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Sunday, 9 May 2021

Book Review: The Shadow of the Gods by John Gwynne

The Shadow of the Gods by John Gwynne book cover

AD* | After the gods warred and drove themselves to extinction, the cataclysm of their fall shattered the land of VigriĆ°.

Now a new world is rising, where power-hungry jarls feud and monsters stalk the woods and mountains. A world where the bones of the dead gods still hold great power for those brave - or desperate - enough to seek them out.

Now, as whispers of war echo across the mountains and fjords, fate follows in the footsteps of three people: a huntress on a dangerous quest, a noblewoman who has rejected privilege in pursuit of battle fame, and a thrall who seeks vengeance among the famed mercenaries known as the Bloodsworn.

All three will shape the fate of the world as it once more falls under the shadow of the gods...

Wednesday, 5 May 2021

Book Review: Sticks and Stones by Jo Jakeman

Sticks and Stones by Jo Jakeman book cover

AD* | How far would you go for revenge on your ex?

Imogen’s husband is a bad man. His ex-wife and his new mistress might have different perspectives but Imogen thinks she knows the truth. And now he’s given her an ultimatum: get out of the family home in the next fortnight or I’ll fight you for custody of our son.

In a moment of madness, Imogen does something unthinkable. Something that puts her in control. But how far will she go to protect her son and punish her husband? And what will happen when his ex and his girlfriend get tangled up in her plans?


Monday, 3 May 2021

Book Review: Peace Talks by Jim Butcher

Peace Talks by Jim Butcher book cover

AD* | When the Supernatural nations of the world meet up to negotiate an end to ongoing hostilities, Harry Dresden, Chicago's only professional wizard, joins the White Council's security team to make sure the talks stay civil. But can he succeed, when dark political manipulations threaten the very existence of Chicago - and all he holds dear?

Friday, 30 April 2021

Reading Round-Up: March/April 2021

The Writing Greyhound book stack

It's been over a year since the UK first went into lockdown, and although we are certainly not out of the woods yet, it seems as though there is a glimmer of hope on the horizon. As ever though, spending more time at home has meant more time for reading - which is definitely one of the very few perks to have come out of the pandemic.

Keep on reading to catch up with all my bookish exploits over the last two months!

Thursday, 29 April 2021

Book Review: Ariadne by Jennifer Saint

Ariadne by Jennifer Saint book cover


AD* | As Princesses of Crete and daughters of the fearsome King Minos, Ariadne and her sister Phaedra grow up hearing the hoofbeats and bellows of the Minotaur echo from the Labyrinth beneath the palace. The Minotaur - Minos's greatest shame and Ariadne's brother - demands blood every year.

When Theseus, Prince of Athens, arrives in Crete as a sacrifice to the beast, Ariadne falls in love with him. But helping Theseus kill the monster means betraying her family and country, and Ariadne knows only too well that in a world ruled by mercurial gods - drawing their attention can cost you everything.

In a world where women are nothing more than the pawns of powerful men, will Ariadne's decision to betray Crete for Theseus ensure her happy ending? Or will she find herself sacrificed for her lover's ambition?


Wednesday, 28 April 2021

Book Review: And Then She Ran by Karen Clarke

And Then She Ran by Karen Clarke book cover

AD* | How far would you go to keep your baby safe?

The fist flew past Grace’s face and smashed into the wall behind her, flicking a switch in her head. Grace bundled her eight-week-old daughter into her carrycot, opened the door and ran.

Her life in New York faded into the background – she needed to keep her baby safe. She needed to get as far away from Patrick as possible.

Now, staying in a remote cottage in Wales, Grace is trying to start again. But she can’t shake the uneasy feeling that she’s been followed.

And then she finds a note. Left on her bed. A tiny scrap of paper with scrawl in bright red pen.

Keep her close. Anything could happen.

She’s been found. Patrick wants his baby back.

But Grace will do everything to stop him.

Monday, 26 April 2021

Book Review: The Map of Us by Jules Preston

The Map of Us by Jules Preston book cover

AD* | A story of love and lost directions.

Violet North is wonderfully inconvenient. Abandoned by her family and lost in an imagined world of moors and adventure, her life changes in the space of just 37 words exchanged with a stranger at her front door.

Decades later, Daniel Bearing has inherited his father's multi-million-pound business and is utterly lost. He has no idea who he is or where his life is headed.

When Violet’s granddaughter’s marriage falls apart, Tilly, always adept with numbers, compiles a detailed statistical report to pinpoint why. But the Compatibility Index Tilly creates has unforeseen consequences for everyone in her world.

