Sunday, 15 September 2019

Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult and Samantha van Leer


From Goodreads

An enchanting YA novel from Number One bestselling author Jodi Picoult, co-written with her teenage daughter.
Delilah is a bit of a loner who prefers spending her time in the school library with her head in a book—one book in particular. Between the Lines may be a fairy tale, but it feels real. Prince Oliver is brave, adventurous, and loving. He really speaks to Delilah.

And then one day Oliver actually speaks to her. Turns out, Oliver is more than a one-dimensional storybook prince. He’s a restless teen who feels trapped by his literary existence and hates that his entire life is predetermined. He’s sure there’s more for him out there in the real world, and Delilah might just be his key to freedom.

Delilah knows it's weird, but she can't stop reading her favourite fairy tale. Other girls her age are dating and cheerleading. But then, other girls are popular. She loves the comfort of the happy ending, and knowing there will be no surprises. Until she gets the biggest surprise of all, when Prince Oliver looks out from the page and speaks to her. Now Delilah must decide: will she do as Oliver asks, and help him to break out of the book? Or is this her chance to escape into happily ever after? Read between the lines for total enchantment . . .

My thoughts

I chose this book at random from my local Library and for some reason it has languished among my own books for some time, with me keep renewing it every so often. To be honest when I chose it I didn't know too much about it and actually thought it was a factual book at first. How wrong was I?

I gave this YA story that was co-written by Jodi Picoult and her daughter Samantha van Leer a 3 stars or 6/10.

The story tells the tale of the relationship between Delilah a real person and a fictional character that she develops feelings for Prince Oliver. As the story takes a sudden turn when Prince Oliver speaks from the pages of the story to Delilah.

As Prince Oliver comes up with a plan that might see him and Delilah together, what will or can happen to make this become reality? To find out the answer, you need to read Between the Lines for yourself.

This story is clearly aimed at a younger audience, but I enjoyed the premise and I was drawn into the mixed up worlds of Prince Oliver and Delilah. It's a magical quirky romantic read that I found in many ways quite thought provoking. How many of us as readers, from time to time have fallen for the characters in a story and wished that they were real?

Silent Admirer (Detective Temeke Crime Series #6) by Claire Stibbe

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From Goodreads

The perfect life. The perfect lie.

Family man, Dai Trandahl, appears distraught over the disappearance of his wife and ten-year-old daughter. But when a body is discovered in the foothills of the Sandia Mountains, the investigation takes a terrifying turn.

Trandahl’s computer reveals evidence of alarming illegal activities, and detectives Temeke and Santiago suspect a connection with a cold case and the recent killing of two young women.

As Santiago works tirelessly to get a confession out of Trandahl, time is running out for Temeke and his unit. Temeke knows he must stop this killer. But at what cost?

My thoughts

My thanks to the Author via TBConFB Reviewer Group for the opportunity to read this story in exchange for an honest review.

I gave this a 4 stars or 8/10.  This is the last book at the moment in the Detective Temeke Crime Series#6. Whilst, I haven't read the previous 5 stories in the series it read well in my opinion as a standalone.

There are many strands to this story with cases to try and solve by the team of detectives. At the heart of it and taking the main stage is the disappearance of Dai Trandahl's wife and his young daughter. Dai Trandahl seems to have something to hide and could quite easily  be the main suspect.

Well written, Claire Stibbe knows her way around the police procedures and the interactions between the detectives is particularly enjoyable. They are all flawed in their own ways, but manage to work well together to solve the crimes that they are faced with.

I have now bought #1 and #2 in this series, so that I can follow the development of the characters from the outset and then when I've read the previous 5 I will read Silent Admirer again to bring to the series to a conclusion as it is at the moment. I do feel that the series could quite easily continue on, if Claire Stibbe felt inclined to write a 7th story.

Thursday, 12 September 2019

The Family Secret (Cat Carlisle #2) by Terry Lynn Thomas

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From Goodreads

Will she find the truth?
England, 1940.

After a sudden unexplained disappearance, Thomas Charles comes back into Cat Carlisle’s life with the suggestion she leave London – and the threat of bombs – to move to back her childhood village in Cumberland.

Back in her hometown Cat discovers her childhood friend, Beth Hargreaves, is suspected of murder. As Cat tries to prove Beth’s innocence, she discovers a scheme of deception that affects the whole village. Can she uncover the family truths behind the murder and expose the enemy hiding in plain sight?

