Wednesday 31 January 2024

Book Review - Goddess Crown

You know that feeling when you randomly discover a book and you go “I need to read this as soon as I can”? It’s almost a physical reaction. Well, that was me when I first heard of Goddess Crown by Shade Lapite. It just ticked all the boxes for me: a standalone fantasy with deep inspiration of Nigerian mythology. And as soon as I got an Advance Reader Proof copy front the publisher, I practically dropped what I was reading and started this. 

Title and Author: Goddess Crown by Shade Lapite
Publisher: Walker Books
Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Gifted by UK publisher in exchange for an honest review/reaction
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Kalothia has grown up in the shadow of the her kingdom, hidden away after her parents were outed as enemies of the king. But when assassins attack her home and kill her guardians on her sixteenth birthday, Kalothia is forced to flee and finds herself in the king’s court.

But the king’s court is no safer. Men think they are entitled and someone is plotting against her. How far will Kalothia be willing to go to keep herself and the kingdom safe?

Saturday 27 January 2024

Audiobook Blog Tour - We Play Games

My first blog tour of 2024! Feels like I’ve not done one of these in a while, and we start with a domestic thriller with a twist. 

Title and Author: We Play Games by Sarah A Denzil
Publisher: Audible
Bought, Gifted or Borrowed: Gifted by Midas Campaigns on behalf of Audible for review in exchange for an honest review/reaction. 
Listen from (Non-Affiliate): Audible 

Ben and Effie have moved to the beautiful yet exclusive Ivy Oaks and they look like there are the perfect couple. Beautiful, wealthy, friendly. But behind the smiles, both Ben and Effie are dark hearted and like to play games. Games that will hurt other people and rip communities apart. And Ivy Oaks seems like the perfect place to do one of their games. 

The couple has two rules: no lies, no ties. But Ben has broken these rules and Effie is beginning to realise that. Soon, not only are the pair scheme and manipulate the people around them, but they are doing it to each other. 

For this game is their final. Losing isn’t an option for either of them. Let the games begin…

Thursday 25 January 2024

eProof Review - Ink Blood Sister Scribe

One of my bookish resolution of 2024 is to try and get my eProof backlog under control. I do have a lot of books and audiobooks gifted to me very kindly by publishers and authors, and I would like to try and tackle this backlog.

One of the titles that have been on my backlog radar is Ink Blood Sister Scribe by Emma Törzs, It’s one of those titles that tickled my fancy for quite a while, but, for one reason or another, I’ve kept putting it off. But, with everything that has happened to my reading over the past few months, I decided to audiobook this from my local library and hope I will fly through it.

Title and Author: Ink Blood Sister Scribe by Emma Törzs
Publisher: Penguin
Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: eProof gifted by UK publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review/reaction & library audiobook.
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In this fantasy thriller debut, we follow estranged sisters Joanna and Esther. Joanna lives alone in Vermont, the sole protector of a collection of rare magical books. One of these books killed their father.

Esther moves every few months. Different country, different jobs, staying no longer than a year, desperate to avoid the magic that her father and stepmother warned her about. But she’s found love on a research base in Antarctica and she wants to stay… then she discovers blood on the mirrors and she knows someone on the base is using blood magic and they are coming after her and her sister’s collection.

Esther and Joanna are in danger. But from who and where? And how is this connected to a young man in London who's uncle won’t let him out of his sight?

Friday 12 January 2024

Audiobook Review - Lord Edgware Dies

Because of the events of the last few months with my employment and, because of this, falling into a bit of a reading/audiobook slump, I had no plans to do a library audiobook for a while. I am desperate to get my TBR piles of books/audiobooks publishers have kindly gifted me (in exchange for an honest review/reaction) under some control (remember last April when my Amazon was hacked/deleted and all my proofs were wiped off my kindle? I am still affected by that!). 

But I couldn’t bring myself to start audiobooking one of my many audiobooks that I have got from publishers or bought myself. I just wasn’t in that headspace. I needed something short, something I can listen to really quickly and that would kick me out of my audiobook slump. 

Then this became available on my library’s audiobook app. And who doesn’t love a classic murder mystery? 

Title and Author: Lord Edgware Dies by Agatha Christie
Publisher: HarperCollins
Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Borrowed via library’s audiobook app
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In Poirot’s ninth outing, after seeing an impressionist performance of Carlotta Adams, Poirot is approached by the actress Jane Wilkinson. She is currently married to Lord Edgware and, according to her, he will not give her a divorce and asks Poirot for help. Though Poirot doesn’t get involved, he agrees and visits Lord Edgware where he discovers that Lord Edgware is happy to give a divorce and wrote a letter to let Jane know. 

Poirot tells Jane Wilkinson and she is thrilled over the news, and Poirot thinks that is that. Except the following day, Poirot discovers that Lord Edgware has been murdered. Stabbed at the base of the skull, and witnesses say that they saw Jane Wilkinson at the family home at the time of the murder. But that can’t be possible as she had been at a party and there are twelve witnesses that can testify to that. 

