Review: Code Name Verity – Elizabeth Wein

Hi everyone! Today I am very excited to be bringing you a review of Code Name Verity!

It was the last book that I read in 2017 – and if I hadn’t published my Top Ten Tuesday – Books of the Year post so early, this would have made the list for sure!

Code Name Verity
Goodreads – Code Name Verity

Oct. 11th, 1943 – A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. One of the girls has a chance at survival. The other has lost the game before it’s barely begun.

When “Verity” is arrested by the Gestapo, she’s sure she doesn’t stand a chance. As a secret agent captured in enemy territory, she’s living a spy’s worst nightmare. Her Nazi interrogators give her a simple choice: reveal her mission or face a grisly execution.

As she intricately weaves her confession, Verity uncovers her past, how she became friends with the pilot Maddie, and why she left Maddie in the wrecked fuselage of their plane. On each new scrap of paper, Verity battles for her life, confronting her views on courage and failure and her desperate hope to make it home. But will trading her secrets be enough to save her from the enemy?

Harrowing and beautifully written, Elizabeth Wein creates a visceral read of danger, resolve, and survival that shows just how far true friends will go to save each other. Code Name Verity is an outstanding novel that will stick with you long after the last page.

 

Verity is such a captivating character – from the first page, you are sucked into her narrative, intimate in such personal and genuine feeling. As “Verity” writes her confession and surrenders details of about the British, we learn how she became best friends with Maddie and got involved in the war effort. Whilst cooped up in her cell, subjected to watching the torture and execution of other resisting captives, she scrawls her tale on any form of paper available to her – music scores, recipe cards and Jewish prescription sheets to name but some examples. She grieves for her losses and for Maddie, whose plane crash-landed after delivering her safely for her mission.

Code Name Verity stirs a variety of emotions throughout the book – horror at the atrocities experienced at the hands of the Gestapo; fear for our protagonist’s life as she struggles on in her meagre existence; and humour… somehow, a small spark of resistance lies deep in her heart despite all her suffering. And a small spark can ignite a flame… The details of Verity’s mission unfold, and all may not be lost.

It is easy to consider the overall events of the war in hindsight, losing the personal touch – the men, women and children that died as a result of the war were mother’s, fathers, brothers and sisters. They were families. The narrative of Code Name Verity puts that right back into perspective.

Somehow I feel that anything I can say about how brilliant, beautiful and cleverly written the narrative is, I feel my comments can never do the book justice. Instead, let actions speak louder than words: Much as one may do with a classic or beloved favourite, this is a book I am going to pick up and read again. And again. I’ll probably get my hands on a physical copy to adorn my bookshelf too, because it has earned it’s place in my library. I hope it earns a place in yours too!
Rebecca mono

Sunday Summary – 7th January 2018

I hope everyone is having a lovely weekend!
New Year celebrations are officially over and we are back to the daily grind. That isn’t such a bad thing though – at least for me anyway. Getting back into a normal routine is what I like, and I have a review to catch up with on here so I should have time to do it. The thought that the next bank holiday is Easter is somewhat depressing though!!
 

Books Read


This week I made a good, healthy start on some of the requests I received this month. I have read Snobbity Snowman by Maria Bardyukova & Quiet Riley, a children’s winter-themed tale. After that, I picked up The Fall by Steve Campitelli and so far I have read 26% of the book.
The Stand
I’ve also made further progress on Audible with The Stand by Stephen King. Why have I not tried audiobooks before?! They are so handy to listen to when you are busy doing other things and can’t physically pick up a book.
 

Books Discovered


From reviews I have seen, written by fellow bloggers, I have added the above two books to the TBR. If you want to read those review posts, you can find them here and here.
 
A King Ensnared.jpg
I also downloaded another book, as it was recommended to me by email from Bookbub and was free for the day. A King Ensnared is a  historical fiction book based on the trials and turmoil experienced by the James Stewart in 1406, heir to the Scottish throne.
 

