Tuesday, 28 July 2020

Devil's Day by Andrew Michael Hurley

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From Goodreads

After the blizzard of a century ago, it was weeks before anyone got in or out. By that time, what had happened there, what the Devil had done, was already fable.

Devil's Day is a day for children now, of course. A tradition it's easy to mock, from the outside. But it's important to remember why we do what we do. It's important to know what our grandfathers have passed down to us.

Because it's hard to understand, if you're not from the valley, how this place is in your blood.

That's why I came back, with Kat; it wasn't just because the Gaffer was dead.

Though that year we may have let the Devil in after all.


My thoughts

This was a random read that I chose from my local Library. I was drawn to it as it's set in a part of the UK that I live and mentions a lot of local areas.

I gave this a 4 stars or 8/10.

This was a rather bleak and atmospheric tale, that matched the bleak area of Lancashire that it was set in. Folk lore and fables spring to mind. When things that happen in the past, spark off an annual event set around the farming community that might have greater ramifications if traditions aren't upheld.

Many of us believe in traditions and some of us might even fear the reason that these traditions began in the first place. For the folk of a remote farming community in Lancashire, this was there way of life. 

Recognitions (Recognitions #1) by Daniela. I. Norris

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From Goodreads

Amelia Rothman, a foreign-rights editor from New York, has a turbulent personal life. She juggles a divorce and two teenage kids, and decides to seek hypnotherapy to help her deal with insomnia and anxieties. But when during the session an unexpected event emerges, she tries to understand how it is relevant to her current life and why it suddenly triggers a series of synchronicities that take her on an unexpected personal journey to the depth of her subconscious. At once a spiritual and psychological novel, Recognitions explores the concepts of past lives, recognition of people and their roles in our present lives and life lessons. Recognitions is the first of a trilogy.

My thoughts

My thanks to The Book Club on Facebook Reviewer Group for the opportunity to review this in exchange for an honest review.

I gave this a 4 stars or 8/10.

I read this the first in the Recognitions trilogy in a few days.  It was an easy read and at just over 200 pages it's not an overly long read. It kept me engaged and wanting to know more about Amelia. At a bit of a crossroads in her life, trying to cope with two teenagers and coming out the other side of a divorce. She is emotionally and mentally drained.

Deciding on trying hynotherapy, as a means of coping with the situation that she finds herself in. She isn't ready for the revelations that she is about to experience as a result of the hypnosis. 

This story deals with the concept that we have all possibly been here on this Earth before. This is actually something that I find interesting as a concept. I have Premonitions the next one in the trilogy ready to read and look forward to starting it soon. I can't wait to follow this journey that we have embarked on with Amelia.

Monday, 20 July 2020

The Murderess (The Missensham Series #2) by Jennifer Wells

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From Goodreads

THE MURDERESS is a heart-stopping story of family, love, passion and betrayal set against the backdrop of war-ravaged Britain. Perfect for fans of Lesley Pearse and Dilly Court.

1931: Fifteen year old Kate witnesses her mother Millicent push a stranger from a station platform into the path of an oncoming train. There was no warning, seemingly no reason, and absolutely no remorse.

1940: Exactly nine years later, Kate returns to the station and notices a tramp laying flowers on the exact spot that the murder was committed; the identity of the victim, still remains unknown.

With a country torn apart by war and her family estate and name in tatters, Kate has nothing to lose as she attempts to uncover family secrets that date back to the Great War and solve a mystery that blights her family name.

My thoughts

This was a book that I found on BorrowBox which is an e-book side of my local Library. The books can be borrowed and read on a phone or other device for free. They can be renewed a number of times before becoming unable to renew anymore, so the idea is to read them as quickly as possible.

I had not heard of this book before, but it intrigued me. I gave this a 4 stars or 8/10. This is the second in The Missensham series, the books in this series can all be read as standalone stories.

The story moves around in time, each chapter lets you know when it's set in time and who it relates to as it reveals the story from the perspective of the characters that it's based on. The story was revealed to you slowly over the years and it all linked together well. It was well written and I will look for more books by this Author.

I enjoyed this story and it shows what lengths people will go to in order to protect their family. Would you kill in order to protect your family? It's a question that that most of us will never have to answer.

I feel that this would make a great reading group read, as there is quite a lot that can be discussed in a group.

Photographing Kate (A Moonshire Bay Small Town Romance Book 3) by Elle Sweet

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From Amazon

Welcome to Moonshire Bay - the small town lakeside community that has love in the air ♥

After Kate’s husband of over twenty years is sentenced for embezzling and fraud, she loses everything and needs to start over. She decides to visit Moonshire Bay to regroup at the urging of her friend, Claire, who owns the diner there.

