Monday, 31 January 2022

The Helsingør Sewing Club by Ella Gyland


The Helsingør Sewing Club by Ella Gyland

Published in the UK by One More Chapter today, the 31st January 2022.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Inspired by the incredible true story of how the people of Denmark saved their Jewish neighbours during WW2

Helsingør, Denmark, 1943
In the midst of the German occupation during World War Two, Inger Bredhal joins the underground resistance and risks her life to save members of Denmark’s Jewish community and help them escape to Sweden.

Copenhagen, 2018
Inger’s granddaughter, Cecilie Lund, is mourning her death when a mysterious discovery while cleaning out Inger’s flat leads past and present to intersect. As long-held secrets finally see the light of day, Cecilie learns the story of her grandmother’s courage and bravery, and of the power of friendship, love, and standing for what’s right…even when you have everything to lose.

An inspiring tale of the resilience of the human spirit and the power of community.


The Helsingør Sewing Club is an emotional dual-timeline novel which focuses on a less well-known aspect of the Second World War - less well-known to me as an English reader at least - which was the way in which the majority of the Danish population rallied round to help and protect Danish Jews when they received news that the occupying German forces planned a resettlement programme similar to that already inflicted on Jews elsewhere. Ella Gyland takes readers into the midst of one small, provincial community as its individual members wrestle with fear and their consciences as each strives to do the right thing under such difficult circumstances.

I was moved by the 1940s storylines and, actually, would have been happy had The Helsingør Sewing Club solely consisted of this historical narrative. Switching between that and the present day - where Cecilie is struggling in the aftermath of a hurtful divorce - was distracting, although I can understand why Gyland might have wanted to illustrate the stark contrasts between the two time periods. I particularly appreciated seeing how each character determined where their lines would be drawn when faced with life-threatening choices. I felt the predicaments were sensitively portrayed with no one being wholly good or bad, and each of the main characters being fully realised. I'm glad to have had this opportunity to read The Helsingør Sewing Club and, based on the strength of this novel, will look out for more of Ella Gyland's work in the future.


About the Author
Originally from Denmark, I have lived in London for many years, surrounded by my family, cats, books d the Scandinavian hygge I try to create everywhere I go. As a linguist I love playing with words and language, and I am addicted to story-telling. I also believe strongly in social responsibility and sustainable living.

Twitter ~ Website



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by St Petersburg Gallery

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Books by Ella Gyland / Historical fiction / Books from Denmark

Sunday, 30 January 2022

French Rhapsody by Antoine Laurain


French Rhapsody by Antoine Laurain
First published in French as Rhapsodie française by Editions Flammarion in France in 2016. English language translation by Jane Aitken and Emily Boyce published by Gallic Books in October 2016.

How I got this book: Swapped for at a campsite book exchange

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


The arrival of a letter delayed by 33 years sparks off a quest that leads both on a nostalgic journey back to the 1980s and right to the heart of France today. 
Middle-aged doctor Alain Massoulier has received a life-changing letter – thirty-three years too late. Lost in the Paris postal system for decades, the letter from Polydor, dated 1983, offers a recording contract to The Holograms, in which Alain played lead guitar.

Overcome by nostalgia, Alain is tempted to track down the members of the group. But in a world where everything and everyone has changed...where could his quest possibly take him?

On spotting French Rhapsody at a campsite book exchange I remembered how much I had enjoyed reading Antoine Laurain's previous novel, The Red Notebook, so eagerly picked it out. Unfortunately French Rhapsody didn't appeal to me anywhere near as much, actually leaving me more feeling like I did after reading A Long Blue Monday by Erhard von Buren. There are similarities to The Red Notebook in that Laurain explores ideas of what might have been and the narrative is again driven by a lost object, but Laurain didn't seem to employ the same light whimsy touch that I previously appreciated. There are humorous moments, but also a lot of slow scenes where aging men bemoan how the success they achieved isn't the success they wanted. I could have done without several pages of a far right extremist's speech as well. Initially Laurain seems to ridicule this character's bigotry, but by the end of the novel I had a suspicion that we readers might actually be being asked to sympathise with it.

