Blitz Writing ARC Review


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GoodReads:
Emerging out of the 1940-1941 London Blitz, the drama of these two short works, a novel and a memoir, comes from the courage and endurance of ordinary people met in the factories, streets and lodging houses of a city under bombardment. Inez Holden’s novella Night Shift follows a largely working-class cast of characters for five night shifts in a factory that produces camera parts for war planes. It Was Different At The Time is Holden’s account of wartime life from April 1938 to August 1941, drawn from her own diary. This was intended to be a joint project written with her friend George Orwell (he was in the end too busy to contribute), and includes disguised appearances of Orwell and other notable literary figures of the period. The experiences recorded in It Was Different At The Time overlap in period and subject with Night Shift, setting up a vibrant dialogue between the two texts.
Inez Holden (1903-1974) was a British writer and literary figure whose social and professional connections embraced most of London’s literary and artistic life. She modelled for Augustus John, worked alongside Evelyn Waugh, and had close relationships with George Orwell, Stevie Smith, H G Wells, Cyril Connolly, and Anthony Powell. The introduction and notes are by Kristin Bluemel, exploring how these short prose texts work as multiple stories: of Inez Holden herself, the history of the Blitz, of middlebrow women’s writing, of Second World War fiction, and of the world of work.

Thank you Handheld Press for sending me a review copy, in exchange I’m providing you all with an honest review.

This book was a nice change of pace to my other recent reads. I’m a huge history buff and I had done a lot of WWI and Russian Revolution reading for my nonfiction so to have a change of pace with WWII was great. Not to mention this is a 2 for 1 really, we get Inez Holden’s novella Night Shift along with her wartime memoir, It Was Different At The Time.

Both had their own slice of history to bring to the table, they are both pieces though that are exploring the sort of people that exist in this time period. This isn’t a look at WWII as an event as much as a time period in someone’s life. Holden has a talent for describing people as an outsider that’s a joy to read and the details she provides are unlike other accounts I’ve read. In her novella, she describes the work week, and this includes the machinery that many of us now forget were used to help so much in the war and that was manned quite a bit by women at that point in time. She also recalls things as ‘mundane’ as the buses, and bicycles people used to get around during air raids, and this goes for her memoirs as well.

Oh to be a fly on the wall for Holden’s life, she knew an amazing group of people and thanks to the introduction by Kristin Bluemel we get to know more of what an amazing woman Inez Holden was herself. This is not for reading to get to a plot or experience a satisfying ending, it’s for just plain enjoyment and observation. I can’t say I recall being on the edge of my seat while reading this but I did thoroughly enjoy it for what it was, the small nuances and bits of information were a true delight. I am happy to say that I look forward to reading more about and by Inez Holden.

I would recommend this to any History Buff especially those interested in WWII.

4/5 Cups of Coffee from this caffeine addict! This book will be launched on May 31st at The Second Shelf Bookshop in London!

 

The Boy Next Story Blog Tour

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Synopsis:
The second book in a series where your favorite literary characters come to life, inspired by the timeless classic, Little Women!
There’s no one better than the boy next door. At least not according to Aurora Campbell, fourteen, who has been in love with Tobias May since their very firstsandbox kiss. The problem is, he’s in love with her older sister, Merrilee. And Merri is already dating one of his best friends.
Rory is learning all about pining as her class reads The Great Gatsby, a book she doesn’t find “great” at all. Also not great—her GPA, something she needs to fix, quickly, if she’d like to apply for the chance to spend a week studying art with her hero in New York City over winter break. But when Ms. Gregoire assigns her to read Little Women for extra credit, Rory discovers more than she expected—both about herself and Toby. Maybe she wasn’t in love with the boy next door. . . but the boy next story.
Loveis complicated, and it’s all about to get even trickier for Rory at Reginald R. Hero Prep . . . where with the help of one quirky English teacher, students’ fantasies come true, often with surprising consequences.
BOOK INFORMATION
The Boy Next Story (Bookish Boyfriends #2) by Tiffany Schmidt
Publisher: Amulet Paperbacks
Release Date: May 21st 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary
GoodReads Link

Where to Buy the Book

Amazon  Book Depository  Barnes&Noble  iTunes  Google Books

My Review

For those of you who may have peeked at my blog before, you’ll notice it’s not common for me to have contemporary books at least outside of the thriller or mystery field but when I read the blurb for this book and saw a chance to sign up for the blog tour, I knew I had to read it.

And guess what?

I’m so glad I did.

That will be my only gif use for this blog entry.

