Monday 20 May 2024

eProof Review - Missing White Woman

Sometimes, you crave a book as soon as you seen the cover online. It’s almost a physical reaction. This is what happened when I saw Missing White Woman by Kellye Garrett. I saw someone tweet about it with the UK cover and I became obsessed with it. I mean, LOOK AT IT! And 24 hours later, it appeared on NetGalley so, of course, I had to request and hope that I would be approved. 

Which I was (hooray!) and once I finished Kate Atkinson’s Normal Rules Don’t Apply, I jumped straight into this. 

Title and Author: Missing White Woman by Kellye Garrett
Publisher: Simon and Schuster UK
Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Gifted by UK publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review/reaction
Buy From (Affiliate): uk.bookshop.org

It was meant to be a romantic getaway in New York City. Just Breanna and her new boyfriend, Ty. They hired out an airbnb four-story house with a beautiful view of the skyline. Until Bree wakes up one morning to discover a dead woman in her foyer and Ty’s missing. Is the dead woman Janelle Becker, a recently missing dog walker that the media is reporting on and social media is a buzz over? 

A Black woman stranded in a strange city, Bree is scared. A black person involved in the white person’s disappearance/murder isn’t a good look. And she knows how the Police sees her. And until she can find Ty, the only person who can help her is an ex-best friend, a lawyer who Bree shares a complicated history with. 

But as the Police and the social media mob close in, Bree realises that the only way to stay out of jail is to discover what happened that night. But is she going to like what she finds…?

Thursday 16 May 2024

Audiobook Review - The Familiar

Well, it’s been a while, hasn’t it, dear reader? I didn’t plan to be away for so long. Real life kept getting in the way and the last thing I read (Normal Rules Don’t Apply by Kate Atkinson), I left it so long to write a full-on review on the blog, I wanted to try and see if I could write a review/mini-write up on Instagram.
 
Note to self: if I do this again, MAKE NOTES while you reading using Goodreads and StoryGraph. 
But we’re not here to talk about that, are we? We’re here to talk about The Familiar.

Title and Author: The Familiar by Leigh Bardugo
Publisher: Viking/Penguin
Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Audiobook Bought
Buy From (Affiliate): uk.bookshop.org

Set in Spanish Golden Age, we follow Luzia, a scullion. She tries not to be seen, but she uses scraps of magic to make life a little easier. But when her mistress discovers that Luzia can perform  little miracles, she demands that Luzia uses them to better the family’s social position. But what begins as simple amusements for the bored nobility takes a dark turn when  disgraced secretary of the Spanish King, Antonio Pérez, and his familiar, Guillén Santángel, sees her and takes a dark interest in her. 

Luzia seizes the chance to better her self, but as her notoriety grows, the danger of her Jewish blood grows as, if she gets found out, the Inquisition’s wrath will be unspeakable. She has to stay several steps ahead. But the rules are always changing in the Spanish court and not everyone gets out alive.

Friday 10 May 2024

Who Watches This Extract…


FEAR THIS POST FOR IT WILL GO BUMP IN THE NIGHT (only there are differing opinions of when the witching hour is as that’s when I wanted to schedule this. The hour after midnight [12am to 1am] or the time between 3am to 4am. There’s some that say it’s between 2am till 4am!)

ANYWAY (let’s get off that random trail of thought!), I have an extract for you guys and it’s a good’un!

Who Watches This Place by Amy Clarkin is the ghostly sequel to What Walks These Halls and we are back with the Paranormal Surveyance Ireland as they are offered a new job. Strange and disturbing happenings are happening at a new start up, hence why the new owners asked Arthur, his sister Raven and other members to investigate. 

But when a startling disappearance reveals tensions within the group, one has the wonder whether they can overcome them, especially when one of their friends is in danger of suffering a horrific fate? 

Now, I am surprise intrigued about this as I really liked the queer and disability representation elements of What Walks These Halls as well as found family and the spooky Irishness so very excited to sink my teeth into the sequel once I get my grubby little hands on it. 

Now, before I hand you over to the extract, I just want to say a quick thank you to Chloe at The O’Brien Press who remembered I read the first and asked if I wanted to share the love over the sequel (I nearly bit her email-hand off!) and for replying to my last minute queries. And, if the extract below wets your appetite and you want to get more details, you can check out The O’Brien Press website or uk.bookshop.org (if you want to click on an affiliate link, of course). Or, you can check out the author’s social and you can find Amy at either @amyclarkin on Twitter/X or @amyclarkinwrites on Instagram

Now, onto the spooOOOOOOooooky extract!

Thursday 25 April 2024

eProof Review - When Among Crows

As I said in my Queen Macbeth post, I was holding that shorter stories will give my reading the kick up the backside it needed after March’s reading slowdown/slump and the disappointing reads over the Easter break.

So you would be surprised to hear that I decided to read this novella.

Let me explain: I fell in the love with the cover when it came into my Twitter timeline and I was deeply considering buying it, so when I saw it on NetGalley, I requested it but I had my doubts that I would be approved as my stats on NetGalley haven’t been great since the great Amazon Easter Hack/Deleting of 2023 (no idea if someone tried to hack my Amazon account or if Amazon tried to delete my account by accident but, due to this, I lost ALL MY EPROOFS ON MY KINDLE!). Now, imagine my surprise when I found out I was approved and, after reading The Brothers by Kimberley Chambers and feeling so underwhelmed by it, I decided to read this instead of the reads I had planned (The Escape Room by LD Smithson, Missing White Woman by Kellye Garrett &/or The Company by J.M. Varese).

Title and Author:
When Among Crows by Veronica Roth
Publisher: Titan Books
Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: eProof gifted by UK publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review/reaction.
Buy From (Affiliate): uk.bookshop.org

In modern day Chicago, Polish folklore is alive. Monsters feast on human emotion, knights split their souls to make their weapons and witches always take more than what they give.

