Thursday, 21 November 2019

Review: Love Songs For Sceptics by Christina Pishiris

My brother’s getting married in a few weeks and asked for help picking a song for his first dance. I suggested Kiss’s ‘Love’s a Slap in the Face’.
It didn’t go down well.
When she was a teenager, Zoë Frixos fell in love with Simon Baxter, her best friend and the boy next door. But his family moved to America before she could tell him how she felt and, like a scratched record, she’s never quite moved on. Now, almost twenty years later, Simon is heading back to London, newly single and as charming as ever...
With Simon back in town, Zoë is determined to finally pluck up the courage to tell him how she feels, but as obstacles continue to get in her way – Jess, Simon’s perfect ex-girlfriend, Nick, an obnoxious publicist determined to ruin Zoe’s career, and family pressure around her brother’s big(ish) fat(ish) Greek wedding – Zoe begins to wonder whether, after all these years, she and Simon just aren’t meant to be.
What if, instead, they’re forever destined to shuffle around their feelings for each other, never quite mastering the steps. Is Zoë right to be sceptical about romance, or is it time she changed her tune?

Review: This was such a great premise for a story. I love the idea of someone in the music industry having some sceptical love song choices-I actually really enjoys reading about an editor of a music magazine-a glimpse into that world was so fresh and full of entertainment.

Zoe was an interesting character to spend this novel with. She has a fiery personality and is passionately independent but she has a wonderful mix of friends and colleagues who all compliment her and are all fully developed and intriguing in their own right. I didn’t always agree with the choices that Zoe made and felt like I was often judge mental towards her but it really meant that you never knew what direction the story was going to take next.

Then there’s the romance in this novel, as if music industry gossip and a brothers wedding wasn’t enough. This novel features a love triangle situation that morphs into a variety of other shapes throughout the course of the book. I love this trope and really liked the way this author played with and manipulated it for her characters in this case. I could definitely feel the chemistry between the characters and was definitely willing the triangle to go in one direction way more than the others.

This story is structured around chapters with song titles and the chapters are a mixture of lengths, when you come across a short chapter you definitely find yourself wanting to read on and so go time and again for ‘one more chapter’ so it was definitely a fast-paced novel without lacking any depth that’s for sure. I enjoyed this read, it was interesting to read about a main character in a different field and the romantic aspect of it definitely kept me on my toes the whole way through! 

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK

Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Blog Tour: Review of A Perfect Cornish Christmas by Phillipa Ashley

Today is my stop on the blog tour for A Perfect Cornish Christmas by Phillipa Ashley. I have a review for you today and if you like the sound of that, there are buy links at the bottom of this post! Don't forget to check out the other stops on the tour for more exclusive content and reviews. 

Here's what it's all about...

Christmas in Cornwall is just around the corner…
But after last Christmas revealed a shocking family secret, Scarlett’s hardly feeling merry and bright. All she wants this Christmas is to know who her real father is.
So Scarlett heads to the little Cornish town of Porthmellow, where she believes the truth of her birth is hidden. She just didn’t bargain on being drawn into the Christmas festival preparations – or meeting Jude Penberth, whose charm threatens to complicate life further.
Everything will come to a head at Porthmellow’s Christmas Festival … But can Scarlett have the perfect Christmas this year, or are there more surprises on the way?
Curl up with this gorgeous novel and savour the world of Porthmellow Harbour.

Review: I always look forward to books with a Christmas theme. This is the first one that has come my way this year, and I am delighted that it is by one of my favourite authors. Phillipa Ashley has written many stories based in Cornwall; this one is the second in a series featuring the Cornish seaside village of Porthmellow. I read and enjoyed the first In this series, and was looking forward to catching up with some familiar characters, as well as new arrivals in the village.