Schmidt does such a WONDERFUL job with intertwining a classic novel with a modern-day YA story, I know that 16 years old me would have somehow loved this even more than I’m not telling you my age me did.

While Aurora, or Rory as she prefers, I would say I’m half Merri half Rory of the sisters but I digress, is a freshman in high school and it’s been a while since I was, she was still so relatable! She is an introvert to a T and it was nice and she didn’t act as if she were oblivious to the fact that she was awkward but she also didn’t constantly harp on that fact. She was just a freshman switching to a new school and learning to deal with quite average teenage problems.

Another thing Schmidt does an amazing thing with is that she’s built such a fantastic cast of characters. The parents may not always understand their daughters but it’s clear they love them and are quite supportive, especially their Dad with Rory’s art. Rory’s sisters are loveable and frustrating at times and well, to be honest, they made me miss my sisters a lot haha.

If you’ve read the first book in this series, you’ll know their amazingly fabulous English teacher is the sort of person who knows just what her students need and she gives Rory Little Women and if you’ve read that book, or seen the movie or even just heard about it, you may know that it is not just a book with a love story or two, it’s a book about sisters. And sisters can be an important part of your life, especially when growing up.

Rory begins to discover what loving someone really means, it’s more than just getting what you think you want, it’s about loving them for who they truly are.

The fact that Schmidt seamlessly switches between the parallels of Rory and Amy made the story flow so well I forgot that this was intertwining two different worlds. It’s always really important for me to have something besides romance in a book, and the sisterly love and the trials of Rory’s first semester of freshman year really did the trick for me. More than that…I am a gushy fan girl about this and absolutely adored the romance aspects as well. This never happens, and I’m so excited to go back and read the first book and wait for the next.

Honestly, please go read this if you want a story about love trials, sisters, high school, and learning to let yourself be, well, yourself.

5/5 Cups of Coffee from me, but now onto the next part…

I got to make a playlist!

This is the first time I’ve done one to a book instead of my own writing so I was super hyped.

Without further ado here is my The Boy Next Story playlist!

  1. You Picked Me – A Fine Frenzy
  2.  Shake It Out – Florence + The Machine
  3.  Make Me Yours – Beth Crowley
  4.  Gimme Sympathy – Metric
  5. Sinners – Lauren Aquilina
  6. Medicine – Havelin
  7. Slow Fade – The Clicks, Cece Francis
  8.  When I was Younger – Liz Lawrence
  9.  Let My Love Be Heard – Phoenix Chamber Choir
  10.  Night Sky – Matthew Parker
  11.  Every Time We Touch – Cascada
  12.  I Choose You – Sarah Bareilles
  13.  Fidelity – Regina Spektor
  14.  Brave Enough (feat. Christina Perri) – Lindsey Stirling
  15.  Cradled in Love – Poets of the Fall

About the Author

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Tiffany Schmidt is the author of Send Me a Sign, Bright Before Sunrise, and Hold Me Like a Breath (Once Upon a Crime Family book 1). She’s found her happily ever after in Pennsylvania with her saintly husband, impish twin boys, and a pair of mischievous puggles. You can find out more about her and her books at:

Website  Goodreads  Twitter  Tumblr  Instagram  Facebook

Tour Schedule

[Please click on the picture to be redirected to the full schedule post!]

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GIVEAWAY PRIZE

Win a copy of BOOKISH BOYFRIENDS: THE BOY NEXT STORY byTiffany Schmidt (US Only)

Start Date: 21stMay 2019
End Date: 4thJune 2019

Click Below for Link:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d9681b86368/?

For more entry opportunities check out the Instagram giveaway on my page which you can find your way to through the widget on the right side. ->

 

Black Water ARC Review


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GoodReads:
I killed the boy…

Jig loves football and his dog, hates school, misses his granda and knows to lie low when his ma’s blitzed on the vodka and tablets.

He’s just an ordinary boy on the mean streets alongside Dublin’s Grand Canal. Streets that are ruled by Ghost and his crew. And now Ghost- inked, vicious, unprincipled- has a job for Jig.

A job that no one can afford to go wrong- not the gangs, the police, the locals, and least of all not Jig.

First off, thank you to BW Publishing for sending me a copy to read, I’ve been in a thriller mood the past couple of months so this fit right into my ‘mood.’ I’m giving an honest review in exchange for this gifted copy!

I would say comparing it to ‘The Wire set in Dublin’ was a really accurate comparison and if you love shows like ‘Law and Order’ or movies like ‘The Departed’ then you’ll probably really enjoy reading this, I know I did!

