Tuesday, 24 May 2022

Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Memes I Love 24.5.22


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. 

Ok I know this was supposed to be quotes but memes are basically quotes aren't they?

Monday, 23 May 2022

Review: The Summer Fair by Heidi Swain

 Beth loves her job working in a care home, looking after its elderly residents, but she doesn’t love the cramped and dirty house-share she currently lives in. So, when she gets the opportunity to move to Nightingale Square, sharing a house with the lovely Eli, she jumps at the chance.
The community at Nightingale Square welcomes Beth with open arms, and when she needs help to organise a fundraiser for the care home they rally round. Then she discovers The Arches, a local creative arts centre, has closed and the venture to replace it needs their help too – but this opens old wounds and past secrets for Beth.
Music was always an important part of her life, but now she has closed the door on all that. Will her friends at the care home and the people of Nightingale Square help her find a way to learn to love it once more…?

Review: Another reliable treat from Heidi Swain. If you’re feeling despondent about the world, or anything else for that matter, this writer can be trusted to show you the light and make you feel just that little bit more positive again. I always love meeting a Heidi Swain main character because they always begin a book at a crossroads in their life, always need a little bit of a pick-me-up and a shove in the right direction again and Beth is no exception. But you know that Heidi Swain is going to look after her. 

One of the things I loved about Beth was how independent she is. This is not necessarily through choice but she is on her own in this world and she has chosen to make the ost of it as opposed to turning it into a sob story. She can see that her home situation has to change and her job situation is not ideal but she takes those obstacles and decides to do something about it. And of course along come Nightingale Square and the residents within. 

Returning to a much-loved location from thai authors creations always feels like returning home and when we have a new character entering that setting you can’t help but find yourself saying ‘oh I can’t wait for them to meet…’ and ‘oh I hope they enjoy…’ because you feel a sense of ownership over that location, that’s the power that this writer gives her settings. It was great to catch ujp on the action in the square again although I feel like we might have been inside almost all of the houses now and that has me a little worried!

As well as helping someone back on the path to happiness, a Heidi Swain novel always has a romance element in it and I LOVED the meet cute in this one. You almost don’t see it coming and then it’s like that moment in The Office where you say “oh ok it’s happening, everyone stay calm’ its a wonder. Another aspect of this novel that I loved which I don’t think has been a highlight of a Heidi Swain book before was music. I loved the musical side of it and the power that music is given throughout the book. I know singing makes me happier and so it was great to see it in black and white on the page here. 

Summery and just lovely I highly recommend The Summer Fair from Heidi Swain. 

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

Wednesday, 18 May 2022

Guest Review: Date With Betrayal by Julia Chapman

In the seventh novel in Julia Chapman’s Dales Detective series, Date with Betrayal, betrayal is rife in the idyllic Yorkshire Dales as Samson O’Brien, owner of the Dales Detective Agency, is targeted by a hitman. Can Bruncliffe save him? 

Death is coming to Bruncliffe: its target is Samson O’Brien.

Oblivious to his impending date with fate, Samson is busy juggling a number of cases at the Dales Detective Agency. Too busy, in fact, to notice his partner behaving oddly.

Because Delilah Metcalfe knows what is coming. A hitman. Sent from London with one objective: to finally silence the troublesome O’Brien before his corruption case can make it to court.

With Samson’s life in peril, and betrayal around every corner, Delilah has no choice but to call in favours from all of her Bruncliffe connections in order to counteract the menace threatening to engulf the Dales town.

The only trouble is the townsfolk have long memories and deep grievances when it comes to Samson O’Brien. Trust must be earned and they will take some convincing before they put themselves in danger in order to save him.

And even then, it might not prove enough . . .

Review: This is the seventh book in the Dales Detective Series set in the glorious Yorkshire Dales and featuring suspended police officer Samson O’Brien and Delilah Metcalfe who runs the local dating agency. The pair share offices in the town of Bruncliffe where they investigate cases referred to the Dales Detective Agency, ably assisted by Delilah’s faithful Weimaraner Tolpuddle. At the beginning of the book, the author has helpfully included a map of Bruncliffe showing places that feature in these stories. Although this is a series, each book can be read as a standalone, but I have enjoyed reading each one in order as they have been released. I have, in fact, listened to the audiobook in most cases, and always enjoy the narration from Elizabeth Bower.