Coming Up…

On Wednesday I want to share a review of Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein. It was my last read of 2017 and it was absolutely sensational… I can’t wait to tell you why!
As usual I’ll wrap up the week with a Sunday Summary, and hopefully next week I’ll have some news for you in terms of reviewing some of the requests I have been reading.
Until Wednesday, ciao for now!!
Rebecca mono
 

Reading List: January 2018

Hi everyone! *waves emphatically*
January is here! The blogging/reading records are wiped off the slate and it’s time to start all over again.
I started the blog last year and I have thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it! Having taken a wee step back over Christmas to spend time with family and wind down, I am ready to throw myself back into the deep end and get stuck in!
Not only am I excited because I had a couple of late review requests to squeeze in, I GOT TWO REQUESTS IN ONE DAY!! There’s my first record of the year sorted!
I truly am flattered that people take the time out of their day to ask me to review their books. I know that it benefits you, but out of the many, many… many blogs out there, the fact you have taken the time to look at mine still astonishes me. So thank you – to everyone.
So,  I have a busy month ahead of me…
 

Snobbity Snowman – Maria Bardyukova & Quiet Riley

Snobbity Snowman
Goodreads – Snobbity Snowman
I was approached by the author to review this children’s picture book back in December, and I fell in love with the idea straight away. I enjoyed reviewing another book last year aimed at the younger generation (although not QUITE so young as this one), and I figure, why not take the opportunity to read and review the kinds of books from my childhood that made me the reader I am today?
Given the time of year, (I am listening to storm Eleanor raging outside my window as I type), I think it couldn’t be more appropriate!
 

The Fall – Steve Campitelli

The Fall
Goodreads – The Fall
This is the first of the late submissions to my reading list. I have read books of a similar nature before, such as Bad City by Matt Mayr and I am also listening to The Stand by Stephen King and really enjoying that too! Whilst this has no elements of horror like King’s novel, based on experience, this should be something I really enjoy!
 

A Mentor and Her Muse – Susan Sage

A Mentor and Her Muse
Goodreads – A Mentor and Her Muse
I received this request on the same day as The Fall, on the 1st January and accepted as I was intrigued by the psychology aspect of the characters implied in the blurb. The fact that the main character is also a “frustrated writer” makes me suspect strong development – after all, it takes one to know one… or so they say. I’m still waiting for the digital copy of this book, but with the promise of it being sent through soon, I have added it to this month’s list.
 

Former.ly – Dane Cobain

Former.ly
Goodreads – Former.ly
I managed to make a respectable start on this last month, but Christmas happened and it ended up on the back-burner somewhat. Again for this month, the same thing applies as all my requests get priority. Fingers crossed I’ll get to finish it this month, get my review on Netgalley and get my rating score up a tad. It’s looking very sorry for itself at the moment – which is what happens when you get excitable and take on more than you can manage…
 

ReWired – S R Johannes

ReWired
Goodreads – ReWired
Again, much the same for this one. I downloaded this from Netgalley and I need to get my review (and rating) up. This also follows a technology vibe, which is something I haven’t really read much of since reading Aaru by David Meredith in November.
 

The Miniaturist – Jessie Burton

The Miniaturist
Goodreads – The Miniaturist
This is the only paid book I have on the list for this month, and I have tagged it onto the end for a reason – motivation to get reading! I recorded and watched the BBC’s TV adaptation of this book on New Year’s Eve and fell in love with it straightaway!! This book was quite a bit further down the reading list and wasn’t due to be read for some time yet, but I’ve shamelessly bumped it up the list, because I can.
Divider mono
So there you have it – what books are you starting the year with? Have you set your reading challenges? How many books are you attempting to read this year?
Rebecca mono

Sunday Summary – 31st December 2017

Firstly, I would like to wish everybody reading this a Happy New Year!!
Not only is this the last post of the year from me, it also happens to be my 100th post! I never thought I would stick with blogging this long, but thanks to a great community and support, I am glad I have!
New year is the time for making resolutions: swearing never to bite your nails again or starting new diets and inevitably giving up a week later (or is that just me?) I don’t really make resolutions in the strictest sense anymore because I am doomed to fail them. Do you guys make resolutions? If so, what resolutions are you making this year?
 