Tilly and Daniel share a secret too. 10.37am, April 22nd.

Soon, a complex web of secrets and lies is exposed and an adventure begins with a blue typewriter...


Sunday, 25 April 2021

The Writing Greyhound's All Time Favourite Books

Bookshelves The Writing Greyhound

As I'm sure everyone knows by now, I read a lot and I love to share my thoughts and opinions on the books I read. I aim to read a minimum of 50 books a year and while they're not always five-star favourites, I read widely across most genres. My favourites can be quite diverse.

Some might say that I'm a little stingy with my reviews because I only ever give five stars to the best of the best. However, as a result, all my five-star rated books come highly recommended! I've compiled a list of all my five-star favourites, segmented by genre, so you can easily find your next read.

Thursday, 22 April 2021

Book Review: The Six of Crows Duology by Leigh Bardugo

Six of Crows Duology by Leigh Bardugo book cover

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price - and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone...

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction - if they don’t kill each other first.


Wednesday, 21 April 2021

Book Review: The Taxidermist's Daughter by Kate Mosse

 

The Taxidermist's Daughter by Kate Mosse book cover

Sussex, 1912. In a churchyard, villagers gather on the night when the ghosts of those who will die in the coming year are thought to be seen. Here, where the estuary leads out to the sea, superstitions still hold sway.

Standing alone is the taxidermist's daughter. At 17, Constantia Gifford lives with her father in a decaying house: it is all that is left of Gifford's once world-famous museum of taxidermy. The stuffed animals that used to grace every parlour are out of fashion, leaving Gifford a disgraced and bitter man.

The bell begins to toll and all eyes are fixed on the church. No one sees the gloved hand pick up a flint. As the last notes fade into the dark, a woman lies dead.

While the village braces itself against rising waters and the highest tide of the season, Connie struggles to discover who is responsible but finds herself under suspicion. Is Constantia who she seems - is she the victim of circumstances or are more sinister forces at work? And what is the secret that lies at the heart of Gifford House, hidden among the bell jars of her father's workshop?


Tuesday, 20 April 2021

Book Review: The Midnight Bargain by C.L. Polk

The Midnight Bargain by C.L. Polk book cover


AD* | Beatrice Clayborn is a sorceress who practices magic in secret, terrified of the day she will be locked into a marital collar that will cut off her powers to protect her unborn children. She dreams of becoming a full-fledged Magus and pursuing magic as her calling as men do, but her family has staked everything to equip her for Bargaining Season when young men and women of means descend upon the city to negotiate the best marriages. The Clayborns are in severe debt, and only she can save them, by securing an advantageous match before their creditors come calling.

In a stroke of luck, Beatrice finds a grimoire that contains the key to becoming a Magus, but before she can purchase it, a rival sorceress swindles the book right out of her hands. Beatrice summons a spirit to help her get it back, but her new ally exacts a price: Beatrice’s first kiss... with her adversary’s brother, the handsome, compassionate, and fabulously wealthy Ianthe Lavan.

The more Beatrice is entangled with the Lavan siblings, the harder her decision becomes: If she casts the spell to become a Magus, she will devastate her family and lose the only man to ever see her for who she is; but if she marries - even for love - she will sacrifice her magic, her identity, and her dreams. But how can she choose just one, knowing she will forever regret the path not taken? 

Saturday, 17 April 2021

Book Review: The Good Sister by Sally Hepworth

The Good Sister by Sally Hepworth book cover

AD* | From the outside, everyone might think Fern and Rose are as close as twin sisters can be: Rose is the responsible one and Fern is the quirky one. But the sisters are devoted to one another and Rose has always been Fern's protector from the time they were small.

Fern needed protecting because their mother was a true sociopath who hid her true nature from the world, and only Rose could see it. Fern always saw the good in everyone. Years ago, Fern did something very, very bad. And Rose has never told a soul. When Fern decides to help her sister achieve her heart's desire of having a baby, Rose realizes with growing horror that Fern might make choices that can only have a terrible outcome. What Rose doesn't realize is that Fern is growing more and more aware of the secrets Rose, herself, is keeping. And that their mother might have the last word after all. 


Friday, 16 April 2021

Book Review: The Sister-in-Law by Pamela Crane

The Sister-in-Law by Pamela Crane book cover

AD* | Everyone in this family is hiding something...

THE WIFE: It was a whirlwind romance and a shotgun wedding, but weeks into their marriage, Candace realizes that moving in with Lane also means moving in with his possessive, uptight sister. And there’s no room for three in this marriage...

