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Monday, 14 September 2020

The Stay at Home Book Tag

Books

2020 has been a year of curveballs and uncertainty all around, but one positive to come out of the situation is that many more people have found the time to rediscover their love of books. Reading has always been one of my biggest passions, and I can wholeheartedly get behind this newfound love for literature.

When I came across the Stay at Home book tag on Rebecca's book blog, I couldn't wait to get involved and share my answers to the questions in the tag. So, what's the Stay at Home book tag all about?

Monday, 31 August 2020

Reading Round-Up: July/August 2020

Too Many Books Sign with Bookshelves

I think it's safe to say that 2020 hasn't exactly happened how any of us planned, but at least there are plenty of great books to keep us company! I've been smashing my reading goals over the last few months and I can't quite believe that July and August have passed already. It will be Christmas before we know it!

So, take some time out, grab a cuppa, and sit down to check out all the books I've been reading, acquiring, and adding to my wishlist during July and August 2020!

If you missed the last reading round-up, you can catch up with that here

Sunday, 30 August 2020

Review: Blue Tea Box

Blue Tea Box teas

AD* | With the cooler weather we've been having recently, it definitely feels as though there's a chill in the air and autumn is on its way. Once the nights start to draw in and we all dig out our cosy jumpers again, there's nothing better than snuggling up on the sofa with a blanket and a mug of tea. 

I am a big tea lover and I'm always up for the opportunity to try different blends and types of tea. So, when the lovely people at Blue Tea Box contacted me and offered me the chance to try one of their tea subscription boxes, there was only ever going to be one answer!

Wednesday, 26 August 2020

Book Review: In a Cottage, In a Wood by Cass Green

In a Cottage In a Wood by Cass Green book cover

AD* | A strange encounter...

Neve comes across a troubled woman called Isabelle on Waterloo Bridge late one night. Isabelle forces a parcel into Neve’s hands and jumps to her death in the icy Thames below.

An unexpected gift...

Two weeks later, as Neve’s wreck of a life in London collapses, an unexpected lifeline falls into her lap – a charming cottage in Cornwall left to her by Isabelle, the woman on the bridge. The solution to all her problems.

A twisted secret...

But when Neve arrives, alone in the dark woods late one night, she finds a sinister-looking bungalow with bars across its windows. And her dream home quickly becomes her worst nightmare – a house hiding a twisted secret that will change her life forever...

Monday, 24 August 2020

Review: The Umbrella Academy Season 2

Camden Market Umbrella Installation

The Umbrella Academy has swiftly become a cult hit since the first series landed on streaming giant Netflix in 2019. With millions of viewers around the world left wanting more - especially with the last episode of season one ending on such a cliffhanger - it was a long wait for many until season two was finally released on July 31st 2020.

So, nearly a month later, what was season two's reception? Many eager fans have already headed online to read up about the show and beg for a speedy release for series three, but just how good was season two? Did it manage to live up to the high standards set by the first series?

Wednesday, 19 August 2020

Book Review: Writers & Lovers by Lily King

Writers & Lovers by Lily King book cover

AD* | Blindsided by her mother's sudden death, and wrecked by a recent love affair, Casey Peabody has arrived in Massachusetts in the summer of 1997 without a plan. Her mail consists of wedding invitations and final notices from debt collectors. 

A former child golf prodigy, she now waits tables in Harvard Square and rents a tiny, mouldy room at the side of a garage where she works on the novel she's been writing for six years. At thirty-one, Casey is still clutching onto something nearly all her old friends have let go of: the determination to live a creative life. 

When she falls for two very different men at the same time, her world fractures even more. Casey's fight to fulfil her creative ambitions and balance the conflicting demands of art and life is challenged in ways that push her to the brink.

Monday, 17 August 2020

Film Review: The Kissing Booth 2

Kiss

The Kissing Booth 2 is a fun teen rom-com movie and the sequel to 2018's The Kissing Booth. This film is the perfect antidote to counteract the washout that is summer 2020. It has plenty of humour, excitement - and, kissing, of course - in-store and ready to offer you a fun-filled escape from reality.

So, if you're in the mood for a little romance, buckle up! The Kissing Booth 2 is the film for you this summer!