There has been a thread running through each book connected with Samson’s suspension from the police force and his impending corruption case, suggesting that someone doesn’t want him giving evidence in court. All this comes to a head in this story, when Delilah is tipped off that a hitman is on his way to kill Samson. She decides to take matters into her own hands and rally the townspeople to protect the detective while he is completely oblivious and hard at work on other cases. The only problem for Delilah is that there is some ill feeling against Samson connected with the way in which he left the town many years ago. Somehow, she must find a way to convince people to help her. In the end, help in this matter comes from an unexpected source and an elaborate chain of events is established to identify and deal with the hitman when he turns up. Will this be enough to save Samson from this unknown assassin?

I have loved all of the stories in the Dales Detective Series, but I would have to say that I consider this the best so far. The tension kept me on the edge of my seat while some of the antics of the townspeople had me laughing out loud. What skilled writing to combine the comedy with the drama in this way. As always, I have enjoyed meeting the recurring characters in this series. They are the usual mix that you might typically find in a small town in the Yorkshire Dales, with their dry humour and no-nonsense approach to life. I am already looking forward to the next book in the series; there are hints here as to what Samson and Delilah will be investigating next.

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

Tuesday, 17 May 2022

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Was SO EXCITED to Get, but Still Haven’t Read 17.5.22


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. 

Ooo this is really exposing me now isn't it? Shall I include the library books that I get and then just let the loan run out before reading or not?

Monday, 16 May 2022

Bout of Books Day 7 Update & Wrap Up!


I read thought that joining in with Bout of Books this week would help with my reading goals. It's been really difficult to read so far this year and so making it a priority this week has definitely been a help. It also helps that I now live somewhere with a bath, reading in the bath turly is bliss isn't it? It has also reminded me that I can listen to an audiobook whilst cleaning/sorting/getting ready for the day and that was a good reminder for me. Ironic that I've always preached that but then forgot about it as soon as I got super-busy and needed it!

Day 7 Update

Day 7 was a pretty busy day for me considering the fact that it was a Sunday but I got up nice and early so I could do some audiobook listening and then pledged to read my ebook before going to sleep!

I read 85 pages of this-I can't wait to get stuck back in tomorrow!

 I read the remaining 78% of this so 70 pages. 

Reading Wrap Up

448 pages

432 pages

48 pages

92 pages

89 pages

180 pages

64 pages

Pages Read Day 7: 155
Pages Read This Week: 1353
Complete Books Finished: 6.5

Sunday, 15 May 2022

Bout of Books 34 Day 6 Update


Today was a homey day with lots of time to listen to audiobook whilst cleaning. I also had a lazy morning reading audiobook-bliss!

Day 6 Update

I definitely added to my book total today!

I read the last 15% of this so 67 pages. 

I read all of this. I can't find a page count for it but as it is a quarter of a paperback that will be 368 pages I'm take 25% of that and saying I read 92 pages. 

I read 95 pages of this-it's stunning so far!

I was hoping to read this one today too but unfortunately I got engrossed in Eurovision instead! I read 22% of this thought so an extra 20 pages!

Pages Read Day 6: 274
Pages Read This Week: 1189
Complete Books Finished: 5

Saturday, 14 May 2022

Bout of Books 34 Day 5 Update


Happy Friday, today was a good reading day that included reading in the bath so that was great!

Day 5 Update

I made a great dent in my ebook reading. I think I could've pushed and finished it but I really needed some sleep having already had an emergency nap when I got in from school so i decided to save the last little bit for tomorrow. 

I read another 50% of this so 224 pages. Can't wait to read the end of this!

Pages Read Day 5: 224
Pages Read This Week: 915
Complete Books Finished: 3 (so close to 4!)

Friday, 13 May 2022

Bout of Books 34 Day 4 Update


The fact that I'm getting my days mixed up already shows you what kind of week it has been. I've literally been yearning to be able to sit down and read my eBook, I don't mind where I'll read anywhere!

Day 4 Update

Well I finished another book so that's great! I listened on my commute and whilst I was getting ready in the morning. I knew I would finish this today but I'm glad that I did!

I listened to the last 24% of this. 103 pages.

I read another 16% of this so 71 pages. 

Pages Read Day 4: 174
Pages Read This Week: 691
Complete Books Finished: 3

Thursday, 12 May 2022

April 2022 Reading Wrap Up-Some Excellent Audiobooks & a Re-read!