This story follows the fortunes of the Latham family - parents Anna and Roger, and grown up children Ellie, Marcus and Scarlett. While spending the Christmas break in Porthmellow, a well-meaning, but nonetheless disastrous Christmas present has left the family reeling following a shocking revelation. A year later, as the village of Porthmellow prepares once again for its annual Christmas celebrations, we find Ellie living there in the manor house that once belonged to her aunt, and joined unexpectedly by Scarlett, who is seeking answers about her heritage. As Christmas approaches, it appears that both girls may have found romance in the form of ex-army engineer Aaron and natural history writer and forager Jude, both of whom originally come from the village. However, there are complications in these relationships as well. When mother Anna also arrives on the scene, the girls hope that they may discover some answers and find a way to keep the Latham family from splitting apart.

This is a lovely romantic story, with a warm festive feel to it; I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a satisfying Christmas read. Porthmellow would certainly be a wonderful place to spend Christmas, with its charming decorations, great traditions and community spirit. Once again Phillipa Ashley has introduced the reader to some strong and interesting characters, as well as intriguing situations. I do enjoy her books set in Cornwall; her love for and familiarity with the county shine through her writing. I always finish her books with a strong desire to visit. I hope that there may be more Porthmellow stories in the pipeline - I would love to find out how the relationships in this story develop.

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Changes in my Reading Life

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

I love this week's topic, especially since my reading has changed a TON over the past few years...

1. I have more time to read now. This is a bit of a given but I definitely have more time to read since moving to Denver. For the first 2 years I couldn't work here and then I had a much shorter commute as well so I just have much more time to read. 

2. I have access to an amazing library now so I borrow more library books both in physical form and through apps like Overdrive, Hoopla and RB Digital. 

3. I read much More YA. I think it took me a while to settle down to the fact that YA contemporary romance is my thing. I just didn't have time to research and pick the right books before and now I would say that a much bigger chunk of my reading is YA. 

4. I go to less book events now. Being near London before was amazing for book events and I said yes to most of them. You can tell when I've been back to visit home because I have a ton of book event write ups and vlogs over on my channel. Whilst Denver does have some good authors come to visit, there isn't something every week for me like there used to be. 

5. I go to bookcon/book expo now. This is the kind of antidote to there being less book events in Denver. The past 2 years I have attended book expo and bookcon in New York at the end of May, something which I could never have done when living in the UK-how would I have got all the books home?

6. I read more nonfiction than I used to. I have always been a big fan of nonfiction and loved a nonfiction audiobook on my commute but I read way more nonfiction now because I'm much more aware of nonfiction releases coming up. 

7. I read less ebooks. I think because I have such an excellent library and because publishers are sending out much more attractive proof copies of books, I read maybe one or two ebooks a month now whereas before it was the majority of what I was reading. 

8. I read poetry now. 

9. I read graphic novels now. 

10. I still love reading everything and discovering new things and I will always be behind on my blog posts and reviews-some things never change!

Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Guest Review: Dark Skies by L J Ross

Beware what lies beneath…

One fateful, starry night, three friends embark on a secret camping trip but only two return home. Thirty years later, the body of a teenage boy rises from the depths of England’s biggest reservoir and threatens to expose a killer who has lain dormant…until now.

Detective Chief Inspector Ryan returns from honeymoon to face danger from all sides. In the depths of Kielder Forest, a murderer has escaped justice before and will do anything to protect the secrets of the past. Meanwhile, back at Northumbria CID, an old foe has taken the helm as Superintendent and is determined to destroy Ryan at any cost.

Who will prevail in Ryan’s most dangerous case yet?

Murder and mystery are peppered with romance and humour in this fast-paced crime whodunit set amidst the spectacular Northumbrian landscape.

Review: This is book seven in the DCI Ryan mysteries series. Ryan heads up a police serious crime team based in Newcastle, and the stories are set in the region. As the series has progressed, readers have become increasingly familiar with Ryan and his colleagues, as well as some of the criminal element they have encountered. However, most of the books can be read as stand-alone stories, this one being no exception.

