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Thursday, 30 June 2022

Reading Round-Up: May/June 2022

Colourful book stack

We're midway through the year already - can you believe it? I've been struggling to find time to read with all the wedding planning, days out, and fun stuff I've had planned this year, so my reading has sadly fallen by the wayside a little recently. 

Of course, though, that certainly doesn't mean there aren't plenty of books I've got my eye on!

Thursday, 9 June 2022

Book Review: Acts of Love and War by Maggie Brookes

Acts of Love and War by Maggie Brookes book cover


AD* | 1936. Civil war in Spain. A world on the brink of chaos...

21-year-old Lucy feels content with her life in Hertfordshire - not least because she lives next door to Tom and Jamie, two very different brothers for whom she has equally great affection.

But her comfortable life is turned upside down when Tom decides he must travel to Spain to fight in the bloody Spanish Civil War. He is quickly followed by Jamie who, much to Lucy's despair, is supporting General Franco.

To the dismay of her irascible father, Lucy decides that the only way to bring her boys back safely is to travel to Spain herself to persuade them to come home.

Yet when she sees the horrific effects of the war, she quickly becomes immersed in the lifesaving work the Quakers are doing to help the civilian population, many of whom are refugees.

As the war progresses and the situation becomes increasingly perilous, Lucy realises that the challenge going forward is not so much which brother she will end up with, but whether any of them will survive the carnage long enough to decide...

Tuesday, 31 May 2022

Book Review: Yerba Buena by Nina LaCour

Yerba Buena by Nina LaCour book cover

AD* | When Sara Foster runs away from home at sixteen, she leaves behind not only the losses that have shattered her world but the girl she once was, capable of trust and intimacy. Years later, in Los Angeles, she is a sought-after bartender, renowned as much for her brilliant cocktails as for the mystery that clings to her. Across the city, Emilie Dubois is in a holding pattern. In her seventh year and fifth major as an undergraduate, she yearns for the beauty and community her Creole grandparents cultivated but is unable to commit. On a whim, she takes a job arranging flowers at the glamorous restaurant Yerba Buena and embarks on an affair with the married owner.

When Sara catches sight of Emilie one morning at Yerba Buena, their connection is immediate. But the damage both women carry, and the choices they have made, pull them apart again and again. When Sara's old life catches up to her, upending everything she thought she wanted just as Emilie has finally gained her own sense of purpose, they must decide if their love is more powerful than their pasts.

Thursday, 12 May 2022

Book Review: Twin Crowns by Catherine Doyle & Katherine Webber

Twin Crowns by Catherine Doyle and Katherine Webber book cover

Wren Greenrock has always known that one day she would steal her sister’s place in the palace. Trained from birth to return to the place of her parents’ murder and usurp the only survivor, she will do anything to rise to power and protect the community of witches she loves. Or she would, if only a certain palace guard wasn’t quite so distractingly attractive, and if her reckless magic didn’t have a habit of causing trouble…

Princess Rose Valhart knows that with power comes responsibility. Marriage into a brutal kingdom awaits, and she will not let a small matter like waking up in the middle of the desert in the company of an extremely impertinent (and handsome) kidnapper get in the way of her royal duty. But life outside the palace walls is wilder and more beautiful than she ever imagined, and the witches she has long feared might turn out to be the family she never knew she was missing.

Two sisters separated at birth and raised into entirely different worlds are about to get to know each other’s lives a whole lot better. But as coronation day looms closer and they each strive to claim their birthright, the sinister Kingsbreath, Willem Rathborne, becomes increasingly determined that neither will succeed. Who will ultimately rise to power and wear the crown?

Thursday, 5 May 2022

Book Review: Hotel Magnifique by Emily J. Taylor

Hotel Magnifique by Emily J. Taylor book cover

AD* | All her life, Jani has dreamed of Elsewhere. Just barely scraping by with her job at a tannery, she’s resigned to a dreary life in the port town of Durc, caring for her younger sister Zosa. That is until the Hotel Magnifique comes to town.