Bout of Books 34 Day 3 Update

I really tried to get in some actual sitting down and reading time today but it just didn't hppen. You would think that being up at 5:30 and not going to be until after 11 would allow for some actual reading to take place but...no just the audiobook in the car!

Day 3 Update

Just the audiobook on my commute today plus a little whilst I was sorting out some stuff in the classroom!

I listened to another 26% of this, I will finish it today! 113 pages.

Pages Read Day 1: 113
Pages Read This Week: 517
Complete Books Finished: 2 

Wednesday, 11 May 2022

Guest Review: Summer at the French Cafe by Sue Moorcroft

As soon as Kat Jenson set foot in the idyllic French village of Kirchhoffen, she knew she’d found her home. Now she has a dreamy boyfriend, a delightful dog and the perfect job managing a bustling book cafĂ© in the vibrant Parc Lemmel.

But when she learns her boyfriend isn’t all he seems, it’s the start of a difficult summer for Kat. Vindictive troublemakers, work woes and family heartache follow, and the clear blue sky that was her life suddenly seems full of clouds.

Then she gets to know the mysterious Noah, and her sun begins to shine brighter than ever. But Noah has problems of his own – ones that could scupper their new-found happiness. Together, can they overcome their many obstacles, and find love again?

Review: I am a firm fan of Sue Moorcroft’s books and know that I can sit down with them and be transported to another world. This book sounded absolutely ideal for a summer read, and I looked forward to being whisked off to a warm French location; I could almost smell the coffee even before I opened the cover. When I started to read, I found that the setting was not only a cafe, but a bookshop into the bargain - one of my favourite sorts of establishment. The story itself soon had me engaged and I finished it all too quickly.

The central character in the story is Kat, who is managing a popular bookshop-cafe by the lake in busy Parc Lemmel in the village of Kirchhoffen. Having left behind a complicated family situation in her native UK, she is happy with her life in the French village, where she has a job that she loves, a handsome boyfriend and an adorable dog who accompanies her to work every day. However, her peaceful existence is suddenly shattered by the discovery that her boyfriend is not the person she believed, and this revelation brings her into contact with someone who is super-vindictive, causing trouble for her and her shop. On a lighter side, she is delighted that her step-brother has also come to work in the parc, giving her a chance to get to know him better, a thing that seemed impossible in the home setting. Contact with him has also brought into her life newcomer Noah, a divorced father with a young daughter. A relationship soon blossoms between Kat and Noah, but his family life is also very complicated, and, although they try to work through their problems together, there seems no way forward for the pair.

The bright and breezy cover on this book suggests a light summer read in a beautiful setting, but it is so much more than that. Within the book’s pages, Sue Moorcroft has introduced and dealt ably with a number of serious topics which I will not list for fear of bringing in spoilers. I will just say that the main characters in the story have to deal with such a lot. There is romance here, but it is set around a strong storyline which twists and turns, keeping the reader guessing as to how it will all end. I very much liked both Noah and Kat and was amazed at how they were able to cope with what was continually coming their way. I can thoroughly recommend this book to Sue Moorcroft fans and those new to this author, but be ready to be confronted with some difficult topics.

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

Bout of Books 34 Day 2 Update

Today saw some reading take place which is better than some Tuesdays in my life so that's a win in my book!

Day 2 Update

I read some audiobook on my commute, a picture book at school and then some of my ebook before bed. 

I listened up to chapter 14. This is about another 20% so 80 pages read. 

I read 10% so 44 pages.

48 pages

Pages Read Day 1: 172
Pages Read This Week: 404
Complete Books Finished: 2 

Tuesday, 10 May 2022

Bout of Books 34 TBR and Day 1 Update


So somehow I have made the decision to participate in Bout of Books this week. I haven't done thi readathon since this time last year so I don't know why I have decided to start now but it is what it is...

I'm only really aiming to read 2 books this week and those are the May releases from my Netgalley shelf. One is already out so I bought the audiobook and one comes out on Thursday so we're aiming to read it by then!

I do have some other audiobooks from the library and one more May release from Netgalley but I'm keeping my goals low to hopefully encourage me to actually do this thing!

Day 1 Update

I read some audiobook on my commute, a graphic novel in school and some of my ebook in the bath. 

I listened to chapter 8. This is about 30% so 120 pages read. 

I read 11% so 48 pages.

64 pages

Pages Read Day 1: 232
Pages Read This Week: 232
Complete Books Finished: 1