This story is set primarily in Kielder forest, a large woodland in north eastern England, and in particular around Kielder Water reservoir and a village on its banks. The reservoir was formed by construction of a dam; several buildings were submerged as the water gradually collected. It is from one of these buildings that a body emerges. Ryan and his team are called in to investigate the identity and cause of death of what appears to be a boy who had lain undiscovered under the water for many years, probably since before the area flooded. While looking into this death, another boy is murdered in the village, this time a student from a group on a field trip organised coincidentally by Ryan’s wife, Anna. Could there be a connection between the deaths of the two boys? As the detectives investigate, their work is complicated by the arrival of a new Detective Chief Superintendent who has a history with Ryan and appears intent on disrupting his team’s equilibrium.

As with all the books I have read in this series, I have really enjoyed this mystery, and especially trying to work out who was to blame for the crimes from the clues scattered throughout its pages. Although I have said that each of these books can be read as a stand-alone, part of the pleasure is in following the progress of relationships within Ryan’s team, and within his personal life. So while I would recommend this book for the storyline, interesting characters and descriptions of the Northumbrian landscape, I would equally suggest reading the whole series from the start.

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Review: Day Zero by Kelly Devos

Don’t miss the exhilarating new novel from the author of Fat Girl on a Plane, featuring a fierce, bold heroine who will fight for her family and do whatever it takes to survive. Fans of Susan Beth Pfeffer’s Life As We Knew It series and Rick Yancey’s The 5th Wave series will cheer for this fast-paced, near-future thrill ride.

If you’re going through hell…keep going.

Seventeen-year-old coder Jinx Marshall grew up spending weekends drilling with her paranoid dad for a doomsday she’s sure will never come. She’s an expert on self-heating meal rations, Krav Maga and extracting water from a barrel cactus. Now that her parents are divorced, she’s ready to relax. Her big plans include making it to level 99 in her favorite MMORPG and spending the weekend with her new hunky stepbrother, Toby.

But all that disaster training comes in handy when an explosion traps her in a burning building. Stuck leading her headstrong stepsister, MacKenna, and her precocious little brother, Charles, to safety, Jinx gets them out alive only to discover the explosion is part of a pattern of violence erupting all over the country. Even worse, Jinx’s dad stands accused of triggering the chaos.

In a desperate attempt to evade paramilitary forces and vigilantes, Jinx and her siblings find Toby and make a break for Mexico. With seemingly the whole world working against them, they’ve got to get along and search for the truth about the attacks—and about each other. But if they can survive, will there be anything left worth surviving for?

Review: This is one of those books that you really cant compare to anything else you've read because it is so different and so unique an despite the fact that it is a total cliche, this book had me on the edge of my seat the whole time. 

I'll admit that I haven't read a whole lot of books about teen coders surviving doomsday but that's clearly because I never knew I wanted to read about kick-ass girls like that! This book really does have everything, women defying gender stereotypes, villains that do unpredictable things, typical high-school friendship issues and of course just a little bit of romance. It is somewhat political, totally timely and I really enjoyed it. 

Jinx is a great main character because she does have all of those teen traits that we can recognise and identify with but then she has been trained by Dr Doomsday and is also an awesome coder who is great at surviving role play games in her online community. She makes for a wonderful heroines to spend the course of this book with. She has a step sister who is basically the opposite of her and so they counteract one another constantly but that can sometimes be helpful in certain situations. I can't wait to delve a little more into their relationship in the second half of this duology!

The real show-stealer here in terms of characters is little brother Charles, he is so sweet and so quirky and I just loved when he would come into a scene and complicate it or just make everything a little bit lighter. He has his own issues and they can often be problematic when you're trying to run from some unknown force in the middle of a desert. I loved the dynamic between these siblings and I'm really looking forward to seeing more of that in book two. 

In terms of events in this book, the plot is one of the twistiest I have read for a long time, I literally didn't predict anything that was going to happen along the way and sometimes you really need a book to come along and shake things up like that. There is quite a lot of violence in this book and peril at every turn so definitely exercise care there if that's not your thing. I will say though I don't think any of the violence or any of the scarier parts were there unnecessarily, I think they were all key to the plot and so I thought they were well-timed and added to that edge of your seat factor. 