Books Read


So, this week I managed to finish Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein and OHMYGOSH, that was fantastic! Not only that, if anyone happens to follow me on Twitter, you might have seen that finishing Code Name Verity means that I have completed my reading challenge for this year!
self celebrate glitter.gif
Having taken a brief interlude to celebrate that little victory (okay, well it’s a pretty big one considering before this year I sucked at reading regularly), I also made a start on one of my Netgalley downloads, as my rating is not all that good at the moment… aha… oops. I downloaded the books a little while ago and I think I’ve left it too long…
The Stand
I’ve also been listing to more of The Stand by Stephen King via Audible. I really think I am going to take to audiobooks.
 

Books Discovered

This is one of those rare weeks in which I have absolutely nothing to report… I haven’t added any books to the list or bought any – which is a rarity!
Between Christmas and New Year really throws me off my beat…
Equally, I’ve been busy trying to set up a bullet journal for this year. That’s my excuse! I’m looking forward to seeing what people are doing with their own this year – as a newbie, any inspiration is welcome! If you have any tips, tricks, or have written any posts on this, could you pretty please pop a link in the comments? I’ll be forever grateful.
 

Coming Up…

I’m thinking of trying out a slightly different schedule; as much as I love posting on the blog, currently managing things the way I have been last year is hard work and time consuming. I am going to be keeping my Sunday Summary post, because I find it really useful, but I’m thinking of reducing my number of posts a week to two on a regular basis with some other ad-hoc posts interspersed periodically. With that in mind, I am thinking of posting on Wednesday and Sunday.
I’m sorry if that disappoints anyone, but I think it is for the best. I would rather take the time to produce two good posts in a week rather than three or more mediocre ones because I’ve rushed them. I hope you understand…
 

Sunday Summary – 24th December 2017

IT’S CHRISTMAS EVE!!!
The end of the year is nearly upon us, and with all the festivities going on, this is going to fly by!
 

Books Read


I’ve not read so much this week, as I have had other things going on including a number of blog posts being written, as well as family coming for Christmas etc. What I did manage to do was finish reading Triple Cross Killer by Rosemarie Aquilina ahead of the review I was writing as part of the book’s Blog Tour. If anyone is interested in checking that post out, you can find it here.
Following on from that, I also managed to make a start on Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein, but don’t get too excited. I’ve only gotten to about 10% so far, but I am determined to finish this book before the end of the month because this is the LAST book of my reading challenge!!
The Stand
I’ve also been trying something a little different this week on the recommendation of a friend – I have started a free trial with Audible and I am giving audiobooks a try! I downloaded The Stand by Stephen King with the credit I got as part of the trial and so far I am really enjoying it. Not only is it good for me to listen to whilst I am getting ready for bed (it’s helping me wind down – music just makes me lively and I struggle to sleep then), but it’s a great way to still experience a book even if you have other things to do. I am scaling back the reading next year to do other things (and getting off my backside a little more is one of them) and I think audiobooks will be a great compromise for this.
 

Books Discovered

I’ve treated myself to a few books this week – two of which I had added to the TBR anyway because they sounded interesting!

 
Memoirs of a Geisha is due to come upon a Down The TBR Hole post soon, so whilst I saw the book was on sale for a reduced price I had a look and decided it was something I wanted to keep on the list and read. You may also remember I looked at The Keeper of Lost Things only recently and decided it was a keeper, so I’m pleased with these two purchases.
The final book I bought is called The Incedium Plot by A D Swanston. This was an impulse buy, but again, at a discounted price. From the blurb, it is a historical fiction book and it’s one of my favourite genres, so I’ll give it a try!
The Incendium Plot
 

Coming Up…

This next week coming up is going to be a quiet one, and I am not going to lie. I fully intend to spend this next week with family, attempting to complete my reading challenge and getting through this busy period we have at work.
I only plan to write one post this week, instead of my usual three, and that will be my summary next Sunday.
Until then, I hope you have a wonderful Christmas!
Rebecca mono

Review: Seeker – David Noe and Laura Loolaid

Hi everyone! I’m back again today to post my second review in a row, which is most unusual for me! Given that we are all going to be slowing down a bit for the festive season, I wanted to publish this and relieve the authors of their long wait.

I was very kindly asked by David and Laura to review Seeker back in October, and I am very grateful for their patience as they have waited over two months for this review. Thank you both for bearing with me on this – turns out when I advertise I am taking requests I practically get my hand chewed off!

