1. Monday · Book Reviews · Monday Musings

Book Review – Living a lie, Part One By M.L. Kacy

Because I have so many book reviews to get done I am going to do a second one on a Tuesday until I catch up…

 

In your early adult years, you think that you know it all. Well that’s how I was looking back on my life. Nearly nineteen-years later, it’s true what they say, you always learn by your mistakes, mistakes make you into a stronger person. Boy, did I make a hell of a lot of mistakes. I never thought that my life would turn out the way that it did. There are only four things that I would never regret, my four beautiful children. They were, and still are, my saving grace, my redemption of sorts. When the darkness became too much, thoughts of them would pull me into the light.

This is my story, it’s not a story that is all sweetness and light. It’s a story of love, regret, devastation, darkness and maybe a little redemption.

So here we are, I shall start from the beginning.
Part One

***Disclaimer- Some of the content in this book can cause triggers for some. Also, contains profanity, erotic scenes and only suitable for readers 18+***

This book is biographical of an extraordinary woman who has overcome so much in her life. Reading this as just a reader you cannot help but fell so much empathy for the main ‘character’ Rhea, I don’t want to say too much but she goes through events which are so traumatic and it is so well written that you do feel her pain and empathise with her.

For me reading this as someone who actually knows the author it adds another level of heartbreak and you want to run over to her and give her a big hug. The only issue I have is that I only bought part one, I strongly recommend buying the newer versions with part one and two together.

I give this a heart wrenching five out of 5 stars.

3d rendering of 5 gold stars
1. Monday · Monday Musings

Book Review – The Runaway In Love, the Runaway Trilogy: Book 2 By Helen Bright

With police interviews and an ongoing threat to contend with, Kolya has to work harder than ever to keep his young wife safe. His vow to respect her innocence becomes harder with each passing day, so when an opportunity to create distance presents itself, he doesn’t hesitate to take it.
Tess is in love, though she’s finding it difficult to deal with her husband’s high-handed behaviour. Due to her background and fiery temper, she has little respect for authority, which often leads to potentially volatile situations.
If they want their marriage to survive, both will have to compromise, and give in to the soul-deep feelings which have gripped them since the day they met.

The story continues and if you want to read my review about the first story you can find it here, I love this series, the whole premise of the series fascinates me, I know some people may find it hard to believe what Kolya would take Tess under his wing but the whole thing of being responsible for a person who saves your life and vice versa intrigues me . It also helps that the characters are so well written, there are such a variety and each has been given the same attention even if they are a secondary character or only appear for a brief period in the story.

I confess to being friends with the author but the only way this influences me is in that I can nag her to get the final part of the trilogy out and then move on to telling us more about the other characters.

For me the score on this is so easy, five out of 5 stars.

3d rendering of 5 gold stars
Book Reviews

Book Review – The Vintage Coat By Chris Turnbull

This book has been sitting on my desk waiting to be reviewed for a while but here it finally is…

 

So first up the Goodreads blurb…

Joseph Michaels is 25 and an accidental time traveller.

After losing his job Joe finds himself working at the local second-hand shop. One day whilst unpacking new stock Joe comes across an old military coat that he just can’t resist trying on.

Excited by the powers of the coat, Joe quickly takes it home where he discovers it allows him to travel between present day Alston, Cumbria and the same area during WWII

Joe soon finds himself in the midst of living a double life.

However, one night an unexpected air raid hits town and everybody is thrown into disarray; and Joe is faced with standing up for the ones he loves, even if it could cost him everything.

When I read the blurb for this book I was reminded of the TV programme where Nicholas Lyndhurst finds a way to walk through an alley way to start a second life in war torn London, but this is so much more. While the Tv series does touch on the realities of life it was a sitcom but this book takes you into the real lives of people trying to survive the best they can.

You are automatically invested in these characters and their stories, The plot is a delicately crafted web that draws you in until you cannot put the book down, but be warned there should be a warning on the cover that tissues will be required while reading this book, The dynamics of the time travel are well dealt with, the coat is of course the method of travel but that Joseph quickly gets to grip with how the passing of time in each dimension relates to the other is pleasing and because it is kept simple it does not require the reader to struggle with complex timelines that can take you out of the story.

