Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Spotlight: The Birth of Death (Evorath) by Joseph P. Macolino

Book Blurb:

In the second edition of "The Birth of Death," Macolino looks to introduce readers to the world of Evorath and reveal some of the major characters. As the forest finds itself threatened by a grave new evil, its citizens must unite if they hope to survive. 

While these heroes struggle to put aside their own personal challenges, they work to ensure their people can survive another day. Filled with adventure, suspense, and just the right amount of romance, readers will be left on the edge of their seat as they read to the end. One thing is for sure: when it's said and done, nothing will be the same.



Official Website: http://www.evorath.com

Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram: @Evorath


About the Author:

Contemporary Scribe of Epic High Fantasy. Joseph P. Macolino focuses on building worlds and creating believable character with strengths, weaknesses, and realistic attitudes. Rather than having cookie-cutter heroes who are pure-hearted, he sheds light that most heroes are just everyday people who do extraordinary things. His writing focuses on these characters as they shape the history of Evorath, his own fantasy world. 
When he is not writing, Macolino is usually reading about philosophy of some kind or spending time with his wife. He hopes that his fantasy universe will offer readers both an exciting adventure to enjoy while also stressing the importance of staying true to oneself. He believes diversity is what makes a society strong, and hopes to demonstrate through his work that people have more similarities than they do differences.

The Shattered Tree by Charles Todd

The Shattered Tree by Charles Todd
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

World War I battlefield nurse Bess Crawford goes to dangerous lengths to investigate a wounded soldier’s background—and uncover his true loyalties—in this thrilling and atmospheric entry in the bestselling “vivid period mystery series” (New York Times Book Review).

At the foot of a tree shattered by shelling and gunfire, stretcher-bearers find an exhausted officer, shivering with cold and a loss of blood from several wounds. The soldier is brought to battlefield nurse Bess Crawford’s aid station, where she stabilizes him and treats his injuries before he is sent to a rear hospital. The odd thing is, the officer isn't British--he's French. But in a moment of anger and stress, he shouts at Bess in German.

When Bess reports the incident to Matron, her superior offers a ready explanation. The soldier is from Alsace-Lorraine, a province in the west where the tenuous border between France and Germany has continually shifted through history, most recently in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, won by the Germans. But is the wounded man Alsatian? And if he is, on which side of the war do his sympathies really lie?

Of course, Matron could be right, but Bess remains uneasy—and unconvinced. If he were a French soldier, what was he doing so far from his own lines . . . and so close to where the Germans are putting up a fierce, last-ditch fight?

When the French officer disappears in Paris, it’s up to Bess—a soldier’s daughter as well as a nurse—to find out why, even at the risk of her own life


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I read A Pattern of Lies (the book before this one) last year and loved the book. So I was in seventh heaven when I got approved for this one. I have read most of the books in this series since I read A Pattern of Lies and I quite enjoy both the stories and the books characters. Bess Crawford is a wonderful character, strong and competent and I'm so happy that the doesn't spend her time romanticizing about some guy. (I do wish however that she and Sergeant Lassiter would get a bit...closer)

Anyway, this book is, to be honest not my favorite in the series. I'm actually I bit disappointed how weak the story felt compared to A Pattern of Lies. I grew a bit frustrated reading the book because the main story about the soldier that may or may not be a german spy just didn't rock my boat. It was not totally bad, I just didn't find The Shattered Tree as intriguing and as engrossing to read as I usually do with the books in this series. And, I missed Sergeant Lassiter who wasn't even in this book, just mentioned a couple of times (Yes I did a search for him after reading 1/3 of the book because I was really looking forward to reading about Bess and him meeting again). Now, I don't say that the book was bad because Sergeant Lassiter wasn't in it, rather it just didn't make the situation better. 

So, not my favorite book in the series, still good to read, but I hope the next book in the series will be better!

I want to thank William Morrow for providing me with a free copy for an honest review!

Monday, 29 August 2016

Melody Bittersweet and The Girls' Ghostbusting Agency by Kitty French

Melody Bittersweet and The Girls' Ghostbusting Agency by Kitty French
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Life’s tough for Melody Bittersweet.

She’s single, addicted to sugar and super heroes, her family are officially bonkers, and she sees dead people. Is it any wonder no-one’s swiping right on Tinder?
Waking up lonely on her twenty seventh birthday, Melody finally snaps. She can’t carry on basing all of her life decisions on the advice of her magic 8 ball; things have got to change.

Fast forward two months, and she’s now the proud proprietor of her very own ghostbusting agency - kind of like in the movies but without the dodgy white jumpsuits. She’s also flirting with her ex Leo Dark, fraternising with her enemy in alleyways, and she’s somehow ended up with a pug called Lestat.

Life just went from dull to dynamite and it’s showing no sign of slowing up anytime soon. Melody’s been hired to clear Scarborough House of its incumbent ghosts, there’s the small matter of a murder to solve, and then there’s the two very handsome, totally inappropriate men hoping to distract her from the job…

Welcome to Chapelwick, home of the brand new and hilarious Girls Ghostbusting Agency series, where things really do go bump in the night

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I don't think I've been so charmed by a paranormal book since I read The Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris. Melody Bittersweet is a new favorite character of mine and I seriously hope that this is the first book in a series!

The book is hilarious, it's romantic, it's engrossing and I love Melody's snarky humor. (And, by God, I love Lestat, the dog). I even like  Melody lusting after Fletch, and I'm usually the last people interested in reading books about people lusting after each other. But, the love-hate relationship between Fletch and Melody work like magic! And, let's not forget Artie the apprentice ghost hunter and Marina, her colleague and best friend. They brought so much to the story that I can't help feeling giddy just thinking about all the funny moments in the book from office meetings to trying to get rid of the ghost from Scarborough House.