THE SISTER-IN-LAW: Harper is the kind of woman who cooks homemade meals and dusts under the furniture – it’s the least she can do for her brother as he’s been sharing his home with her and the kids since her husband’s mysterious death. But then Candace showed up and started asking questions...

THE HUSBAND: All Lane has ever wanted is a white-picket-fence life. The wife. The two-point-five kids. The happy little family. And everything seemed to be falling into place with Candace until Harper’s jealous streak got in the way, again. But choosing between his sister and wife will be costly – and knowing Harper, the price could be blood...


Thursday, 15 April 2021

Book Review: The Summer Job by Lizzy Dent

The Summer Job by Lizzy Dent book cover

AD* | Have you ever imagined running away from your life?

Well, Birdy Finch didn't just imagine it. She did it. Which might've been an error. And the life she's run into? Her best friend, Heather's.

The only problem is, she hasn't told Heather. Actually, there are a few other problems...

Can Birdy carry off a summer at a luxury Scottish hotel pretending to be her best friend (who incidentally is a world-class wine expert)?

And can she stop herself from falling for the first man she's ever actually liked (but who thinks she's someone else)?

Tuesday, 13 April 2021

Book Review: The Shadow and Bone Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo

The Shadow and Bone Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo book covers

Soldier. Summoner. Saint. Orphaned and expendable, Alina Starkov is a soldier who knows she may not survive her first trek across the Shadow Fold - a swath of unnatural darkness crawling with monsters. But when her regiment is attacked, Alina unleashes dormant magic not even she knew she possessed. Now Alina will enter a lavish world of royalty and intrigue as she trains with the Grisha, her country's magical military elite - and falls under the spell of their notorious leader, the Darkling.


Friday, 9 April 2021

Book Review: The Heiress by Molly Greeley

The Heiress by Molly Greeley book cover


AD* | As a fussy baby, Anne de Bourgh’s doctor prescribed laudanum to quiet her, and now the young woman must take the opium-heavy tincture every day. Growing up sheltered and confined, removed from sunshine and fresh air, the pale and overly slender Anne grew up with few companions except her cousins, including Fitzwilliam Darcy. Throughout their childhoods, it was understood that Darcy and Anne would marry and combine their vast estates of Pemberley and Rosings. But Darcy does not love Anne or want her.

After her father dies unexpectedly, leaving her his vast fortune, Anne has a moment of clarity: what if her life of fragility and illness isn’t truly real? What if she could free herself from the medicine that clouds her sharp mind and leaves her body weak and lethargic? Might there be a better life without the medicine she has been told she cannot live without?

In a frenzy of desperation, Anne discards her laudanum and flees to the London home of her cousin, Colonel John Fitzwilliam, who helps her through her painful recovery. Yet once she returns to health, new challenges await. Shy and utterly inexperienced, the wealthy heiress must forge a new identity for herself, learning to navigate a “season” in society and the complexities of love and passion. The once wan, passive Anne gives way to a braver woman with a keen edge - leading to a powerful reckoning with the domineering mother determined to control Anne’s fortune... and her life.


Thursday, 8 April 2021

Book Review: London's No 1 Dog-Walking Agency by Kate MacDougall

London's No 1 Dog Walking Agency by Kate MacDougall book cover

AD* | The irresistibly charming memoir of a young woman who started her own business as a dog walker for London’s busy, well-heeled dog lovers. A true love letter to London, dogs, and growing up. 

In 2006, Kate MacDougall was working a safe but dull job at the venerable auction house Sotheby’s in London. After a clumsy accident nearly destroyed a precious piece of art, she quit Sotheby’s and set up her own dog-walking company. Kate knew little about dogs and nothing about business, and no one thought being a professional dog walker was a good use of her university degree. Nevertheless, Kate embarked upon an entirely new and very much improvised career walking some of the city’s many pampered pooches, branding her company “London's Number One Dog Walking Agency.” 

With sharp wit, delightful observations, and plenty of canine affection, Kate reveals her unique and unconventional coming-of-age story, as told through the dogs, and the London homes and neighbourhoods they inhabit. One walk at a time, she journeys from a haphazard twentysomething to a happily - and surprisingly - settled adult, with love, relationships, drama, and homeownership along the way. But, as Kate says, “It’s all down to the dogs” and what they taught her about London - and life. 


Wednesday, 7 April 2021

Why We Need to Stop Asking Personal Questions

Why We Need to Stop Asking Personal Questions

We are bombarded with personal questions throughout our lives. When was the last time someone asked you when you're getting married, having a baby, or getting a new job? Of course, personal questions like these are necessary for some situations, but in most cases, they definitely are not. 

