Book Reviews

Talk to Me by Roseanne Beck

The last thing Laura wants is a relationship.

The only thing Austin needs is his independence.

Sometimes love sneaks up on you when you least expect it.

Austin’s car accident shattered his life and his leg. His main focus is on proving his independence. Figuring out how to shut up the new voices in his head would be an added bonus. They like to converse at the most inopportune times.

Laura’s built a wall around her heart. Everyone she loves ends up leaving her. She’s still reeling from the death of her brother and business partner. Seems like he might not be ready to completely give up the ghost yet, though.

And then there’s Aunt Marge, a world-class meddler with a penchant for oversharing. Can she manage to nudge Laura and Austin toward each other? Or will her recipe for love fall flat?

If you like sparkling, witty banter and strong characters with a hint of the paranormal, you’ll fall for TALK TO ME, because humor and love conquer all.

 

I flew through this book, it was easy to read and fun. The main characters are relatable and likeable, you find yourself rooting for them even when you get a little exasperated with them.

The plot is interesting and the paranormal twist adds to what is more or less a rom-com. This is a great choice for a beach read, or would be if anyone were getting near a beach this year, however, it will work just as well sat out in the garden. I read it on Kindle which I find myself doing more and more lately with these sorts of books, it is not a book you are likely to read over and over again, so buying the paper version is not a must.

I give this 4.5 stars out of five, the only reason for the drop of half a point is that it has been a while since I read it and it really did not stick in my mind enough for me to write this review without going back for a quick scan through.

Book Reviews · Monday Musings

Book Review: The Killing Place By Tess Gerritson

Something terrible has happened in the snowbound village of Kingdom Come, Wyoming. Twelve eerily identical houses stand dark and abandoned. Cars still parked in garages. The human occupants have vanished, seemingly into thin air.
this is the unsettling place where Maura Isles finds herself trapped during a snowstorm.

 

This book is the 8th in the Rizzoli & Isles series but if you are a fan of the TV series please bear in mind that the timelines are different and not all elements of their personal lives are necessarily the same. I first read this back before I ever watched the TV series so was lucky enough to go into it with just the literary narrative in place and I really do enjoy this series.

This book deal with various social issues all threaded through a crime story, there are the more base motives of greed but what is more interesting is the world of belief, cults, abuse and the damage caused to those who may have physically escaped but are forever mentally scarred. In a world where we like to think that things are harder to cover up in it revealing to understand how human nature colludes to pervert justice for personal gain.

The characters are well written as always although I will accept that for anyone picking this up as a first book it may be confusing to understand some of the dynamics between some of the individuals. While it is possible to read and enjoy it as a standalone read the reader will get so much more from it by taking the series in order.

I have no problem giving this book 5 out of five stars but do recommend reading the other books first if you can.

3d rendering of 5 gold stars
Fact Vs Fiction

31 Outlook Hotel – Introduction, Interlude 1 & Act One

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-h7ify-e2f089

Apologies for the sound quality all well be fixed by the next episode, I am going to be reading this amazing project I was honoured to be part of over the coming weeks. you can either listen to the episodes or grab yourself the free ebook and read ahead.

Book Reviews · Monday Musings

Book Review – Wilt In Nowhere by Tom Sharpe

When his endlessly capricious wife Eva receives plane tickets for the family to visit Auntie Joan and Uncle Wally in Atlanta, Wilt knows only one thing – that nothing could entice him to fly three thousand miles over the water, and especially not two rotund Americans with more money than sense. What better way to escape and find equilibrium then to embark on a walking tour? Just Wilt, the countryside, and an ill-judged bottle of whiskey…

Meanwhile, Eva finds her plans to inherit Joan and Wally’s fortune slipping away faster than her sanity, thanks to a combination of sinister teenage quadruplets with foul mouths, and her unexpected role as lead suspect in a drug-trafficking plot.

Outrageous, darkly comic, and packed with calamity on top of calamity, Tom Sharpe’s latest episode of Wilt’s misadventures is a razor-sharp farce that will delight fans both old and new.

I love these books, just when you think that Wilt’s life cannot get any more complicated, Tom Sharpe dreams up another set of outrageous circumstances for him. You could read this as a standalone book however, I would recommend the full series so you do not miss out on any of the extraordinary circumstances that have plagued Wilt and led him to the insanity that his life has become.

Witty, absurd, and verging on the unbelievable this storyline takes you sauntering through the English countryside at an increasingly erratic pace, you find yourself feeling for the unlucky Wily and questioning how many mirrors he must have broken as a child for his life to turn out this way.

No surprise this is a 5 out of five stars.

3d rendering of 5 gold stars
Book Reviews · Monday Musings

Book Review – In The light of Madness By Hemmie Martin

 

As always we start with the Goodreads Blurb….

A murdered boy in a Cambridgeshire graveyard sets in motion an investigation into the local church and school, with suspicions of a cult murmured throughout the community. With their first case, DI Eva Wednesday and DS Jacob Lennox explore the various levels of desperation and malice that can stem from an unhappy or dissatisfied life, where no one takes responsibility for their actions. They quickly find that everyone harbours a secret which, left uncontrolled, can bring forth devastating self-destruction.

I really enjoyed this book, there is a good balance between the procedural side of the story and the home lives of the characters.  The characters are diverse and I can see them developing and providing more interest as the series develops.