Seriously, I hate writing 5-star reviews, because all I do is gush and I just can't help it. This book made me happy, it's a book for when you feel depressed or just down a bit. It was a great joy to read this book, and now I want a sequel! I'm bloody happy that I caved in and requested this book on NetGalley!

I want to thank Bookouture for providing me with a free copy for an honest review!

Blog Tour: If I Only Had a Duke by Lenora Bell

If I Only Had a Duke by Lenora Bell
My rating: 3 of 5 stars


After three failed seasons and a disastrous jilting, Lady Dorothea Beaumont has had more than enough of her family's scheming. She won't domesticate a duke, entangle an earl or vie for a viscount. She will quietly exit to her aunt's Irish estate for a life of blissful freedom. Until an arrogant, sinfully handsome duke singles her out for a waltz, making Thea the most popular belle of the season.
Well, the duke ruined her plans and now he'll just have to fix them.

Dalton, Duke of Osborne, is far too heartless for debutantes or marriage - he uses dalliances to distract from his real purpose: finding the man who destroyed his family. When his search leads to Ireland, the last thing he needs is the determined, achingly innocent Thea, who arrives in the dead of night demanding he escort her to her aunt. His foolish agreement may prove his undoing. The road to the Emerald Isle is fraught with unforeseen dangers, but the greatest peril of all might just be discovering that he has a heart... and he's losing it to Thea.


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If I only had a Duke is the second book in The Disgraceful Dukes series. I read the first book, How the Duke Was Won, earlier this spring and I found it quite good. I'm very pleased to say that If I Only Had a Duke is just as funny to read as the first book in the series. I chuckled aloud several times during the first 1/3 of the book. Also, I really like this series heroines. They are all so bloody funny and feels refreshingly stubborn and independent. And, that, despite living in a time when women aren't more than a man's belonging.

Now, the book is not only funny, it has a serious streak as well. Dalton, Duke of Osborne is after the man that killed his young brother when he was a child. And, now he must flee the town in a hurry after confronting a man who wounded him and could identify him because of that. However, Lady Dorothea Beaumont demands that he takes her with him when she learns that he is going to Ireland since it's his fault that she now after a couple of seasons as a wallflower is now the most popular belle of the season. She has absolutely no plans at all to get married least of all to someone her mother or grandmother wants her to marry. But, traveling, with the handsome Dalton to Ireland may change her mind about marriage. However, will she be able to get the Duke to fall for her?

Nevertheless, as much as I enjoyed the book did I have a bit of problem with the story, and that's the seduction part, the mating ritual between Dalton and Thea. And, this is not the book's fault, this is something that seldom interests me in historical romance. I'm just not fond of reading about people lusting about each other. Especially not when it gets a bit too much. In a small dose, then it's fine. But, this is historical romance, and it's a big part. So, for the right person is that part probably just fine. However, I'm just the odd one out when it comes to that. 

Also, the "twist" to the story was not especially surprising, but it at least made the book's ending sweet. Another thing, I just love the ending when Thea really puts down her foot against here families wishes and the result it brings. She really has guts.

I want to thank Piatkus for providing me with a free copy for an honest review!


About the author

Lenora Bell grew up in a tiny town in Alaska with no streetlights, no movie theatre, but a very well-endowed library. A graduate of Portland State University’s MFA in Creative Writing program, she has lived and taught English on five continents. Lenora currently shares a cabin in Switzerland with her husband and two naughty tiger-striped kitties.


Sunday, 28 August 2016

August Wishlist: The Romanovs

This months wishlist is books that in some way are linked to the Romanovs. I have for a long time found the Romanov's fascinating and I've been some reading books about the fall of the Tsar family lately so I thought that it would be a perfect theme. 

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Rasputin's Daughter 

From the author of the breakout bestseller The Kitchen Boy, a new novel delving into the mysterious life and death of the notorious Rasputin.

With the same riveting historical narrative that made The Kitchen Boy a national bestseller and a book-club favorite, Robert Alexander returns to revolutionary Russia for the harrowing tale of Rasputin's final days as told by his youthful and bold daughter, Maria. Interrogated by the provisional government on the details of her father's death, Maria vividly recounts a politically tumultuous Russia, where Rasputin's powerful influence over the throne is unsettling to all levels of society and the threats to his life are no secret.

With vast conspiracies mounting against her father, Maria must struggle with the discovery of Rasputin's true nature-his unbridled carnal appetites, mysterious relationship with the empress, rumors of involvement in secret religious cults-to save her father from his murderers. Swept away in a plot much larger than the death of one man, Maria finds herself on the cusp of the Russian Revolution itself. With Rasputin's Daughter, Robert Alexander once again delivers an imaginative and compelling story, fashioned from one of history's most fascinating characters who, until now, has been virtually unexplored in fiction.



The True Memories of Little K

Exiled in Paris, tiny, one-hundred-year-old Mathilde Kschessinska sits down to write her memoirs.