Wednesday, 12 August 2020

Book Review: The Animals at Lockwood Manor by Jane Healey

The Animals at Lockwood Manor by Jane Healey book cover

AD* | Some secrets are unspoken. Others are unspeakable...

August 1939.

Thirty-year-old Hetty Cartwright is tasked with the evacuation and safekeeping of the natural history museum’s collection of mammals. Once she and her exhibits arrive at Lockwood Manor, however, where they are to stay for the duration of the war, Hetty soon realizes that she’s taken on more than she’d bargained for.

Protecting her charges from the irascible Lord Lockwood and resentful servants is work enough, but when some of the animals go missing, and worse, Hetty begins to suspect someone – or something – is stalking her through the darkened corridors of the house.

As the disasters mount, Hetty finds herself falling under the spell of Lucy, Lord Lockwood’s beautiful but clearly haunted daughter. But why is Lucy so traumatized? Does she know something she’s not telling? And is there any truth to local rumours of ghosts and curses?

Part love story, part mystery, The Animals at Lockwood Manor by Jane Healey is a gripping and atmospheric tale of family madness, long-buried secrets and hidden desires.

Wednesday, 5 August 2020

Book Review: The Jam Factory Girls by Mary Wood

The Jam Factory Girls by Mary Wood Book Cover

AD* | The Jam Factory Girls is an uplifting and emotional novel of friendship set in the heart of pre-WWI London from bestselling author, Mary Wood.

Life for Elsie is difficult as she struggles to cope with her alcoholic mother. Caring for her siblings and working long hours at Swift's Jam Factory in London’s Bermondsey is exhausting. Thankfully her lifelong friendship with Dot helps to smooth over life’s rough edges.

When Elsie and Dot meet Millie Swift, they are nervous to be in the presence of the bosses’ daughter. Over time, they are surprised to feel so drawn to her, but should two East End girls be socializing in such circles?

When disaster strikes, it binds the women in ways they could never imagine. Long-held secrets are revealed that could change all their lives...

Monday, 3 August 2020

Film Review: Eurovision The Story of Fire Saga

Eurovision Lightbox

Sadly, this year's Eurovision Song Contest had to be cancelled due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. However, all is not lost for Eurovision fans as a brand new movie is here to fill the gaping hole left by the absence of Eurovision 2020!

With an explosion of fun and crazy antics, enter Eurovision Song Content: The Story of Fire Saga

Wednesday, 29 July 2020

Book Review: Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan

Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan Book Cover

AD* | Anna Kerrigan, nearly twelve years old, accompanies her father to visit Dexter Styles, a man who, she gleans, is crucial to the survival of her father and her family. She is mesmerized by the sea beyond the house and by some charged mystery between the two men.

‎Years later, her father has disappeared and the country is at war. Anna works at the Brooklyn Naval Yard, where women are allowed to hold jobs that once belonged to men, now soldiers abroad. She becomes the first female diver, the most dangerous and exclusive of occupations, repairing the ships that will help America win the war. One evening at a nightclub, she meets Dexter Styles again, and begins to understand the complexity of her father’s life, the reasons he might have vanished.

With the atmosphere of a noir thriller, Egan’s first historical novel follows Anna and Styles into a world populated by gangsters, sailors, divers, bankers, and union men. Manhattan Beach is a deft, dazzling, propulsive exploration of a transformative moment in the lives and identities of women and men, of America and the world.

Wednesday, 22 July 2020

Book Review: The Wizards of Once by Cressida Cowell

The Wizards of Once by Cressida Cowell book cover

AD* | This is the story of a young boy Wizard and a young girl Warrior who have been taught to hate each other like poison; and the thrilling tale of what happens when their two worlds collide.

Once there was Magic, and the Magic lived in the dark forests.

Wizard boy, Xar, should have come into his magic by now, but he hasn't, so he wants to find a witch and steal its magic for himself. But if he's got any chance of finding one, he will have to travel into the forbidden Badwoods.

Xar doesn't realise he is about to capture an entirely different kind of enemy. A Warrior girl called Wish.

And inside this book, at this very moment, two worlds collide and the fate of the land is changed forever.

Xar and Wish must visit the dungeons at Warrior fort, and face the evil Queen.

But something that has been sleeping for hundreds of years is stirring...

