found there wasn't anything new in here that hasn't been said many times before. However, there are reasons to read this book. I feel like it would be a great introduction to feminism for a teenager to read. It covers a variety of topics that could be useful to teens without being too much of an information overload. I personally would have loved to of had this book when I was younger.

Books I Read Because of the PopSugar Reading Challenge

Books I Read Because of the PopSugar Reading Challenge


Hi Everyone, and welcome back to my blog! Have you ever done something for a Challenge or a favor for someone else and ended up loving what you did/found? That is exactly what happens to me every year I participate in the PopSugar Reading Challenge. This is my third year participating and giving it a honest try and I have really been enjoying it. I've stumbled on some books I don't think I would have read without this challenge and I wanted to share them with you. This does not include books that were already on my radar and they happened to fit prompts on the PopSugar Reading Challenge. These are books that I found when I was trying to fill these prompts. 

So without further rambling, let's get started!

2019

A book recommended by a celebrity you admire
Recommended by Stephen King
Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn


This was awesome! A thriller you definitely want to read!

☆~☆~☆~☆~☆

2020

A book on a subject you know nothing about
The Radium Girls by Kate Moore


Now my favorite non-fiction book ever!

☆~☆~☆~☆~☆

A book with a pink cover
Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling


This is the most adorable middle grade ever. I think everyone should read this.

☆~☆~☆~☆~☆

A book set in Japan
I Love You So Mochi by Sarah Kuhn


I absolutely adore this book! It is the cutest romance I've ever read. The relationships are so well done all across the board. It's one of my all time favorite books.

☆~☆~☆~☆~☆

2021

A book that has won the Women's Prize for Fiction
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones


Wow! There is a reason this book won the Women's Prize For Fiction.

I highly recommend these five books mentioned. Each one has a special place in my personal Reading Hall of Fame. As always, I'd love to know your recommendations for any books you stumbled across and loved. Please share your favorites with me! 

If you would like to take on the PopSugar Reading Challenge or even just learn more about it you can do so HERE!

If you're still with me thank you so much for reading! I appreciate every single subscriber, reader, and comment I get. Love to you all!

See you on the moon! 🌙
XOXO

Sunday, March 28, 2021

She's Too Pretty to Burn by Wendy Heard REVIEW

She's Too Pretty to Burn
by Wendy Heard


🌕🌕🌕🌕🌕

Synopsis:

The summer is winding down in San Diego. Veronica is bored, caustically charismatic, and uninspired in her photography. Nico is insatiable, subversive, and obsessed with chaotic performance art. They’re artists first, best friends second. But that was before Mick. Delicate, lonely, magnetic Mick: the perfect subject, and Veronica’s dream girl. The days are long and hot―full of adventure―and soon they are falling in love. Falling so hard, they never imagine what comes next. One fire. Two murders. Three drowning bodies. One suspect . . . one stalker. This is a summer they won’t survive.

Inspired by The Picture of Dorian Gray, this sexy psychological thriller explores the intersections of love, art, danger, and power.

Review:

Thank you to Macmillan Children's Publishing Group and Netgalley for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.

I loved this book! Once I started reading I slipped effortlessly into its grasp where I was held tightly until it was over. It's an absolute page turner! I was on the edge of my seat for a very large portion of this book. Just when I thought it was okay to relax, things happen and I'm pushed right back to the edge. I never expected it to be so thrilling and exciting.

The writing in this book is absolutely fantastic. The story flowed wonderfully. It was an incredibly fast read and didn't feel like a 300+ page book. She's Too Pretty to Burn is told in multiple perspectives. Each character perspective is easy to differentiate from the others. This book is wonderfully told and expertly crafted.

I'd recommend this to anywho who enjoys thrilling, engaging and fun YA Thrillers.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Summer Sin by K.S. Marsden COVER REVEAL

Summer Sin

by K.S. Marsden


Hey everyone, thank you so much for stopping by. Today I am really excited to do another cover reveal for you guys and this one is a beauty! 

Summer Sin (Northern Witch #4)

As an eventful school year draws to a close, Mark has to face his greatest challenge yet.

Witches, demons and spells have quickly become the norm for Mark, but he will find that magic can't solve all of his problems.

With everyone relying on him, will Mark be able to save the day?

Or will the price of being a hero be too high?

Pre Order Link:

Available at special pre-order deal 99p (normal price £3.50/$3.99)

Purchase links: https://books2read.com/u/b5kdXO

Publication Date: 1st May



And here we go...  





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See! I told you it was beautiful!!