Knowing she needs a way to support herself, she rekindles her passion for photography and starts to think maybe staying in Moonshire Bay is her best chance at happiness.

Zach is the town attorney and a confirmed bachelor. After a scarring experience with love and almost marriage in his younger days, he vowed never to get any closer to a woman than a casual relationship.

When Zach meets Kate, the wounded look that lingers behind her smile grabs him and he wants to know her better, but Kate was burned by her lawyer ex-husband. Even if she wanted a relationship it wouldn’t be with a member of that profession.

Zach tricks Kate in order to get to know her better. When she finds out, will she understand and forgive him or will it push her further away?

My thoughts

Thanks to Emma of Damppebbles Blog Tours for the opportunity to take part on the blog tour for this book. I was given a copy of this story in exchange for a review.

I gave this a 4 stars or /10.

This is a gentle romance and is the perfect escapism for readers at the moment. We can step out of our day today life and any issues that we might have, and step into the world of Kate and Zach.

This is the first of the Moonshire Bay Small Town romance series, that I have read. All the stories can be read as standalone books. They might have some returning characters dotted about in them.

I enjoyed this story and the developing relationship between Kate and Zach, that we as readers are able to see as the story progresses. Well written and with short chapters that grab you from the start, you're soon wanting to just read that one more to see where the story is taking you on the journey that you find yourself on with the residents of Moonshire Bay.

Kate had been hurt in the past by the relationship that she had had with her ex-husband. His reputation and what happened preceded him. As a result of this Kate had developed an unfair reputation by association and people were aware of who she was. As Kate tries to break away from the past and forge a new future for herself, is she able to trust others and more importantly are they able to trust her. Can Zach be the one to help her get over her ex-husband and more importantly does he want to be the one to do it? Only time will tell what happens to these two.



Thursday, 16 July 2020

Book 1: The Flight to Bericea (The Summoned Ones) by Darryl A. Woods

The Summoned Ones: Book 1 Flight to Bericea

From Goodreads

The Bericean army was in Malabrim for the ninth straight fighting season. Over the past 9 years, Zybaro, the leader of a small band of unknowns, had evolved from his days as a minor usurper of a tiny kingdom. Now, almost the entire country of Malabrim was under Zybaro's control, and his army was large enough to easily challenge Bericea's army. Still, Bericea continued its raids into Malabrim, hoping to stem Zybaro's methodical progress and thwart his tyrannical means of control. Zybaro had seized village after village, forcing anyone capable of joining his army and enslaving all who remained in deplorable working conditions to supply his army.

This latest conflict with Zybaro had pushed General Darnon to a decision, one he had resisted making for over a year. Though he still held grave reservations about the Prophecies, he was willing to support the clerics who would attempt the summoning. The details of the ritual had recently been discovered in an ancient tome. The clerics were confident they could bring forth the Summoned Ones of Prophecy, those mysterious beings who would aid Bericea in its time of greatest need.

Darnon also had concerns about the location of the summoning. It would have to take place farther into Malabrim than they had ventured in many years. And even if the ritual was effective, it would be a great challenge to get the Summoned Ones safely back to Bericea, in addition to the soldiers sent to protect them. However, Darnon felt that morale was so low, if they survived this battle, he owed his troops the hope the summoning ritual could bring.

Join the soldiers of Bericea and the Summoned Ones through a life-or-death struggle. The Summoned Ones was made up of a small college aged group of friends from a small Kentucky town near the Daniel Boone National Forrest, who find themselves somehow brought to a chaotic world through magic. Their epic journey will push the Summoned beyond the limits of their endurance. This unlikely group will discover many truths about themselves and experience another world beyond their imagination.

My thoughts

My thanks to Emma of Damppebbles Blog Tours for the opportunity to take part in the blog tour for this book.

I gave this a 3.5 stars or 7/10.

This is the first in a series known as The Summoned Ones.  As the group of  friends known as the Summoned Ones leave our world and find themselves in a different world to the one that they are used to, they have to come to terms with a new and unusual environment that is similar to one that they would be reading about in a fantasy novel. They find themselves in the thick of it, as the different sides in the kingdom that they have arrived in are at war against one another in an attempt to break free from an oppressive and ruthless leader known as Zybaro. 

Journey to a world where music has a huge importance on what happens, a world where fantasy and unusual creatures are the norm. Welcome to the fantasy kingdom of Malabrim and all that is happening to it and the people who live there. As the armies of Bericea and the good people try to overcome the evil that lies within it's borders.