My thoughts

My thanks to the Author via TBConFB Reviewer group for the opportunity to read this in exchange for an honest review. I gave this a 4stars or 8/10.

This is the second story in the Cat Carlisle series. As the second world war is in it's infancy, the early years Cat embarks on a trip back in time to where she grew up in Cumbria. She is accompanied by Thomas Charles an acquaintance, who has feelings for her (which are reciprocated) and is pleased to have be able to spend more time with her.

As a spate of murders take place, it's not long before Cat finds herself in the thick of it, as she is trying to solve the crime before anymore take place.

The storyline surrounding the murders and the development of the relationship between Cat and Thomas help to move the story along well. Whilst Cat might not feature in this story as much as the previous one, she is still very instrumental to the story. Sometimes it's nice to find out about the secondary characters, so I don't feel that this is necessarily a bad thing.

The story can be read as a standalone, but why would you want to do that when the series is a joy to read. Terry Lynn Thomas has created a series that has drawn me in and I look forward to reading more about Cat Carlisle in the future.

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

The Memory Tree (aka The Trysting Tree) by Linda Gillard

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From Goodreads
Can the power of love overcome life’s darkest memories and deepest losses?
When her favourite beech tree is felled in a storm, Ann feels as if someone has died. But when long-hidden seed packets are found inside the trunk, Ann realises there are more memories than her own lurking within the ancient tree . . .
A century earlier, head gardener William Hatherwick and Hester Mordaunt, mistress of Beechgrave, share a love for the mighty estate – and an undeclared love for each other. But when war breaks out, William is sent to the battlefields of France, and as the conflict rages on, Hester grieves beneath the tree. Can she and William ever find happiness once he’s witnessed the horror of the trenches?
In the present day, historian Connor Grenville wants to understand why his late grandmother tried to destroy Hester’s archive before she died. Who was she trying to protect – and why? His findings bring long-suppressed memories back to Ann’s mind . . .
Beneath the shadow of the tree, love is won and lost, and secrets are hidden and revealed. Will the truth heal the wounds that lie buried in the past?

Revised edition: Previously published as The Trysting Tree, this edition of The Memory Tree includes editorial revisions.

My thoughts

My thanks to the Publishers via NetGalley for the opportunity to read this in exchange for an honest review. I gave this a 5 stars or 10/10.

Disclaimer I have to let you know in advance that I am a fan of all of Linda Gillard's novels.

When past and present collide due to the findings in the remains of a felled beech tree.  Characters from the past and present that are linked to one another through birth. Secrets from the past that have far reaching consequences in the present. As usual Linda Gillard has woven a great idea that seamlessly moves from one time frame to another, that engages the reader in the lives of all the characters.

I feel that some of Linda Gillard's personal experiences over the last few years have helped her with the development of one of the characters and for those people that know her, they'll know to what I am referring to.

Linda Gillard's novels deserve to be widely read and this is no different to the rest of her work. Grab a copy and settle back, let yourself be immersed in the lives of the characters that she creates. Once you've read this one, grab one of her back catalogue you'll not be disappointed.

One Minute Later by Susan Lewis

One Minute Later

From Goodreads

It’s takes one minute to change everything…

Vivienne Shager has it all. A highflying job. A beautiful apartment. Friends whose lives are as perfect as her own. But on the afternoon of her 27th birthday, Vivi has a heart attack.

Now Vivi’s life shrinks back to how it begun, as she moves back to the small seaside town she grew up in. With her time running out, there is one thing she wants to know the truth about.

Some secrets are best left in the past…

Thirty years earlier, Shelley’s family home, Deerwood farm, bursts full of love and happiness. But one family member has hidden a secret for all these years. Until Vivi comes home demanding answers, and it takes just a moment to unravel the lie at their heart of their lives…

My thoughts 

My thanks to the Publishers via NetGalley for the opportunity to read this in exchange for an honest review. I gave this a 4 stars or 8/10.

Susan Lewis isn't an Author that I've read a lot of in the past. I enjoyed this very thought provoking at times story about Vivi and how she copes with the aftermath of her heart attack. I feel that it would make a great reading group read, with quite a few things that could be discussed by people and discussing how they might cope if it happened to them in the prime of their life.

Told as a dual time frame style story, the narrative flits between the past and the present, as secrets from the past are revealed that kept me guessing where they where leading on several occasions.

I will be looking to read more books by Susan Lewis in the future.

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow

Today is my stop on the Blog Tour for The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow, an historical fantasy novel published by Orbit/Redhook yesterday (10th September, 19). My thanks to the Publishers via Tracy Fenton of Compulsive Readers for the opportunity to take part.