Author Bio


Kelly S. Marsden grew up in Yorkshire, and there were two constants in her life - books and horses.
Graduating with an equine degree from Aberystwyth University, she has spent most of her life since trying to experience everything the horse world has to offer. She is currently settled into a Nutritionist role for a horse feed company in Doncaster, South Yorkshire.

She writes Fantasy stories part-time. Her first book, The Shadow Rises (Witch-Hunter #1), was published in January 2013, and she now has several successful series under her belt. 

Social Media Links:

www.ksmarsden.com
www.goodreads.com/author/show/6905238.K_S_Marsden
www.facebook.com/ksmarsden
www.twitter.com/ksmarsden
www.instagram.com/ksmarsden


Girl With Secrets by Carol Rivers EXTRACT

 Girl With Secrets

by Carol Rivers


Synopsis:

A coming of age war story and family saga full of romance, mystery and danger in London’s East End. From the Sunday Times and ebook bestselling author of the Lizzie Flowers series and A Wartime Christmas comes a gripping NEW coming-of-age saga about love, loyalties and secrets.


IN THE TURMOIL OF WAR, CAN SHE KEEP HER FAMILY TOGETHER?

'Surely one of the best saga writers of her time' – Rosie Clarke

1938, East London. Nine year old Daisy Purbright is a country girl at heart and together with beloved brother Bobby, they’ve enjoyed the endless freedoms of rural England.

But when her father gambles the family’s fortunes on a speculative investment in London’s docklands, Daisy and her family are swept up into the intrigue, danger and excitement. Desperately the Purbrights attempt to settle to a new life in the East End, but the whisperings of war grow louder.

Then, one late afternoon in September 1940, Adolf Hitler conducts a paralysing bombardment on London and war tightens its grip. Life changes dramatically and closely guarded secrets threaten the Purbrights’ happiness.

Can Daisy and her family survive one of the most fateful events of the 20th century?

Perfect for fans of Nadine Dorries, Pam Howes, Rosie Clarke and Dilly Court.

Purchase Links:

UK - https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B08P52GZKR/
US - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08P52GZKR/
CAN - https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B08P52GZKR/

Extract

Daisy blinked, putting aside these distracting thoughts as the peaceful moment resumed. If she was to be asked, which wasn’t often, since it was usually Daisy who was doing the questioning, what she thought of her new home she would have said that gradually, she and her new home had become friends. At first they had both been unwilling to grasp a new future. An elderly headmistress, Miss Ayling, its previous occupant, had left an air of order and obedience about the place. Quite the opposite, Daisy reflected, to the dusty, creaky rooms of the old Wattcombe house, where everyone came and went without bothering to wipe their boots. But here - well, this was another kettle of fish altogether!

‘Living in London is the chance of a lifetime,’her father had encouraged on the day they’d moved in. ‘We have a new home to enjoy. The city to explore and the river, the greatest in the world, bringing trade from all nations, right to our doorstep!’

‘But all our savings have gone, Nicky. We have nothing behind us.’ This from Mother who was not at all enthusiastic about the expense of leaving Wattcombe.

‘I’m an engineer, Flo. I put things together. Make them work. The factory is where I should be.’

‘You did very well as Wattcombe’s estate manager. We enjoyed a comfortable living.’

’Is that how you saw us existing for the rest of our lives?’ her father had argued. ‘Tenants of the landed gentry, under the thumb until we grew old?’

‘What is so wrong with that?’

‘Come on Flo,’ he’d urged, ‘you know I was hopeless in the country. This damn gammy leg had me stuck behind a desk all day -’

’I know,’ her mother had interrupted, ‘that you are supremely talented and just aching to make the world’s next unrivalled discovery with your electrical valves. But we have a growing family. Expenses to be met. Bills to be paid.’

Daisy had overheard this almost-quarrel as she’d played in the garden, attempting - and failing - to find as many nooks and crannies to hide in as there had been in the country. The convenient wind had blown the almost-quarrel her way. Once she’d got into the gist of things, she knew that life for her parents was not all they pretended it to be. Now the matter had come up in an almost-quarrel on the very first day of their new existence.

‘Ed’s my best pal as well as my brother,’ Pops reasoned. ’I trust him. He wouldn’t invite me into the business if it wasn’t financially feasible.’

‘He wouldn’t ask you unless he needed our savings.’

Daisy had cramped inside at the bitter tone of her mother’s voice.

‘That’s not fair, Flo.’

‘Not fair, perhaps, but true.’