Will the group be able to cope in their new environment and will they live up to the expectations of the inhabitants of the world that they find themselves in? 

This is a fantasy story that engages the reader and takes them away from real life. It lets your imagination run free, as the adventure that the Summoned Ones find themselves on evolves in front of your eyes. This story sets the scene nicely for the subsequent stories and the future lives of the Summoned Ones and their new found friends.

This was an interesting read that takes you away from the world that we live in. In my opinion one that fans of Lord of the Rings and similar stories would enjoy. I look forward to reading the next one in the series to see where the Author takes us on this journey.

Monday, 13 July 2020

Unpregnant by Jenni Hendriks & Ted Caplan

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From Goodreads

Seventeen-year-old Veronica Clarke never thought she’d want to fail a test – until she finds herself holding a thick piece of plastic and staring at two solid pink lines. How her boyfriend managed to get her pregnant, even with the most consistent use of condoms, is a mystery–but with a college-bound future now disappearing before her eyes, Veronica considers a decision she never imagined she’d have to make: an abortion.

Except the closest place to legally get one is nine hundred miles away in New Mexico–and Veronica doesn’t have a car. Desperate, she turns to the only person who won’t judge her: Bailey Butler, Jefferson High’s own little black cloud of anger and snark–and Veronica’s ex-best friend.

The plan is straightforward: a thirty-hour drive to the clinic and back. What could go wrong? Not much, apart from stolen cars, a crazed ex-boyfriend, truck stop strippers with pro-life agendas, ferret kidnapping, and aliens. Plus, the pain of a broken friendship that can’t be outrun, even when speeding down a highway. Soon, Veronica must risk everything to repair the hurt she’s caused. Under the starlit skies of the Southwest, Veronica and Bailey discover the road to adulthood isn’t easy–but it’s better with a friend by your side.

My thoughts

This was a random book choice from Borrow Box the e-book side of my local Library.

I gave the book 2.5 stars or 5/10. I appreciate that this book might not be suitable for everyone due to the subject matter, the fact that it features an abortion, this didn't put me off reading it all. By the way I don't agree with abortions, but sometimes there are reasons for people to have them and I don't hold the choices that other people make might make to have one, against them at all. At the end of the day what happens to our bodies, is our choice.

Sometimes you find a gem of a read when you're looking for other books, this wasn't really one of those times. Whilst this had the basis for a good story in so much as it was a road trip with a difference across America. The reason for the road trip wasn't one that a lot of people would agree with, as Veronica was off in search of an abortion. If you don't agree with abortions then don't go anywhere near this book.  It's definitely not one that you should be reading.

This book in some ways reminded me a little of Thelma & Louise, the film starring Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis. The fact that two friends end up on a road trip that at times was funny and at others quite emotional. This is how I felt about Unpregnant, at times it was funny and at others you did feel for the characters. Veronica had decided what she wanted as it was her body, but she hadn't realised that her decisions would also affect other people too.

Sadly, the book didn't quite deliver for me. I am sitting on the fence and giving it an average mark. 

Friday, 10 July 2020

The Cat and the City by Nick Bradley

The Cat and The City

From Goodreads

In Tokyo - one of the world's largest megacities - a stray cat is wending her way through the back alleys. And, with each detour, she brushes up against the seemingly disparate lives of the city-dwellers, connecting them in unexpected ways.

But the city is changing. As it does, it pushes her to the margins where she chances upon a series of apparent strangers - from a homeless man squatting in an abandoned hotel, to a shut-in hermit afraid to leave his house, to a convenience store worker searching for love. The cat orbits Tokyo's denizens, drawing them ever closer.

In a series of spellbinding, interlocking narratives - with styles ranging from manga to footnotes - Nick Bradley has hewn a novel of interplay and estrangement; of survival and self-destruction; of the desire to belong and the need to escape. Formally inventive and slyly political, The Cat and The City is a lithe thrill-ride through the less-glimpsed streets of Tokyo.

My thoughts

This was another find on BorrowBox the e-book side of my local Library. You are allowed to borrow up to six books on top of the physical books that you might have on loan.

I gave this a 4 stars or 8/10.

This was an unusual and interesting set of short stories, set in Japan and all featuring a stray cat as an integral part of the story. This is a book that you can dip in and out of at will, as the length of the stories is such that they can be read over a cuppa or while waiting for the bus.

The stories give the reader a little insight into the Japanese way of life. Sometimes that random read you pick up, can turn into a little gem of a book and this was one of those.