Tuesday, 21 July 2020

How To Embrace Your Wild Side as an Adult

The Writing Greyhound Waterfall

AD* | There comes a point in everyone’s life where they question the path that they are pursuing. Getting caught up in work, school, and regular life activities can lead to an uneasy existence where you’re not truly satisfied in life. Often, this is due to the natural phenomenon where you are left wondering whether the grass really is greener on the other side. However, sometimes it’s because you are not embracing certain aspects of life that you’re yearning for, deep down.

In many cases, overcoming this dissatisfaction is an easy fix. Small lifestyle changes can transform how you live, and in turn, perceive your life. For many people, this involves embracing their 'wild side'.

However, tuning into the wilder section of your personality doesn’t have to involve danger. Embracing your wild side involves getting to know yourself better, and opening yourself up to new and exciting adventures.

With this in mind, here are five ways to embrace your wild side as an adult.

Wednesday, 15 July 2020

Book Review: The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James book cover

AD* | Can you fall in love with someone you’ve never met, never even spoken to – someone who is light years away?

Romy Silvers is the only surviving crew-member of a spaceship travelling to a new planet, on a mission to establish a second home for humanity amongst the stars. Alone in space, she is the loneliest girl in the universe until she hears about a new ship which has launched from Earth – with a single passenger on board. A boy called J.

Their only communication with each other is via email – and due to the distance between them, their messages take months to transmit across space. And yet Romy finds herself falling in love.

But what does Romy really know about J? And what do the mysterious messages which have started arriving from Earth really mean?

Sometimes, there’s something worse than being alone...

Wednesday, 8 July 2020

Book Review: There's Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins

There's Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins book cover

AD* | Love hurts...

Makani Young thought she'd left her dark past behind her in Hawaii, settling in with her grandmother in landlocked Nebraska. She's found new friends and has even started to fall for mysterious outsider Ollie Larsson. But her past isn't far behind.

Then, one by one, the students of Osborne Hugh begin to die in a series of gruesome murders, each with increasingly grotesque flair. As the terror grows closer and her feelings for Ollie intensify, Makani is forced to confront her own dark secrets.

Wednesday, 1 July 2020

Book Review: The Linebacker by Gregory S.T. Charlton

The Linebacker by Gregory S.T. Charlton book cover

AD* | The Linebacker is an action-packed modern-day thriller with real heroes and even more real villains. As a star NFL linebacker, Mike Johnson seems to have it all: money, fame, friends, and great teammates. But when he gets a concussion and is forced to sit out the last few games of the season, his life begins to change in ways he never would have expected. His doctor, a beautiful neurologist specializing in head and neck trauma, becomes not only his doctor but a new love in his life. 

The romance is interrupted, however, when Mike’s team is bombed on their way to the final game of the season in London, England. The authorities are seemingly locked in red tape, and the hunt for the “perps” drags on. The linebacker flies to London and decides to pursue the criminals and terrorists behind the tragedy. He soon discovers that there is a lot more evil in the world than he ever realized. 

Is he in over his head? Will he be able to find the people who did this? Will he even make it back home to Kate? Mike is determined evil will not win this one. They will be brought to justice if it’s the last thing he does.

Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Reading Round-Up: May/June 2020

The Writing Greyhound books

I've got a fresh batch of summery reading ready and waiting to share with you - May and June have definitely been bumper bookish months for me this year! Sit yourself down and take a look through all the books that I've been reading, acquiring, and wishing for over the last two months.

If you missed my last Reading Round-Up post, you can find that here.

Wednesday, 24 June 2020

Book Review: Holding by Graham Norton

Holding by Graham Norton book cover

AD* | The remote Irish village of Duneen has known little drama, and yet its inhabitants are troubled: Sergeant P.J. Collins hasn’t always been this overweight; Brid Riordan, a mother of two, hasn’t always been an alcoholic; and elegant Evelyn Ross hasn’t always felt that her life was a total waste.

So when human remains - suspected to be those of Tommy Burke, a former lover of both Brid and Evelyn - are discovered on an old farm, the village’s dark past begins to unravel. As a frustrated P.J. struggles to solve a genuine case for the first time in his professional life, he unearths a community’s worth of anger and resentments, secrets and regrets.