Now I know you don't normally find me recommending doomsday survival novels on this blog but you do find me recommending books with brilliant character dynamics and kick-ass women defying all of those gender roles to make for some awesome page turning action scenes so I do highly recommend this book. My only issue with it is that now I have to wait for book 2 to come out and I'm just not sure how I'm going to last until it does!

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

October Reading Wrap Up 2019

So hands up who completely forgot to post their October wrap up... that would be me! So sorry. I think the whole being at Disney World (vlogs over on my channel, highlights on my insta) and the clocks going back and leaving my job just threw me for a loop and I forgot how to be a blogger entirely! So here is my October wrap up...

As always, if I have already reviewed a book I will leave a link to that review and will break my wrap up down into the format I read the books in. 


Physical Books


Wednesday, 6 November 2019

Guest Review: Cragside by L J Ross

Are you afraid of the dark..?

After his climactic battle with notorious serial killer The Hacker, DCI Ryan is spending the summer with his fiancée within the grounds of Cragside, a spectacular Bavarian-style mansion surrounded by acres of woodland. When they are invited to attend the staff summer party – a Victorian murder mystery evening – it’s all a joke until the lights go out and an elderly man is found dead. It looks like an unfortunate accident but, as the dead man’s life begins to unfold, Ryan and his team of detectives realise that all is not as it appears.

When a second body is found, terror grips the close-knit community and Ryan must uncover the killer who walks among them, before they strike again...

Murder and mystery are peppered with romance and humour in this fast-paced crime whodunit set amidst the spectacular Northumbrian landscape.

Review: This is the sixth book in the DCI Ryan mysteries by L J Ross. I came upon the series when it was already well established, so I am enjoying reading the books in quick succession. Some of the previous books have relied to some extent on having read others in the series, but, apart from containing recurring characters in DCI Ryan’s team, who readers of previous books in the series will have come to know, this one could definitely be read as a stand-alone.

The action here takes place almost entirely in a grand Northumberland house, Cragside, and in its grounds. While DCI Ryan and his fiancée, Anna, are attending a staff party at the house, there is an unexplained blackout, after which a body is discovered outside in the courtyard. During the investigation of this death, some interesting facts emerge about the victim, leading Ryan and his team to wonder if this was indeed an accident, as originally believed. When another body is found, this time in the grounds of the house, people begin to fear that a serial killer may be at large, and to wonder who will be the next victim. Ryan and his team are faced with a complicated situation that they must unravel before it’s too late. Meanwhile, his currently happy personal life looks as if it may be about to be disturbed by the arrival of a new member of the force.

As DCI Ryan is a member of a squad dealing with serious crime, you can be sure that there will be at least one suspicious death somewhere along the line in these stories. In common with other books in the series, the reader is given a little more information than the investigators, and a few clues to try and work out what is going on. The excitement in this and other books in the series is that while you have faith in Ryan, you are never sure who is safe. Nobody is ever immune from the unwanted attention of the wrongdoer. I’m certain that anyone who enjoys crime drama will like this book. It might appeal especially to people who know the area in which the story is set, although knowledge of that region is of course not necessary for its appreciation.

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

Tuesday, 5 November 2019

November 2019 TBR

November will be a busy month in terms of travel but I have some idea of what I want to read too. It is also nonfiction November month so I have some nonfiction books specifically I want to get to as well as some November releases...

November Releases

November 12th (US)

November 9th (US)

November 14th (UK)

November 28th (UK)

Nonfiction November Reads

Other Books I Want to Get to

Monday, 4 November 2019

Blog Tour: Review of The Christmas Wish List by Heidi Swain

After being let go from her job in a swanky hotel just weeks before Christmas, Hattie is feeling lost. Even more so when her high-flying boyfriend announces he’s landed his dream job in Abu Dhabi and asks her to move with him. Luckily, Hattie’s long-time friend Dolly is on hand to help and invites Hattie to spend one last holiday in the small, festive town of Wynbridge, determined to give her a Christmas to remember . . .