Seeker
Goodreads – Seeker

Jewel Harper, a junior specialist in a successful bounty-hunter group, returns from a routine mission only to find a new contract already prepared – a private contract to rescue a brother she didn’t know she had. The mission takes Jewel to a few different homeworlds — and into some trouble. She will learn that pretty much everybody knows more about her family than she does.

This is a stand-alone story set in the ChaosNova universe. Humans have spread to new homeworlds in a “goldilocks cluster” somewhere in the Galaxy, where the many homeworlds harbour several dominant civilizations as well as various local cultures, ancient and new. This story-verse, borne of forum-based roleplay and collaboration between several authors, holds many more characters and adventures, with varying degrees of connection to the central arc. Some of those stories are being written now, many are yet to be told.

 

My Thoughts…

The first thing I immediately fell in love with when I was approached with the book was that it was written via collaboration, and it’s beginnings are unique. Having been a part of science-fiction-themed forums previously, David decided to create his own forum to write in. As more people joined, including Laura, some of these stories began to take shape.

If you are interested in learning more about the way in which the Universe was created, I will be sharing a video with you tomorrow in which both Laura and David discuss this, among other things.

In the meantime, I want to share with you my thoughts about the book! (That is what I am here for, after all)…
Seeker is based in an entirely fictional universe we discoever through the eyes of Jewel, aka Seeker Valkyrie. Jewel puts me in mind of that person at work that is always there when you arrive, and you can guarantee that they will be the last to leave the office at the end of the day. You know the one – EVERY office has one. Who knows, they may even have a sleeping bag…

All joking aside, Jewel is a workaholic, taking on and completing missions one after the other and barely pausing for breath. Her shuttle is basic and utilitarian – not a place of comfort, but that suits her needs just fine. Her usual routine changes when she is approached with a private contract: to rescue a brother she didn’t even know she had!

Private contracts are always trouble, or so Overseer Raptor warns her. Ignoring his advice, she sets out in search of her brother across the Universe – but she isn’t the only one seeking him out. Wraith – her competitor, is trying to get him first… but for whom is he working? Jewel ends up negotiating herself out of some sticky situations. Having grown up sheltered from her family’s past, she slowly uncovers more information and pieces together the truth. Just what kind of trouble did her brother get into to be imprisoned?

Well, I’m not spoiling it for you here – so you’ll have to go and find out for yourself! Aha!!

I enjoy reading science-fiction, and whilst it is one of the genres I make an effort to dip into, it is one I read less of. That being the case, I am far less clued up on terminology than the authors, for example. Despite my lesser experience, for want of a phrase, I wasn’t at all intimidated by the language employed to describe the advanced technology used. Whilst it is specific in describing what is happening, I didn’t find the language too technical. It avoids alienating the reader and therefore striking up an effective balance to communicate the story.

When dabbling in genres like fantasy and science-fiction, there is far more flexibility with the rules that govern what is happening within the created dimensions. This can be liberating as it allows for greater flexibility as the imagination can run wild, however, it could also become problematic. Even though you have the ability to bend the rules, the plot line concerned still needs to be credible for the reader. There have to be valid reasons for the rules to be bent. For example, extensive space travel is a large part of Jewel’s quest in finding her brother – so far, in fact, it would take millions of years to travel there. As we all know the average span of a human life, one question that could then be raised is how Jewel could survive such a trip? For that, we have the solution of the stasis pods she has in her shuttle. I don’t think too much detail is required (actually – you could get bogged down if there is too much), but the explanation is there as to how she makes it to the other side and more importantly, it’s believable. It’s also a convenient way of glossing over what would end up being a long and rather dull trip in a computerised tin can.

I found Jewel really easy to get along with as a character. Who doesn’t love a bit of sassy, kick-ass action? It also helps that Jewel knows as little about her past as we do. Discovering what happened to her family during her childhood is a journey we take with her, and there is definitely scope for the story to progress further should the authors decide to. Not only that, the flexibity in creating a Universe is that other, separate stories can be written with similar themes to other books. That way, new characters and story arcs can be introduced. I am a huge fan of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series, and I think there is plenty of opportunity for the ChaosNova universe to adopt a similar model for their stories, should they wish to try that.