I think there are a few different things that give the reader pause for thought in this storyline, the family issues regarding hereditary illnesses, the dynamics of families and, the ways that roles are taken on by different members are relatable. The bond is there between the sisters despite their obvious differences, however, the portrayal of their relationship is realistic and in many ways reflects the struggles of inequalities in the siblings in terms of responsibility and emotional requirements.

The procedural side is well researched and enjoyable, it is informative without getting bogged down in every detail. Overall this is a great start to a series and I look forward to reading more.

I am thrilled to say I can give this 5 out of five stars.

Amazon Uk link

Author FB page here

Author website https://hemmiemartin.com/

Book Reviews

Book Review – Jenna By Tom Stearns

To protect her sister, Jenna endures a living hell at the hands of her mother and ‘uncles’.
But when the boys at her school think they can do the same they are dead wrong.

From the author of ‘Wrong Place, Wrong Time’ comes ‘Jenna’; a harrowing tale of abuse and bloody revenge.

WARNING 18+ NOT FOR THE EASILY OFFENDED.

First let’s address the warning, serious, pay attention! although not graphic in the descriptions of the abuse you are left in no doubt about the hell that Jenna has to endure. This storyline is tragically all too believable and although the ultimate outcome may not be one that would happen in real life the events that take us to that point very well could.

The characters are well written and truly believable your heart will break not only for Jenna but for her younger sisters innocence that she is fighting so hard to protect. You will want to reach inside the pages of this book and slap the mother for the way she participates in her daughter’s destruction.

This is a story of abuse and survival, of how things escalate, and the consequences of a girl trying to get through each day. It is well written the only complaint may be that you are left wanting more, that you feel you need to know what happens at the end whether Jenna can ever truly have a happy ending or whether she is damaged beyond repair. We can only hope that the author will answer these questions with a sequel at some time in the future.

For stars I give this 5 out of five very disturbed stars, it is not easy to read but once you start you will be gripped.

Amazon UK link

Find the author on FB here

Fact Vs Fiction

Storytime – Empty From Disintegration & Other Stories

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-sd4ad-de4784

This week is a story week and I read one of my own short stories, Empty. this is a favourite of mine because it links my two short story collections.

Flights of Fancy · Tuesday Reflections

My Sims 4 Challenge – Starting up!

Years ago my daughter got me into playing Sims, it is something I play every now and again but never seem to stick to the challenges but now I have decided to set myself a new one and I will be sharing it with you. I got the idea after watching this video…

So my plan is to redevelop the lots basing the Sims on the characters in my books. It will obviously be a slow project as I don’t have a lot of time to play but I will set aside one or two hours per week to do this then share with you how it is progressing.

If you have read the books then feel free to throw in lots of feedback, the first lots will be based on the first Queen of Ages trilogy book and feature the characters from there. I will start off with two households, Celdwady and Brawd, as father and son, then  Jacantha and Trywn as a married couple.

I don’t have the cheats so it will be based on the base game and the packs we have. if any of my author friends have SIms 4 and fancy taking up this challenge or readers if you wish to create a world based on characters from your favourite books share with me on social media what you create.

So let’s begin…

I have started with the Celdwady/Brawd household and I decided that instead of one big house I would create a collection of huts for them…

The photos are not brilliant, I must have removed the screen recording app I used before for screenshot so had to take it on my phone, I will remedy that before next week. There is a fourth hut to add as I intend having one as a kitchen-living area, one as a study, a bathroom and then finally one for the bedroom. They have both got followed the conservation path in terms of career, this fits in best with a Druidic lifestyle from the choices available.

As you can see the interiors are quite sparse at the minute because you really don’t get a lot of funds to start a house from scratch on a vacant lot but I will come back and play this a couple of times to get all the basics in before I start building the next household.

The interiors will take a little more work and moving things around but it is a work in progress, the worst thing was trying to create the actual sims themselves, although I have made Celdwady an elder no way does he look anywhere near old enough. The sim you can see in the photos is Brawd, I will do some pictures of the sims and how I set them up at a later date if anyone is interested.

I decided to set up the Queen of Ages Characters in The Magic Realm expansion pack but as I think there are only four or five lots it will mean trying to keep as many characters from each book constrained within the lots, maybe one for each book, then, one for the bad guy/guys.

Do you, or have you ever played Sims? Or any of the other games where you recreate life such as Second Life, I joined that to go to the Duran Duran Universe there and attend club night where the actual band members were online being the DJ. If you do or have let me know your experiences in comments and if you do a post showing off yours ping those links to me.

Fact Vs Fiction

Thoughts On Thursday – If you could speak another language, which would it be and why?

This is a question I have considered before. At school, I did 5 years of Frech and left with an O-level, and one year of German which I really could not get my head around, but the language I really wanted to learn was not available on the school curriculum. Italian has always sounded so musical and passionate, plus combined with the French I already knew I would have been able to pick out a little more Latin.

I have considered trying to learn it now with youtube course such as this …

But I have to be honest the idea of conjugating verbs really makes my head hurt and it is easier to learn languages when you are younger so my chance has probably passed. The fact is it is a beautifully expressive language and the best example of how emotive it can be is to be found in opera, this scene in particular from Hannibal…

You don’t need to understand the actual words to feel the pain behind them, I am not an opera buff, in fact if i am honest I am not a huge opera lover but this one gave me goosebumps the very first time I heard it.

They say Italian is the language of love and I think that is probably down to the way even a shopping list can sound passionate, while arguments may sound more heated than they actually are you would never accuse those involved of not caring about the subject being discussed.

What language would you like to learn? Answers on the comments section…