The Ten Thousand Doors of January

From Goodreads

In the early 1900s, a young woman embarks on a fantastical journey of self-discovery after finding a mysterious book in this captivating and lyrical debut.

In a sprawling mansion filled with peculiar treasures, January Scaller is a curiosity herself. As the ward of the wealthy Mr. Locke, she feels little different from the artifacts that decorate the halls: carefully maintained, largely ignored, and utterly out of place.

Then she finds a strange book. A book that carries the scent of other worlds, and tells a tale of secret doors, of love, adventure and danger. Each page turn reveals impossible truths about the world and January discovers a story increasingly entwined with her own.

Lush and richly imagined, a tale of impossible journeys, unforgettable love, and the enduring power of stories awaits in this spellbinding debut - step inside and discover it's magic.

My thoughts

I haven't had the chance to read this one yet, my request is still pending on NetGalley.  I hadn't realised that I didn't have a copy of this yet in time to review for the Blog Tour, however I will be adding my review once read. I am looking forward to reading it as this is a particular genre that I enjoy reading.

With plenty of 5 stars and glowing reviews already, this book and Author are one to watch for the future.

About the Author 

Alix E. Harrow is an American Author. She has had a varied number of jobs along the way. Below is info taken from Goodreads about her. We have one thing in common I too used to sell ice cream in my teens.

I've been a student and a teacher, a farm-worker and a cashier, an ice-cream-scooper and a 9-to-5 office-dweller. I've lived in tents and cars, cramped city apartments and lonely cabins, and spent a summer in a really sweet '79 VW Vanagon. I have library cards in at least five states.

Now I'm a full-time writer living in with my husband and two semi-feral kids in Berea, Kentucky. It is, I'm very sure, the best of all possible worlds.

Monday, 26 August 2019

Fugitive 13 (Sleeper 13, #2) by Rob Sinclair

Rather belated stop on the Blog tour of Fugitive 13(Sleeper 13, #2) by Rob Sinclair. My thanks to Tracy Fenton of Compulsive Readers and TBConFB fame for the opportunity to take part on the tour.

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From Goodreads

Aydin Torkal - aka Sleeper 13 - is on the run.

Hunted not only by the world's intelligence agencies, but also by the elite brotherhood of insurgents he betrayed, he has lived the past year like a ghost.

Until now.

MI6 agent Rachel Cox knows Aydin better than anyone. The only person who believes he is an ally in the ongoing war on terror, not the enemy.

So when a coded message arrives from him, warning her not to trust her own colleagues, Rachel must choose between her career and the truth.

But as Aydin hunts down those who destroyed his childhood, the trail he follows will lead him closer to home than he ever expected.

He won't stop until he has his revenge.

He is Fugitive 13.

My thoughts

I have now finished this second part in the Sleeper series. I gave this story a 4 stars or 8/10.

Fugitive 13, follows on with the ongoing story of Aydin Torkal (Sleeper 13), he is on the run from the remaining Sleepers and the people behind the terrorist cell that he belongs to. As his past comes back to haunt him and he finds himself not only the hunter, but the hunted he finds himself being taken back in time. Aydin's childhood was cut short when he was taken at a young age and found himself being instructed on how to become a terrorist and carry out acts that cause death and insight hatred among people, pitting man against man.

Rachel Cox, is the MI6 agent that he met before going on the run, she trusts him and sees the good in him that others don't see.

As Aydin is searching for answers to several questions that he has about his past, perhaps what he finds out will hit closer to home than he at first expects. He realises that he doesn't know who to trust or who is telling the truth for that matter as secrets of his past are slowly revealed.

Will Aydin's plans to wreak revenge work out or will they backfire on him?

This is a fast paced thriller that will keep you guessing until the last few chapters, as the reader is taken on a roller coaster of a ride and fed titbits throughout to keep you engaged with both the plot and the characters.

I am really enjoying the journey that Rob Sinclair is taking us on with his Sleeper 13 series. If you have not had chance to read Sleeper 13 yet which is the first in the series, then why not grab the chance to get a copy now and immerse yourself in the lives of the characters within it. Then you'll be ready to follow the ongoing journey too in Fugitive 13, the second in the series.

My thanks to the Author via Tracy Fenton of Compulsive Readers and TBConFB fame for the opportunity to take part in the Blog tour. I received a free copy of the story in exchange for taking part, this in no way influenced my rating or review.