I hope to see further books in the future, because I think this has a lot of potential for success. I thoroughly enjoyed the book, and I hope other readers love it as much as I do. Once again, thank you to Laura and David for hanging in there and also for the extra material they have produced.

I will post a link to this tomorrow, so stay tuned!
Rebecca mono

Blog Tour: Triple Cross Killer – Rosemarie Aquilina

Today I am excited to be taking part in a Blog Tour for Triple Cross Killer, by Rosemarie Aquilina, organised by Fiery Seas Publishing.
This is the first time I have written a review as a part of a tour, and I am looking forward to sharing my thoughts with you all!
Triple Cross Killer
 
Triple Cross Killer
By Rosemarie Aquilina
Fiery Seas Publishing
December 5, 2017   
Thriller
Buy Links: Amazon  Barnes & Noble  Kobo  iTunes
Book Trailer: here
 
 

Have you ever wondered what really happens to Santa Claus letters?  In Detroit and Sarasota some children’s letters are diverted and reviewed by Nick Archer, a religiously obsessed, narcissist. Nick responds, leaving a trail of devastation in the two cities.
In Detroit, co-ed partners and wise-cracking lovers, detectives Jaq McSween and David Maxwell, team up with Sarasota detectives Abel Mendoza and his partner, Rabbit, to find this daunting killer.
When Jaq’s friend, the lovely nurse, Rita Rose, takes a chance on love again, she gets caught in Nick’s web. Working with the ME, she joins in, adding her perspective when events take a sinister turn.
Can this diverse team of characters pool their insights, barbs, and taste for bad food to save Rita when she discovers the final clues or will she become the next victim?

Christmas is a time when children get to ask the man in the big red suit for their greatest desires… a new bike, toys and such. Some children end up getting a whole lot more than they bargained for…
When murder victims start turning up in two cities, it is a race against time to catch the killer before he escalates any further. Leaving distinctive marks on his victim, though no other trace as to his identity, will Jaq and David, with the help of Abel and Rabbit catch the killer before Christmas?
I love how we know the killer’s identity from the start; it makes a refreshing change from a typical “who dunnit” crime/thriller story. I would argue that this is more difficult to achieve, yet is executed flawlessly here. Rosemarie’s background is obviously a huge contributor to developing each and every character and exposure to such personalities is what makes both the plot and the characters feel so genuine.
God bless Rita – I feel so sorry that she ends up being involved with Nick. After her first marriage deteriorated she avoided the complications of another relationship for so long… and then when she finally does take the plunge, she ends up with this narcissist. Could she be this unlucky twice in a row by chance? Perhaps not…
Nick experienced a rough childhood. Being brought up in a family with an abusive father left it’s scars. As an adult, Nick adopts his extreme religious views and strives to protect children and their innocence from similar domestic issues. If I had to describe Nick to you three words, I wouldsay he is cold, calculated and clinical. No detail is missed. His planning is meticulous.
I think the book was also well paced – information is fed to you at the right points to keep intrigue peaked but not to give the whole game away. Naturally as the puzzle pieces fit together the full picture is unraveled, but there are a few surprises along the way! Just when you think you have everything sussed out there is a plot twist to pull the carpet out from underneath your feet!
Rita is a fantastic character. Maybe I relate to her more as she is a compassionate woman, who has unfortuntely been trodden into the dirt by so many people that she doesn’t know who to trust anymore. Whilst there are times I really wanted to shake her and make her see past Nick’s charm and understand what a controlling man he really is, I can see why she acted the way she did. Wanting someone to love and to be loved is not a crime, and when she decides to take a chance on Nick, she falls for him hard. Love is blind, so they say. There are a number of small sections in which I was praying nobody was looking over my shoulder at work (thankfully nobody did), but I do think they were essential to the story in conveying the control Nick has over Rita – physically and emotionally.
Personally, I am very picky about books around the crime or thriller genre. They have to be written very well and have developed plots in order to compete within a large market. I can proudly say I loved Triple Cross Killer, and I have no doubt that it will hold its own. I wish Rosemarie every success with the book, because I think all the praise is deserved.
Congratulations on the book release, and thank you for the opprtunity to read and review Triple Cross Killer!
Divider mono
 