Wednesday, 17 June 2020

Book Review: Revenge of the Malakim by Paul Harrison

Revenge of the Malakim by Paul Harrison book cover

AD* | It's high summer and the streets of Bridlington East Yorkshire are awash with tourists. A serial killer is on the loose. DCI Will Scott and his team embark upon a fast-paced investigation to catch a killer with a unique agenda. As the body count rises the killer randomly moves location and the police are unwittingly drawn into a dark and sinister world where cover-ups and corruption reigns. A place where no one can truly be trusted and nothing is ever what it seems.

Thursday, 11 June 2020

5 Fabulous Upgrades You Can Make to Your Wardrobe

Clothes in Wardrobe

AD* | Everyone deserves a little treat once in a while, and what better way to treat yourself than by investing in a fresh piece for your wardrobe? Even if you aren't a big fashion lover, an item that you feel confident and look fabulous in could be a purchase that you will love for many years to come. 

So, what are some statement pieces that you could invest in? To give you some inspiration, here are five great wardrobe upgrades you can easily make!

Wednesday, 10 June 2020

Book Review: Winston Churchill by Dr Christopher Catherwood

Winston Churchill book cover

AD* | This brief and fascinating biography examines every facet of Churchill’s life, from his birth at Blenheim Palace, his tumultuous early political career at Westminster, his inspirational wartime leadership, to his final years as the grand old man of world politics.

Renowned for guiding Britain through the tumultuous Second World War, Churchill was a master orator whose speeches echo through history. But there is more to the man than his official words and photos. Winston Churchill reveals that hidden life, tracking his nine decades from early childhood to his last days. Churchill’s personal letters, documents, and speeches combine to create a unique illustrated portrait of this remarkable man - including his failings, such as the disastrous Gallipoli campaign, the creation of Iraq in 1921, and his blind spot over India. This exciting, colourful exploration of a political titan’s life is a definite must-read.

Friday, 5 June 2020

4 Reasons to Consider the Green Home Trend

Sustainable Homes / Pixabay

AD* | Transport, agriculture, and industry are the traditional bugbears of the sustainability movement. But as individuals, there isn't a great deal we can do about the resource use in any of these sectors. Real breakthroughs will probably only happen as technology improves. Otherwise, industry will continue cranking out the same byproducts and using resources, just as it always has, until prices start to rise.

However, the green home trend is different. We already have the technology to make it happen. Plus, it is under our control. Our homes are our spaces, where we make the decisions. Already, sustainable architects are cashing in on the trend. Cash-rich homeowners can pretty much design a bespoke eco-paradise from scratch, including all kinds of features ranging from solar panels to living walls.

Keep on reading to discover four reasons why you should consider the green home trend!

Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Book Review: Felicity at the Cross Hotel by Helena Fairfax

Felicity at the Cross Hotel by Helena Fairfax book cover

AD* | A quaint hotel in the Lake District. The Cross Hotel is the perfect getaway. Or is it?

Felicity Everdene needs a break from the family business. Driving through the Lake District to the Cross Hotel, past the shining lake and the mountains, everything seems perfect. But Felicity soon discovers all is not well at the Cross Hotel...

Patrick Cross left the village of Emmside years ago never intending to return, but his father has left him the family’s hotel in his will, and now he's forced to come back. With a missing barmaid, a grumpy chef, and the hotel losing money, the arrival of Felicity Everdene from the notorious Everdene family only adds to Patrick’s troubles.

With so much to overcome, can Felicity and Patrick bring happiness to the Cross Hotel... and find happiness for themselves?

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Book Review: The Cold War by Dr Norman Friedman

The Cold War by Dr Norman Friedman book cover

AD* | Twenty years ago, the Berlin Wall fell and Communism in Europe began to collapse. The Cold War celebrates that anniversary with a graphic account of the long-running global drama that played from the end of World War II until the era of Gorbachev and glasnost. During that time, such high-tension events as the Cuban Missile Crisis brought us to the brink of Armageddon but both sides always drew back. Follow the development of each important stage in the long, chilly conflict that divided the world into two spheres of influence. 