The pacing was great the whole way through, nothing was stretched out too long and the chapters were kept short and concise as to allow O’Keeffe to give us the whole picture of what was going on. You get the inside of Gangland feel, a great look at the Garda and those whose lives are affected by the gang violence, whether by contributing to it or being witnesses of information.

Jig was certainly my favorite character, the boy was only a product of his habitat and ‘nurture’ and I really just hated thinking about how many kids may have to deal with situations like that, ones they shouldn’t be in. But I also really liked how O’Keeffe didn’t handle Jig with ‘kid gloves’ as a kid growing up in that situation wouldn’t have many innocent tendencies that others might in other types of homes.

Shay was also a favorite of mine, I loved his story arc most probably.

This wasn’t really a character-driven novel, and that’s great considering the plot of this would have been bogged down otherwise, but, O’Keeffe is impressive and gives you a connection to the characters in a limited amount of time and does it so that it doesn’t feel rushed.

I wasn’t always a fan when the chapters might change part-way in, to another character’s situation but I thought it was done well enough that it didn’t end up bothering me and I got used to it but fair warning it could feel a bit jumpy if you’re not used to that.

The last 100 pages were just hard to put down, I needed to know what was going to happen, I felt like the clock was ticking and I was on the edge of my seat! Who was going to make it, who wasn’t, it was just making me push forward to know all the answers about the endgame.

There is extensive violence, and mention of drugs and alcohol given this is a book quite focused on at least a couple of gang members and so please remember that before jumping into reading this amazing book if this would be an issue.

Definitely 4/5 Cups of Coffee from me and would recommend to any crime or thriller fan! A great debut novel for the genre.

Down The TBR Hole #2

It’s a meme kinda day for me, I’m reading a couple of books simultaneously to try and play catch up, we’ll see if it works or if I break down in tears lol.

Down The TBR Hole, a meme originally hosted by Lia @ Lost In A Story where you clean up your TBR of all those books you’re never going to read and sort through it and get a better handle on what all you got! (If someone can slide me the current host, I’ll gladly update this post)

Most of you probably know this feeling, your Goodreads TBR pile keeps growing and growing and it seems like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. You keep adding, but you add more than you actually read. And then when you’re scrolling through your list, you realize that you have no idea what half the books are about and why you added them. Well that’s going to change! – Lia @ Lost In A Story

What do you do?

  • Go to your GoodReads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 (or even more!) if you’re feeling adventurous) books. Of course, if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.
  • Read the synopses of the books.
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

I’m doing 10-15 today!

GoodReads: 

In this dark, thrilling fairy tale, it is the wolf who saves the girl. Fell, the dark-furred twin brother of Larka, the heroine of The Sight, must face life without his sister or the rest of his loving pack. He’s a lone wolf now, a “kerl,” an outcast from his kind who shares his sister’s fatal gift for seeing the future and the thoughts of others. This gift leads him to befriend a young girl, also an outcast from her people. They have a shared destiny: to free the land from a tyrannical ruler who would enslave man and animal alike.

I loved The Sight and I own this one, so, it stays.

 

GoodReads:
Part blistering espionage thriller, part riveting police procedural, and part piercing exposé on social injustice, The Girl Who Played with Fire is a masterful, endlessly satisfying novel. 

Mikael Blomkvist, crusading publisher of the magazine Millennium, has decided to run a story that will expose an extensive sex trafficking operation. On the eve of its publication, the two reporters responsible for the article are murdered, and the fingerprints found on the murder weapon belong to his friend, the troubled genius hacker Lisbeth Salander. Blomkvist, convinced of Salander’s innocence, plunges into an investigation. Meanwhile, Salander herself is drawn into a murderous game of cat and mouse, which forces her to face her dark past.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Another that I own and loved the first one, so this one stays as well!

 

GoodReads:
The stunning third and final novel in Stieg Larsson’s internationally best-selling trilogy.

Lisbeth Salander – the heart of Larsson’s two previous novels – lies in critical condition, a bullet wound to her head, in the intensive care unit of a Swedish city hospital. She’s fighting for her life in more ways than one: if and when she recovers, she’ll be taken back to Stockholm to stand trial for three murders. With the help of her friend, journalist Mikael Blomkvist, she will not only have to prove her innocence, but also identify and denounce those in authority who have allowed the vulnerable, like herself, to suffer abuse and violence. And, on her own, she will plot revenge – against the man who tried to kill her, and the corrupt government institutions that very nearly destroyed her life.