Is it possible for a woman to be in two places at once? Who murdered Lord Edgware? How is it connected to a drugs overdose of Carlotta Adams? And how did a chance remark from a stranger help Poirot come to the truth?

Tuesday 9 January 2024

eProof Review - The Butcher Of The Forest

Happy First Read of 2024! Fingers crossed all your have been fun and great. 

Mine? Not so much. You’ll see why in the moment in gif form and for that, I do apologise. 

Anyway, let me get all the details for you and we can get this party started!

Title and Author: The Butcher Of The Forest by Premee Mohamed
Publisher: Titan Books
Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Gifted by UK publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review/reaction.
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In the dark, fairytale-like novella, a ruthless Tyrant forces an ordinary woman into an enchanted forest to retrieve his two missing children. The enchanted forest is full of dark things and won’t let the heirs go easily. And the woman isn’t as ordinary as she’s the only person known to have gone into the forest and to have come out again, all to save a child. 

If the woman fails, all she lives will be destroyed. So, she must step carefully as one misstep could be the end of everything…

Friday 5 January 2024

Audiobook Review - Mother Daughter Murder Night

Let’s start the blogging new year with one of the rare audiobooks I listened to over the December period (I would have listened to more, but I was made redundant and it effected my reading and audiobooking more than I realised). Now, this one I bought and I started this, thinking it would be one thing but it turned into another. 

Title and Author: Mother Daughter Murder Night by Nina Simon
Publisher: HarperCollins
Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Audiobook Purchased
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Lana Rubicon is a high-powered businesswoman with lots of be proud of. But when she faints one morning and discovers that she has cancer, Lana is forced to live her with estranged daughter, Beth, and her granddaughter, Jack. 

When Beth discovers a body while kayaking one morning, one of the male lead detectives believes she is a prime suspect, much to Lana’s furious. While Beth wants Lana to recover and stay out of it, Lana can’t. She doesn’t trust the Police, even though the female lead detective seems to have a good head on her shoulders. Lana decides to look into the case herself and prove Jack’s innocence - even if that means putting on a wig and leaving the house for the the first time in months. 

Soon, all three Rubicon women are looking into the murder. Butt can a murder really bring these three very different women together? And will they catch the killer?

Wednesday 3 January 2024

Happy 2024!

Hello and happy 2024! How we all feeling so far? Have you enjoyed the festive season and looking forward to this fresh new year? 

As you probably noticed, I took December off. It happened by accident. Due to redundancy in November, my reading and my attention span to audiobooks took a hit and, by the time I realised, I went “Well, I usually take a few weeks off over Christmas and New Year, why not start now and return in January…?”

So that is what I did. It helped as I decided to tackle so books on my To Be Read list that are a little bigger and longer than my normal reads and pick some titles that have been on my list for FAR TOO LONG!

While I await the new series of The Traitors to start tonight (anyone else excited?!), I might as well chat about some (not all) of the books I read over the Christmas period. 

Most of these are short stories or novellas. Don’t get too excited. 

Choice by Jodi Picoult is a 40-odd minute long audiobook, which came from the Wade vs Roe overturning that happened in USA, and the fact that states decided that ban legal abortions, even if the woman was a victim of rape or incest or if the abortion will save the women’s life. In this shorty story, men are beginning to wake up pregnant and women aren’t, and follows a recently broken up couple where, on the morning of getting a huge promotion, James finds out he is pregnant and, because of this, is refused the promotion and Margot, a social worker, is seeing young, desperate teenage boys who are pregnant and are begging for help. help she can’t provide because, if she did, she would be arrested. 

This turns on the tables on the US Supreme Court overturning Wade vs Roe and, while looking at sexism and why choice is so important. I wish this was longer than 40 minutes as I would love for it to go further, but is hugely timely. 

Another short novella I read during December was The Invitation by Ajay Chowdhury. Taken place after the events of the third book in the series, The Detective, it follows Kamil Rahman who offers to help his boss, Anjoli, when she receives a strange email entitled Beheading. Claiming it’s an invite to the Tower of London to celebrate the 500 year anniversary since Anne Boleyn’s beheading, the pair go. But when they get there, things take a sinister turn when they discover an old uni friend of Anjoli has been kidnappped and they are against the clock to save her… 

I have been meaning to read Ajay Chowdhury for YEARS now. Even since the first book in the series, The Waiter, first came out but I never get round to it. So, when I saw this short story and it was free, I jumped on it and devoured in almost one sitting, just like Choice… In 2024, I will be reading The Waiter

I read one more short story (an MM romance called Not In It For the Money by Gabbi Grey - which was a nice quick read that I read in less than 20 minutes) and I quit a ebook (that I purchased for free so no guilt) at the 60% mark called 1st Shock by Misty Evans and Adrienne Giordano. It wasn’t for me as was a tad too dry for my tastes. 

I did audiobook and read a few novels over December and I will probably chat to you about one or two in the coming days/week. 

So, Happy 2024! I hope your reading over the festive period was fun and your 22024 reading will be a delight!!!