After a short pause, ‘I’m sorry you still miss Wattcombe, my darling. I know your family is there, well, at least, Pat and your mother. But we go back to visit, don’t we? Just as I promised before we moved to London.’

‘I’m not complaining, Nicky.’

‘Just consider the benefits our current situation has to offer,’ Pops suggested. ‘Poplar Park Row is quiet and untroubled. We are not isolated as we were in Wattcombe. And we even have a plumbed in bathroom upstairs!’ He laughed, but when Mother remained silent he added coaxingly, ‘Bobby and Daisy are happy at their new school. London’s West End is only twenty minutes drive away and the factory a few minutes walk. Once Ed and I have patented our new valves we’ll be in profit. All our money problems will be solved.’

‘I hope so, Nicky,’ Mother had conceded. ‘I really do hope so.’

Her parents had gazed at each other, like eager swimmers diving into a pool. Often their affection was so intimate, that Daisy could not bear to look.

Instead, she had hurried back to her bedroom and gazed out of the window across the river to the needle tops of the goose-necked cranes. Here, she was restored by the sight of her new world and the silhouette of Uncle Ed’s factory puffing grey smoke from its chimneys like a slumbering dragon.

Her dream was that one day she would board a fine ship sailing down the river. Sail off to a country like Neverland. Oh, she knew quite well that Neverland was made-up. Wendy and Peter were not real. But what counted was how you felt when you set your imagination free. Without a doubt, there must be somewhere in the world where there was no talk of war or threat. A world of discovery and excitement where she would never get bored again.

Daisy found herself in the kitchen, where a black-leaded stove stood opposite the sink positioned directly below the window. An oblong table covered by a cream cloth stood in front of an oak sideboard. On its wooden shelves stood a variety of the headmistress’s fine china. On the far wall was the pantry where the faint perfumes of cinnamon and spices still clung to the walls. Beyond this, a laundry room complete with stout wash-boiler and a creaky old door that led outside to the garden privy. The room Daisy disliked most was the cellar, accessed only by a flight of stone steps. This gloomy underground space harboured not only a giant species of spider but all Miss Ayling’s unwanted clutter that Pops had not had the heart to throw out.

The living room, in contrast, was bright and cheerful with wide bay windows. Daisy stood there now, imagining the parties that Mother and Pops might host. Just like the exciting parties Aunt Minnie and Uncle Leo held in his Soho studio.

She twirled energetically, holding up the hem of her dressing gown and pirouetted around the couch. Taking a flying leap to the open fireplace, she righted a wobbly landing and missed the brass fender. Impressed by her ballet, she vaulted the wooden rack in which Pops kept his newspapers. Misjudging the distance, she landed heavily on all fours, momentarily winded. Fortunately, no part of her was injured.

As she jumped to her feet, she heard a noise.

Daisy cocked her head, listening carefully. Was there movement in the house? A footfall? Or perhaps someone breathing? Closer now. But where exactly?

‘Who’s there?’ she whispered. Had she imagined the breathing? But the household was sleeping. Could it have come from the garden? It was said that Hitler would arrive in the dead of night. He’d steal into people’s houses and take them prisoner. A girl at school claimed her father kept a vicious dog and hadn’t fed it for at least three months. Another boy insisted his mother had baked poisoned cakes to be offered to an invading army.

‘Wh… who’s there?’she mumbled, dreading an answer.

A soft breathing sound came; an evil-sounding gurgle.

Daisy froze.

Was someone lurking at the front door? Could this be the invasion all of England feared?

Before she could take a breath, a hand planted itself between her shoulder blades. ‘Help!’ she cried, falling heavily on the couch.

Her brother giggled as he pinned her down. ‘Don’t yell or we’re for it!’

Daisy gasped for breath. She was so relieved that the war hadn’t arrived and Hitler hadn’t sailed down the estuary overnight that she forgot to be really angry. ‘Bobby, you daft ha’p’orth!’ she scolded. ‘You frightened me!’

‘Got you back for yesterday.’

Daisy pushed him away. ‘I didn’t do anything,’ she declared, knowing very well she had.

‘You split on me.’

‘Didn’t.’

‘You told Mother I socked Peter Brady in the eye.’

Daisy defiantly stuffed her hands in her pockets. ‘I told Mother the truth.’

‘You don’t understand what it was all about.’

She felt as though somehow she’d let Bobby down. ‘What do you mean?’

Bobby took his time answering. ’If you must know,’ he said eventually, ‘Peter Brady calls Sammy Berger, “Fritz”.’

‘Is “Fritz” bad?’

Bobby rolled his blue eyes. ‘Course it is.’