Tuesday, 19 May 2020

5 Travel Books to Inspire Your Future Adventures

Book on grass - image credit: Pexels / kaboompics.com

AD* | Lockdown and the current situation may have left your immediate travel plans a bit up in the air, but there’s nothing stopping you from daydreaming about the places you might visit in the future! Plus, what better way to satisfy your wanderlust than by getting lost in some inspiring travel books from the safety of your home? Try these five books to get you started.

Wednesday, 13 May 2020

Book Review: Let the Dead Speak by Jane Casey

Let the Dead Speak by Jane Casey book cover

AD* | When eighteen-year-old Chloe Emery returns to her West London home she finds her mother missing, the house covered in blood. Everything points to murder, except for one thing: there’s no sign of the body.

London detective Maeve Kerrigan and the homicide team turn their attention to the neighbours. The ultra-religious Norrises are acting suspiciously; their teenage daughter and Chloe Emery definitely have something to hide. Then there’s William Turner, once accused of stabbing a schoolmate and the neighbourhood’s favourite criminal. Is he merely a scapegoat, or is there more behind the charismatic façade?

As a body fails to materialise, Maeve must piece together a patchwork of testimonies and accusations. Who is lying, and who is not? And soon Maeve starts to realize that not only will the answer lead to Kate Emery, but more lives may hang in the balance.


Tuesday, 12 May 2020

Personal and Professional Benefits of Audiobooks

Book - credit DariuszSankowski on Pixabay

AD* | Travelling can not only be stressful but it can also be incredibly tiring. Long airport waits, short-haul flights with no in-flight entertainment, train journeys that seem to last a lifetime, bus or coach rides that get stuck in traffic every fifteen minutes, or those car journeys where you're perpetually longing for the next coffee stop. Having a travel companion is always important if you're in need of a little 'me' time for those non-stop travels when you need a little break but still want to pass the time productively.

Even during quarantine, sitting on your own reading a book outdoors could be a welcome break for you. Similarly, on those restless evenings when nothing will get you to sleep, a little bit of relaxation is key.

Wednesday, 6 May 2020

Book Review: Queen Elizabeth II by Rod Green

Queen Elizabeth II by Rod Green book cover

AD* | She has reigned for more than a half-century: this is the story of Queen Elizabeth II, the dramatic world events she’s witnessed, and the people she’s encountered.

Throughout her 66-year reign - the longest of any British monarch, and the longest of any current monarch in the world - Queen Elizabeth II has become a symbol of stability in a rapidly changing world. Her life has borne witness to the fluctuating fortunes of the Windsors, from the dramatic abdication of her uncle, Edward VIII, when she was just 10 years old, to the scandal surrounding Princess Margaret’s doomed love affair and the tumultuous relationship between Prince Charles and Princess Diana. 

Rod Green explores the personal and political intrigues that have dogged the House of Windsor, including the Queen’s fascinating relationships with prime ministers from Winston Churchill and Anthony Eden to Margaret Thatcher. Set against the colourful backdrop of key events - such as the Great Smog that brought London to a halt in 1952, the IRA murder of Lord Mountbatten during the Northern Ireland Troubles, the crisis triggered by the death of Princess Diana, the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, the recent marriage of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle, and the changing face of world politics - this is the story not only of the head of a dynasty but also a history of our times.

Thursday, 30 April 2020

Reading Round-Up: March/April 2020

The Writing Greyhound, bookish postcards, shelfie

It's spring, the sun is shining, the birds are singing, and I've got a fresh batch of bookish updates to share with you once again! So, whether you're looking for your next favourite book or simply interested in the literary happenings from my world, grab yourself a cup of tea and sit down to find out everything I've been reading, acquiring, and wishing for during March and April 2020!

Wednesday, 29 April 2020

Book Review: The Magician's Workshop Volume One by Christopher Hansen and J.R. Fehr

The Magician's Workshop by Christopher Hansen and J.R. Fehr book cover

AD* | Everyone in the islands of O’Ceea has a magical ability: whatever they imagine can be brought into existence. Whoever becomes a master over these powers is awarded the title of magician and given fame, power, riches, and glory. Journey with a group of kids as they strive to rise to the top and become members of the Magician’s Workshop.

Layauna desperately wants to create beautiful things with her magical powers, but all she can seem to do is make horrible savage monsters. For years she has tried to hide her creations, but when her power is at last discovered by a great magician, she realizes that what she’s tried to hide might actually be of tremendous value.