Kschessinka’s riveting storytelling soon thrusts us into a world lost to time: that great intersection of the Russian court and the Russian theater. Before the revolution, Kschessinska dominated that world as the greatest dancer of her age. At seventeen, her crisp, scything technique made her a star. So did her romance with the tsarevich Nicholas Romanov, soon to be Nicholas II. It was customary for grand dukes and sons of tsars to draw their mistresses from the ranks of the ballet, but it was not customary for them to fall in love.

before all that she believes to be true is forgotten. A lifetime ago, she was the vain, ambitious, impossibly charming prima ballerina assoluta of the tsar’s Russian Imperial Ballet in St. Petersburg. Now, as she looks back on her tumultuous life, she can still recall every slight she ever suffered, every conquest she ever made.

The affair could not endure: when Nicholas ascended to the throne as tsar, he was forced to give up his mistress, and Kschessinska turned for consolation to his cousins, two grand dukes with whom she formed an infamous ménage à trois. But when Nicholas’s marriage to Alexandra wavered after she produced girl after girl, he came once again to visit his Little K. As the tsar’s empire—one that once made up a third of the world—began its fatal crumble, Kschessinka’s devotion to the imperial family would be tested in ways she could never have foreseen.

The Imperial Wife

Two women's lives collide when a priceless Russian artifact comes to light.

Tanya Kagan, a rising specialist in Russian art at a top New York auction house, is trying to entice Russia's wealthy oligarchs to bid on the biggest sale of her career, The Order of Saint Catherine, while making sense of the sudden and unexplained departure of her husband.

As questions arise over the provenance of the Order and auction fever kicks in, Reyn takes us into the world of Catherine the Great, the infamous 18th-century empress who may have owned the priceless artifact, and who it turns out faced many of the same issues Tanya wrestles with in her own life.

Suspenseful and beautifully written, The Imperial Wife asks whether we view female ambition any differently today than we did in the past. Can a contemporary marriage withstand an “Imperial Wife”?

The Kitchen Boy

Drawing from decades of work, travel, and research in Russia, Robert Alexander re-creates the tragic, perennially fascinating story of the final days of Nicholas and Alexandra Romanov as seen through the eyes of their young kitchen boy, Leonka.

Now an ancient Russian immigrant, Leonka claims to be the last living witness to the Romanovs’ brutal murders and sets down the dark secrets of his past with the imperial family. Does he hold the key to the many questions surrounding the family’s murder? Historically vivid and compelling, The Kitchen Boy is also a touching portrait of a loving family that was in many ways similar, yet so different, from any other.






Check out some friends brilliant Wishlist's for August:




Friday, 26 August 2016

The Killing Ship by Simon Beaufort

The Killing Ship: An Antarctica Thriller by Simon Beaufort
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

"A group of scientists in the Antarctic face a desperate battle for survival as they are hunted down by hostile intruders. "


Having spent the summer conducting fieldwork on stark Livingston Island, marine biologist Andrew Berrister is looking forward to returning to civilization. But his final days in Antarctica take an unexpected turn when it becomes clear that he and his small group of scientists are not alone on the island. Deducing that the intruders are a crew of illegal whalers, the scientists face an increasingly desperate struggle for survival when two members of their shore party disappear and their supplies are deliberately sabotaged. 

As Berrister and his remaining companions flee across the treacherous, icy terrain, they are pursued unrelentingly by ruthless killers whose true reasons for being in the Antarctic are darker and more dangerous than the scientists could ever have imagined.

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I got in my head, for some reason, when I started to read this book that this would be a paranormal thriller. However, I quickly, after reading the blurb, realized that it was just a thriller. However, it was a pretty good thriller, so I'm pleased.

What I like about this book that there were never any dull moments from the start until the end. I mean why on earth would anyone want to hurt a bunch of scientists? And, would any of the scientists survive? Also, what's it in the cargo bay? I was hooked, and I came to like Berrister, Mortimer, and the rest very much and I was worried that any of them would die. Antarctica is a danger place as it is, but having people after you for some strange reason. Well, that's tough!

I love reading books about Antarctica, whether it be thrillers or literary fiction, hell I even take romance. It's such a fascinating setting for a book. The Killing Ship is no exception. And, I like that the ending is open. Hopefully, there will be a sequel!

I want to thank Severn House for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review.

Blog Tour: Time and Regret by M.K. Tod

Please join M.K. Tod as she tours the blogosphere with HF Virtual Book Tours, from August 16-31. This is M.K. Tod’s second tour with HFVBT. She toured previously for Lies Told in Silence in 2015.

Time and Regret by M.K. Tod

Release Date: August 16, 2016
Lake Union Publishing
eBook & Paperback; 366 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction

Add to GR Button

When Grace Hansen finds a box belonging to her beloved grandfather, she has no idea it holds the key to his past—and to long-buried family secrets. In the box are his World War I diaries and a cryptic note addressed to her. Determined to solve her grandfather’s puzzle, Grace follows his diary entries across towns and battle sites in northern France, where she becomes increasingly drawn to a charming French man—and suddenly aware that someone is following her…

Through her grandfather’s vivid writing and Grace’s own travels, a picture emerges of a man very unlike the one who raised her: one who watched countless friends and loved ones die horrifically in battle; one who lived a life of regret. But her grandfather wasn’t the only one harboring secrets, and the more Grace learns about her family, the less she thinks she can trust them.