Etsy Find!
by The Blank Record Store

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Books by Antoine Laurain / Contemporary fiction / Books from France

Saturday, 29 January 2022

The Fall Of Troy by Peter Ackroyd


The Fall Of Troy by Peter Ackroyd
Published by Chatto And Windus in September 2006.
I registered my copy of this book at BookCrossing

How I got this book: Swapped for at a campsite book exchange

My rating: 2 of 5 stars


In The Fall of Troy, acclaimed novelist and historian Peter Ackroyd creates a fascinating narrative that follows an archaeologist's obsession with finding the ruins of Troy, depicting the blurred line between truth and deception.Obermann, an acclaimed German scholar, fervently believes that his discovery of the ancient ruins of Troy will prove that the heroes of the Iliad, a work he has cherished all his life, actually existed. But Sophia, Obermann's young Greek wife, has her suspicions about his motivations — suspicions that only increase when she finds a cache of artifacts that her husband has hidden, and when a more skeptical archaeologist dies from a mysterious fever. With exquisite detail, Ackroyd again demonstrates his ability to evoke time and place, creating a brilliantly told story of heroes and scoundrels, human aspirations and follies, and the temptation to shape the truth to fit a passionately held belief.

I was not very impressed by The Fall Of Troy. The central character of Heinrich Obermann is the only one who is fleshed out and he is a very unlikeable selfish fantasist, bent on completely destroying a valuable archaeological site in his desperation to make the site fit the demands of his imagination. All the supporting characters are two-dimensional and poorly created so it is difficult to understand their actions and why they behave as they do. I think that a good knowledge of ancient Greek myths and the work of Homer might add to the appeal of Ackroyd's novel because his characters at times appear to be recreating the legends, but unfortunately the synopsis doesn't state that this expertise is essential to the reader's understanding and my bare bones remembrances weren't up to the task. Fortunately this is only a short book so not too much reading time wasted!

Etsy Find!
by Ink and Artefacts

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Books by Peter Ackroyd / Contemporary fiction / Books from England

Friday, 28 January 2022

Dead Cereus by Kira Kinani Seamon + Giveaway


Join Us for This Tour: January 24 to February 18, 2022
 
Book Details:

Book Title: Dead Cereus by Kira Kanani Seamon ​
Category:  Adult Fiction (18+), 276 pages
Genre:  New Adult Cozy Mystery 
Publisher:  Kira Kanani Seamon
Release date:   January 2021
Content Rating:  PG-13: mature subject matter.
 

Here is what The Prairies Book Review had to say about Dead Cereus:

Seamon is a master at creating atmospheric settings, and cozy mystery lovers will find it easy to fall under her spell. An appealing, witty heroine, a gem of a leading man, and well-constructed setting and plot make this one a must-read for both mystery lovers and fans of chick-lit literature. Readers will look forward to more of Holly and William’s adventures.

Book Description:

Holy holly berries! "Hurricane Holly" creates shenanigans on the Olympic level. This mischievous charmer has found herself in many strange messes, but this one takes the carrot cake!

With her college scholarship already on frost alert, when Holly accidentally douses the college's most distinguished donors, she sees her degree and her relationship with the hot Master Gardener quickly wilting.

Her only chance of remaining in Shellesby is to win a vaunted internship with a famous chocolatier. The only problem? The other candidate is Holly’s biggest rival, a stuck-up queen bee-and she just might have her sights set on Holly’s swoon-worthy boyfriend as well!

With a a chance to win over the prestigious chocolatier when the rare night-blooming cereus plant is scheduled to open its petals at the Night Lights Gala, Holly is there-and so is a killer. Events unfold that not only place her scholarship on the line, but also her life…and that of her rival.

Holly finds herself racing the clock to save her arch nemesis, secure her scholarship, and catch a murderer, if she can!

Enjoy this lighthearted romp with its plethora of plants and wonderful characters by picking up a copy of Dead Cereus today! Can Holly stand the heat in the hothouse or is she headed for a spectacular meltdown?

This is an epic romance and a fantastic, unique mystery rolled into one hilarious story. With all the feels, this novel can’t help but implant itself in your heart and grow into one of your favorite reads. Put your petal to the metal and see what all the buzz is about. Dead Cereus is to die for!

Come for the mystery, stay for the food. Chocolate plays a big role in this book; you will ‘chocolate’ as you've never ‘chocolated’ before! Hot new debut author Kira Seamon makes botany cool again, one plant at a time.

Buy the Book:

add to goodreads


Dead Cereus is a fast paced cosy mystery with the wonderfully unusual concept of an exclusive university's horticultural greenhouses as its main locations. I loved this idea, particularly the evocative detail that Kira Kinani Seamon imparts in her descriptions of each plant and their environments. Some of these plants even have pivotal roles in the mystery! As someone who loathes gardening herself, but loves to tour other people's beautiful gardens, I was captivated by this setting. Unfortunately I was less enamoured by Holly herself as she is unbelievably impetuous and immature to the extent that I found her quite annoying a lot of the time.