Upon Hattie’s arrival, holiday preparations are in full swing. But for Hattie, whose Christmas cheer has long since run out, it’ll take more than mince pies and mistletoe to open her heart to the season once more. Relishing the task of reigniting Hattie’s Christmas spirit, Dolly suggests they create a wish list of all the things the season can offer, and with the helpful hands of Wynbridge’s resident handyman, Beamish, Hattie finds her frosty exterior is starting to thaw.

As Wynbridge prepares for its most spectacular Christmas yet, will Hattie leave snowy England behind for life in a sunnier clime, or will she in fact realise that her heart’s desire lies much closer to home?

Review: Well this book had me feeling all warm and cosy and festive from page one and kept me there right up until the end. This book is like a hug with substance, I didn't want it to end! I absolutely love a Hedi Swain Christmas novel but there is definitely something special about this one. I bought the audiobook and the narration is wonderful, it gets the tone of the story just right. If you're looking for a pick-me-up, this is definitely something to buy and read and love and read again!

Hattie is a great character to share this book with because she is at somewhat of a crossroads in her life so we get to help her decide if she's going to make changes or stick to what she knows. I loved getting to know her and I really hope we get to hear more from her in future Heidi Swain spectaculars.  Dolly is also a great character, she is feisty and she is old enough not to care what anyone thinks, if she knows something might be unpopular, she does it anyway and she is super passionate about Christmas too-wonderful!

It was great to be back in Wynbridge again too and visiting lots of familiar faces. It's always great to see people and places you recognise. but have no fear, if you have not visited this town before, all are welcome and you will be able to follow Hattie's story as a newcomer, or a returning visitor either way. This book doesn't just highlight the fun of the festive season though, it also does tackle some bigger issues, particularly those surrounding a controlling relationship and what might be going on behind closed door. I enjoyed seeing this fully explored in this book because it didn't become and issues based story, but a festive tale with some more real aspects of life exposed as well. 

Can I just say that this book features and school and teachers and teaching assistants and does so in a highly real way. Often teachers in books get to come home at night and do nothing, this book features what its really like to be in a school at Christmas time and i applaud this author for writing her school so well. If that's something that's important to you too, you needed to hear this. 

This book made me laugh and cry but altogether I just had the most amazing time spending my days in Wynbridge with Hattie and Dolly and of course the handsome folk who reside there-love interest anyone? I know you're going to love this one so pop it on your festive reading list now!

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

Saturday, 2 November 2019

Guest Review: Always Managing: My Autobiography By Harry Redknapp

‘From kicking a ball as a kid under the street lamps of Poplar and standing on Highbury's North Bank with my dad, to my first game at West Ham, I was born head over heels in love with football. It saved me, and 50 years on that hasn't changed one bit - I'd be lost without it…’

Harry is the manager who has seen it all - from a dismal 70s Portakabin at Oxford City and training pitches with trees in the middle to the unbeatable highs of the Premiership, lifting the FA Cup and taking on Real Madrid in the Champions League. With his much loved, no-nonsense delivery, Harry brings us a story filled with passion and humour that takes you right inside every drama of his career.

Harry finally tells the full story of all the controversial ups and downs - the pain and heartache of his court case, the England job, his love for Bobby Moore, his adventures at Portsmouth with Milan Mandaric, the Southampton debacle, Tottenham and Daniel Levy, and not forgetting his years at West Ham or the challenges at his current club QPR.

It’s the epic journey of one of the great managers and, along the way, the story of the British game itself over the last five decades. In an era now dominated by foreign coaches Harry is the last of an old-fashioned breed of English football man - one who has managed to move with the times and always come out fighting.