‘Why?’

‘Sammy’s parents are German. They came to England to escape the Nazis. But Sammy’s mother died and now, because of the war, the government is suspicious of any German who lives here.’

Daisy considered her brother carefully. ‘Poor Sammy.’

‘He’s frightened they’ll take his father away.’

‘What will happen to Sammy?’

Bobby shrugged. ‘Those men we saw trying to kick down Mr Berger’s door the other day? Some of them were Blackshirts. Peter Brady said he’d join the Blackshirts if he was old enough. That’s what started the fight.’

Daisy shivered, recalling the afternoon when she and Bobby had passed Sammy’s house on the way home from school. The crowd outside Sammy’s house had been very angry. It had been very upsetting to watch and Bobby had hurried her on.

‘It was brave of you to stand up for Sammy,’ she said.

Once again Bobby shrugged. ‘He doesn’t have many friends.’ Bobby stood up and stretched. Daisy realized how much he’d grown since leaving Wattcombe. He stood a head and shoulders taller than her now; arms and legs too long for his old blue and white striped pyjamas. Mother had called Bobby a “slow grower”. Yet now he was close to Matt’s height after a sudden spurt this year.

’So tell me little sister, why were you snooping around so early?’

She pulled a face. ’I wasn’t snooping. I was thirsty.’

This time he gave a whistle. ‘What a whopper, Daisy Purbright! You were on the prowl, sniffing out other people’s business. Eavesdroppers never hear any good of themselves, you know.’

Daisy gave him a hearty shove. ‘Oh, buzz off you silly bee!’ she exclaimed to hide her embarrassment.

But Bobby only laughed all the more.

Author Bio


Mum and Dad were both East Enders who were born on the famous or should I say the then infamous Isle of Dogs. Their family were immigrants who travelled to the UK from Ireland and France, while others emigrated to America.

As a child I would listen to the adults spinning their colourful stories, as my cousins and I drank pop under the table.

I know the seeds of all my stories come from those far off times that feel like only yesterday. So I would like to say a big heartfelt thank you to all my family and ancestors wherever you are now ... UK, Ireland, France or America, as you've handed down to me the magic and love of story telling.

Social Media Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/carol.rivers1
Twitter: https://twitter.com/carol_rivers
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/carol_rivers01/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/carolriversagas/
Web site: https://www.carolrivers.com

Friday, March 19, 2021

Under The Dome by Stephen King REVIEW

Under The Dome
by Stephen King


🌕🌕🌕🌕🌕

Synopsis:

Just down Route 119 in Chester's Mill, Maine, all hell is about to break loose…

On an entirely normal, beautiful fall day, a small town is suddenly and inexplicably sealed off from the rest of the world by an invisible force field. Planes crash into it and rain down flaming wreckage. A gardener's hand is severed as the dome descends. Cars explode on impact. Families are separated and panic mounts. No one can fathom what the barrier is, where it came from, and when—or if— it will go away. Now a few intrepid citizens, led by an Iraq vet turned short-order cook, face down a ruthless politician dead set on seizing the reins of power under the dome. but their main adversary is the dome itself. Because time isn't just running short, it's running out.

Review:

I was a bit hesitant to finally dig into SK's Under The Dome because of it's size and the authors tendency to throw in tons of extra detail. I ended up being completely shocked with this one. It was a slow burn, but a very well done slow burn. And yes, there is a difference. There was never a moment when something wasn't happening, there wasn't any unnecessary rambling of pointless details, it was just 1072 pages of edge of your seat thrills. 

I feel like King is able to take human nature and display it in a way that is both plausible and terrifying. A small town becomes suddenly trapped and a man who has wanted to be in charge all along is finally able to take control, becomes drunk with power and tries to destroy everyone who gets in his way? The entire book is watching a perfectly nice town slowly descend into chaos until it's either break or die. I love the way King plays on human emotions and no character is safe from his dark tales. He will literally kill any character it takes to get his point across. 

If you're like me and aren't exactly a fan of big books this one can seem intimidating, however this one is so good it flies by and doesn't even feel like a massive book. If you're a King fan and haven't read this one yet I totally recommend giving it a try. If you're not a King fan but are looking for a chaotic story about power and corruption in a small town, I recommend this one for you too. 

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

The Spanish Girl by Jules Hayes SPOTLIGHT

The Spanish Girl
by Jules Hayes


Synopsis

A country torn apart by war.
Two love stories divided by decades.
One chance to discover the truth...