The hotel is legendary not only for its whimsical enchantments but also for its ability to travel - appearing at a different destination every morning. While Jani and Zosa can’t afford the exorbitant costs of a guest’s stay, they can interview to join the staff, and are soon whisked away on the greatest adventure of their lives. But once inside, Jani quickly discovers their contracts are unbreakable and that beneath the marvellous glamour, the hotel is hiding dangerous secrets.

With the vexingly handsome doorman Bel as her only ally, Jani embarks on a mission to unravel the mystery of the magic at the heart of the hotel and free Zosa - and the other staff - from the cruelty of the ruthless maître d’hôtel. To succeed, she’ll have to risk everything she loves, but failure would mean a fate far worse than never returning home.

Wednesday, 4 May 2022

Book Review: Truth or Dare by Sophie McKenzie

Truth or Dare by Sophie McKenzie book cover

AD* | Fourteen-year-old Maya cannot believe she has to spend the summer with her grandmother, helping out at the family cosmetics firm. But things get much more exciting when she meets a community of activists who are campaigning against the dumping of chemical waste. 

Moving closer to one boy, in particular, Bear, Maya is dared to join one of their protest missions but doesn't know that her grandmother's business is the target. 

Someone has been lying about their environmentally-friendly products, and as danger threatens, Maya must uncover the truth or betray her family forever.

Saturday, 30 April 2022

Reading Round-Up: March/April 2022

Colourful book stack with painted edges

Welcome to the early spring edition of my reading round-up! I've had another two months filled with amazing reads and outstanding books, and I'm ready to share them all with you in this post. Keep on reading to find out more!

Thursday, 28 April 2022

Book Review: Elektra by Jennifer Saint

Elektra by Jennifer Saint book cover

AD* | The House of Atreus is cursed. A bloodline tainted by a generational cycle of violence and vengeance. This is the story of three women, their fates inextricably tied to this curse, and the fickle nature of men and gods.

Clytemnestra
The sister of Helen, wife of Agamemnon - her hopes of averting the curse are dashed when her sister is taken to Troy by the feckless Paris. Her husband raises a great army against them and determines to win, whatever the cost.

Cassandra
Princess of Troy, and cursed by Apollo to see the future but never to be believed when she speaks of it. She is powerless in her knowledge that the city will fall.

Elektra

The youngest daughter of Clytemnestra and Agamemnon, Elektra is horrified by the bloodletting of her kin. But, can she escape the curse, or is her own destiny also bound by violence?

Tuesday, 19 April 2022

Book Review: The Cove by L.J. Ross

The Cove by L.J. Ross book cover

THE PERFECT ESCAPE...

Gabrielle Adams has it all – brains, beauty, a handsome fiancé, and a dream job in publishing. Until, one day, everything changes.

The ‘Underground Killer’ takes his victims when they least expect it: standing on the edge of a busy Tube platform, as they wait for a train to arrive through the murky underground tunnels of London.

Gabrielle soon learns that being a survivor is harder than being a victim, and she struggles to return to her old life. Desperate to break free from the endless nightmares, she snatches up an opportunity to run a tiny bookshop in a picturesque cove in rural Cornwall.

She thinks she’s found the perfect escape but has she swapped one nightmare for another?

Friday, 8 April 2022

Book Review: New Recruits at Goodwill House by Fenella J. Miller

New Recruits at Goodwill House by Fenella J. Miller book cover

AD* | May 1940

There are new residents at Goodwill House – WAAF drivers Camilla ‘Millie’ Cunningham and Diane Forsyth, both eager to do their bit for the war effort and excited to be helping the brave boys who fly.

And when Millie meets dashing and heroic Spitfire pilot Ted Thorrington, they strike up an instant connection. But with Hitler gaining more ground in Europe, there is danger brewing across the Channel in Dunkirk and Ted is required to fly more and more dangerous sorties, risking his life every time.

With their hearts and lives on the line, the courage of the girls in blue will be tested like never before...

Thursday, 7 April 2022

Book Review: The Coffin Club by Jacqueline Sutherland

The Coffin Club by Jacqueline Sutherland book cover

AD* | Everyone deserves a second chance. Don't they?

Kat is rebuilding her life. After losing her husband in a tragic accident, moving to the countryside is her chance to start again.