I was surprised that the murder storyline, which I had expected to be the book's central narrative, is actually secondary to Holly's struggle to remain at the university. There's an interesting dynamic between her and the director's daughter, Ivy, which results in several entertaining spats. Their rivalry and Holly's chip on her shoulder about Ivy's privilege seems to be one of the main reasons for Holly's job insecurity and I felt that fully exploring and fleshing out the pair's relationship could easily have been a novel in itself. 

Overall I enjoyed reading Dead Cereus. It is a more action-packed novel than my more usual character-driven reads so that made a change for me and I did like the book's light humour. I'm not sure I've ever seen quite so many botanically themed expletives anywhere before and now I am so keen to witness a night blooming cereus flower for myself.


Meet the Author:
Kira Kanani Seamon was born and raised in Hawaii. She attended the prestigious Punahou School as an award-winning honor student.

A polymath, Kira is a gold medal/state winner in piano performance and a national and two-time regional dance champion. In ten years of competing in dance competitions, she won 18 awards, including special awards from the judges and platinum awards. Additionally, she’s an award-winning photographer and has had her art accepted and sold in national and regional juried shows. She’s had over fifty newspaper cover stories about her art and is a fourteen-time grant recipient from cultural councils. She celebrated her first solo museum exhibit of her work in 2020.

Now living in Massachusetts, she was recently the inaugural artist-in-residence in Natick, Massachusetts. She received a personal letter from the Massachusetts Senate President and a Certificate of Recognition from the Massachusetts State Legislation in recognition of her grant from Framingham, Massachusetts. All of this culminated in her receiving the prestigious Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award, for which she appeared in the Wall Street Journal in 2020.

She took a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Machu Picchu, Peru with the Punahou Alumni Association and her travel tale about that expedition is published in the 2021 September/October edition of the Writers and Readers Magazine. Additionally, her Peru photography is the editorial feature in the 2021 fall edition of DRIFT Travel magazine.

DRIFT Travel is an upscale travel and lifestyle magazine with each issue being emailed to 4+ million digital magazine readers worldwide. Additionally, DRIFT is also part of the PressReader magazine/newspaper digital platform that puts DRIFT in thousands of hotels, cruise ships, resorts and airlines around the world, opening the door to an additional 300 million users annually.

Kira has never met a story from Greek mythology that she didn’t love and has kept a daily journal since her teens. Dead Cereus is her first novel.

connect with the author: website ~ photographyfacebook ~ instagram - goodreads
 
Tour Schedule:

Jan 24 – Character Madness and Musing – book spotlight / giveaway
Jan 24 - Cover Lover Book Review – book spotlight / giveaway
Jan 24 - Rockin' Book Reviews – book review / guest post / giveaway
Jan 25 – From the TBR Pile – book review / giveaway
Jan 26 - Kam's Place – book review
Jan 26 – Jazzy Book Reviews – book review / giveaway
Jan 27 – FUONLYKNEW – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Jan 28 – Literary Flits – book review / giveaway
Jan 31 – Gina Rae Mitchell – book review / giveaway
Feb 1 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book review / giveaway
Feb 2 – She Just Loves Books – book review / giveaway
Feb 3 – Book Corner News and Reviews – book review /giveaway
Feb 4 – @twilight_reader – book review
Feb 4 - Sefina Hawke's Books – book spotlight
Feb 7 – StoreyBook Reviews – book review / giveaway
Feb 7 - Books for Books – book spotlight
Feb 8 – Cheryl's Book Nook – book review / giveaway
Feb 9 – PuzzlePaws Blog – book review / giveaway
Feb 10 – Olio by Marilyn – book spotlight / author interview
Feb 10 - Olio by Marilyn – book review / giveaway
Feb 11 – Pause for Tales – book review / giveaway
Feb 11 - Reading is My Passion – book spotlight / giveaway
Feb 11 - Books are a Blessing – book review / giveaway
Feb 14 – Westveil Publishing – book review / guest post / giveaway
Feb 15 – Pick a Good Book – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Feb 16 – The Momma Spot – book review / giveaway
Feb 17 – Splashes of Joy – book review / author interview / giveaway
Feb 18 – Stephanie Jane – book review / giveaway
 

Enter the Giveaway:

Win a signed copy of Dead Cereus. Open to the USA only until the 24th February.