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CAN | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

Praise For Time and Regret

“With fluid prose and a keen eye for detail, M.K. Tod takes readers on a decades-spanning journey of wartime loss, family secrets, and, ultimately, redemption.” – Holly Smith, Managing Editor, Washington Independent Review of Books

“Spiced with mystery and a spark of romance, TIME AND REGRET is an immersive journey into one man’s brave but terrifying slog through the killing fields of France and Flanders during WWI. Tod’s prose brims with exquisite atmospheric detail, drawing the reader into an unforgettable story.” – Juliet Grey: author of the acclaimed Marie Antoinette trilogy

“Time and Regret, equally captivating and suspenseful, presents well-drawn characters who strive to resolve past mysteries and overcome present obstacles. M.K. Tod is an impressively gifted storyteller who creates relatable conflicts and believable dangers. Highly recommended!” – Bestselling author Margaret Porter

“Hugely satisfying – impossible to put down.” – Elizabeth St. John author of The Lady of the Tower

“Time and Regret is something as rare as a treasure hunt with heart. Between the gritty trenches of World War I, the romantic allure of present-day France, and the cut-throat New York arts scene, M.K. Tod has spun a gripping family drama that delves deeply into the effects of war on the human soul and takes us on an intriguing journey of self-discovery. It is a book rich in hard-won wisdom and crucial historical insights, and Tod’s perceptive voice leads us unfaltering through some of the darkest chapters in human history to a very satisfying conclusion.” – Anne Fortier author of The Lost Sisterhood

About the Author

Time and Regret is M.K. Tod’s third novel. She began writing in 2005 while living as an expat in Hong Kong. What started as an interest in her grandparents’ lives turned into a full-time occupation writing historical fiction. Her novel Unravelled was awarded Indie Editor’s Choice by the Historical Novel Society. In addition to writing historical novels, she blogs about reading and writing historical fiction on www.awriterofhistory.com, reviews books for the Historical Novel Society and the Washington Independent Review of Books, and has conducted three highly respected reader surveys. She lives in Toronto, Canada, with her husband and is the mother of two adult children.

For more information visit M.K. Tod’s website. You can also find her on FacebookTwitter, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, August 16
Spotlight at Passages to the Past


Wednesday, August 17


Thursday, August 18
Review at Creating Herstory


Friday, August 19
Interview at Flashlight Commentary


Monday, August 22
Review at A Chick Who Reads


Tuesday, August 23
Review at The Book Return


Wednesday, August 24
Spotlight at Broken Teepee


Thursday, August 25
Interview at Let Them Read Books


Friday, August 26
Spotlight: at A Bookaholic Swede
Review at Dianne Ascroft Blog (Author)


Sunday, August 28


Monday, August 29
Spotlight at A Literary Vacation


Tuesday, August 30
Review at Bookramblings
Guest Post at The Gadoury Dreamer


Wednesday, August 31


Giveaway

To enter to win a paperback copy of Time and Regret by M.K Tod please see the GLEAM form below. Two copies are up for grabs!
Rules
– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on August 31st. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US residents only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

Time and Regret Blog Tour

Direct Link: https://gleam.io/odH1R/time-and-regret-blog-tour

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Cover Crush: The Stevenson Family Saga by Malcolm Macdonald




Erin over at Flashlight Commentary is the one that came up with the cover crush idea and I loved it so much that I decided that every Thursday would I post a cover that I really love. 

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This week's it's three covers instead of one. Sons of Fortune was the cover that first caught my eyes. But, they all look so good, especially together (would look very nice at home with me btw) so this week I will have four Cover Crushes instead of one!



The unforgettable first novel in the classic Stevenson Family Saga from epic master Malcolm Macdonald

The U.S. relaunch of the beloved classic saga from from beloved author Malcolm Macdonald, the first book in the Stevenson Family saga, Macdonald's most beloved series.

John Stevenson is just a navy foreman working on the Summit Tunnel of the Manchester & Leeds Railway when a near-fatal accident brings young Nora Telling into his life. Her nimbleness of mind and his power of command enable them to take over the working mill and rescue it from catastrophe.

Together with their friends, the Thorntons—who are troubled by a marriage mismatched in passion—they are willing to risk any dare, commit themselves to any act of cunning on their climb from rags to riches. It is a story of love, hate, lust, and deception as England's glorious Victorian age is dawning.




The Rich Are With You Always is the epic story of two families at the height of the railroad boom.

The U.S. relaunch of the beloved classic saga from beloved author Malcolm Macdonald, the second book in the Stevenson Family saga, Macdonald's most beloved series.

The second novel in the classic Stevenson family saga, The Rich Are With You Always is the epic story of two families at the height of the railroad boom, where the lives of the Victorian people rose economically and set in motion forces of passion and struggle that would define a people.

At a time when fabulous fortunes could be made through the will of a strong man or the wiles of a beautiful woman, the driving ambitions of the Stevensons finally bring them to the center of dazzling power and position. But their fate becomes more and more entwined with that of their friends, the Thorntons—repressed and pious Arabella and secretive, sex-obsessed Walter—as whispers of scandal and disgrace threaten to bring them all to ruin.




The gripping third novel in the classic Stevenson family saga from epic master Malcolm Macdonald, often listed among the best series in historical fiction.

As the saga continues, the Stevensons are now one of the richest families in the world. John, recalling his lowly past, wants his children to obey to the letter and never put a foot wrong. But his four eldest children, Young John, Winifred, Caspar, and Abigail, have ideas of their own. As they test the temptations of the adult world, the lure of profit and pleasure bring the risk of disaster and disgrace, and the tensions threaten to pull the family apart.




The U.S. relaunch of the classic saga from Malcolm Macdonald, fourth in the Stevenson family saga.
Daughter of the wealthy and storied Stevenson family, Abigail Stevenson should have been a creature of unawakened innocence. But one fateful day she tricks her maid, Annie, into telling her the facts of life, and soon Abigail comes to realize that the same shocking secret can be a glorious and life-enhancing mystery. Thus begins her path of passion and indomitable ambition that will lead her from England to the great capitals of Europe, from the passions of man and woman to those of an intellectual, artist, and creator.

