First Line Friday

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“Stuck in a sewer, hunting goblins. What a life”, Felix Jaeger muttered with feeling.

My choice for this week is from Skavenslayer by William King part of the Gotrek & Felix First Omnibus.

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Gotrek & Felix return to the city of Nuln to lie low and gain some steady employment. Being a sewer-jack would seem to be fairly mundane work until the skaven raise their furry heads. The maze of sewers provides a perfect staging post for the foul chaos rat-men, as they seek to overwhelm the city. Luckily there are two people below ground who like a good fight.

 

 

 

 

 

I don’t read fantasy but my husband and son love it and really enjoyed these books.

What about you, would this first line draw you in?

 

 

 

THROWBACK THURSDAY

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Throwback Thursday meme is hosted by Renee@It’s Book Talk and is a way to share some of your old favourites as well as sharing books that you want to read that were published over a year ago. You know, the ones waiting patiently on your TBR list while you continue to pile more titles on top of them 🙂 These older books are usually much easier than new releases to get a hold of at libraries and elsewhere. If you have your own Throwback Thursday recommendation feel free to jump on board, you’re welcome to use Renee’s pic as well. If you’d just link back to her @ It’s Book Talk she’d so appreciate it.

My choice this week is: The Silver Locket by Margaret James

Published 2010 by Choc Lit

From Goodreads:

9767094“If life is cheap, how much is love worth?
It’s 1914 and young Rose Courtenay has a decision to make. Please her wealthy parents by marrying the man of their choice – or play her part in the war effort?
The chance to escape proves irresistible and Rose becomes a nurse. Working in France, she meets Lieutenant Alex Denham, a dark figure from her past. He’s the last man in the world she’d get involved with – especially now he’s married.
But in wartime nothing is as it seems. Alex’s marriage is a sham and Rose is the only woman he’s ever wanted. As he recovers from his wounds, he sets out to win her trust. His gift of a silver locket is a far cry from the luxuries she’s left behind.
What value will she put on his love?”

 

This was a lovely surprise of a read. I came across it on Twitter when the author was doing a cover reveal for her latest book. Well one thing led to another and I ended up downloading the whole book after enjoying the sample on Kindle. I just had to find out what was going to happen between the main characters with the  I loved the ‘will they won’t they’ plot. The World War One details were fascinating and I learnt a lot about the nurses situations, including the existence of ambulance trains transporting the wounded between the front lines and the ports.
I definitely recommend this if you enjoy romances and historical fiction.

 

Book Review: One Italian Summer by Keris Stainton

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31322309“It’s been a year since Milly, Elyse and Leonie’s dad died, and a year since their last trip to Rome. Summer’s here again, and once again they are heading with their mum to Italy – but what’s it going to be like going without Dad? Rome still holds its familiar charms – the sun is still as warm, the gelato as delicious, the people as welcoming. But nothing is quite as it once was …

With grief still raw for all of them, Milly is facing the additional awfulness of having to see Luke again – gorgeous, gorgeous Luke, who she had a fling with last year, and who she made a total fool of herself with – or so she thinks. What’s going to happen this time? What’s more, things between Milly, her sisters and their mum are rocky – Leonie is being tempestuous and unpredictable, Elyse is caught up with her new boyfriend, and Milly feels like she just doesn’t know how she fits in any more. Over one Italian summer, can Milly find a way back to the life she once had?”

 

This was a real change for me as I don’t normally read YA books, but once I got myself into Young Adult mode it made a nice change to read something fun and romantic.

The Rome setting really worked and characters felt real with all the sisters squabbling at times and then having fun together. I must admit I did a little bit confused with the sisters ages and couldn’t remember who was the oldest, middle and youngest.

I could sympathise with Milly’s wild imagination and wanting to keep everyone safe and also with their Mum keeping herself busy at work following the death of her husband.

I think it would make a great book group read especially for teenagers and families as there are themes of grief, relationships and LGBTQ running through it. It’s perfect for lovers of YA and romance.