Once upon a time, she was a victim. Now Salander is fighting back.

~from the jacket

Another that stays, but, I’m labelling this as maybe. If I start to lose interest in the second one then I might just donate these and say I tried!

 

GoodReads:
Complete text of Legacy and Spellbound in a single volume.

Holly Cathers is not the same person she was almost a year and a half ago. After discovering her connection to an ancient legacy of witches, Holly has accepted her destiny as a descendant of the House of Cahors. She is determined to end an intergenerational feud that has plagued her family for centuries.

Holly will have to overcome unworldly obstacles as she battles to protect her loved ones — including Jer, a member of the rival House of Deveraux and her one true love. A war of magical proportions is being waged, and Holly is at the center of it all.

Lives will be lost, and sacrifices will have to be made…

Okay…Another that I already own, already read the first, are you seeing the pattern here? It stays. Man. I suck at this.

 

GoodReads:
WHAT IS LOST…
WILL BE FOUND

In this stunning follow-up to the global phenomenon The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown demonstrates once again why he is the world’s most popular thriller writer. The Lost Symbol is a masterstroke of storytelling – a deadly race through a real-world labyrinth of codes, secrets, and unseen truths…all under the watchful eye of Brown’s most terrifying villain to date. Set within the hidden chambers, tunnels, and temples of Washington, DC., The Lost Symbol accelerates through a startling landscape toward an unthinkable finale.

As the story opens, Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned unexpectedly to deliver an evening lecture in the U.S. Capitol Building. Within minutes of his arrival, however, the night takes a bizarre turn. A disturbing object – artfully encoded with five symbols – is discovered in the Capitol Building. Langdon recognizes the object as an ancient invitation…one meant to usher its recipient into a long-lost world of esoteric wisdom.

When Langdon’s beloved mentor, Peter Solomon – a prominent Mason and philanthropist – is brutally kidnapped, Langdon realizes his only hope of saving Peter is to accept this mystical invitation and follow wherever it leads him. Langdon is instantly into a clandestine world of Masonic secrets, hidden history, and never-before-seen locations – all of which seem to be dragging him toward a single, inconceivable truth.

As the world discovered in The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons, Dan Brown’s novels are brilliant tapestries of veiled histories, arcane symbols, and enigmatic codes. In this new novel, he again challenges readers with an intelligent, lightning-paced story that offers surprises at every turn. The Lost Symbol is exactly what Brown’s fans have been waiting for…his most thrilling novel yet.

So I’ve read the first two but I’m not really in a hurry to read this, for now, I’m going to say it goes, if I get around to reading it, fine, if not, not bothered lol.

 

GoodReads: 
Harvard professor of symbology Robert Langdon awakens in an Italian hospital, disoriented and with no recollection of the past thirty-six hours, including the origin of the macabre object hidden in his belongings. With a relentless female assassin trailing them through Florence, he and his resourceful doctor, Sienna Brooks, are forced to flee. Embarking on a harrowing journey, they must unravel a series of codes, which are the work of a brilliant scientist whose obsession with the end of the world is matched only by his passion for one of the most influential masterpieces ever written, Dante Alighieri’s The Inferno. 

Dan Brown has raised the bar yet again, combining classical Italian art, history, and literature with cutting-edge science in this sumptuously entertaining thriller.

Goes. Same reason as #3 in the Langdon series!

Final Score:

3/6 Stay, 2/6 Go, 1/6 Maybe

At least it was better than my first round lol. Anyone else whittling away their TBR?

The Summer Shift

Hey all!

Yesterday was so exhausting I just couldn’t summon a post, we saw five properties and a vet appointment, juggled the sleepover with it and having not slept great the night before…..it was just a household of grumpiness and naps after we were done running around.

Also

We had to chase my dog down and try and get her pee.

I/We did it.

I’m also down a Tupperware container.

That dog needs to appreciate my love for her.

But that’s not what this post is about, it’s about a shift in my posting frequency with the impending loom of summer over us. I have a friend coming to visit for a couple of weeks in June and I’ll have prewritten posts for book tours, one of the reasons I’m participating in so many over June is because of her coming so this keeps me on track, and you can expect maybe 5 posts a week for June and July and August, but sometimes it may be as low as 3 for a week or two if we are moving house.

I would rather cut down posting amount than to make myself get into a slump because I pushed myself too hard. I’m still just starting out compared to a lot so I’d like to be in this longer than like six months haha I intend to stick around and bother you all for a long while.

Tomorrow I’ll put up my review for The Favorite Daughter which has totally been one of my favorite reads of the year and at least two more reviews this coming week!