Feisty journalist Isabella has never known the truth about her family. Escaping from a dangerous assignment in the turbulent Basque country, she finds her world turned upside down, firstly by her irresistible attraction to the mysterious Rafael, and then by a new clue to her own past.

As she begins to unravel the tangled story of her identity, Isabella uncovers a story of passion,betrayal and loss that reaches back to the dark days of Spain's civil war-when a passionate Spanish girl risked everything for her country, and for the young British rebel who captured her heart.

But can Isabella trust the man she's fallen in love with? Or are some wartime secrets better left undisturbed...?

Heartbreaking, gripping historical fiction about the tragedy of war, and the redemption of love. Perfect for fans of Angela Petch's The Tuscan Secret and Kathryn Hughes 'The Letter.

Purchase Links:

UK - https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B08L7G3M26/
US - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08L7G3M26/

Author Bio


I have a degree in modern history and I'm fascinated with events from the first half of the 20thcentury, which is the time period my historical fiction is set.

My work has been long listed in the Mslexia Novel Competition, and shortlisted in the prestigious Bridport Short Story Competition.

I live in Berkshire, UK with my partner, daughter and dog. Before writing stories, I was a physiotherapist.

Jules Hayes is a pseudonym for JA Corrigan who writes contemporary thrillers. Falling Suns by JACorrigan (Headline Accent) was published in 2016.

Social Links:
Facebook Author Page: JulesHayesAuthor - http://www.facebook.com/JulesHayesAuthor
Instagram: JulesHayes6 - http://www.instagram.com/juleshayes6

Friday, March 12, 2021

Pepper Page Saves the Universe by Landry Q. Walker REVIEW

 Pepper Page Saves the Universe!

by Landry Q. Walker

illustrated by Eric Jones


🌕🌕🌕🌕🌕

Synopsis

The year is 2421. Awkward and shy, Pepper buries herself in the universe of the classic fictional superhero Supernova to avoid dealing with the perils of the 9th grade. But then fate intervenes when Pepper stumbles into a volatile science experiment run by a sinister substitute teacher named Doctor Killian.

Pepper is flung into another dimension, bringing her face to face with an order of cosmic beings who declare her to be the steward of their great power, champion of harmony in the universe, protector of worlds present and past. Pepper is pretty sure they got the wrong girl.

Review

Thank you to First Second and Macmillan Children's Publishing for gifting me a copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Pepper Page is a quiet girl who only wants to be left alone to read her comics. When she finds herself caught up in an evil science experiment conducted by Dr. Killian her life changes in a way she never dreamed of. Suddenly Pepper is face to face with cosmic beings that tell her she is actually her favorite superhero Supernova. Pepper is pretty sure they're wrong but only time will tell.

This was such a fun story. Pepper Page is a truly lovable character. She is fun, quirky, a little nerdy and absolutely charming. I adore her. I think she's a great character that will be loved by comics lovers everywhere. Her story focuses on self acceptance and friendship. It's absolutely charming and is sure to win the hearts of her audience. 

The artwork is fantastic! It's bright, colorful and crisp. The story really comes to life through the detailed pictures. The Story and the artwork fit so well together, they just merge into one beautiful masterpiece.

My daughter and I read this book together as a bedtime story and we had the greatest time. Granted, my daughter is technically too young for this book but she seemed to really enjoy it and you're never to young for superheroes right?

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

It's Kind of a Cheesy Love Story by Lauren Morrill REVIEW

 It's Kind of a Cheesy Love Story

by Lauren Morrill


🌕🌕🌕🌕🌑

Synopsis

After her mother gave birth to her in the bathroom of a local pizzeria, Beck Brix been given the dubious privilege of having minor fame, free pizza for life, and a guaranteed job when she turns sixteen—a job she unfortunately can’t afford to turn down.

Stuck with her geeky co-workers instead of taking Instagram-ready shots with her wealthy, photogenic friends, Beck finally realizes what she’s spent her whole life trying to hide: that Hot ‘n Crusty is a part of her.

Then disaster strikes the beloved pizza parlor that’s become like home, and Beck realizes that it takes losing something to really know what it’s worth.

Purchase Link:


Review

Thank you to Macmillan Children's Publishing Group and Netgalley for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Beck Brix was born on the floor of the local pizza place, Hot 'N Crusty, giving her the title "Pizza Princess", free pizza for life and a guaranteed job once she is old enough to work. Beck has spent her whole young life wanting nothing more then to escape that title and her birth story forever. When Beck needs a job she ends up accepting one from Hot 'N Crusty and soon finds her days filled with greasy pizza instead of filtered Instagram photos. Now Beck has to learn how her new work friends fit into her life with her old rich friends. There are some ups and downs, some friendship, some love and a whole lot of cheese.