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Check out this week's cover crush over at 
Flashlight Commentary
2 Kids and Tired Books
Layered Pages 
The Maidens Court

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

The Jersey Devil by Hunter Shea

The Jersey Devil by Hunter Shea
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

THE LEGEND LIVES
Everyone knows the legend of the Jersey Devil. Some believe it is an abomination of nature, a hybrid winged beast from hell that stalks the Pine Barrens of southern New Jersey searching for prey. Others believe it is a hoax, a campfire story designed to scare children. But one man knows the truth . . .

THE DEVIL AWAKES
Sixty years ago, Boompa Willet came face to face with the Devil—and lived to tell the tale. Now, the creature’s stomping grounds are alive once again with strange sightings, disappearances, and worse. After all these years, Boompa must return to the Barrens, not to prove the legend is real but to wipe it off the face of the earth . . .

THE BEAST MUST DIE
It’ll take more than just courage to defeat the Devil. It will take four generations of the Willet clan, a lifetime of survivalist training, and all the firepower they can carry. But timing is critical. A summer music festival has attracted crowds of teenagers. The woods are filled with tender young prey. But this time, the Devil is not alone. The evil has grown into an unholy horde of mutant monstrosities. And hell has come home to New Jersey . . .

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Holy Shit, Batman, this is one hell of a gore feast! Which is of course, what I was after when I started to read the latest Hunter Shea book. But, even I think Shea overachieved himself this time. This book has some really pretty disturbing parts, from brutal death scenes to women almost being raped. I can face quite a lot, but even I found some parts hard to read. Shea doesn't shy away from brutal scenes that's for sure. 

However, besides that, the book also have an interesting story. The heart of the story is a family that has been waiting for the Jersey Devil to show up again. Why? They have some pretty personal reasons for wanting to go after the Jersey Devil. But, they soon find out that it's not that easy. It's not one Jersey Devil they have to face, it's a legion. And, soon everything just goes wrong and they have to fight for their lives against the monsters.  

This is a perfect book for people that likes monsters. People that are hard to scare or frankly just want a read an interesting story with some nasty and brutal parts. And, that's me. I have to admit that I enjoy reading books like this. I like finding books that make me uncomfortable. And, this one sure did that!

I want to thank Kensington Books for providing me with a free copy through NetGalleyf or an honest review!

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

The Book of Beloved by Carolyn Haines

The Book of Beloved by Carolyn Haines
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As a young woman widowed by World War I, Raissa James is no stranger to ghosts. But when an invitation arrives from Caoin House, her uncle’s estate in Mobile, Alabama, she’s finally ready to cast off the shadows of her past. And what better way to do so than with a grand party in her honor? An aspiring authoress, Raissa’s eager to soak up more of life—and immerse herself in the dark history that haunts the estate.

But the revelries come to an abrupt end when one of her uncle’s guests takes a deadly plunge. And when a ghost from the property’s past, a Confederate soldier, reveals himself to Raissa, she’s more determined than ever to get to the heart of the mysterious deaths that plague Caoin House. Enlisting the help of Reginald Proctor, a self-proclaimed medium, she holds a séance to shed light on old secrets. But she discovers that some secrets, even those long dead, still have a startling hold on the living…

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I was hooked from the first page. And, being an adventure reader did I start this book without reading the blurb before. Sure, I've read the blurb it before, but when I pick an Ebook to read do I not always read what the book is about to refreshing my memory. Much more fun that way, the less you know the better is what I feel when it comes to books.

The Book of Beloved turned out to be quite a nice book. This is the first book I have read by Carolyn Haines and I will definitely try to find more books by her to read. I have a great love for haunted houses, and that together with placing the setting in Mobile, Alabama just a couple of years after WW1 made me really enjoy the book. Haines really made the story come to life, it was like being transported back in time. A plus is that I really like Raissa James, she is such a wonderful character, well developed and interesting with a tragic past.

Storywise was the book good, I enjoyed the mystery of the house and how slowly the secrets of the house was revealed. I was surprised when the death occurred in the beginning of the book, especially since I thought the person in question was going to have a bigger part in the book. And, here with the death comes the one thing that bothered me throughout the book. The question was if the person had been pushed or not, and I had a feeling that it was not an accident and that the one characters I really liked were the one behind it all. And, I kept that feeling all through the book and it didn't help when my app did a weird thing and jumped ahead and almost revealed the ending. So, was I right? Well, perhaps I was, or perhaps I wasn't. You have to read the book to find out. All, I want to say is that I did not expect the part the Book of Beloved would play in in the story. I was really surprised about that twist to the story.  

So, despite, some predictable events did I quite enjoy the book. And, it ended with a very tantalizing cliffhanger. Or rather, this story ended, but it's just the beginning for Raissa James adventures and I'm looking forward to reading the next book! 

I want to thank Thomas & Mercer for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!

Blog Tour: The House in Quill Court by Charlotte Betts

The House in Quill Court by Charlotte Betts
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Published 25th August 2016  
Paperback Original | £8.99

From the multi-award-winning author of The Apothecary’s Daughter, The House in Quill Court is a gorgeously evocative Regency novel bursting with historical flavour and characters you won’t forget. If you love Philippa Gregory and Joanne Harris, you will adore Charlotte Betts. 