Pain brings Dymitr and Ala together. Dymitr’s pain is the monsters he and the other Knights of the Holy Order slay and split his soul into two to create his sword from his own spine, while Ala’s is the family curse she has inherited to see visions of the horrors that the Holy Order committed.

One fateful night, the two meet and agree a bargain: if Ala can help find the legendary witch Baba Jaga. In exchange, Dymitr will give her an enchanted flower that might cure her.

But Ala doesn’t know who Dymitr is and what he truly wants and with less than 24 hours before the flower dies, killing her hopes of the curse being broken, the two need to move fast. But others want the flower and Baba Jaga’s location and they aren’t afraid to hurt and kill to get them… 

Tuesday 23 April 2024

Audiobook Review - Queen Macbeth

After the reading slump Of March and the “meh”ness of reading Kimberley Chambers The Brothers and rereading Garth Nix’s Terciel and Elinor, I wanted to hit April with something different. Something with not only more punch and stories I can run to you guys at and go “Guys! Can I chew your ear off over this?!”

And, maybe even, tackle the books and ebooks that lovely publishers send me for review. 

So when this little novella of an audiobook came to my attention on NetGalley, I thought “Maybe something short will help me get out of my head and out of my funk.” (Plus, the cover looks awesome, doesn’t it?)

Title and Author:
Queen Macbeth by Val McDermid
Publisher: Birlinn General & W.F. Hopes Ltd
Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Gifted by audiobook publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review/reaction
Buy From (Affiliate): uk.bookshop.org

A thousand years ago in the Scottish landscape, a woman with her three female companions - a healer, a weaver and a seer - are on the run. Men are hunting her down, as she is the only one who stands in the way between them and the violent ambition for power. She is the first queen of Scotland, married to a king named Macbeth. 

History might have written her as a murderer conspirator to her husbands, but here, she is a woman who has loved and lost, and this might cost her everything… 

Friday 19 April 2024

Neverending Reread List

 I am going to admit that my To Be Read list is very out of control (at the time of writing this, Goodreads and StoryGraph both tell me I have over 400 books that I would like to read one day). Some are recent, others have been on my shelves (both physical and electronic) for a very, very, very long time. 

But I love a good reread. And I discovered that I didn’t do any last year as I had too much to read and review. So, this year, I want to allow myself the chance to reread stories that itch at me and beg for the chance. 

Now, I have several on my radar and I have openly chatted about and I am making plans to attack them (or at least start) over the course of the Spring and Summer months. Plus, there are a few others that are sitting patiently on my kindle and I know that holding them off to next year isn’t going to be an opinion. I sense I might have to allow myself a month of hardcore rereading pleasure.

Now, before I chat about some of the titles, I will be putting affiliate links to bookshop.org to some titles (not all as I do ramble) so if any titles tickle your fancy and you want more details, you can click there and research. But if you want to use Amazon, Waterstones, Foyles or any other bookseller (indie or otherwise), please do so. Let’s share the bookish love!

Wednesday 17 April 2024

Golden Age of Crime TBR

As you guys know, I love my fantasy and crime reading. These (YA, middle-grade, adult, New Adult, etc) is my bread and butter when it comes to reading. But with the role of being a book blogger, you feel guilty if you’re not reading the newest or newer releases compared to books that were written and published decades go. Yes, I feel this guilt all the time and, remember, when I first started blogging 14-odd years ago, I focus SOLELY on YA fiction whereas now, I am a magpie and love to take risks with my reading/reviewing (sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t). 

And because I go flit about with my reading and my podcast listening when it comes to fiction, I wanted to make a small(ish) post about some crime titles I have on my “I Will Read You One Day” list that fit in the “Golden Age of Detective Fiction” (for those of you curious, the years most people class as this Golden Age is 1920s and 1930s). 

Now, I am not going to reference EVERY book that fits this term that’s on my To Be Read List as we will be here all day, but I wanted to pick a few out as, I am hoping that if I do, it will make me more likely to read them this year. Now, before I go any further, I have a good mix of books that I have bought, am borrowing from my library and titles that were gifted to be by the publisher in exchange for an honest review, so I will make this a short (for me) post and I will let you know if the title I am chatting about is a gifted book for review as I will put a * by the title. Plus, I will put links to bookshop.org, which will be affiliate. 

Now, get your Jessica Fletcher on and let’s begin!

Thursday 21 March 2024

eProof Review - Rough Justice

The last few months of reading for me has been all over the place. I know I have blogged my reading earlier this month of Evil Under The Sun and Bedknobs and Broomsticks earlier this month, then me DNFing The Glutton by A.K. Blakemore & The Doctor’s Mistress by Daniel Hurst and then reading the platter-cleanse reading Tristan and Lancelot: A Tale of Two Knights by James Persichetti & L.S. Biehler. Maybe I am being more brutal with reading things that make me happy and if it’s not, bye bye or maybe I’m struggling and I need a better balance (maybe I need to do a book cult). 

That’s tomorrow’s challenge, me thinks. After Apple Fitness+ yoga… 

But let’s change the subject. Completely. With something a little different. 

Title and Author:
Rough Justice by Her Honour Wendy Joseph KC
Publisher: Transworld
Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Gifted by UK publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review/reaction
Buy From (affiliate): https://uk.bookshop.org/

Old Bailey judge Her Honour Wendy Joseph KC talks the reader through four very different cases, each looking at the women in the dock and wonders how easy it is for any one of us to be in a court, whether that be a member of the jury, a witness or the person on trial. And, as she looks into these four cases, she discovers horrifying similarities between now and possible miscarriages of justice from years ago and wonders if the law has changed and how the law affects the marginalised and the easily exploited?