Being asked personal questions can be unwanted, unnecessary, and uncalled for - even if it's someone close to you who is asking. You should always remember that no one ever truly knows what someone else is feeling, thinking, or going through, and your seemingly harmless question could cause them a lot of pain, stress, or negative emotions. 

Above all else, though, why is it any of their business? Everyone lives their lives in a different way, and the path they follow or the choices they make might differ from your own. And that's okay - we are all individuals capable of making our own way through life. 

Therefore, applying your own beliefs, experiences, expectations, or even prejudices to someone else's life is just wrong. Let them lead their lives as they see fit; they have no need to answer to you. 

Here's why my personal life is none of your business!


Tuesday, 6 April 2021

Book Review: Desecration by J.F. Penn

Desecration by J.F. Penn book cover

Death isn't always the end.

When the body of a murdered young heiress is found within the Royal College of Surgeons, Detective Sergeant Jamie Brooke is assigned to the case. An antique ivory figurine found beside the body her only lead, she enlists Blake Daniel, a reluctant psychic, to help her discover the message it holds.

The investigation leads them to a sinister secret society known as the Lyceum, who revel in human vivisection and murder.

When personal tragedy strikes, Jamie has nothing left to lose and she must race against time to stop the mysterious Lyceum before it claims yet another victim.

As Jamie and Blake delve into a macabre world of grave robbery, body modification, and genetically engineered monsters, they must fight to maintain their sanity... and their lives.


Friday, 2 April 2021

Book Review: At First Sight by Hannah Sunderland

At First Sight by Hannah Sunderland book cover

AD* | Two strangers. Two chance meetings. One extraordinary love story...

Nell and Charlie feel a spark when they meet by chance in a cafe. But they don’t trade numbers or surnames, so there’s no way they’ll meet again.

But the next day, Nell’s phone rings at work. Somehow, impossibly, Charlie is on the other end. And he needs her help.

Nell is about to save a life, fall in love... and risk everything for a perfect stranger.


Thursday, 1 April 2021

Book Review: The Girl from the Island by Lorna Cook

The Girl from the Island by Lorna Cook book cover

AD* | A world at war.

One woman will risk everything.

Another will uncover her story.

1940: When the island of Guernsey is invaded by the Nazis, two sisters are determined to rebel in any way they can. But when forced to take in a German soldier, they are shocked to find a familiar face on their doorstep – a childhood friend who has now become their enemy.

2016: Two generations later, Lucy returns to Guernsey after the death of a distant cousin. As she prepares the old family house for sale, Lucy discovers a box of handwritten notes, one word standing out: resistance. Lucy’s search for the author will uncover the story of a forgotten sister who vanished from the island one night, never to be seen again. 


Tuesday, 30 March 2021

Book Review: Courage Without Grace by Jeannie Zokan

Courage Without Grace by Jeannie Zokan book cover

AD* | Josie Wales doesn't need her palm reading skills to know her lover is seeing someone else. It's time to end it, but she's been with Tom for seven years. And there’s something - someone - she needs to tell him about. That secret keeps pulling her back, but this time she's determined to break it off.

To find the courage to end the relationship, Josie seeks advice from new acquaintances. But she somehow manages to make an even bigger mess of her life. When Jack, Tom’s twin and her childhood friend, comes to DC to reconnect, he helps Josie get her feet back on the ground.

Just as Josie is beginning to resolve the chaos in her life, a tragic secret from her past comes back to haunt her. Before she can move forward and have a second chance at love, she must face her grief and loss.


Thursday, 25 March 2021

Book Review: The Stranger by Kate Riordan

The Stranger by Kate Riordan book cover

AD* | Cornwall, 1940.

In the hushed hours of the night, a woman is taken by the sea.

Was it a tragic accident? Or should the residents of Penhallow have been more careful about whom they invited in?

In the midst of war three women arrive seeking safety at Penhallow Hall.

Each is looking to escape her past.

But one of them is not there by choice.

As the threat of invasion mounts and the nightly blackouts feel longer and longer, tensions between the close-knit residents rise until dark secrets start to surface.

And no one can predict what their neighbour is capable of...

In a house full of strangers, who do you trust?


Tuesday, 23 March 2021

Book Review: The Marriage Pact by Michelle Richmond

The Marriage Pact by Michelle Richmond book cover

AD* | Newlyweds Alice and Jake are a picture-perfect couple. Alice, once a singer in a well-known rock band, is now a successful lawyer. Jake is a partner in an up-and-coming psychology practice. Their life together holds endless possibilities. After receiving an enticing wedding gift from one of Alice’s prominent clients, they decide to join an exclusive and mysterious group known only as The Pact.