Kai just wants to use his powers to have fun and play with his friends. Unfortunately, nearly everyone on his island sees him as a bad influence, so he’s forced to meet them in secret. When one of the creatures they create gets out of control and starts flinging fireballs at their town, Kai is tempted to believe that he is as nefarious as people say. However, his prospects change when two mysterious visitors arrive, praising his ability and making extraordinary promises about his future.

Follow the adventures of Kai, Layauna, and a boatload of other characters as they struggle to grow up well in this fantastical world.


Wednesday, 22 April 2020

Book Review: The Napoleonic Wars by Richard Holmes

The Napoleonic Wars by Richard Holmes book cover

AD* | Written by one of Britain’s best known and most respected military historians, this is the essential account of the Napoleonic campaigns.

This is popular history at its most engrossing, providing a vivid introduction to Napoleon's astonishing career and his effect on world history. A charismatic and astute military leader, Napoleon built an empire in a series of astounding campaigns from 1796 to 1812, winning many of the most famous battles of all time. At the height of his powers most of Europe was under his control, from Portugal to Moscow. Bestselling author Richard Holmes brings the era's great battles to life while he recounts in detail how Napoleon transformed France’s administrative, educational, and legal systems, and forged a pattern that shapes modern governments to this day.

Wednesday, 15 April 2020

Book Review: Dreaming of Florence by T.A. Williams

Dreaming of Florence by T.A. Williams book cover

AD* | Fresh pasta, red wine, fine art… and love? Find enchantment this year in the magical city of Florence.

When Debbie Waterson’s bicycle crashes into handsome doctor Pierluigi, she wonders if her luck has changed. Determinedly single after ending a long relationship, at last, a man worth bumping into!

Inspired to visit Florence, she soon runs headlong into that old foe: reality. But is Pierluigi the man of her dreams? Then there’s her booze obsessed boss, his forbidding secretary and her noisy inconsiderate neighbours. But could her luck be about to change? Will she find love after all?

Wednesday, 8 April 2020

Book Review: Summer at Conwenna Cove by Darcie Boleyn

Summer at Conwenna Cove by Darcie Boleyn book cover

AD* | In a gorgeous Cornish village, two brokenhearted people fall head over heels. But can the magic of Conwenna Cove heal the hurts of the past?

Eve has a glittering career, a loving husband and a future. But a terrible twist of fate means she loses it all, and with nowhere left to turn she flees to her Aunt Mary’s home in Cornwall. The last thing on her mind is romance – until she meets Jack.

Jack has seen the worst things people can do to each other and realised he is better off alone. He settles in Conwenna Cove and saves his affections for the rescue dogs he cares for. But when Eve arrives in the village he can’t deny his attraction to her.

Eve and Jack are both scared to trust, but when they come together it’s impossible for either to ignore their feelings. Can they put their fears aside and learn to love again?


Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Book Review: Darkdawn by Jay Kristoff

Darkdawn book cover

A ruthless young assassin's journey for revenge comes to a stunning end in the conclusion of this acclaimed epic fantasy trilogy.

The Republic of Itreya is in chaos. Mia Corvere has assassinated Cardinal Duomo and rumors of Consul Scaeva’s death ripple through the street of Godsgrave like wildfire. But buried beneath those same streets, deep in the ancient city’s bones, lies a secret that will change the Republic forever.

Mia and her brother Jonnen must journey through the depths of the ancient metropolis. Their quest will take them through the Godsgrave underdark, across the Sea of Swords, back to the library of the Quiet Mountain and the poisoned blades of Mia’s old mentors, and at last the fabled Crown of the Moon. There, Mia will at last discover the origins of the darkin, and learn the destiny that lies in store for her and her world. But with the three suns now in descent, and Truedark on the horizon, will she survive?

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Book Review: Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff

Godsgrave cover

Conquer your fear, conquer the world.

Mia Corvere, destroyer of empires, has found her place among the Blades of Our Lady of Blessed Murder, but many in the Red Church ministry do not believe she has earned it.

Her position is precarious, and she's still no closer to exacting revenge for the brutal death of her family. But after a deadly confrontation with an old enemy, Mia begins to suspect the motives of the Red Church itself.