Rosemarie Aquilina

About the Author:

Rosemarie Aquilina is the mother of five children. Elected as a 30th Circuit Court Judge serving in the General Trial Division, after having served as a 55th District Court Judge in Mason, Michigan, she takes pride in public serve.
In 1986, Judge Aquilina became the first female JAG Officer in the history of the Michigan Army National Guard, she retired in 2006 with twenty years Honorable Service.  She is an adjunct law professor at both Western Michigan University—Thomas M. Cooley Law School and Michigan State University College of Law and has earned teaching awards at both institutions. Judge Aquilina is the former owner of Aquilina Law Firm, PLC, and former host of a syndicated radio talk show called Ask the Family Lawyer.

Top Ten Tuesday – Books of the Year

Hi everyone!!
So I figured it was about time I shared my top reads of the year with you, as we are fast approaching the end of the year (and those all-important reading challenge deadlines!) I’m pleased to say I am so close to mine, being on the LAST BOOK of my challenge, Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein.
I’m keeping matters brief here, but if you want to read more of my thoughts about any of these book, I have linked my reviews to each title for you.
So, without any further preamble (to which I am apt), here are my Top Ten Reads of the Year:-

10 River God – Wilbur Smith

River God
River God was recommended to me by a work colleague and I am glad I have started the series. The writing style is wonderful, and I am also blessed to know that a dear family member of mine used to love the works of Wilbur Smith. Knowing that gives me another little thing to remember them by. I can’t say I love all the characters all the time, but I can’t wait to see where the rest of the series takes us.
 

Lord of the Rings: Return of the King – J. R. R. Tolkien

LOTR Return cover
I am both sad and gladdened to have finished this series this year. That probably sounds odd to some, but there is nothing quite the same about reading a book again for the second time. That won’t stop me, but it doesn’t have that magic spark you get when you don’t know what is going to happen and the suspense is killing you. Admittedly, you probably pick up on more subtle hints when you read again… I’ll have to find out when I revisit.
 

The Last Kingdom – Bernard Cornwell

The Last Kingdom
Here is another series started on the basis of both watching the TV series and on a recommendation. Cornwell’s writing is also fantastic and he succeeds in writing Uhtred’s character in such a way that he is loveably arrogant – and that is hard to do. I also love the historical fiction element, and with the filming of the next series starting next year, I’ll have to get reading!!
 

Witches Abroad – Terry Pratchett

Witches Abroad.jpg
This is, so far, my favourite book by Terry Pratchett. I love the fairytale theme and the messages he so often likes to portray. Greed and vanity can be your downfall if you let it rule you. I also love to see the development of Gytha Ogg’s character. In the prior Witches books, she takes more of a backseat and that doesn’t suit her. I love the bawdy jokes, her huge personality and “don’t give a monkeys” attitude. Witches Abroad is satire at its best.
 

Making History – Stephen Fry

Making History
I didn’t expect to love this book as much as I did. Again taking a leaf out of History’s book, it considers what might have happened had Adolf Hitler not been born and the impact on the rest of the world. It is an entertaining, fictional read, with our main character progressing from bumbling through life to changing the course of History rapidly, and each of the characters are very relatable.
 

To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee

To Kill A Mockingbird.jpg
I’m glad I tackled this classic this year. It is a book that was available to study through school, though it wasn’t one I was ever fortunate enough to read there. I’m glad I took the plunge though, as it makes for provocative reading in terms of educating ourselves on the injustice of the system in place not all that long ago. Makes you think, huh.
 

The Green Mile – Stephen King

Green Mile
I have lost count of the number of excited rants I have had about this book, and I am not going to go into another one because we could be here all day! Again, as in with To Kill a Mockingbird, The Green Mile is a real eye-opener as to how segregated society was (and arguably, still is). I won’t get into it though. If you want to read more, check out my full review by clicking on the title.
 