I could not put this book down when I started it, and even now looking at it, I am tempted to go for a reread, which I must resist as I have so any others to read. So to the mark it’s an easy 5 out of five

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

Book Review – Frozen In Time Alimanti Series, Book 1 By Lavinia Urban

At the age of 14, Kasey-Ray Thompson lost her mother to cervical cancer. Her father, the one person she needed to be there for her, was spiralling into the depths of depression. Just when she thought her life couldn’t get any worse, he died a year later.
Kasey-Ray’s whole world has come crashing down around her leaving her an orphan. The only relative she knows is her gran who is in a care home with Alzheimer’s. Her hopes of staying in Scotland with her best friend Lauren and her family are quickly dashed when a woman from social services announces that she is going to stay with a grandfather she had never met. Even worse, he lives in a small town called Alimanti, thousands of miles away in another country.
Her grandfather’s cabin is in the middle of nowhere. They have no electricity, no internet, or any other modern technologies. As if that wasn’t bad enough, her new school is almost two hours away.
Kasey-Ray has lots of questions and her grandfather is refusing to answer them. He has clocks everywhere that go off at the same time every day, 4:30am, and Kasey-Ray can’t figure out why.
She sees a man in the woods who tells her that he shouldn’t have brought her here because they will take what is hers. What does he mean?
Kasey-Ray needs answers before time runs out.

I have avoided this review for so long, I have to be honest that writing it breaks my heart despite the fact that a year has passed since Lavinia lost her own fight against cancer leaving her own children to  navigate the world without her shining light. I am privileged to have bought a signed print copy of this book.

This is a YA book so not my usual genre but it was an easy captivating read with well written characters and an intriguing plot, the obvious problem is that this was intended as a series, and although there are three books available, I cannot say whether the story is really ended as I have not read those.

I did notice a few typos in this book but nothing to distract you from the story. if you have a pre-teen I would recommend this book as a good read am even more a chance to discuss different ways of life where the modern comforts are unknown not taken for granted.

I have to give this book 5 out of five stars despite the few editing issues.

3d rendering of 5 gold stars

6. Saturday · Me And Mine · So it's Saturday

Saturday Weekly Round-Up -10th October 2020

This week I have been able to start moving around a little more I have even managed to do a little writing, fingers crossed another week or two I will be good to go.

Podcasts

This week I have been catching up on saved episodes of Welcome To Night Vale, it is a weird podcast/play and it does require being able to keep track of a number of threads but once you get a grip on it then you will love it you can find our more here https://www.welcometonightvale.com/

Music

I still haven’t listened to any music this week but I have started listening to the audiobook Nine Elms by Robert Bryndza you can find it here some of you may remember Robert from the days he was an Indie Author blogging here on WordPress and publishing his romcoms about Coco Pinchard, it is so nice to know that someone you know made it big with patience and perseverance.

Reading

I just finished reading Love Ever After the anthology I have been part of, if you haven’t grabbed a copy go get one http://mybook.to/LoveEverAfterDandelion

Watching – TV

This week I have found myself watching a couple of shows but the main one has been Pit Bulls & Parolees’, now I confess that especially with the meds I cry at anything at the minute both through sadness and joy but watching the story about these two pups definitely had me sobbing.

The fact that the shelter owner gives both pups and people the chance for a fresh start is heart warming but I have to be honest I much prefer the four-legged cast members even though some of their stories are heartbreaking.

Watching – Film

I finally got round to watching a film that I was nervous about watching and I was right to avoid it.

I am sorry, for me David Suchet is Poirot but I also love the verison with Albert Finney

The cast of big stars overwhelms the story and they do not fit the original characters the way I have them in my head thanks in part to the pervious productions, but to remove the touch of ridiculousness which makes people underestimate Poirot is a step to far, there was a reason Agatha Christie wrote him the way she did and a reason she made the books about him so successful/

Watching – Netflix

I did watch this once before, I was about to start watching the second series when I realised I couldn’t remember who had won.

The thing I love about this show is they are all so over the top, I have to be honest as well there was one contestant in this first series I really could not stand and was willing to fail at every step which always makes things more interesting.

 

Well that’s it for this week see you back here next week for more TV and podcasts.

Me And Mine · So it's Saturday

Saturday Weekly Round-Up – 3rd October 2020

I did really like this idea previously even though I didn’t! stick to it so I am going to give it another go!

If you follow me anywhere on social media you will have noticed I have been very quiet the last couple of weeks. The Truth is ,y back went last Tuesday night and y sciatic nerve has well and truly gone ping, over a week of lying down and drugged up to the eyeballs I am starting to adjust to the meds, so while I am forced to stay put I  might as well try to be productive, so here we go…

Podcasts

I have been listening to a few this week but the one I am point to shout out is UNobscured. I listened to this a while ago initially but enjoyed the first series on the Salam Witch trials so much I gave it another listen you can find it on Apple or here on their website, if you love history you will love this plus I really appreciated the posting of the full-length interviews after the series was finished.

Music

I put my hands up that I have not listened to any music for a while.