1813. Venetia Lovell lives by the sea in Kent with her pretty, frivolous mother and idle younger brother. Venetia’s father, Theo, is an interior decorator to the rich and frequently travels away from home, leaving his sensible and artistic daughter to look after the family. Venetia designs paper hangings and she and her father often daydream about having an imaginary shop where they would display the highest quality furniture, fabrics and art to his clients.

When a handsome but antagonistic stranger, Jack Chamberlaine, arrives at the Lovell’s cottage just before Christmas bringing terrible news, Venetia’s world is turned upside-down and the family have no option but to move to London, to the House in Quill Court and begin a new life. Here, Venetia’s courage and creativity are tested to breaking point, and she discovers a love far greater than she could have ever imagined . . .

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I read the wonderful The Chateau on the Lake by Charlotte Brett last year, so when I got the question if I wanted to participate in The House in Quill Court blog tour didn't I hesitate to say yes!

Venita Lovell has lived her whole life in Kent with her family. Her father is often away working in London. When tragedy strike the family and a dark secret is revealed must the whole family relocate to London. This new start is hard on them all, but also offer a new promising future. But, first, must the whole family unit against injustice...

I quite liked Venita, she is a strong character, with a great passion for art and she will not bow down before them that threatens the new life she is trying to rebuild in London with her family. We also have young Kitty, the maid, who traveled with them to London for a new life. Kitty doesn't want to end up like her mother with a lot of children and a hard life. She wants a better life. London may offer up a new chance for her, but it's also a city that can take away happiness in a heartbeat.

I like that we both get to follow Venita and Kitty as they settle in the new city. The difference in their positions is great, but both yearn for a good life. Kitty soon finds happiness when she falls in love and Venita together with her family decides to fulfill a longtime dream of starting up a shop where they can display furniture, art, and fabrics. However, soon dark clouds descend over both Kitty and Venita's life.

And, the darkness that Bett adds to the story is the thing that makes reading this book so excruciating. Bett doesn't shy away from that life is tough in the 1900-century. That especially women have a tough life. To be honest, I did not expect that Bett would turn the story so dark. Especially Kitty gets to face how hard life is for a woman with no prospects when life turns sour. 

Still, despite that the story is interesting is it also a bit predictable. Sure, not everything was predictable, I was surprised that Kitty's life seemed to turn out quite good (until of course, the harsh reality intervened). But, the big twist in the end did I see quite early on. And, despite, having a strong beginning and a good ending did I struggle now and then with the middle of the book and especially everything concerning Venita's brother Raffie who I felt needed to wise up and it was frustrating seeing how blind everyone was when it came to his actions.

Nevertheless, essentially did I like the book and I recommend it if you like historical fiction with a darker edge.
About the Author

Charlotte Betts began her working life as a fashion designer in London. A career followed in interior design, property management and lettings. Always a bookworm, Charlotte discovered her passion for writing after her three children and two step-children grew up.

Her debut novel, The Apothecary’s Daughter, won the YouWriteOn Book of the Year Award in 2010 and the Joan Hessayon Award for New Writers, was shortlisted for the Best Historical Read at the Festival of Romance in 2011 and won the coveted Romantic Novelists' Association's Historical Romantic Novel RoNA award in 2013. Her second novel, The Painter’s Apprentice was also shortlisted for the Best Historical Read at the Festival of Romance in 2012 and the RoNA award in 2014. The Spice Merchant’s Wife won the Festival of Romance's Best Historical Read award in 2013.

Charlotte lives with her husband in a cottage in the woods on the Hampshire/Berkshire border.


‘Romantic, engaging and hugely satisfying’ 
Katie Fiorde on The Apothecary's Daughter 
‘A highly-recommended novel of love, tragedy and the power of art’ 
Daily Mail on The Painter's Apprentice 
‘Full of passion and drama . . . I was captivated by this moving, heart-warming and beautifully woven story - gripping, atmospheric, eloquently told and full of rich detail’ 
Kate Furnivall on The Chateau on the Lake

Monday, 22 August 2016

The Crossing by Michael Connelly (SWE/ENG)

The Crossing by Michael Connelly
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

SWEDISH REVIEW

Harry Bosch har äntligen gått i pension efter alla år som polis i Los Angeles. Men hans halvbror, försvarsadvokat Mickey Haller, behöver hans hjälp. Han ska försvara en klient som är åtalad för ett mord. Ingenting tyder på att klienten är oskyldig, men Haller är övertygad om att han är det. I sitt sökande efter sanningen blir han själv en måltavla.

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Det är alltid intressant att läsa en den senaste boken i en serie, där man tidigare bara har läst en bok innan och i detta fall den allra första boken. Och, eftersom detta är bok 20 så har jag några böcker att ta igen. Dock, var det absolut inga problem att läsa denna bok, utan att ha läste de 18 böcker mellan första och denna. Tvärtom, var det synnerligen enkelt att fastna i handlingen och det tog med bara en dag att läsa klart den, både tack vare att den var lättläst (och inte så tjock) samt att berättelsen var intressant.

Harry har nu gått i pension, en något tvingad pension. Dock, så verkar det inte som han ska få tid över att meka med motorcykeln som har stått och väntat på honom i några årtionden. Hans halvbror behöver hjälp. En klient till honom är anklagad för mord och även om det bär Harry emot att hjälpa en försvarsadvokat så kan han inget annat än att börja underska fallet. Speciellt, då han upptäcker att något inte står rätt till. Men det finns de som inte alls är roade över att Harry lägger sig i fallet...