The goal of The Pact seems simple: to keep marriages happy and intact, and most of its rules make sense: Always answer the phone when your spouse calls. Exchange thoughtful gifts monthly. Plan a trip together once per quarter...

Never mention The Pact to anyone.

Alice and Jake are initially seduced by the glamorous parties, the sense of community, their widening social circle of like-minded couples - and then one of them breaks the rules. The young lovers are about to discover that for adherents to The Pact, membership, like marriage, is for life, and The Pact will go to any lengths to enforce that rule. For Jake and Alice, the marriage of their dreams is about to become their worst nightmare. 


Saturday, 20 March 2021

5 Top Tips for Updating Your Digital Branding

5 Tips for Updating Your Digital Branding


AD* | Fed up with the way your website looks or just wanting to give it a refresh? This is often the time of year when we start to consider not just spring cleaning, but sprucing up our lives too - and, of course, that applies to our digital spaces as well!

Digital branding is important because it defines your appearance, approach, and messaging. Whether you are a freelancer, blogger, or small business owner, your online space is your chance to showcase your words, products, or services to the world. Plus, having a strong digital presence has never been more important. With the ongoing Covid restrictions, more and more people are moving online for their everyday essentials.

With this in mind, I've put together some top tips to help you refresh your digital branding and make the most of your online space this year. 


Thursday, 18 March 2021

Book Review: The Shadow in the Glass by J.J.A. Harwood

The Shadow in the Glass by J.J.A. Harwood book cover

AD* | Once upon a time Ella had wished for more than her life as a lowly maid.

Now forced to work hard under the unforgiving, lecherous gaze of the man she once called stepfather, Ella’s only refuge is in the books she reads by candlelight, secreted away in the library she isn’t permitted to enter.

One night, among her beloved books of far-off lands, Ella’s wishes are answered. At the stroke of midnight, a fairy godmother makes her an offer that will change her life: seven wishes, hers to make as she pleases. But each wish comes at a price and Ella must decide whether it’s one she’s willing to pay it.


Tuesday, 16 March 2021

Book Review: My Own Story by Emmeline Pankhurst

My Own Story by Emmeline Pankhurst book cover

Emmeline Pankhurst (1858-1928) was a British political activist and leader of the British suffragette movement who helped women win the right to vote. In 1999, Time named Pankhurst as one of the 100 Most Important People of the 20th-Century. She was widely criticised for her militant tactics, and historians disagree about their effectiveness, but her work is recognised as a crucial element in achieving women's suffrage in Britain.


Thursday, 11 March 2021

Book Review: Forgotten Reflections by Young-Im Lee

Forgotten Reflections A War Story by Young-Im Lee book cover


Dare to dream in the midst of war.

1945. Rice fields seem endless in a quaint farming village of South Korea, yet Iseul the villagers have been starving for as long as they can remember. Their Japanese colonizers have taken every last grain with them as they are finally forced out of the Peninsula. In the newly independent Korea, Iseul and Jung-Soo dream of what their future might bring. Yet, war is on the horizon, and Iseul has fallen for an alleged North Korean communist spy.

Men are conscripted and rice is taken to feed the growing army as the Peninsula is thrust into an international war that would determine if the strategic region will become communist or democratic. With nothing but the news of death and hunger awaiting the village of women, children and the aged, Iseul musters up whatever hope she has left to bring the village together to make paper. Soon, the village once known for its rice, becomes famous for its paper, becoming a beacon of hope for their battle-worn soldiers awaiting letters from their loved ones.

Yet spies and communists continue to roam South Korea, turning neighbours and families against one another. For years, Jung-Soo has been suspicious of his father’s allegiances. With a series of mysterious revelations about his father, Jung-Soo is forced to choose between his tainted communist past, and the future he hopes to have with Iseul after the war. 

Tuesday, 9 March 2021

Book Review: A Dark So Deadly by Stuart MacBride

A Dark So Deadly by Stuart MacBride book cover

AD* | Welcome to the Misfit Mob...

It’s where Police Scotland dumps the officers it can’t get rid of but wants to: the outcasts, the troublemakers, the compromised. Officers like DC Callum MacGregor, lumbered with all the boring go-nowhere cases. So when an ancient mummy turns up at the Oldcastle tip, it’s his job to find out which museum it’s been stolen from.

But then Callum uncovers links between his ancient corpse and three missing young men, and life starts to get a lot more interesting. O Division’s Major Investigation Teams already have more cases than they can cope with, so, against everyone’s better judgement, the Misfit Mob are just going to have to manage this one on their own.