IT – Stephen King

IT
This is the longest book I have read all year. Not only that, it captures your attention and stirs your imagination, wondering what could be so terrible as to haunt the town of Derry so brutally. The fact that a book can be so long and both 1) popular and 2) keep your attention throughout, says a lot about Stephen King’s writing. What a legend this man is.
 

2     The Way of Kings – Brandon Sanderson

The Way of Kings 2
If I have one regret about this book, it is that I haven’t picked it up sooner. I literally only started reading this in October and I can testify it promises to be a fantastic series! Book 3 0f 10, Oathbringer, has only just been released, so I am going to have to pace myself I think.
Who am I kidding, I am not going to pace myself at all…
 

1     Thank you for review requests!


Lastly, I want to say a HUGE thank you to all you independent authors that approached me with review requests this year. I am very humbled that each of you took the time to read my blog and chose to approach me for a review. I couldn’t possibly pick any one of these over the others as a favourite, as I have read such wonderful and diverse books, so I wanted to take the time to celebrate them all.
 
I truly have been able to read some fantastic books this year and I hope to have as much success next year. What have you been reading and absolutely loved? If you have any recommendations for next year I would love to hear them!!
Rebecca mono

Sunday Summary – 17th December 2017

Hi everyone!!
December just seems to be flying by!! Is anybody else finding that time runs away from them lately? Between working, blogging and trying to get ready for Christmas (I am comparatively unorganised this year bearing in mind my usual standard), the weeks just seem to be merging in with one another.
I’m normally one of those people who is ready for Christmas by November. Yep, I am one of those. I hate the last minute panic, and yet this year I am doing just that. I have had problems getting presents when I finally do find something suitable and it’s all one giant mess. I held off buying presents early as I went to some Christmas markets at the end of last month but came back more empty-handed than I expected. If I do that again next year, I think I’ll leave the stocking-filler presents for the markets. Is it acceptable to start Christmas shopping in January?! Aha…
 

Books Read

Triple Cross Killer
This week I’ve been reading Triple Cross Killer by Rosemarie Aquilina. You’ll remember last Sunday that I had literally just started the book. I had hoped to have this read by now, but with department lunches with work and then the Black Eye Friday Christmas party… I had less free time than usual and it didn’t pan out as I’d hoped. I am about 65% of the way through, so I’ll have to pull my finger out and get this read as my review is due on Thursday.
 

Books Discovered


I decided to treat myself to a couple of books since my last update. Well, it is the season of giving after all, and if I can’t give myself a little gift then who can I… right?!
After my last Sunday Summary, I discovered Merchants of Virtue by Paul Monk. It is a true story of religious persecution experienced by the French under the rule of Louis XIV, aka Louis the Great.
I also discovered The Saint’s Rise by Michael John Grist. His bio quotes that he is an author of “dark and weird science fiction and fantasy books“. The Saint’s Rise involves plague and prophecy, so I was curious. This is also a very new release – it was published on 13th December!
 


 
Following my “Down the TBR Hole post, I’ve also added the books I opted to keep to the reading list from my Goodreads “pile”.
 

Coming Up…

Next week is going to be a busy one in terms of the blog!
On Tuesday you can expect a Top Ten blog post, in which I will be picking my favourite books of the year. This was something I was debating about posting last week, and although I technically haven’t finished the year yet, I think we are close enough!
As I mentioned above, I am reviewing Triple Cross Killer on Thursday as part of a Blog Tour arranged with Fiery Seas Publishing… so I really need to go and finish that book!
I’ll also be posting another review on Friday for Seeker by David Noe and Laura Loolaid. This is the second review request I took on this month and I’m glad they approached me with a copy of the book. It was refreshing to read some pure science-fiction for a change! So, watch this space for Friday.
Setting a provisional date for Saturday, David and Laura have agreed to do some extra material with me about the book. They usually work collaboratively and the recordings of such are posted on their YouTube Channel (I strongly recommend you check it out – I loved their outtakes video particularly). Once the video has been uploaded, I’ll be posting a link and for anyone not able to watch, I’ll be working on transcribing it for you too!
AND THEN after we’ve squeezed in all this madness, it will be Sunday, aka Christmas Eve I’ll be doing a wrap up as usual before taking a very short break for the festive season.
Are you ready for it?
Rebecca mono