Jag tyckte mycket bra om boken, som jag nämnde innan var den väldigt lättläst, inte alltför komplicerad berättelse samt jag gillar Harry och Mickey skarpt. Jag har länge haft planer på att fortsätta läsa serien då jag fann första boken läsvärd, men jag har bara inte hunnit med det.

Det var kul att läsa denna bok, nu känns det som om jag borde ta och prioritera Connelly och kanske faktiskt ta mig tid och läsa de 18 böcker jag missat.

Tack till Norstedts för recensionexemplaret!

ENGLISH REVIEW

Harry Bosch teams up with Lincoln Lawyer Mickey Haller in the new thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author Michael Connelly.

Detective Harry Bosch has retired from the LAPD, but his half-brother, defense attorney Mickey Haller, needs his help. The murder rap against his client seems ironclad, but Mickey is sure it's a setup. Though it goes against all his instincts, Bosch takes the case. With the secret help of his former LAPD partner Lucia Soto, he turns the investigation inside the police department. But as Bosch gets closer to discovering the truth, he makes himself a target.


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It is always interesting reading the latest book in a series when one has previously only read one book before and in this case the very first book. And, since this is book 20, have I only a few books to tackle. However, it was absolutely no problem to read this book without having read the 18 books between the first and this one. On the contrary, it was very easy to get hooked and it took just one day to finish reading it, both because the book was so easy to read (and not so thick), and that the story was interesting.

Harry has now retired, a somewhat forced retirement. However, it does not seem that he will find time to tinkering with the motorcycle that has been waiting for him for a few decades. His half-brother needs help. A client of his is accused of murder and although it at first troubles Harry to help a defense lawyer is he soon caught up in the case. Especially when he discovers that something is not right. But, there are those who are not at all amused that Harry has started to investigate the murder...

I really liked the book, as I mentioned before it was very easy to read, not an overly complicated story and I like Harry and Mickey very much. I have for a long time had plans to continue reading the series since I liked the first book enough to wanting to know more, but I just have not had time for it. It was fun to read this book, I feel like I should take and prioritize Connelly and perhaps actually take the time and read the 18 books I missed.

Thanks to Norstedts for the review copy!

Flickorna på Englandsbåten (The Girls on The England Boat) by Lone Theils (SWE/ENG)

Flickorna på Englandsbåten by Lone Theils
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

SWEDISH REVIEW

Två danska flickor försvann spårlöst på en färja till England 1985. Många år senare dyker ett foto av dem upp i en gammal resväska i en second hand-butik i den lilla engelska kuststaden Brine.

Journalisten Nora Sand som arbetar i London för den danska tidningen Globalt börjar nysta i historien. Hon beger sig till Danmark för att undersöka flickornas brokiga bakgrund på en ungdomsinstitution. Snart dras hon in i ett fall med en ohygglig seriemördare som avtjänar ett livstidsstraff på det beryktade fängelset Wolf Hall. Samtidigt som hennes ungdomskärlek dyker upp oväntat i London gräver Nora så djupt i det gamla fallet att hon till sist får anledning att frukta för sitt liv.

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Cold Cases är något jag alltid finner spännande att läsa och jag tyckte om idén om att en journalist som finner ett foto på två flickor som försvann på en färja till England 1985. Nora Sand börjar undersöka saken och det dröjer inte länge fören hon finner att spåren leder till en seriemördare som sitter inspärrad på Wolf Hall. Kan det vara så att han ligger bakom flickornas försvinnande?

Flickorna på Englandsbåten var en intressant deckare, jag kom att tycka om Nora Sands, en rutinerad journalist som av en händelse snubblar över ett foto som kommer att påverka hennes liv rejält. Jag har alltid gillar läsa böcker där en person börjar nysta i ett försvinnande flera år innan och denna bok var inget undantag. Dock så fann jag att även om boken var intressant att läsa så var det inte direkt spännande. Det kändes som om den saknade något för att verkligen fånga mitt intresse.

Och jag tror att en orsak till att jag hade lite svårt med boken var Noras "relationsproblem" med hennes ungdomsvän Andreas. Deras "dans" genom boken störde mig, och jag mentalt rullade ögonen varenda gång Nora trånande tänkte på Andreas, eller som när han råkade se henne komma hem med en killkompis som hade druckit lite för mycket och blev svartsjuk och gick. Scenen när de var tvungen att dela säng pga av att en katt fick kattungar i hennes säng blev nästan för mycket för mig. Jag har absolut inget emot lite romantik i deckare. Men just ner det gällde Andreas och Nora så funkade det inte alls för mig.

När det gäller fallet, så även om jag kanske inte föll totalt för boken så räknade jag inte ut slutet förrän Nora låg riktigt risigt till och själv började inse att något var fel med en viss person. Jag hade inte alls förväntat mig det slutet måste jag erkänna.

Jag tyckte om poliserna på Scotland Yard och jag hoppas att uppföljande böcker kommer inkludera Nora involvera med dem i fler fall!

Tack till Norstedts för recensionexemplaret!

ENGLISH REVIEW

Two Danish girls disappeared without a trace on a ferry to England in 1985. Then, many years later a photo of them is found in an old suitcase in a second-hand shop in the small English seaside town Brine.

Journalist Nora Sand working in London for the Danish newspaper Global begins to unravel the story. She travels to Denmark to examine the girls' variegated background on a juvenile institution. Soon she is drawn into a case with a gruesome serial killer who is serving a life sentence at the notorious prison, Wolf Hall. At the same time, her boyfriend from when she was young shows up unexpectedly in London as Nora delves so deeply into the old case that she will have reason to fear for his life.