Review: This is the second autobiography by the former footballer and football manager Harry Redknapp, written with the assistance of Martin Samuel. It describes his career as a footballer, playing on the right wing for the Tottenham Hotspur youth team, before playing the bulk of his career as a professional footballer for West Ham United and Bournemouth. Following the end of his playing days in England, he had a spell playing and coaching in the USA for Seattle and Phoenix.

On returning to England, he had periods as manager of numerous clubs, including Bournemouth, West Ham United, Portsmouth, Southampton, Tottenham Hotspur and Queens Park Rangers. The book describes, in an informal, almost conversational, style his experiences over this time, including such high points as steering Portsmouth to FA Cup victory in 2008 and managing Tottenham Hotspur in the UEFA Champions League. There are numerous anecdotes throughout describing many of the colourful characters he has met during his career. These include the England legend Bobby Moore, alongside whom Harry played at West Ham United, and the talented, if temperamental, Italian player Paulo Di Canio whom Harry managed at the same club. It is interesting to read about the contrast between the culture of British footballers during the 1960s and that of more recent years when the influx of overseas footballers resulted in a change in attitudes towards training, conditioning and nutrition. There are also numerous stories about the relationships, good and bad, he has had with chairmen and staff members of various football clubs he has managed.

Although the bulk of the book is concerned with football, there are details of his private life. This includes a chapter devoted to his trial, in 2012, for tax fraud, when he was acquitted of all charges. However, the book is mainly about football and his style of management, particularly in relation to his ability to wheel and deal in the transfer market. As such, it should appeal to all football fans.

The book was published in 2013, so details of his later management career with Birmingham City, or of his winning the 2018 TV series of "I'm a celebrity...get me out of here!" are not included. As can be seen from Harry's CV, this is an entertaining autobiography by a very colourful character.

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

Friday, 1 November 2019

Guest Review: Starlight Over Bluebell Castle by Sarah Bennett

Starlight Over Bluebell Castle is the third book in the delightfully uplifting Bluebell Castle trilogy!
The most magical time of the year…
Jessica Ridley’s life has just been turned upside-down – and not in a good way! So when blast-from-the-past Tristan Ludworth invites her to stay at Bluebell Castle and transform it into a winter wonderland, it’s the perfect distraction for Jess and her two young children…
Jess is used to planning even the most elaborate events in her sleep, but she certainly didn’t expect to be working so closely with Tristan at the castle – or that she could still find him quite  so handsome after all this time!
And with a little holiday magic in the air, it’s becoming harder and harder to resist his charms. Can Tristan convince Jess to give love one more chance, just in time for Christmas?

Review: This is the third part of the Bluebell Castle trilogy from Sarah Bennett. The stories deal with the lives of the Ludworth family, whose ancestral Derbyshire home has been nicknamed Bluebell castle due to the stunning display of these flowers in the grounds each spring. Each part of this trilogy can be read as a stand-alone, but I would recommend reading each in turn, as they make a wonderful set. As I expected, having read several books by Sarah Bennett, once I began reading this current Bluebell Castle story I was hooked.

Each part of this series has centred on one member of the youngest generation of the Ludworth family, triplets Arthur, Igraine and Tristan. This time it’s the turn of Tristan to be in the limelight. In previous parts, readers have learned of the family’s struggle to secure the future of their home following the death of the triplets’ father and the financial difficulties he left behind. A year on finds Tristan using his events management experience to try to establish the castle as a luxury Christmas vacation venue and to turn the grounds into a winter wonderland. In need of an assistant, he turns to one-time colleague and romantic interest Jess, whose marriage has broken down and is facing an uncertain future. Jess and her two young sons soon find themselves ensconced in the castle where she uses her skills to help Tristan in his attempts to fulfil his dream. As she is drawn further and further into the family and nearer to Tristan, Jess wonders how she will be able to leave once the festivities are over and she has to find another job.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, which is full of warmth and romance, to say nothing of Christmas magic. Having read the other parts of the trilogy, it was lovely to return to the familiar Ludworth family home and meet up with the inhabitants once more. They are all such likeable characters and so welcoming to everyone; I would certainly like to experience one of their luxury Christmas breaks where it seems every wish a guest could possibly have can be granted. I am really going to miss Bluebell Castle and will undoubtedly go back and read all the parts of the trilogy again. This part would make an excellent Christmas gift for a friend, or just for yourself!