DEAD CEREUS Book Tour Giveaway

 


 

Etsy Find!
by leslieallyn

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Books by Kira Kinani Seamon / Mystery fiction / Books from America

Thursday, 27 January 2022

Shoot Like A Girl by Kari Bovee + Giveaway



 Join us for this tour from Jan 10 to Feb 4, 2022!

Book Details:
Book Title: Shoot Like a Girl (A PreQuel Novella to Girl With A Gun) by Kari Bovee
Category:  Adult Fiction (18 + yrs), 84 pages
Length: 2 hrs, 14 minutes
Genre:  Historical Fiction, Cozy Mystery
Publisher:  Bosque Publishing
Release date:   November 2019
Formats available for review: audiobook (audible download), MOBI (for kindle), EPUB, PDF)
Tour dates: Jan 10 to Feb 4, 2022
Content Rating:  PG + M for mature themes and some swearing (damn, bitch)

Book Description:

She would do anything for her loved ones, even if it meant she’d be lost to them forever.

Young Annie Oakley never expected to be saddled with responsibility so soon. Following her father's sudden death, the spirited girl finds herself shipped to a nearby county working for a couple promising a good wage. But when she discovers they are not what they seem, Annie suddenly fears her life may be in peril.

Determined to help her mother and siblings, she endures the hardships and mistreatment from the couple. But when that cruelty is targeted at the beautiful Buckskin horse who is her only friend, Annie decides to take matters into her own hands.

Will the spunky teen return to her loved ones, or will her decision land her in jail?

Shoot like a Girl is the prequel novella to the Annie Oakley mystery series. If you like a fiercely loyal heroine who won’t be anyone’s victim, then you’ll love Kari Bovée’s thrilling story of America’s best-loved sharpshooting sensation.
 

Shoot Like A Girl is a novella length prequel to Kari Bovee's first Annie Oakley series novel, Girl With A Gun. Through witnessing Annie's difficult life after her father's untimely death, readers can see some of what drove Annie to become such a fiercely independent adult woman.

Despite its brevity, I found Shoot Like A Girl to be quite the heartbreaking read. Annie's mother sends her daughter away at such a young age, for the best of reasons as the family is desperately poverty-stricken, but the harsh life Annie is hired out to is even worse. All credit to Bovee for managing to keep a light touch to this tale despite the grinding drudgery and mistreatment that Annie endures. I was encouraged to root for her throughout and appreciated how Annie's ebullient character keeps her going, never abandoning her dreams.

While I think there was certainly enough still-untold story in this novella to have fleshed it out into a longer and deeper novel, I understand that this wasn't really the book's purpose. Instead, as it is the first of the series I've read, it has encouraged me to spend more time with Annie Oakley so I am delighted to know I already have the next installment, the first of the Annie Oakley mystery series, ready to be opened.


Meet the Author:

 

When she’s not on a horse, or walking along the beautiful cottonwood-laden acequias of Corrales, New Mexico; or basking on white sand beaches under the Big Island Hawaiian sun, Kari Bovee is escaping into the past—scheming murder and mayhem for her characters both real and imagined, and helping them to find order in the chaos of her action-packed novels. Bovee writes the award-winning Annie Oakley Mystery Series and the Grace Michelle Mystery Series, and has more ideas than time for many, many more.

Connect with the author:  Website ~ Goodreads ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Instagram
~ Pinterest

Tour Schedule:

Jan 10 - Mystery Review Crew - books spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Jan 10 - Rockin' Book Reviews – audiobook review of GIRL WITH A GUN / giveaway
Jan 10 - StoreyBook Reviews – book review of GIRL WITH A GUN / giveaway
Jan 11 – Cover Lover Book Review – audiobook review of GIRL WITH A GUN / giveaway
Jan 11 - I'm All About Books – book series tour / giveaway
Jan 11 - Splashes of Joy – audiobook review of GIRL WITH A GUN / author interview / giveaway
Jan 11 - Lamon Reviews – book review of GIRL WITH A GUN / author interview / giveaway
Jan 12 – Kam's Place – book series spotlight
Jan 12 – Celticlady's Reviews – book series spotlight / giveaway
Jan 12 - History from a Woman’s Perspective – audiobook review of GIRL WITH A GUN
Jan 12 - 411 ON BOOKS, AUTHORS, AND PUBLISHING NEWS - book series spotlight / giveaway
Jan 13 – My Bookish Bliss – audiobook review of GIRL WITH A GUN / giveaway
Jan 13 - Rockin' Book Reviews – audiobook review of SHOOT LIKE A GIRL / giveaway
Jan 13 - History from a Woman’s Perspective – audiobook review of SHOOT LIKE A GIRL
Jan 14 - Sefina Hawke's Books – audiobook review of GIRL WITH A GUN
Jan 18 - Splashes of Joy – audiobook review of SHOOT LIKE A GIRL / giveaway
Jan 18 – She Just Loves Books – audiobook review of GIRL WITH A GUN
Jan 18 - History from a Woman’s Perspective – audiobook review of PECCADILLO AT THE PALACE
Jan 18 - Sefina Hawke's Books – audiobook review of SHOOT LIKE A GIRL
Jan 18 – Literary Flits – book review of GIRL WITH A GUN / giveaway
Jan 18 - 
PuzzlePaws Blog - audiobook review of GIRL WITH A GUN / giveaway
Jan 19 - Rockin' Book Reviews – audiobook review of PECCADILLO AT THE PALACE / giveaway
Jan 19 - Locks, Hooks and Books – book review of GIRL WITH A GUN / giveaway
Jan 19 - History from a Woman’s Perspective – audiobook review of FOLLY AT THE FAIR
Jan 20 – My Bookish Bliss – audiobook review of FOLLY AT THE FAIR / giveaway
Jan 20 - Locks, Hooks and Books – book review of SHOOT LIKE A GIRL / giveaway
Jan 21 - StoreyBook Reviews – book review of SHOOT LIKE A GIRL / giveaway
Jan 21 - Rockin' Book Reviews – audiobook review of FOLLY AT THE FAIR / giveaway
Jan 21 - Faith And Books – audiobook review of GIRL WITH A GUN / giveaway
Jan 21 - Sefina Hawke's Books – audiobook review of PECCADILLO AT THE PALACE
Jan 24 – Book Corner News and Reviews – book review of GIRL WITH A GUN / giveaway
Jan 24 - Sefina Hawke's Books – audiobook review of FOLLY AT THE FAIR
Jan 25 – Book Corner News and Reviews – book review of SHOOT LIKE A GIRL / giveaway
Jan 25 - Splashes of Joy – audiobook review of PECCADILLO AT THE PALACE / giveaway
Jan 25 - Locks, Hooks and Books – book review of PECCADILLOW AT THE PALACE / giveaway
Jan 26 - Dab of Darkness Audiobook Reviews – audiobook review of GIRL WITH A GUN / author interview / giveaway
Jan 26 - Locks, Hooks and Books – book review of FOLLY AT THE FAIR / giveaway
Jan 26 – Chit Chat with Charity – audiobook review of GIRL WITH A GUN / author interview / giveaway
Jan 26 - Gina Rae Mitchell - book series spotlight / giveaway
Jan 27 – Deborah-Zenha Adams – book series spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Jan 27 - Dab of Darkness Audiobook Reviews – audiobook review of SHOOT LIKE A GIRL /  giveaway
Jan 27 – Literary Flits – book review of SHOOT LIKE A GIRL / giveaway
Jan 28 - Faith And Books – audiobook review of SHOOT LIKE A GIRL / giveaway
Jan 28 - Dab of Darkness Audiobook Reviews – audiobook review of PECCADILLO AT THE PALACE /  giveaway
Jan 28 - Books for Books – audiobook review of GIRL WITH A GUN
Jan 31 - Dab of Darkness Audiobook Reviews – audiobook review of FOLLY AT THE FAIR /  giveaway
Jan 31 - Books for Books – audiobook review of SHOOT LIKE A GIRL
Feb 1 – Buried Under Books – audiobook review of GIRL WITH A GUN / giveaway
Feb 1 - @twilight_reader – audiobook review of GIRL WITH A GUN
Feb 1 - Books for Books – audiobook review of PECCADILLO AT THE PALACE
Feb 2 – Chit Chat with Charity – audiobook review of SHOOT LIKE A GIRL / giveaway
Feb 2 - Adventurous Jessy -book review of GIRL WITH A GUN / giveaway
Feb 2 - @twilight_reader – audiobook review of SHOOT LIKE A GIRL
Feb 2 - Books for Books – audiobook review of FOLLY AT THE FAIR
Feb 2 - PuzzlePaws Blog - audiobook review of PECCADILLO AT THE PALACE / giveaway
Feb 3 – Westveil Publishing – audiobook review of GIRL WITH A GUN / giveaway
Feb 3 - Adventurous Jessy -book review of SHOOT LIKE A GIRL / giveaway
Feb 3 - @twilight_reader – audiobook review of PECCADILLO AT THE PALACE
Feb 4 - Splashes of Joy – audiobook review of FOLLY AT THE FAIR / giveaway
Feb 4 - Adventurous Jessy -book review of PECCADILLO AT THE PALACE / giveaway
Feb 4 - @twilight_reader – audiobook review of FOLLY AT THE FAIR