It's Kind of a Cheesy Love Story is such an adorable and incredibly cheesy teen romance. In this fun and refreshing story, Beck and her friends navigate through the awkwardness of high school, clicks, first jobs, dating and other teenage situations. We watch as Beck learns lessons of self acceptance, love and friendship.

The characters in this book were so adorable! Beck herself had such a charming personality about her. I loved watching her change and grow as a person. My favorite character was Tristan despite the fact that I did find him to be a bit much at times. Beck and Tristan's relationship was very sweet. It was fun to watch them grow from strangers into something much more.

This is a super quick and easy read. The writing is fun and light. It's a great book for when you just want to relax with a quick read.

If you're a fan of clean, light hearted teen romance than this book is for you. 

Monday, March 8, 2021

Book Vs Movie Round 2: Nerve by Jeanne Ryan

 Book Vs Movie Round 2


Nerve
by Jeanne Ryan

VS

Vee is your average girl looking for a little excitement in her life. She gets a little more than she bargained for when she signs up for an online dare game called Nerve. With the help of some friends Vee just might be able to beat the game and win some cool prizes. 

So this book and movie duo could not have been more different. The movie was fun and exciting; the book was... well, a major let down to say the least. The only things these two had in common was the character names and the point of the story, a broadcasted game called Nerve where the players complete dares for cash and prizes. 

The main focus in both the book and movie is the dares, so you would think the dares are funny, exciting or anything really. Unfortunately, the dares in the book are none of those things. Even the dares that could have been entertaining weren't. Reading the book was, unfortunately, a very boring experience. The movie did an amazing job with keeping the dares fun and exciting. They escalated perfectly and the overall flow of everything was fantastic. 

In the book, near the final dare where everything should have been exciting and thrilling the contestants are given money to state their names, to close a door, check a drawer and other such minor tasks. Finally, we get to the final dare and instead of things picking up, it just remains a mess. The movie executed their final dare so much better. It was thrilling, exciting and completely awesome! I thought it was done perfectly. 

So just to state the obvious.. this round goes to... THE MOVIE!!!


Thank you for reading and if you wanted to see my full book review let me know in the comments! 

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

The Hat Girl From Silver Street by Lindsey Hutchinson REVIEW

The Hat Girl From Silver Street
by Lindsey Hutchinson


🌕🌕🌕🌕🌑

Synopsis

Let bestselling author Lindsey Hutchinson take you back in time to the Victorian Black Country, for a tale of love, hardship and fighting against the odds to succeed.

Life is tough for Ella Bancroft. After her father, Thomas, is wheelchair-bound by an accident at the tube works, the responsibility for keeping a roof over their head falls to Ella. Ella’s mother died when she was ten, and her sister Sally lives with her no-good, work-shy husband Eddy, so is no help at all. If she and her father are to keep the bailiffs from the door, then Ella must earn a living.

But Ella is resourceful as well as creative, and soon discovers she has a gift for millinery. Setting up shop in the front room of their two-up, two-down home in Silver Street, Walsall, Ella and Thomas work hard to establish a thriving business. Before long, the fashionable ladies of the Black Country are lining up to wear one of Ella’s beautiful creations, and finally Ella dares to hope for a life with love, friendship and family.

Meeting the man she longs to marry should be a turning point for Ella, but life’s twists and turns can be cruel. As the winter grows colder, events seem to conspire to test Ella’s spirit. And by the time spring is approaching, will the hat girl of Silver Street triumph, or will Ella have to admit defeat as allher dreams are tested.

The Queen of the Black Country sagas is back with a heart-breaking, unforgettable, page-turning story of love, life and battling against the odds. Perfect for fans of Val Wood and Lyn Andrews.

Purchase Link: https://amzn.to/35hXxJS

Review

Thank you to Lindsey Hutchinson and Rachel's Random Resources for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.

The Hat Girl From Silver Street is one of the most dramatic books I've ever read. You have so much going on throughout the entire book; the drama doesn't end until the story does. The early pages of this novel draw you in right away with fantastic writing and enough spectacles to satisfy any lover of juicy drama. It's the type of book you don't want to end because you're so entertained that you could just remain in that world observing everything.