Thanks to Reader’s First for my paperback copy which added to my reading experience.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #IMWAYR

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at BookDate. It’s a weekly post sharing what you’ve recently finished reading, what you’re currently reading, and what you plan to read this week. don’t forget to link up on BookDate’s blog and check out what everyone’s been reading.

 

What I read recently:

I finished listening to the audiobook of The Penny Bangle by Margaret James.  It’s the third book in the Charton Minster series and my favourite so far. I loved the main character Cassie, a city girl from Birmingham who comes down to Dorset to be a land girl on a farm. The narration by Patricia Gallimore was absolutely superb and really made the book come alive for me.

 

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I’m  thoroughly enjoyed The Bird Tribunal by Agnes Ravatn a thriller set in Norway, my paperback was courtesy of TripFiction.

You can read my review here if you missed it the other day.

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See You In September by Charity Norman, courtesy of Readers First, was a fantastic book about a girl who goes back packing and ends up in a cult in New Zealand. My review is  here if you missed it yesterday.

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What I’m currently reading:

I’ve just started a YA courtesy of Readers First. I don’t normally read this genre so it’ll be an interesting experience.

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I’m just about to listen to an audiobook for review from christianaudio.com. I haven’t listened to the first two books in the series so I’m hoping I won’t miss much starting at number three.

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Up next:

Book Review: See You In September by Charity Norman

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34203697See You In September by Charity Norman is a contemporary novel told by Cassy and her mother Diana.

Cassy takes a break from university studies to go travelling around New Zealand with her boyfriend Hamish. They plan to be back in the UK for Cassy’s best friend’s wedding in September, hence the title. They haven’t been gone long when circumstances cause them to go their separate ways. Cassy is drenched and fed up whilst trying to hitch them both a ride, but instead takes a lift from a group of very friendly  people in a beat up old van. They’re from a farming collective living self sufficiently off the land in a beautiful valley only approachable by boat.

It’s all idyllic and seems the perfect place to spend the rest of her break before returning home for the wedding. The community are so positive and loving completely different to her stressed out life and planned future faraway in London.

So begins this absorbing read that took me on an incredible journey with Cassy in New Zealand and her family back in London. The story from Cassy’s point of view and her mother Diana is also interspersed with extracts from a cult leaders manual with the steps to get your recruit fully on board with the cults beliefs.

MY THOUGHTS

I was hooked from the first page as the author took me on an gripping journey with Cassy and her family. The setting of the community was idyllic, and I even though it’s a fictional community I could see why Cassy was drawn to it. The descriptions of the farm along with the initial acceptance and positivity from the members sounded the perfect place to escape modern life and it’s technological entrapments.

As a mother of a teenager I really felt for Cassy’s family back home in London and completely sympathised with their fears and desires to rescue her. They felt like a real family who only wanted the best for their daughter before it was all too late.

This is my first book by this author but definitely not my last. I’ll be recommending this to family and friends on my blog and social media.

Standalone Sunday

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Standalone Sunday is a weekly meme hosted by  Megan@bookslayerreads. Standalone Sunday was created to let others know about all the standalone books you have loved, but maybe don’t get the attention they need. Megan created the banner as well and anyone joining in can use it too. Why not check out her blog too🙂

As it’s Mother’s Day in some parts of the world today my choice this week is Life With the Lid Off by Nicola Hodgkinson, a feel good memoir written by a single mother.

Here’s the blurb from Goodreads:

“Like8152585 many women after a divorce, Nicola Hodgkinson found herself facing a stark reality. With three young children to raise, a ramshackle cottage by the sea she had a choice: to wallow in self pity or pull herself together and get on with it. She chose the latter. And with her choice came the decision to embrace a more casual approach to parenting, convinced as she was that fresh air, a positive outlook and the freedom to learn from mistakes would be good for the whole family. And so life with the lid off, began.

This is a book about all the magic, and the chaos, of family existence. Steering her way through village life, Nicola discovers the hazards that solo domesticity can bring, from a disgraced cat sailing through the window into a jam-and-scone cottage tea sale, to a car which acquires a resident mouse. Constantly surrounded by a haphazard menagerie, along the way we meet a spirit donkey, a pig with empty-nest syndrome and a lot of quails.