Reading

I am currently reading an anthology am part of. I find it hard to blow my own trumpet but I am really proud of the two anthologies I am currently part of but I will tell your more about them during the week, for now, you can find it here

Watching – TV

It is no secret I would rather curl up with a book or listen to podcasts rather than watch TV most of the time but this last week I have watched quite a lot, I have picked one that is linked to a podcast I also listen to The Forgotten West Memphis Three is directly linked to a season of the podcast but you don’t need to have heard it to find this fascinating, at the minute there have been two episodes, I don’t know if there are more but even if not still a good watch for true crime lovers.

Watching – Film

The film I watched this week could have also been classed as my Netflix pick, however, I am not going to cheat Enola Holmes was a great family adventure romp, but I will say the monster, aged 12 going on 40, got bored after ten minutes, he much prefers the style of the BBC Sherlock series so this, where suddenly, the sister is the youngest (though still arguably the smartest Holmes sibling) rather than an older sibling of Sherlock disconcerted him. I actually really enjoyed it, while remaining light-hearted it also touched on issues that were brought up in the BBC verion in The Abominable Bride, fun easy watch.

Watching – Netflix

 

For my netflix series I will go with Tattoo Fixers, it is just the ealier series on there but in my drugged up state stories like this one had my lauin in a pool of tears rather than my self-pitying ones. I only have the one tattoo, in theory I would love loads but am far too indecisive to commit to them, the artwork that goes into some of these those is amazing, especially with thing as personal as memorial portraits.

That’s it for this week fingers crossed I will keep it up and be back next week.

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

Book Reviews

Book Review – Beautiful Freaks by Katie M. John

The edition I purchased came in two books and the cover is different to the one pictured below…

we begin as always with the Goodreads Blurb…

**** A PARANORMAL GOTHIC DETECTIVE TALE ****

From the Amazon bestselling writer of ‘The Knight Trilogy’ comes the stand alone novel fans have been waiting for. ‘Beautiful Freaks’ is a decadent tapestry of all things fairytale, dark and murderous.

Between these pages you will find yourself transported back in time to the high Gothic. Victorian London.

The year is 1899 and both the century and the Queen are dying. As the London populace is gripped by a terrifying series of paranormal murders, eighteen year old Kaspian Blackthorne finds himself on a decadent journey of self discovery.

Victorian London is a place where appearance is everything, but sometimes
appearances can be deceiving. Behind the grand houses, carriages and silks, London is a dark labyrinth of sorrow and violence. Amongst the gambling dens, dancehalls, and brothels you’ll find No 7, known to its members as Eve’s; the most exclusive club in London, infamous for its ‘Palace of Beautiful Freaks’. Each exhibit has a history, each their own unique story.

First, I would like to discuss how this is written, there is, of course, an overriding arc, however, it is the detail given to each individual story within the narrative which really brings the Gothic feel to the fore. This book could have easily have been printed back in Victorian times as a Penny Dreadful or as a series as favoured by Dickens.

The individual tales based on various myths and legends are each well written and each given equal attention, over the top of all this you have the main detective story, though it could equally be described as a love story, the author weaves together love, lust, obsession, and death in a dark journey through alleyways and boudoirs alike.

I highly recommend this book, the chapters make it easy to pick up and put down without losing track of where you are but the reality is you won’t want to put it down.

I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.

3d rendering of 5 gold stars

2. Tuesday · Signings & Events

The Darker Side Of Fiction 2019

I can’t believe it has been a whole twelve months since I did my first signing event at #Darker17 .in other ways it also seems like a lifetime ago as I have gone on to do a  few more since then but #Darker will always have a special place in my heart and even if there comes a time when I am not on the invited authors list it is the one event I cannot imagine not attending now.

So #Darker18 is in a new venue and has a host of new authors I have not yet met as well as friendly faces that I am looking forward to seeing again.

The main thing to remember about signings is that it is not just about the books, it is your chance to meet other authors but also to meet and interact with the readers. To connect with them on a personal level and let them learn more about you, your books and how your mind works. Luckily, at #Darker18, there will be people as twisted as I am.

This year I already have a few pre-orders and I am really glad I came up with the idea of personalising them to the events, I have a pile of signed books and so far I remember meeting each other to get each one however in a few years that may be harder so I want to be sure that in ten years time if someone opens a book they pre-ordered from me they get a reminder of the day.

I have ordered one new piece of swag for this event and that is some magnetic bookmarks, I have one myself that I got years ago and they are perfect for using when on the move, these ones are for the Queen of Ages books and will only be available when you buy one of those books.

If you are in the UK and can travel to Peterborough there is still chance to get tickets to come and see me and the other authors at the event you can buy them here https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-darker-side-of-fiction-author-event-2018-tickets-42628859065

Next week I will be talking more about the process of getting ready for a signing the whole issue of what to take how to get there and so much more.