No one expects them to succeed, but right now they’re the only thing standing between the killer’s victims and a slow, lingering death. The question is, can they prove everyone wrong before he strikes again? 


Monday, 8 March 2021

NB Magazine Book Blogger's Prize 2021 Shortlist

The Writing Greyhound Book Blogger's Prize Shortlist

NB Magazine is a quarterly literary magazine here in the UK. They also run an annual Blogger's Book Prize where shortlisted bloggers get the chance to champion their favourite book of the last year.

When I saw Amanda from Bookish Chat (last year's winner) sharing the details of this year's competition, I knew I had to get my entry in! 


Thursday, 4 March 2021

6 Tips to Make Your Next Road Trip Perfect

6 Tips to Make Your Next Road Trip Perfect

Although we're all still at home, waiting for lockdown restrictions to be lifted, I bet I'm not the only one who is dreaming of their next holiday! Whether you can't wait to go back to a favourite place or want to get out there and explore somewhere new, the first post-lockdown getaway is bound to be incredible! 

Once it's safe to travel again, I'd love to go on a road trip and explore somewhere new. So, no matter if you are a seasoned traveller or are just considering a road trip, I've put together some top tips to help you make the most of your next adventure!

Book Review: The Dog Share by Fiona Gibson

The Dog Share by Fiona Gibson book cover

AD* | Suzy Medley is having a bad day...

...when a shabby terrier turns up at her door. Just like Suzy, Scout has been abandoned, although only Suzy has been left with a financial mess and a business in tatters thanks to her ex.

Suzy takes Scout in and her chaotic world changes in unexpected ways: strangers have never been more welcoming and her teenage kids can’t wait to come home to visit.

Then a chance encounter on a windy Hebridean beach makes things more complicated because Suzy isn’t the only one who needs a friend.

Scout has plenty of love to go round... but does Suzy?


Tuesday, 2 March 2021

Book Review: Dragon Fire by Colleen Ruttan

Dragon Fire by Colleen Ruttan book cover

After learning the Queen of Galia wishes to destroy her, and sent men - including her father’s killer - to Alyria to arrest her, Erynn and her friend, Adena, fled Caraden Castle and set out on a journey to find her birth parents and the Order of the Cael, a group she hopes can help her. Blamed soon after for murdering the King of Alyria, they now find themselves hunted by Alyrians and Galians.

In their race to escape, they find themselves hampered by two things: there are only two bridges out of Alyria and both are heavily guarded - and they have also learned of a Galian plot to kill the Crown Prince of Alyria and the only possible solution to warning him in time lies in the completely opposite direction.

Choosing to save the Crown Prince - and possibly achieve justice for her father at the same time - Erynn sets out west with Adena to try and locate an old friend, who she hopes has the falcon they need to send an important message. Along the way, she discovers more about who she is and why the Queen of Galia wishes to destroy her - and the destiny it seems she may have been born to face. 


Sunday, 28 February 2021

Reading Round-Up: January/February 2021

Books

We're now two months into the New Year and 2021 has certainly made a big impression already. Despite everything that has been going on in the world recently, I've managed to continue reading and reviewing, making a big dent in my tbr for the year.

Keep on reading to see all the latest bookish happenings from my world during the last two months.


Monday, 22 February 2021

Book Review: A Caller's Game by J.D. Barker

A Caller's Game by J.D. Barker book cover

AD* | “I’m going to offer you a choice.”

Controversial satellite radio talk show host, Jordan Briggs, has clawed her way to the top of the broadcast world. She doesn’t hold back, doesn’t spare feelings, and has no trouble sharing what’s on her mind. Her rigorous pursuit of success has come at a price, though. Her marriage is in ruins, she hasn’t spoken to her mother in years, and she’s distanced herself from all those close to her. If not for her young daughter, Charlotte, her personal life would be in complete shambles.

When a subdued man calls into the show and asks to play a game, she sees it as nothing more than a way to kick-start the morning, breathe life into the beginnings of drive-time for her listeners. Against her producer’s advice, she agrees, and unwittingly opens a door to the past.

Live on the air with an audience of millions, what starts out as a game quickly turns deadly - events long thought buried resurface and Jordan Briggs is forced to reconcile with one simple fact - all decisions have consequences.


Thursday, 18 February 2021

Book Review: Who Took Eden Mulligan? by Sharon Dempsey

Who Took Eden Mulligan? by Sharon Dempsey book cover

AD* | "They’re dead. They’re all dead. It’s my fault. I killed them."