Encouraged by her new and only friend Ginny, Kat joins New Horizons, dubbed the Coffin Club by its members. And that's how she meets Nico. Instantly drawn to each other, Nico seems like Kat's perfect match. He is kind, caring, handsome and, most importantly, a father to five-year-old Magdalena. This could be Kat's shot at the one thing she has always wanted: to be a mother.

But sometimes, be careful what you wish for...

Tuesday, 5 April 2022

Book Review: Spring Tides at the Starfish Cafe by Jessica Redland

Spring Tides at the Starfish Cafe by Jessica Redland book cover

AD* | A new season...

As winter turns to spring, Hollie - the owner of The Starfish Café - is feeling content as she settles into her new life with her loving boyfriend, Jake, and their adorable dog Pickle.

But when an unwelcome visitor threatens the future of her café, Hollie must stay strong to protect her family's legacy...

A leap of faith...

Emerging from an unhappy relationship, Tori finds herself with nowhere to stay and nobody to talk to. The long-hidden secrets of her past weigh heavily on her until a chance encounter with Finley, struggling to come to terms with his own secrets, provides an opportunity to open up.

Can she find the strength to stop hiding from her past and face up to her family? Especially when that would mean letting her guard down and learning to trust again...

A fresh start...?

Little do Hollie and Tori know that their lives are about to collide at The Starfish Café and they may be able to help each other with a fresh start. After all, with good friends in your life, nothing is impossible...

Thursday, 31 March 2022

Book Review: Wild and Wicked Things by Francesca May

Wild and Wicked Things by Francesca May book cover

AD* | On Crow Island, people whisper, real magic lurks just below the surface.

Neither real magic nor faux magic interests Annie Mason. Not after it stole her future. She’s only on the island to settle her late father’s estate and, hopefully, reconnect with her long-absent best friend, Beatrice, who fled their dreary lives for a more glamorous one.

Yet Crow Island is brimming with temptation, and the biggest one may be her enigmatic new neighbour.

Mysterious and alluring, Emmeline Delacroix is a figure shadowed by rumours of witchcraft. And when Annie witnesses a confrontation between Bea and Emmeline at one of the island's extravagant parties, she is drawn into a glittering, haunted world. A world where the boundaries of wickedness are tested, and the cost of illicit magic might be death.

Friday, 25 March 2022

Book Review: The House at Greenacres by Darcie Boleyn

The House at Greenacres by Darcie Boleyn book cover

AD* | All roads lead home...

When Holly Morton fled Penhallow Sands nearly a year ago she was determined to put the past - and Rich Turner - behind her. But now an unexpected loss and financial trouble have led her back to the family vineyard and it's time to tell Rich the truth - he's a father.

Surrounded by the memories of what they once shared Holly's anger fades in the glow of Rich's undeniable love for their son and the way he selflessly steps in to help the vineyard out of trouble. As Holly watches Rich flourish in his new role as father to baby Luke, she realises that though they can't change the past, the future is still theirs to write...

Monday, 21 March 2022

Book Review: The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison

The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison book cover

Near an isolated mansion lies a beautiful garden.

In this garden grow luscious flowers, shady trees... and a collection of precious “butterflies” - young women who have been kidnapped and intricately tattooed to resemble their namesakes. Overseeing it all is the Gardener, a brutal, twisted man obsessed with capturing and preserving his lovely specimens.

When the garden is discovered, a survivor is brought in for questioning. FBI agents Victor Hanoverian and Brandon Eddison are tasked with piecing together one of the most stomach-churning cases of their careers. But the girl, known only as Maya, proves to be a puzzle herself.

As her story twists and turns, slowly shedding light on life in the Butterfly Garden, Maya reveals old grudges, new saviours, and horrific tales of a man who’d go to any length to hold beauty captive. But the more she shares, the more the agents have to wonder what she’s still hiding...

Friday, 18 March 2022

Coming to Terms With Losing My Maiden Name

Let's talk about names graphic

Let's talk about names. Do you like yours? 

My wedding day is getting closer and closer, and as the months slip by, I've found myself reflecting on my name. Specifically, changing my surname to my fiancé's when we marry, and coming to terms with losing my maiden name. 