When it is announced that Consul Scaeva and Cardinal Duomo will be making a rare public appearance at the conclusion of the grand games in Godsgrave, Mia defies the Church and sells herself into slavery for a chance to fulfill the promise she made on the day she lost everything.

Upon the sands of the arena, Mia finds new allies, bitter rivals, and more questions about her strange affinity for the shadows. But as conspiracies unfold, secrets are revealed and the body count rises within the collegium walls, Mia will be forced to choose between her loyalties and her revenge.


Monday, 2 March 2020

How to Choose a Holiday that Lets You See the World

Last Updated: 3 September 2020

person holding black and brown globe ball while standing on grass, unsplash.com

AD* | Getting the chance to see the world is something which a lot of people lack in life. There are so many countries out there, but only limited time to see them all! This can make it difficult to become a global explorer - especially if you also want to hold down a steady job. 

However, things don't have to be this way and there is no need to choose one or the other. Why not have both and enjoy the best of both worlds? There are lots of different types of holidays and breaks out there which enable you to see as much of the world as possible without having months or even years to spare. 

This post explores some of the best ways to see as much of the world as possible while making the most of a short window of time.

Crime and Mystery with My Chronicle Book Box

My chronicle book box unboxing

AD* | In case you haven't been keeping up to date with my social media, I'm absolutely over the moon to be a Feb/March brand rep for the fantastic My Chronicle Book Box. I'm a big fan of all things bookish, so having the opportunity to champion such a great book subscription box is perfect for me - and for The Writing Greyhound! 

Today I'm going to be taking you through the February box and sharing some of the wonderful treats the box had in store! Keep on reading to join me as I delve into the box, the books, and the brand.

Saturday, 29 February 2020

Reading Round-Up: January/February 2020

books, the-writing-greyhound

Can you believe that we're two months into 2020 already? It seems like we were welcoming in the new decade just yesterday, yet January and February have disappeared and we're now well into the New Year. 

As always, the end of February means that it's time for my first Reading Round-Up post of the year. Keep reading to find out all the books I've been reading, acquiring and wishing for at the start of 2020!

Wednesday, 19 February 2020

Book Review: Prospect for Murder by Jeanne Burrows-Johnson

Prospect for Murder by Jeanne Burrows-Johnson book cover

AD* | Retired travel writer Natalie Seachrist has had visions since childhood. But the sight of a girl's lifeless body draped over a vintage Mustang shatters her personal world when she learns her vision has been prescient. The horrible truth is that her twin's granddaughter Ariel is dead!

While the Honolulu Police Department conducts its customary investigation, Natalie decides to move into the Makiki apartment complex where her grandniece died. Aided by her friend Keoni Hewitt, a retired police detective, and her fleet-footed feline companion Miss Una, Natalie begins her very personal on-site sleuthing.

She soon discovers the fascinating Shànghai origins of apartment owners Pearl Wong and her sister Jade Bishop…and more than a little discord. Will Natalie be able to solve the riddle of Ariel's death before the police close their investigation without an arrest? Or has Natalie put herself in the way of a killer who's willing to murder again to hide their secret?


Thursday, 6 February 2020

The World's Most Important Libraries

books

AD* | If you’re a booklover, then the chances are that you will feel right at home in a library. In these wonderful spaces, you can delight in all the pleasures of being immersed in a literary world, where you can read about anything and everything that you want.

This is just one of the reasons why libraries have long been considered to be one of the most important institutions in society. They’re deeply important now, and have been for many centuries - indeed, the oldest library in the world dates all the way back to the 7th century BC. And it’s not hard to see why! Libraries are places that benefit society, promote learning and understanding, and bring communities together.

Wednesday, 29 January 2020

Book Review: Codebreakers and Spies by Michael Smith

Codebreakers and Spies by Michael Smith book cover

AD* | Codebreakers and Spies tells the astonishing story of how Britain's intelligence operatives, experts and special operations teams contributed to the Allies' victory in the Second World War. The work of the Bletchley Park codebreakers in breaking the German Enigma cipher is estimated to have cut the length of the war by around two years, saving countless lives, while the Double Cross system, in which German secret agents were 'turned' by the British to feed their Nazi agent-runners with false information, ensured the success of the D-Day landings.