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Cold Case's is something I always find interesting to read, and I liked the idea of a journalist finding a photo of two girls who disappeared on a ferry to England in 1985. Nora Sand begins to investigate the matter and it will not be long before she finds that the tracks lead to a serial killer who is incarcerated at Wolf Hall. Could it be that he is behind the disappearance of the two danish girls?

"The girls on the England" boat was an interesting detective story, I came to like Nora Sands, an experienced journalist who accidentally stumble across a photo that will affect her life considerably. I always like to read books in which a person begins to unravel the disappearance of several years before and this book was no exception. However, I found that although the book interesting was it not exactly exciting to read. I felt like it was missing something to really catch my interest. 

And I think one reason that I had a little difficulty with the book was Nora's "relationship" with her childhood friend Andreas. Their "dance" through the book bore me, and I mentally rolled my eyes every time Nora wistfully thought about Andreas, or when he happened to see her come home with a male friend who had drunk a little too much and became jealous and went away angry. The scene where they had to share a bed because a cat had given birth to kittens in her bed was almost too much for me. I have absolutely nothing against a little romance in the novel. But, Andreas and Nora just didn't work out for me.

About the case, although I may not have totally fallen for the book did I not realize how it all fitted together before Nora was really in trouble and she herself started to realize that something was wrong with a particular person. I was not expecting that kind of ending, I must admit.

I liked the police at Scotland Yard, and I hope that the follow-up books will include Nora involved with them in more cases!

Thanks to Norstedts for the review copy!

Friday, 19 August 2016

Blog Tour: Fire Brand by Diana Palmer (excerpt +Giveaway)


About Fire Brand
Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: HQN Books (August 30, 2016)

He’ll risk his whole heart to save her from the past

Gaby Cane was always a bit afraid of her attraction to Bowie McCayde. Even when she was fifteen and Bowie’s family took her in, she had sensed his simmering resentment. Now ten years later, she’s an aspiring journalist who can hold her own with any man professionally, the dark shadows of years gone by far behind her. Then Bowie strides back into her life—only this time, he needs her, and the pull of loyalty to his family is too strong to ignore.

When Bowie asked Gaby to help save his family’s Arizona ranch, he never expected the girl he once knew to return transformed into a stunning, successful woman. As they work together, Bowie is shocked to find that her innocence and beauty stir a hunger he can’t deny. But the rogue rancher can sense something holding her back, and he’s determined to uncover the terrible secret Gaby is fighting to keep hidden…



Purchase Links


Read an excerpt from Fire Brand:

“Do you want my mouth on yours, Gaby?” he asked huskily, and his head started to bend. His gaze fell to her parted lips. “Do you want to feel me kissing you?”

“Oh… God,” she groaned, her legs going weak as the passionate need snapped in her. “Bowie…!”

She was reaching up to him, shaking with anticipation. And that was when the voice, stark and bleak, shattered the fever that was building in the pool house.

“Sẽnor Bowie!”

Bowie’s hands contracted sharply on Gaby’s arms, almost bruising. His eyes met hers, black with frustration and shocked fury. Then she was free and he was striding out into the hall.

“What is it, Montoya?” he asked in a steely but perfectly normal tone.

“Lunch is served, sẽnor,” Montoya called, grinning at the end of the hall. “Is Gaby with you?”

“She’s around somewhere. I’ll go hunt her up.” He paused, waiting until Montoya disappeared back into the dining room before he turned and motioned to Gaby.

She walked out into the hall on shaky legs, avoiding his eyes. But he didn’t move and she cannoned into him.

“It’s only a reprieve,” he said quietly, holding her wide eyes. His face was hard and his expression dogged. “I’m going to have that kiss. I’m going to take the breath out of your body and the strength out of your arms, and you’re going to want me like hell. That’s a promise.”

He slid his hand into hers and pulled her along with him toward the dining room, his profile intimidating. His fingers contracted and he glanced down. “Don’t start looking for excuses, either,” he added. “You and I aren’t related in any way. We can hold hands, we can go on dates. We can even make love. There aren’t any barriers.”

Her breath felt shaky. “That’s what you think,” she said under her breath.

“I’ll get past those hangups, honey,” he mused. “I’m not a rounder by any stretch of the imagination, but I know very well what to do with a woman. I won’t hurt you—not ever.”

About Diana Palmer

The prolific author of more than one hundred books, Diana Palmer got her start as a newspaper reporter. A New York Times bestselling author and voted one of the top ten romance writers in America, she has a gift for telling the most sensual tales with charm and humor. Diana lives with her family in Cornelia, Georgia.

Connect with Diana


Diana Palmer’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Monday, August 8th: From the TBR Pile – excerpt

Tuesday, August 9th: A Chick Who Reads

Thursday, August 11th: A Holland Reads – excerpt

Friday, August 12th: A Splendid Messy Life

Monday, August 15th: The Sassy Bookster – excerpt

Tuesday, August 16th: Reading Reality

Thursday, August 18th: Books a la Mode – excerpt

Friday, August 19th: A Bookaholic Swede – excerpt

Monday, August 22nd: Moonlight Rendezvous

Tuesday, August 23rd: Mignon Mykel Reviews

Wednesday, August 24th: Bewitched Bookworms

Thursday, August 25th: Dog-Eared Daydreams


Monday, August 29th: Worth Getting in Bed For

Tuesday, August 30th: Becky on Books

Wednesday, August 31st: Diary of a Stay at Home Mom

Thursday, September 1st: Buried Under Romance

Friday, September 2nd: Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers

Monday, September 5th: Stranded in Chaos

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