Book Review: The Sweetheart Locket by Jen Gilroy

The Sweetheart Locket by Jen Gilroy book cover

AD* | What if the key to your present lies in the past?

London, 1939

On the eve of the Second World War, Canadian Maggie Wyndham defies her family and stays in England to do her bit for the war effort. Torn between two countries, two men and living a life of lies working for the Special Operations Executive (SOE), Maggie's RAF sweetheart locket is part of who she is...and who she isn't.

San Francisco, 2019

Over twenty years after Maggie's death, her daughter Millie and granddaughter Willow take a DNA test that's supposed to be a bit of fun but instead yields unexpected results. Willow has always treasured her grandmother's sweetheart locket, both family heirloom and a symbol of her grandparents' love story. But now she doesn't know what to believe. She embarks on a search for the truth, one she doesn't know will reveal far more about herself...

Thursday, 17 March 2022

Book Review: Lulu and Milagro's Search for Clarity by Angela Velez

Lulu and Milagro's Search for Clarity by Angela Velez book cover

AD* | Overachiever Luz “Lulu” Zavala has straight As, perfect attendance, and a solid ten-year plan. First up: nail her interview for a dream internship at Stanford, the last stop on her school’s cross-country college road trip. The only flaw in her plan is Clara, her oldest sister, who went off to college and sparked a massive fight with their overprotective Peruvian mom, who is now convinced that out-of-state college will destroy their family. If Lulu can’t fix whatever went wrong between them, the whole trip - and her future - will be a waste.

Middle sister Milagro wants nothing to do with college or a nerdy class field trip. Then a spot opens up on the trip just as her own Spring Break plans (Operation: Lose Your Virginity) are thwarted, and she hops on the bus with her glittery lipsticks, more concerned about getting back at her ex than she is about schools or any family drama. But the trip opens her eyes to possibilities she’d never imagined for herself. Maybe she is more than the boy-crazy girl everyone seems to think she is.

On a journey from Baltimore all the way to San Francisco, Lulu and Milagro will become begrudging partners as they unpack weighty family expectations, uncover Clara’s secrets, and maybe even discover the true meaning of sisterhood.

Monday, 14 March 2022

Book Review: Lady of Hay by Barbara Erskine

Lady of Hay book cover

A story spanning centuries. A long-awaited revenge.

In London, journalist Jo Clifford plans to debunk the belief in past lives in a hard-hitting magazine piece. But her scepticism is shaken when a hypnotist forces her to relive the experiences of Matilda, Lady of Hay, a noblewoman during the reign of King John.

She learns of Matilda's unhappy marriage, her love for the handsome Richard de Clare, and the brutal death threats handed out by King John before it becomes clear that Jo’s past and present are inevitably entwined. She realises that eight hundred years on, Matilda’s story of secret passion and unspeakable treachery is about to repeat itself...

Tuesday, 8 March 2022

Book Review: Wakenhyrst by Michelle Paver

Wakenhyrst by Michelle Paver book cover

1906: A large manor house, Wake's End, sits on the edge of a bleak Fen, just outside the town of Wakenhyrst. It is the home of Edmund Stearn and his family – a historian, scholar and land-owner, he's an upstanding member of the local community. But all is not well at Wake's End. Edmund dominates his family tyrannically, in particular daughter Maud. When Maud's mother dies in childbirth and she's left alone with her strict, disciplinarian father, Maud's isolation drives her to her father's study, where she happens upon his diary.

During a walk through the local churchyard, Edmund spots an eye in the undergrowth. His terror is only briefly abated when he discovers it's actually a painting, a 'doom', taken from the church. It's horrifying in its depiction of hell, and Edmund wants nothing more to do with it despite his historical significance. But the doom keeps returning to his mind. The stench of the Fen permeates the house, even with the windows closed. And when he lies awake at night, he hears a scratching sound – like claws on the wooden floor...

Tuesday, 1 March 2022

Book Review: By Any Other Name by Lauren Kate

By Any Other Name by Lauren Kate book cover

AD* | What she doesn’t know about love could fill a book.