But enough about me, how are you all doing? Any summer plans? Are you ready for the heat?

Gotta Get Down on Friday

As always, the infamous Rebecca Black song is stuck in my head so I invite it to be stuck in yours!

Late post today, we were doing adult things like looking at a house viewing and groceries. And the mini me is having a friend stay over [Seriously, I regret it every time I say yes, they stay up way later than this old lady and I can’t just let them go hay crazy so I have to stay up too.]

Oh that’s right, looking at buying our first place.

But as we house hunt we have to keep some important things in mind:

  • Bedroom that isn’t a broom closet for the daughter
  • Areas to walk the dog
  • That it can accommodate the necessary kitchen appliances (I’m not asking for a dishwasher, but I am asking for room for the fridge and freezer.
  • Carpet not from the 60s if it’s already at the top end of our budget
  • double glazing

And most importantly

ROOM FOR BOOKSHELVES

Obviously this last one is a serious issue, we are book hoarders of a sort and even though we regularly go through our books we still have so many that we cling onto.  There may be some un-hauling in our near future lol.

Homeownership has never been big on my priorities but as we get older we don’t really care to keep paying rent that’s higher than a mortgage, and we’ve been able to have enough to have a deposit otherwise we wouldn’t have much choice. This feels like a good step but I am seriously worried about having space for the books AND you know, us too hahaha.

Am I looking forward to moving?

A little.

We have to remember, I lugged those damn novels from Texas to Scotland and though I didn’t have to unload the boxes, I did pack them and move them from upstairs to downstairs in the house in Texas and then carried them about and emptied them here and there were so many.

So many.

And I hate the process of moving

I mean really dislike it with a burning passion. It’s so overwhelming. We have so much crap.

Anyway if we find a place to fit all our books, I’ll let you guys know, in the mean time expect some more non-review content tomorrow!

No More Lies – Blog Tour

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Blurb:

Kent Fisher Mystery #4

Kent Fisher gets more than he bargained for when Detective Inspector Ashley Goodman enlists his help with a ten year old murder. She’s on a mission and needs a big case to put her career back on track.

And they don’t come much bigger than Miles Birchill, Downland’s wealthiest and most divisive resident.
Not for the first time, Kent has doubts about the case, forcing him to make choices. But who do you trust when everyone has something to hide?
Caught in the middle, he has no alternative but to solve the murder, unaware that his every move is being watched.
The Kent Fisher novels offer a fresh and contemporary reworking of the classic whodunit and murder mysteries of authors like Agatha Christie.
Book Info
Pages 252
ASIN (ebook) B07QCPDZ9Y

Where to Buy the Book

Amazon

 

My Review

As you all know by now, I’m a sucker for mystery books! I was happy enough to grab up the opportunity to read this and be part of its blog tour. It’s a fun read, Robert Crouch likes to tease you with the mystery while also integrating Kent’s own whirlwind of a personal life. I hadn’t read the other books in this series and wasn’t really too thrown off by that fact so it can definitely be read as a standalone! I like that Kent Fisher isn’t a private eye but just a man who enjoys unraveling a mystery. Not to mention you have to find some humor in the situations he gets himself into. I would say it was definitely a quick read as well so it’s the perfect book to grab up and read in your spare time. This book is more about Kent himself than the actual mystery but everything does tie in and I like how Crouch wove that all together! [Also I think Ashley was terrifying lol]

Knowing how Crouch’s style is now, I will certainly pick up the others to read, I feel like I’m missing out now.

Not to mention…No spoilers but that ending was such a surprise! I loved it and it definitely hooked me into wanting to read the next book. So when does it come out?

 

About the Author

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Inspired by Miss Marple, Inspector Morse and Columbo, Robert Crouch wanted to write entertaining crime fiction the whole family could enjoy.
At their heart is Kent Fisher, an environmental health officer with more baggage than an airport carousel. Passionate about the environment, justice and fair play, he’s soon embroiled in murder.
Drawing on his experiences as an environmental health officer, Robert has created a new kind of detective who brings a unique and fresh twist to the traditional murder mystery. With complex plots, topical issues and a liberal dash of irreverent humour, the Kent Fisher mysteries offer an alternative to the standard police procedural.
Robert now writes full time and lives on the South Coast of England with his wife and their West Highland White Terrier, Harvey, who appears in the novels as Kent’s sidekick, Columbo.

Website
Twitter
Facebook Author Page
Amazon Author Page
GoodReads Author Page

 

The Rest of the Tour

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