As Nicola learns to muddle through, and even delight in, a less than perfect existence, Life with the Lid Off is a brilliant, profound, and funny evocation of a universal theme: how to find yourself again amongst the hurly burly sandwich of family life.

 

 

 

 

First Line Friday

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My choice for this week is from See You In September by Charity Norman that I’m currently reading courtesy of Reader’s First.

“It doesn’t look like a scene of death. It looks like paradise.”

34203697“Cassy blew a collective kiss at them. ‘See you in September,’ she said. A throwaway line. Just words, uttered casually by a young woman in a hurry. And then she’d gone.

It was supposed to be a short trip – a break in New Zealand before her best friend’s wedding. But when Cassy waved goodbye to her parents, they never dreamed that it would be years before they’d see her again.

Having broken up with her boyfriend, Cassy accepts an invitation to stay in an idyllic farming collective. Overcome by the peace and beauty of the valley and swept up in the charisma of Justin, the community’s leader, Cassy becomes convinced that she has to stay.

As Cassy becomes more and more entrenched in the group’s rituals and beliefs, her frantic parents fight to bring her home – before Justin’s prophesied Last Day can come to pass.

A powerful story of family, faith and finding yourself, See You in September is an unputdownable new novel from this hugely compelling author.”

It’s hooked me but does this first line draw you in?

 

 

THROWBACK THURSDAY

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throwbackthursday

Throwback Thursday meme is hosted by Renee@It’s Book Talk and is a way to share some of your old favourites as well as sharing books that you want to read that were published over a year ago. You know, the ones waiting patiently on your TBR list while you continue to pile more titles on top of them 🙂 These older books are usually much easier than new releases to get a hold of at libraries and elsewhere. If you have your own Throwback Thursday recommendation feel free to jump on board, you’re welcome to use Renee’s pic as well. If you’d just link back to her @ It’s Book Talk she’d so appreciate it.

My choice this week is: Daughter by Jane Shemilt

Published 2014 by Penguin

From Goodreads:

20505127“Jenny is a successful family doctor, the mother of three great teenagers, married to a celebrated neurosurgeon.

But when her youngest child, fifteen-year-old Naomi, doesn’t come home after her school play, Jenny’s seemingly ideal life begins to crumble. The authorities launch a nationwide search with no success. Naomi has vanished, and her family is broken.

As the months pass, the worst-case scenarios—kidnapping, murder—seem less plausible. The trail has gone cold. Yet for a desperate Jenny, the search has barely begun. More than a year after her daughter’s disappearance, she’s still digging for answers—and what she finds disturbs her. Everyone she’s trusted, everyone she thought she knew, has been keeping secrets, especially Naomi. Piecing together the traces her daughter left behind, Jenny discovers a very different Naomi from the girl she thought she’d raised.”

This was a fantastic read that had me hooked from the first few pages. The writing was beautiful and the characters very real. I could probably read this again in a few years time even though I know the story. It was such a joy to read even though the subject matter was dark.

 

Book Review: The Bird Tribunal by Agnes Ravatn

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29501521Allis a former television presenter finds herself as a housekeeper for Bagge, a moody secretive man living in a forest near a fjord. He tells her his wife will be away for sometime and he needs her to took after the garden and house for him. Allis has her own shameful secrets that weigh her down as she gets to grips with her new position, home and employer.

So begins this incredibly tense thriller set in Norway and the tension does not let up at all. This is a beautifully written and translated book that hooked me from the first page. I was desperate to know the secrets that Bagge was keeping from Allis. Where was his wife? Why was he so moody? Why did he only speak in mono syllables when he did speak?

The setting of the house in a forest on the edge of the fjord is perfect and becomes another character in this moody atmospheric story.

It’s only a short book and so I thought I would whizz through it, but I had to take a breather every now and then as the tension was just too much. Perfect for lovers of psychological thrillers.

Thank you so much to TripFiction for my paperback copy which definitely added to my reading experience