Codebreakers and Spies not only reveals new details about these remarkable operations but also tells the compelling story of how MI6 turned the disaster of lost networks across Europe into triumph. The stories range from extraordinarily courageous to bizarre, with desperation driving the intelligence services to recruit astrologers and even a stage magician to help retrieve intelligence and allied aircrew from of Nazi-occupied Europe. Intelligence historian Michael Smith thrillingly recounts the daring and often moving lives of the heroes and heroines who risked their lives for victory.


Monday, 27 January 2020

5 Reasons Why Thor is the Best Avenger

Thor

Marvel comics have been around since 1939 and the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) now features 23 films, a global fanbase, and a whole host of unique characters. With so many characters across all those movies, how can you possibly pick out a favourite?

For me, the answer was simple. Look to the Avengers, arguably the MCU's biggest success story, and then go from there! Now that the universe has drawn to a natural conclusion following on from the events of Avengers: Endgame, it only felt right for me to look back and reflect on the film series that accompanied me through my teenage years and into adulthood.

Thor has always been my favourite Avenger - here's why.


Wednesday, 22 January 2020

Book Review: The Sherlock Holmes Handbook for the Digital Age by Alan Pearce

The Sherlock Holmes Handbook for the Digital Age book cover

AD* | Sherlock Holmes is the greatest detective of all time. He is driven to right the wrongs of the world. It is only natural that he should turn his attention to the Internet.

Luckily, Holmes has all the right answers. This is a cyber-security and digital counter-surveillance handbook like no other.

Our two heroes embark on a perilous journey to the Dark Side learning along the way to avoid the traps laid by their adversaries – the State, the Corporate Giants and the Criminals and Insane.

From self-destructing messages to anonymous browsing, we visit alternative Internets and discover how to employ the Dark Arts for the power of good.

This is a Call to Arms. The time has come to reclaim the Internet from the commercial interests, the scammers and the surveillance state. And – as Sherlock Holmes clearly demonstrates – it is really simplicity itself.


Wednesday, 15 January 2020

Book Review: The Tudors by Siobhan Clarke and Linda Collins

The Tudors book cover

AD* | Beginning on the bloody battlefield of Bosworth, when Henry Tudor seized the crown of England and ended the Wars of the Roses, The Tudors contains stories and characters that have fascinated readers for centuries. The Tudor age gave us Henry VIII, famous for his six marriages and for breaking from Rome; 'Bloody Mary' and her attempt to return England to the Catholic fold; and Elizabeth I, 'Gloriana,' who reigned in a new era of discovery and innovation.

Illustrated with contemporary artworks, photographs and documents The Tudors tells the public and private story of England's most famous royal family and the England they ruled.


Friday, 10 January 2020

5 New Year's Resolutions for 2020

Last Updated: 5 September 2020
 
January 2020 calendar

It may be a cliche, but New Year's resolutions are a great way to encourage many people to actively make a difference and commit to changing their lives in a positive way. While, admittedly, many do fail their resolutions early on in the year, others are persistent and manage to break bad habits, set new ones, and make lasting changes to their lives and routines.

Realistically achievable New Year's resolutions are a must - especially if you want to avoid setting yourself up to fail. Break big goals down into more manageable targets and don't be afraid to try something new or tackle those things you've always wanted to do or keep putting off. After all, 2020 marks the start of not just a new year but a new decade too - the perfect opportunity to make a positive difference in your life!

Wednesday, 8 January 2020

Book Review: Tales of Old Northamptonshire by Marian Pipe

tales-of-old-northamptonshire, marian-pipe, book

This book presents an illustrated collection of stories from Northamptonshire's past, full of humour, romance and drama, retold by well-known local author Marian Pipe.

Monday, 6 January 2020

5 Books I Want to Read in 2020

the writing greyhound bookshelves

After (just!) managing to reach my goal of reading 50 books in 2019, I've already started to look ahead to all the books I plan on reading in 2020. I found my reading mojo again last year and I'm hoping that with the right books and setting aside dedicated reading time throughout the week, I will be able to carry my successful reading streak through into the new decade!

So, from my towering tbr pile and the stacks of books waiting to be read, which five have made it onto my to-read list for 2020?