Enter the Giveaway: 

Win a $25 Amazon.com gift card. Open internationally from the 27th January to the 11th February.

 GIRL WITH A GUN (Annie Oakley Mystery) Audiobook Tour Giveaway


 
 

Etsy Find!
by Grassi Design

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Books by Kari Bovee / Western fiction / Books from America

Wednesday, 26 January 2022

Happenstance Farms: A New Home by S. McMichael + Giveaway


Join Us for This Tour:  January 11 to January 31, 2022
Book Details:

Book Title: Happenstance Farms: A New Home by S. McMichael
Category:  Children's Fictions (ages 3-7), 32 pages
Genre:  Children's Picture Book
Publisher:  Ek-9 Solutions & Services, LLC
Release date:   January 2022
Content Rating:  G -Suitable for everyone.
 

Book Description:

​Change can be difficult, especially for Savanna. When she gets a new trainer at a new barn, she can't help thinking about how much she'll miss Colts & Company. More than that...she's a little scared. What will happen when Savanna swallows her fear and takes a chance on Happenstance Farms?

A fun, relatable story about a girl and her pony, your child will love keeping up with the adventures at Happenstance Farms. With charming characters, lots of laughs, and social-emotional learning, this book is the perfect addition to any home or classroom library.

Buy the Book:
Amazon.com ~ Amazon UK
Barnes & Noble ~ The Book Depository

 

Meet the Author:

McMichael serves as the Senior Manager and Information Technology Business Partner for Training Solutions and Global Training Systems & Services in Boeing Global Services. She is a disabled veteran with more than 16 years of domestic and international experience in air traffic management and operations.  

McMichael holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, a master’s certificate in project management, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Southern Illinois University.  She is a recipient of The
Boeing Company CTO Technical Excellence Award, Women of Color in Technology
“Rising Star” award, U.S. Air Force Air Traffic Training Achievement Award, and the International William A. Parenteau Memorial Award from the Air Traffic Control Association.  McMichael serves on the Advisory Board of SSM St. Charles Health Center, and the Missouri Hunter Jumper Organization board.
 
 
Tour Schedule:

Jan 11 – Cover Lover Book Review – book review / author interview / giveaway
Jan 11 - Character Madness and Musing – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Jan 11 - Rockin' Book Reviews – book review / guest post / giveaway
Jan 12 – Bound 4 Escape – book review / giveaway
Jan 12 - Splashes of Joy – book review / giveaway
Jan 13 - @bujos_n_books – book review
Jan 13 - A Mama's Corner of the World – book review / giveaway
Jan 14 – @jayme_reads – book review
Jan 18 – Sandra's Book Club – book review / giveaway
Jan 19 – Pause for Tales – book review / giveaway
Jan 19 - @twilight_reader – book review
Jan 20 – Older & Smarter? – book review / guest post / giveaway
Jan 20 - The Phantom Paragrapher – book review / giveaway
Jan 21 – Reading is My Passion – book review / giveaway
Jan 21 - Sefina Hawke's Books – book spotlight
Jan 24 – Gina Rae Mitchell – book review / author interview / giveaway
Jan 24 - Books for Books - book review
Jan 25 – Kam's Place – book review
​Jan 25 – icefairy's Treasure Chest – book review / giveaway
Jan 26 – Jazzy Book Reviews – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Jan 26 - Literary Flits – book spotlight / giveaway
Jan 27 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book review / giveaway
Jan 27 - The Adventures of a Travelers Wife – book review / guest post / giveaway
Jan 28 – Lisa's Reading – book review / giveaway
Jan 31 – Westveil Publishing – book review / guest post / giveaway

Enter the Giveaway:

Win a $25 PayPal.com gift card and a signed copy of Happenstance Farm: A New Home. Open to the USA only until the 7th February.   