With a successful career as a romance editor and an engagement to a man who checks off all ninety-nine boxes on her carefully curated list, Lanie’s more than good. She’s killing it. Then she’s given the opportunity of a lifetime: to work with world-renowned author and her biggest inspiration in love and life - the Noa Callaway. All Lanie has to do is cure Noa’s writer’s block and she’ll get the promotion she’s always dreamed of. Simple, right?

But there’s a reason no one has ever seen or spoken to the mysterious Noa Calloway. And that reason will rock Lanie’s world. It will call into question everything she thought she knew. When she finally tosses her ninety-nine expectations to the wind, Lanie may just discover that love By Any Other Name can still be as sweet.

Monday, 28 February 2022

Reading Round-Up: January/February 2022

The Writing Greyhound bookshelf

Well, 2022 has certainly arrived and we're somehow now two months into the new year. Where have January and February gone?!

It's been a strong start to my reading year as well, with plenty of books under my belt already. Not to mention all the exciting new books finding their way onto my shelves - 2022 is definitely shaping up to be a bumper year for new releases.

So, what's been going on in my bookish world recently? Read on to find out!

Friday, 18 February 2022

Book Review: The Forgotten Village by Lorna Cook

The Forgotten Village by Lorna Cook book cover

1943: The world is at war, and the villagers of Tyneham are being asked to make one more sacrifice: to give their homes over to the British army. But on the eve of their departure, a terrible act will cause three of them to disappear forever.

2017: Melissa had hoped a break on the coast of Dorset would rekindle her stagnant relationship, but despite the idyllic scenery, it’s pushing her and Liam to the brink. When Melissa discovers a strange photograph of a woman who once lived in the forgotten local village of Tyneham, she becomes determined to find out more about her story. But Tyneham hides a terrible secret, and Melissa’s search for the truth will change her life in ways she never imagined possible.

Thursday, 17 February 2022

Book Review: The Little Wartime Library by Kate Thompson

The Little Wartime Library by Kate Thompson book cover

AD* | London, 1944.

Clara Button is no ordinary librarian. While the world remains at war, in East London Clara has created the country's only underground library, built over the tracks in the disused Bethnal Green tube station. Down here a secret community thrives: with thousands of bunk beds, a nursery, a café and a theatre offering shelter, solace and escape from the bombs that fall above.

Along with her glamorous best friend and library assistant Ruby Munroe, Clara ensures the library is the beating heart of life underground. But as the war drags on, the women's determination to remain strong in the face of adversity is tested to the limits when it seems it may come at the price of keeping those closest to them alive.

Tuesday, 15 February 2022

Book Review: The Scarlet Dress by Louise Douglas

The Scarlet Dress by Louise Douglas book cover

Alice Lang was wearing her favourite scarlet dress when she disappeared twenty-five years ago, and her memory still casts a long shadow.

In the long, hot summer of 1995, twenty-two-year-old Alice Lang rents a caravan on a holiday park on the outskirts of the lively holiday resort of Severn Sands. She befriends Marnie, a shy, damaged little girl whose father is the park's caretaker and whose mother died a few months earlier. Will, whose mother runs the bar, falls in love with Alice and is unbearably jealous of anyone else she sees. Tensions rise until one evening Alice disappears from her caravan. She's never seen again, and only her scarlet dress is found washed up on the shore.

A quarter of a century later, the town is run down and nobody comes there anymore. Mr and Mrs deVillars, former owners of the holiday park, have passed the failing business onto their son Guy, who promptly sells the land for development. Builders clearing the land to create an expanse of executive homes uncover human bones. It has to be Alice.

Will and Marnie’s lives were entirely shaped by what happened that summer, and now Alice has been found, they must struggle to pin down their memories, to escape the secrets of the past, the lies they told and the unbearable guilt they're both carrying.

They need to find out what happened to Alice. Who killed her? And why?

Monday, 14 February 2022

Book Review: The Rebound by Catherine Walsh

The Rebound by Catherine Walsh book cover

AD* | A newly single girl. A tall dark handsome stranger. What could go wrong?

It’s 7 a.m. on a Monday morning and Abby Reynolds isn’t where she wants to be. She wants to be in her beautiful loft apartment in Manhattan, drinking a coffee with her fiancé.