Those are the words of Iona Gardener, who stands bloodied and staring as she confesses to the murder of four people in a run-down cottage outside of Belfast.

Outside the cottage, five old dolls are hanging from a tree. Inside the cottage, the words “WHO TOOK EDEN MULLIGAN?” are graffitied on the wall, connecting the murder scene with the famous cold case of Eden Mulligan, a mother-of-five who went missing during The Troubles.

But this case is different. Right from the start.

Because no one in the community is willing to tell the truth, and the only thing DI Danny Stowe and forensic psychologist Rose Lainey can be certain of is that Iona Gardener’s confession is false...


Friday, 12 February 2021

Book Review: The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles

The Paris Library Blog Tour Graphic

AD* | Based on the true World War II story of the heroic librarians at the American Library in Paris, this is an unforgettable story of romance, friendship, family, and the power of literature to bring us together.

Paris, 1939: Young and ambitious Odile Souchet has it all: her handsome police officer beau and a dream job at the American Library in Paris. When the Nazis march into Paris, Odile stands to lose everything she holds dear, including her beloved library. Together with her fellow librarians, Odile joins the Resistance with the best weapons she has: books. But when the war finally ends, instead of freedom, Odile tastes the bitter sting of unspeakable betrayal.

Montana, 1983: Lily is a lonely teenager looking for adventure in small-town Montana. Her interest is piqued by her solitary, elderly neighbour. As Lily uncovers more about her neighbour’s mysterious past, she finds that they share a love of language, the same longings, and the same intense jealousy, never suspecting that a dark secret from the past connects them.

A powerful novel that explores the consequences of our choices and the relationships that make us who we are - family, friends, and favourite authors - The Paris Library shows that extraordinary heroism can sometimes be found in the quietest of places. 


Thursday, 11 February 2021

Book Review: Game Changer by Neal Shusterman

Game Changer by Neal Shusterman book cover

AD* | All it takes is one hit on the football field, and suddenly Ash’s life doesn’t look quite the way he remembers it.

Impossible though it seems, he’s been hit into another dimension - and keeps on falling into universes that are almost-but-not-really his own, each one stranger than the last.

And if he isn’t careful, the world he’s learning to see more clearly could blink out of existence...


Friday, 5 February 2021

Book Review: The Shadow Man by Helen Fields

The Shadow Man by Helen Fields book cover

AD* | He collects his victims. But he doesn’t keep them safe.

Elspeth, Meggy and Xavier are locked in a flat. They don’t know where they are, and they don’t know why they’re there. They only know that the shadow man has taken them, and he won’t let them go.

Desperate to escape, the three of them must find a way out of their living hell, even if it means uncovering a very dark truth.

Because the shadow man isn’t a nightmare. He’s all too real.

And he’s watching.


Thursday, 4 February 2021

Book Review: All Our Hidden Gifts by Caroline O'Donoghue

All Our Hidden Gifts by Caroline O'Donoghue book cover

AD* | Maeve’s strangely astute tarot readings make her the talk of the school, until a classmate draws a chilling and unfamiliar card - and then disappears.

After Maeve finds a pack of tarot cards while cleaning out a closet during her in-school suspension, she quickly becomes the most sought-after diviner at St. Bernadette’s Catholic school. But when Maeve’s ex-best friend, Lily, draws an unsettling card called The Housekeeper that Maeve has never seen before, the session devolves into a heated argument that ends with Maeve wishing aloud that Lily would disappear. When Lily isn’t at school the next Monday, Maeve learns her ex-friend has vanished without a trace.

Shunned by her classmates and struggling to preserve a fledgling romance with Lily’s gender-fluid sibling, Roe, Maeve must dig deep into her connection with the cards to search for clues the police cannot find - even if they lead to the terrifying Housekeeper herself. Set in an Irish town where the church’s tight hold has loosened and new freedoms are trying to take root, this sharply contemporary story is witty, gripping, and tinged with mysticism.


Monday, 1 February 2021

5 Ways to Stay Entertained in Lockdown

5 great ways to stay entertained in lockdown graphic

It's almost been a year since the UK first went into lockdown in March 2020. However, despite the good news about vaccines, it seems as though little has really changed. Without the lovely summer weather to keep us feeling positive and enjoying the outdoors, it definitely feels as though lockdown has hit much harder this time around. 

If you're fed up of the latest lockdown fads or need a break from endless doomscrolling, I'm sharing some top tips to keep you busy - and entertained - during the lockdown.