So let's talk about characters. Ella is the delightfully ordinary main character. There is literally nothing special about her but yet she is so perfect in her role. Hutchinson did an amazing job with this cast of characters. They all have such different personalities and perspectives. This is one cast of characters that won't be easily forgotten. From the quiet hat maker, to the jealous business woman, to the handsome rich guy, to the spiteful scorned woman, this book has it all. Also, I absolutely loved Ella's dad. He is the supportive person that every single person needs in their life.

My only critique is that a couple situations were resolved too easily for Ella. I feel like the parts where these issues were resolved could have been drawn out a little more.

I'm not a fan of book series by any means, however if the author ended up turning this book into a series and kept writing about these characters I would absolutely keep reading. I'd recommend The Hat Girl From Silver Street for anyone who would like a soap opera in literary form.
 
Author Bio


Lindsey Hutchinson is a bestselling saga author whose novels include The Workhouse Children. She was born and raised in Wednesbury, and was always destined to follow in the footsteps of her mother, the multi-million selling Meg Hutchinson.

Social Media Links:

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Book Vs Movie Round 1: The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick

Book Vs Movie Round 1

 The Silver Linings Playbook

by Matthew Quick

 VS 


Let me start off by saying I really enjoyed both the book and the movie. Their differences worked for both of them respectively. 

The differences between the book and movie are apparent right away. One of the books biggest reveals happens within the first 15 minutes of the movie. When I saw that I thought for sure the movie was ruined right away. However, the movie did end up making everything work. It was different, but it worked.

In regards to the characters, there were a couple personalities that were completely different in the book and movie. The characters with the biggest personality differences were Tiffany and Pat's father. It's hard to pick where these characters were done better because the book and the movie are quite different. For how the book played out, its version of Tiffany and Pat's father were great for that context. They worked well and complimented the atmosphere of the story. However, with how the movie played out their movie personalities was perfect for their roles. Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence did a great job playing their respective roles.  They had great on screen chemistry and really brought their characters to life. So do what you will with that. 

While I did enjoy the movie, I feel like if I had not of read the book before watching the movie I would of enjoyed the movie more. With that said, in this case I have to say I enjoyed the book more than the movie so for this round the book wins!

Monday, February 22, 2021

Djinn by Sang Kromah REVIEW

Djinn
by Sang Kromah


🌕🌕🌕🌕🌑

Synopsis

Some believe that at birth, we’re each born with a guardian attached to us, watching from afar, but never seen. Truth is, there are certain people, special people, born of this world and of the other, who need that extra protection. They go their entire lives, unaware of the other world, and unaware of the existence of their own personal watcher, watching from afar. But what happens when fate takes a turn for the worse, and The One who needs the aid of a watcher most can’t be found to be protected?

Bijou Fitzroy is strange. With the unwanted gift of being an empath, she has spent her entire life as a sheltered recluse, homeschooled by her secretive and overprotective grandmother, who never allows them to stay in one place long enough for Bijou to settle and make friends. When Bijou and her grandmother move to Sykesville and she starts to attend the local high school, Bijou’s world begins to crumble. Town locals begin to disappear and the creatures from her nightmares begin to take shape in her reality. She finds herself at the center of a war she never knew was being fought all around her.

Review

Thank you to Netgalley and BooksSoSocial for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.Djinn is a magical tale that takes us on a journey of self discovery with Bijou Fitzroy. When Bijou finds out her grandmother isn't who she says she is, and Bijou herself isn't who she thought she was, her whole life gets twisted up in ways she never could have imagined. Being an empath has never been easy, but now Bijou is finding out how just how hard things can really be.

Bijou was an interesting main character. On top of her being an empath she was also homeschooled until the beginning of this book. It was interesting to watch her transition into normal school life.

The writing is so magical and captivating. My favorite thing ever is when an author can carry your mind away with an enchanting story and this is one of those times. From the early pages of Djinn I was swept away into their world and I enjoyed every minute of it. We did end up seeing some over used troupes such as new girl vs popular girl and a love triangle involving popular girl to be specific. However, I didn't find these to hinder the stories readability. There were some unexpected reveals that increased the intensity and emotions of the overall story.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. The story was great and the characters were fun. If you're looking for a fun YA Fantasy this could be what you're looking for.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Daughter of the Sea by Sylvia Broady EXTRACT

Daughter Of The Sea
by Sylvia Broady


Synopsis

‘Well-paced … genuinely gripping’ Historical Novels Review

Jessica is grieving for her beloved father, trawler owner Jacob Kingdom, when a heated confrontation ends with her being cast out from the family home and the revelation of a shameful secret. She falls upon the kindness of strangers and meets a charismatic trawlerman, who is proud to walk out with Kingdom’s daughter.