Instead, she’s heading back to the childhood home in rural Ireland she swore she’d never return to, with some big old secrets. Namely that she’s suddenly found herself unemployed, homeless, and absolutely 100% single.

She’s feeling all out of luck. Until the first person she meets after she touches down is an absurdly hot guy called Luke, who offers her a lift home. Gazing deep into his sparkling emerald-green eyes, Abby knows instantly that he’s exactly what she needs to take her mind off everything. The perfect rebound.

It’s a flawless plan. Until the next day, when Abby realizes who he actually is. Not just a stranger. He is, in fact, Luke Bailey, aka the boy next door. Luke Bailey who - so help her God - she’s pretty sure she once shared baths with, back when they were kids. Not that she can allow herself to imagine him in a bath now, not without blushing from head to foot.

And judging by the smirk on his face, the same Luke Bailey who’s known exactly who she was the whole time... And who, like everyone in the village, still thinks she’s a high-flying New Yorker... who’s getting married next year.

Abby is certain getting under Luke will help her get over her ex. But the truth is stopping her. Can she admit to everyone back home that she’s single and has lost everything? Because, if she wants the boy next door, she may just have to...

Saturday, 5 February 2022

Book Review: The Lighthouse by Fran Dorricott

The Lighthouse by Fran Dorricott book cover

AD* | No one expected them to go there. The question is: will any of them leave?

Six friends travel to a remote island north of the Scottish Highlands for an old school reunion. They’ve rented The Lighthouse – a stunning, now abandoned building that was once notorious for deaths at sea.

On the first evening, someone goes missing. The group search all through the night to no avail. But when the five remaining friends return to the lighthouse early the next morning, they are shocked to find James inside. He looks terrified – but won’t say a word about where he’s been.

The party vow to put the strange night behind them and enjoy the rest of their stay, but when more unexplained things begin to occur, tensions escalate. It’s clear James knows something, but nothing will persuade him to give up the secrets of the island. Is he protecting his friends from a terrible truth, or leading them into more danger?

Friday, 4 February 2022

Book Review: We Know You Remember by Tove Alsterdal

We Know You Remember by Tove Alsterdal book cover

AD* | It’s been more than twenty years since Olof Hagström left home. Returning to his family’s house, he knows instantly that something is amiss. The front door key, hidden under a familiar stone, is still there. Inside, there’s a panicked dog, a terrible stench, water pooling on the floor. Upstairs in the shower, the father Olaf has not seen or spoken to in decades is dead.

For police detective Eira Sjödin, the investigation of this suspicious death resurrects long-forgotten nightmares. She was only nine when Olof Hagström, then fourteen, was found guilty of raping and murdering a local girl. The case left a mark on the town’s collective memory - a wound that never quite healed - and tinged Eira’s childhood with fear. Too young to be sentenced, Olof was sent to a youth home and exiled from his family. He was never seen in the town again. Until now. 

Thursday, 3 February 2022

Book Review: The Gifts That Bind Us by Caroline O'Donoghue

The Gifts That Bind Us by Caroline O'Donoghue book cover

AD* | Maeve and her friends have revealed their powers and banded together as a coven: Roe can pick locks, Lily sends sparks flying, Maeve can read minds and Fiona can heal any injury.

And even better than their newfound talents? Roe and Maeve are officially an item.

But with strange things happening at school, and old enemies appearing in new places, it soon becomes clear their powers are attracting all the wrong attention. It's not long before Maeve's gift start to wane, drained by someone - or something - that's hiding even from her second sight...

Friday, 28 January 2022

Aura Print: Wedding Stationery Samples

Wedding Stationery and Flowers

AD* | When you're in the process of planning a wedding, nobody tells you just how much there is to plan. Sure, you know you need to pick a date, book the venue, and find the perfect dress, but let me tell you - if you want to plan a wedding, your organisational skills need to be on point! 

As regular readers will doubtless know by now, my fiancé and I are currently in the process of planning our own wedding. With time ticking down (I can finally say that we get married this year, eek!), the amount of "wedmin" we need to do has never been higher. 

All this means that I'm constantly on the lookout for easy ways to tick things off in my wedding planner - and this post is all about how you can check your wedding stationery off your own to-do list!