HAPPENSTANCE FARMS: A NEW HOME Book Tour Giveaway


 

 

Etsy Find!
by Reclaimed In Wood

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Books by S McMichael / Children's books / Books from America

Tuesday, 25 January 2022

Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi


Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi

First published in Italian as La storia di un burattino in Giornale per i bambini in Italy in 1881.
One of my WorldReads from Italy.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


The old wood-carver Geppetto decides to make a wonderful puppet which can dance and turn somersaults, but by chance he chooses an unusual piece of wood - and the finished puppet can talk and misbehave like the liveliest child. But Pinocchio is brave and inquisitive as well as naughty, and after some hair-raising adventures, he earns his heart's desire.

Reading around after finishing Pinocchio, I have learned that its author, Carlo Collodi, didn't actually like children very much and this fairytale was his attempt to scare them into behaving properly. Given the horrors that befall the poor puppet, I can quite believe it! The original Pinocchio is one dark story and I'm not even sure children should be allowed to read it.

I was surprised that I enjoyed reading Pinocchio so much because, in true fairytale style, there is little in the way of proper description or realism in the characters. Everyone is pretty two-dimensional and scenes pass swiftly with the emphasis on action rather than scene-setting. (It is strange how this works in a fairytale, yet is one of my main criticisms of both the other novels in this post. For them, the lack works against the novel.) However, what makes the writing wonderful and gripping is Collodi's fantastic imagination. Having not read this for decades, I could not remember what happens next and there is no way I could have guessed! Even tiny cameo roles like the Snail are fun. I could have done with less of the repetitive moralising, but otherwise Pinocchio is a great read.


Etsy Find!
by Brown And Ginger UK

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Books by Carlo Collodi / Fairytales / Books from Italy

Monday, 24 January 2022

James Dreadful and the Tomb of Forgotten Secrets by Alan Creed + Giveaway


Join us for this tour from Jan 10 to Jan 28, 2022!

Book Details:
Book Title:  James Dreadful and the Tomb of Forgotten Secrets (The Dreadful Series Book 2) by Alan Creed
Category:  YA Fiction (Ages 13-17),  332 pages
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher:  Creed Publishing
Release date:  October 19, 2021
Content Rating:  PG-13. Uses of the word "sh*t" occasionally, "pr*ck," "*sshole". Also some references to drinking.
 

Book Description:

James Dreadful’s Epic Adventure Continues in Book Two of the Dreadful Series

After narrowly escaping a contract with his father’s evil servant Rekenhowler, James reluctantly decides to return home to the Cades Isles to live out the rest of his youth training to become a sorcerer. The only problem: James and his companions are adrift on the boat Persephone in the Realm of Shadows without a crew.

When a stowaway aboard Persephone informs James that his father—the Dark Lord—might have been mind-slaved by the mysterious, evil Cowl, James is shocked. The only proof that he will accept is the soul of his father, which he learns is lodged deep in the Tomb of Forgotten Secrets. In confronting his father’s soul, James can learn the truth about the Dark Lord—and if he is destined to become one himself.

​But before he can reach the Tomb, James must travel to Sarvelok, an island protected by raiders, to retrieve the key his uncle Oskar stole from him. Attacking the island would be suicide—but possible with the help of Rekenhowler. The price James will have to pay, however, is too high, but without it, will he ever learn the truth of his father—and his own fate? 

Buy the Book:
Amazon.com ~ Amazon UK


Meet the Author:

Alan Creed fell in love with storytelling after seeing Star Wars for the first time as a child. When he was ten years old, his tutor asked him to write sentences containing three words: Ocean, Desert and Jungle. Instead of sentences, Alan wrote a 103-page story entitled Journey through the Desert. That's when he knew he wanted to be a writer. His 103-page story served as the source material for the Dreadful Series. Alan is currently working on the next installment in the James Dreadful series.

connect with the author: website ~ goodreads
 
Tour Schedule:

Jan 10 – Working Mommy Journal – book spotlight / giveaway
Jan 10 - Gina Rae Mitchell – book spotlight / giveaway
Jan 11 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – book spotlight / giveaway
Jan 12 – Celticlady's Reviews – book spotlight / giveaway
Jan 12 – redpillows – book spotlight
​Jan 13 -
 Rockin' Book Reviews – book spotlight / giveaway
Jan 13 – Lamon Reviews – book spotlight / giveaway
Jan 14 – Lynchburg Reads – book spotlight / giveaway
Jan 17 – Jazzy Book Reviews – book spotlight / giveaway
Jan 17 - Gold Dust Editing & Book Reviews – book spotlight / giveaway
Jan 18 – Hall Ways Blog – book spotlight / giveaway
Jan 19 – GivernyReads – book spotlight / giveaway
Jan 20 – Books, Tea, Healthy Me – book spotlight / giveaway
Jan 20 - StoreyBook Reviews – book spotlight / giveaway
Jan 21 – Pick a Good Book – book spotlight / giveaway
Jan 21 - Book Corner News and Reviews - book spotlight / giveaway
Jan 24 – Literary Flits – book spotlight / giveaway
Jan 25 – Westveil Publishing – book spotlight / giveaway
Jan 25 - Sefina Hawke's Books – book spotlight
Jan 26 – Sadie's Spotlight – book spotlight
Jan 26 - Books for Books – book spotlight
Jan 27 – Kam's Place – book spotlight
Jan 28 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book spotlight / giveaway
 

Enter the Giveaway:

Win 1 of 3 ebook copies of James Dreadful and the Tomb of Forgotten Secrets. Open internationally until the 4th February.

 JAMES DREADFUL AND THE TOMB OF FORGOTTEN SECRETS Book Tour Giveaway

 


 

 

Etsy Find!
by Literary Lodge

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Books by Alan Creed / Young adult fiction / Books from America

Sunday, 23 January 2022

Chasing Ghosts by Dean Cole


Chasing Ghosts by Dean Cole
Self published in June 2020.

A Book with a Vegetarian Character and featured on my vegan blog, HirlGrend.

How I got this book:
Bought the ebook from Amazon

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Haunted pasts. Terrifying apparitions. Dark secrets.Quentin Strange is … well, strange. But it isn’t just his anachronistic sayings and dress sense, the fact that he’s a socially awkward, book-loving loner who’s possibly still a virgin at nearly thirty. He’s seeing and hearing things. Odd things. Ghostly things.

Getting the gig as photographer for the Cricklewood Gazette, he travels with his new partner, journalist Katrina (make sure you call her Kat) Brannigan, to Hilderley Manor, an enormous manor house nestled in the remote countryside of Northern England that is believed to be one of Britain’s most haunted buildings. The pair join a ghost hunting team and a group of fellow guests for a long weekend of ghostly activities.

But something dark haunts the draughty corridors of the house. And it links to a decades-old mystery that is about to be uncovered.

A mystery like no other. A story of the supernatural. Of death, and what it does to the living. The first book in a series, Chasing Ghosts is a quirky British haunted house mystery exploring the paranormal elements of our world with touches of LGBT romance, humour and horror.

Chasing Ghosts is the first novel in Dean Cole's Quentin Strange Mysteries series, a not-too-horrific horror story with an intense gothic vibe throughout. The story begins as guests arrive for a ghost hunting weekend at an allegedly haunted English country house. Among them are Quentin Strange and his new boss, Kat Brannigan, there to investigate the veracity of the house's ghostly credentials.

I loved Quentin pretty much straight away. He is older than his naivete would suggest and hopelessly out of his depth within his own life. I could identify with his bookish escapism as I also frequently avoid people by hiding in fictional worlds too. His complexities gave this character an authentic depth which convincingly rooted the story, allowing the fantastic and otherworldly events which soon surrounded him to also feel completely plausible. Quentin's central role is complemented by a fun supporting cast ranging from from the fabulous Esther to the adorable Cottontail. Kat's abrasiveness did rile me initially, but my fears that she would become too irritating were unfounded as it was interesting to watch both characters, Kat and Quentin, grow emotionally as their story progressed. 

I was impressed with how successfully Dean Cole managed the pace and atmosphere of Chasing Ghosts. Traditional ghost story elements such as the appearance of crows and timely lightning flashes are mixed up with inspired original ideas (that I won't describe so as not to 'spoiler' them), all of which combines with a well-plotted mystery to make for a satisfying read. I think this novel would appeal just as strongly to mystery fans as ghost story readers. There are breathtakingly tense scenes, but also breaks for humour and even an endearing spot of romance so, all in all, Chasing Ghosts is quite the rollercoaster of a read. I'm actually now annoyed with myself for having kept this novel on my ereader for just over a year between buying it and reading it. I believe its sequel is due out imminently and I certainly won't be letting that one languish unread for so long!


Etsy Find!
by Looming Mad Crafts

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Books by Dean Cole / Horror fiction / Books from England