Wednesday, 27 January 2021

Book Review: Hellbent by Gregg Hurwitz

 

Hellbent by Gregg Hurwitz book cover

AD* | To some he was Orphan X. Others knew him as the Nowhere Man. But to Jack Johns, he was a boy named Evan Smoak. Taken from an orphanage, Evan was raised inside a top-secret government programme and trained to become a lethal weapon. By Jack. And yet for all the dangerous skill he instilled in his young charge, Jack Jones cared for Evan like a son.

But Jack knew too much about a programme that had gone rotten - he was a loose end that needed to be dealt with. But if you go after the only person who ever treated him like a human being, you can guarantee that the Nowhere Man will be coming for you. Hellbent on making things right...


Thursday, 21 January 2021

Book Review: Ask No Questions by Claire Allan

Ask No Questions by Claire Allan book cover

AD* | Not all secrets are meant to come out...

Twenty-five years ago, on Halloween night, eight-year-old Kelly Doherty went missing while out trick or treating with friends.

Her body was found three days later, floating face down, on the banks of the Creggan Reservoir by two of her young classmates.

It was a crime that rocked Derry to the core. Journalist Ingrid Devlin is investigating – but someone doesn’t want her to know the truth. As she digs further, Ingrid starts to realise that the Doherty family are not as they seem. But will she expose what really happened that night before it’s too late?


Wednesday, 13 January 2021

Book Review: The Perfect Girlfriend by Karen Hamilton

The Perfect Girlfriend by Karen Hamilton book cover

AD* | You've never read a love story as twisted as this.

Juliette loves Nate.

She will follow him anywhere. She’s even become a flight attendant for his airline so she can keep a closer eye on him.

They are meant to be.

The fact that Nate broke up with her six months ago means nothing. Because Juliette has a plan to win him back.

She is the perfect girlfriend. And she’ll make sure no one stops her from getting exactly what she wants.

True love hurts, but Juliette knows it’s worth all the pain...


Monday, 11 January 2021

Emerald Jewellery for Every Occasion

Emerald Jewellery for Every Occasion

AD* | Emerald jewellery is bright, bold, and beautiful. There are many different varieties of emerald jewellery to choose from, but people can often feel unsure about when is the perfect time to wear which piece of emerald jewellery. Emeralds may be fabulous, but that doesn't mean that this gemstone should only be reserved for the most extravagant of occasions! 

You might be surprised how well you could work a piece of emerald jewellery into a casual outfit, to give your look an extra special twist. From weddings to work days, read on to find out what type of jewellery suits every occasion.  

Cosy Toes this Winter with Bedroom Athletics

Cosy toes this winter

AD* | With the ongoing pandemic and seemingly endless lockdowns, I've been working from home since March last year. I've spent more time in the house than ever before! Things were fine during the summer, with the warmer weather and sunshine streaming in through the windows, but it has become much more of a struggle since winter's arrival

I always find it difficult to stay warm and I'm always complaining about having cold hands and feet! This year, the problem has only been exacerbated further by sitting at my desk for long periods of time, huddled up with a blanket (and the cat) to try and stay warm.

So, when Bedroom Athletics got in touch and asked if I'd like to review some of their products, of course I said yes!

Wednesday, 6 January 2021

Book Review: The Nowhere Man by Gregg Hurwitz

The Nowhere Man by Gregg Hurwitz Book Cover

He was once called Orphan X.

As a boy, Evan Smoak was taken from a children's home, raised and trained as part of a secret government initiative buried so deep that virtually no one knows it exists. But he broke with the programme, choosing instead to vanish off-grid and use his formidable skill set to help those unable to protect themselves.

One day, though, Evan's luck ran out...

Ambushed, drugged, and spirited away, Evan wakes up in a locked room with no idea where he is or who has captured him. As he tries to piece together what's happened, testing his gilded prison and its highly trained guards for weaknesses, he receives a desperate call for help.

With time running out, he will need to out-think, out-manoeuvre, and out-fight an opponent the likes of whom he's never encountered to have any chance of escape. He's got to save himself to protect those whose lives depend on him. Or die trying...


Monday, 4 January 2021

5 Books I Want to Read in 2021

5 Books to Read in 2021 Graphic

I smashed past my reading targets in 2020, surpassing my goal of 50 books early on in December. Of course, being stuck at home for most of the year certainly helped to boost my numbers, but I really enjoyed allowing myself more time to read. 

So, with 2021 and a lot of uncertainty on the horizon, I've put together a list of five books I want to read this year. I have literally hundreds of unread books sitting on my shelves and my virtual Kindle shelf, so as always, it's been a difficult task to whittle them down to just five books!