Wednesday, 26 January 2022

Book Review: The Ladies' Midnight Swimming Club by Faith Hogan

The Ladies' Midnight Swimming Club by Faith Hogan book cover

Three women. Three different stages of life. United by one thing: the chance to start again.

When Elizabeth's husband dies, leaving her with crippling debt, the only person she can turn to is her friend, Jo. Soon Jo has called in her daughter, Lucy, to help save Elizabeth from bankruptcy. Leaving her old life behind, Lucy is determined to make the most of her fresh start.

As life slowly begins to return to normal, these three women, thrown together by circumstance, become fast friends. But then Jo's world is turned upside down when she receives some shocking news.

In search of solace, Jo and Elizabeth find themselves enjoying midnight dips in the freezing Irish Sea. Here they can laugh, cry and wash away all their fears. As well as conjure a fundraising plan for the local hospice that will bring the whole community together...

Thursday, 6 January 2022

Book Review: The Unravelling by Polly Crosby

The Unravelling by Polly Crosby book blog tour banner

AD* | Tartelin has been employed by Marianne Stourbridge to hunt for butterflies, but she quickly uncovers something far more intriguing. The island and Marianne share a remarkable past, and what happened all those years ago has left its scars.

The island has a strange effect on Tartelin, too, finally allowing her to confront her own, painful, memories. As she does, Marianne’s story begins to unravel around her, revealing an extraordinary tale of two girls, an obsession with pearls, and truth beyond imagination.

Wednesday, 5 January 2022

5 Books I Want to Read in 2022

5 books to read in 2022

2021 was my best ever year in terms of the number of books I read. I managed a whopping 101 books in twelve months which works out at roughly 2 a week. Not bad going at all! 

However, I've heard it said that book reading and book-buying are two very different hobbies. With the number of unread books sitting on my shelf, I think I'd be inclined to agree! So, I've scoured my shelves - both physical and virtual - to come up with a shortlist of books I can't wait to sink my teeth into this year. 

Tuesday, 4 January 2022

Book Review: The Ivory Key by Akshaya Raman

The Ivory Key by Akshaya Raman book cover

AD* | Magic, a prized resource, is the only thing between peace and war. When magic runs out, four estranged royal siblings must find a new source before their country is swallowed by invading forces. 

Vira is desperate to get out of her mother’s shadow and establish her legacy as a revered queen of Ashoka. But with the country’s only quarry running out of magic – a precious resource that has kept Ashoka safe from conflict – she can barely protect her citizens from the looming threat of war. And if her enemies discover this, they’ll stop at nothing to seize the last of the magic.

Vira’s only hope is to find a mysterious object of legend: the Ivory Key, rumoured to unlock a new source of magic. But in order to infiltrate enemy territory and retrieve it, she must reunite with her siblings, torn apart by the different paths their lives have taken. Each of them has something to gain from finding the Ivory Key – and even more to lose if they fail. Ronak plans to sell it to the highest bidder in exchange for escape from his impending political marriage. Kaleb, falsely accused of assassinating the former maharani needs it to clear his name. And Riya, a runaway who cut all family ties, wants the Key to prove her loyalty to the rebels who want to strip the nobility of its power.

They must work together to survive the treacherous journey. But with each sibling harbouring secrets and their own agendas, the very thing that brought them together could tear apart their family – and their world – for good.

Monday, 3 January 2022

The Writing Greyhound's Top 5 Books of 2021

The Writing Greyhound's Top 5 Books of 2021

2021 has been a brilliant year for reading. So many incredible books were published this year, and with the uncertainty around the pandemic continuing, staying at home with a good book has never been a better - and safer - option. 

With that in mind, it's probably not a surprise to hear that I managed to achieve my personal reading goals this year. I set myself the ambitious target of reading 100 books which is more than I've ever previously managed in twelve months. However, I set aside a little more time for reading and managed to finish the year on a total of 101 read books. I'm super happy with that!

However, with reading more books comes greater difficulty when picking my top reads of the year. After a lot of deliberation (hence why this post is delayed compared to previous years!) I've finally narrowed it down. Read on to find out which books I've picked!