But with her cold-hearted brother at the helm of the family business, there is discontent rising, and being Kingdom’s daughter begins to lose its charm. With Jessica desperate to prove herself worthy to the tight-knit community, does she have what it takes to weather the storm to come, or will her secret hold her back?

Purchase Link:

Can - https://www.amazon.ca/Daughter-Sea-unforgettable-families-secrets-ebook/dp/B081S2XHDG/

Extract

Chapter One

February 1937, Hull, East Yorkshire

She slammed the door behind her and raced across the lawn towards the Humber Estuary wanting to obliterate their angry voices. Along the rough path she trekked, her heart racing with fury and her mind and body incensed with the knowledge of how they planned to treat her so.

After some time, she slowed her steps, uncertain where she was. Fog rolled in off the Humber, and swirled round her, its dampness clinging to her face. She peered into the murkiness for the familiar landmark of the dock office and safety, but it wasn’t there. She must have taken a wrong turn because she didn’t recognise the area, seeing only ghostly shadows of an unknown street. Shivering, she clasped her arms about her body, wishing she wore a coat and hat now that the hot anger, which had filled her body and mind, had evaporated.

Suddenly, she heard the raucous laughter of men. Listening, it came nearer. The dank darkness of the fog protected her as she edged along a brick wall of a building, and with relief she backed into a shop doorway. Attempting to be invisible, she wrapped her arms tightly around her trembling body, feeling the rapid thud of her heartbeat. She screwed her eyes tight shut and held her breath as they lumbered past.

And then a rat scuttled across her feet and she screamed. A loud piercing noise filled the eerie space around her.

Three young trawlermen backtracked their steps and appeared in the doorway. They stared at her. She froze, hoping they would move on and she just stared back, taking in their snazzy onshore suits. The whiff of strong beer caught the back of her throat and the ingrained odour of fish on their skin made her cough. She wanted to run, but her feet felt set in concrete and refused to move. Never before had anyone from the fishing community confronted her and she was uncertain how to address them to make them move. Hastily, she scrambled words together, but before she could say them, one of them spoke.

‘Well, well, what have we got here?’ he slurred.

His breath reeking with alcohol hit her face, making her wince. ‘I know I fancied a quick shag, but I didn’t expect it so soon.’

He lunged forward and made a grab for her, but she dodged him by moving aside, scraping her back on the metal door handle. ‘Yer wanna play it rough, eh, lass?’ He swayed as he made to thrust at her again. at her. She froze, hoping they would move on and she just stared back, taking in their snazzy onshore suits. The whiff of strong beer caught the back of her throat and the ingrained odour of fish on their skin made her cough. She wanted to run, but her feet felt set in concrete and refused to move. Never before had anyone from the fishing community confronted her and she was uncertain how to address them to make them move. Hastily, she scrambled words together, but before she could say them, one of them spoke.

‘Well, well, what have we got here?’ he slurred.

His breath reeking with alcohol hit her face, making her wince. ‘I know I fancied a quick shag, but I didn’t expect it so soon.’

He lunged forward and made a grab for her, but she dodged him by moving aside, scraping her back on the metal door handle. ‘Yer wanna play it rough, eh, lass?’ He swayed as he made to thrust at her again.

His two mates laughed and egged him on, enjoying the banter. ‘Go on, yer drunken bugger, show us what yer made of. Get stuck in there.’

Anger rose in her throat and she shouted as loud as she could over their voices. ‘Don’t you dare touch me! I will set my brother Claude on to you.’

‘Claude,’ he mimicked, ‘Who the hell’s he?’

‘He’s Claude Kingdom who pays your wages!’

The men, struck dumb at the mention of the hated name of the new trawler owner, stared at her, peering closer. ‘Lord Almighty, it’s Kingdom’s daughter,’ one of them said in a shocked voice. ‘What the hell are you doing here?’

Author Bio



Sylvia Broady was born in Hull and has lived in the area all her life, although she loves to travel the world. It wasn’t until she started to frequent her local library after World War II that her relationship with literature truly began, and her memories of the war influence her writing as does her home town. She has had a varied career in childcare, the NHS and the EYC Library Services, but is now a full-time writer.

Social Media Links

Website: https://sylviabroadyauthor.com/
Twitter: @SylviaBroady

Pigeon-Blood Red by Ed Duncan REVIEW

Pigeon-Blood Red by Ed Duncan 🌕🌕🌕🌕🌑 Synopsis: For underworld enforcer Richard "Rico" Sanders, it seemed like an ordinary job:...