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

Wednesday, 30 October 2019

Guest Review: The Christmas Invitation by Trisha Ashley

Meg is definitely not in the Christmas mood. She’s never gone in for tinsel, baubles and mistletoe, and right now she’s still getting over an illness. Yet when she’s invited to spend the run-up to Christmas in the snowy countryside, rather than dreary London, she can’t refuse.
Arriving at a warm and cosy family home in a small hilltop village, Meg soon begins to wonder what a proper Christmas might be like. But just as she’s beginning to settle in, she spots a familiar face. Lex.
Despite the festive cheer, Meg suddenly wants nothing more than to get as far away from him, and their past secrets, as she can. But if she stays, could this be the year she finally discovers the magic of Christmas...?

Review: I always enjoy a book written by Trisha Ashley, and ones set around Christmas in particular. This book did surprise me a little, as I struggled a bit to get into the story, but once I got going, I literally didn’t want to put it down. It’s one of those books that I miss now that I have finished it; I’m sure other readers will recognise that feeling.

The central character in the story, Meg, is a skilled artist recovering from a recent bout of pneumonia. She is approached by a rather forceful lady, Martha, who wants her to paint portraits of her and her husband, Henry. The request is accompanied by an invitation to spend the festive season with the couple in their country house set in a small hamlet high on the Lancashire moors. Having been raised in a commune, Meg has never celebrated a ‘conventional’ Christmas, and accepts the opportunity to experience something different. Once she arrives at Martha’s home, she finds herself enveloped in a household full of interesting characters. Unfortunately, one member of the extended family is Lex, someone with whom Meg has an unfortunate history. She hopes that if she can avoid him, her stay may still be an enjoyable one, but fate seems to have other ideas. There are quite a few other surprises in store for her too during her snowy Christmas visit.

This is another delightful tale from Trisha Ashley, filled with amazing characters and wonderful settings. Martha’s house and household were so warm and welcoming that I would love to be snowed up there for Christmas myself. Fans of her books will recognise quite a few familiar names from Trisha’s previous stories. I loved all the twists and turns in this book; I was never quite sure what would happen next and who would turn up. As well as drama and romance, there was a nice amount of humour in the story. I can’t fail to mention a very cute little dachshund who quite stole my heart. I can certainly recommend this book to anyone, especially those who enjoy a really snowy Christmas tale; it would also make a perfect addition to a Christmas stocking.

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

Tuesday, 29 October 2019

Review: Black Canary Ignite by Meg Cabot

Thirteen-year-old Dinah Lance knows exactly what she wants, who she is, and where she's going. First, she'll win the battle of the bands with her two best friends, then she'll join the Gotham City Junior Police Academy so she can solve crimes just like her dad. Who knows, her rock star group of friends may even save the world, but first they'll need to agree on a band name. When a mysterious figure keeps getting in the way of Dinah's goals and threatens her friends and family, she'll learn more about herself, her mother's secret past, and navigating the various power chords of life. Black Canary: Ignite is an inspirational song that encourages readers to find their own special voices to sing along with Black Canary!

Review: Well I enjoyed this graphic novel a lot more than I expected to. I had just watched the movie Joker and so my head was already in Gotham City so it was good to imagine myself there but this graphic novel gives a really good setting and the illustration of the characters and the background is excellent. 

My big takeaway from this book was female friendship which I love in any kind of book so it was wonderful to find it in this DC series. I loved the female friendship between the main characters and liked the context of the school and the band. 

I also really enjoyed the family in this novel. The parents both relate to our main character in different ways and for different reasons (no spoilers here) but they both love her and support her in their own ways. I would love to hear more from this world and can't wait to read the other graphic novels in the series. 

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US