Tag: Fiction

First Lines Friday – 09/07/2021

Hi guys and welcome to today’s First Lines Friday post!

Today’s featured book is another book on my TBR. Before I started drafting today’s post, I had absolutely no idea which book I was going to feature. I’ll admit that today’s selection was a random scroll and finger-point on my TBR list; I think I landed on a good one too! I really like the sound of the opening lines below as an introduction to the novel.

Do you recognise this opening at all?

 

I squint at him. The Sun is in my eyes and he looks like a shadow monster.

‘I can’t’, I tell him. ‘I’ve got to get home. I’m only meant to be getting sweets from the paper shop, then straight back.’

He crouches in front of me. He is wearing a woolly hat, which is funny as it’s really warm today.

‘But your mum asked me to fetch you.’ His eyes crinkle at the corners as he smiles.

I fold my arms. When I told my head, his face blocks out the Sun.

‘You might be lying,’ I say. ‘Mummy warned me about men with sweets and puppies.’

The man laughs like Gramps does when he’s Father Christmas.

‘I know’, he says. ‘What’s she like? She is such a worrywart.’

He’s right: she is. I drop my arms to my sides.

 

 

99 Red Balloons – Elisabeth Carpenter

99 Red Balloons  – Goodreads

Two girls go missing, decades apart. What would you do if one was your daughter?

When eight-year-old Grace goes missing from a sweetshop on the way home from school, her mother Emma is plunged into a nightmare. Her family rallies around, but as the police hunt begins, cracks begin to emerge.

What are the secret emails sent between Emma’s husband and her sister? Why does her mother take so long to join the search? And is Emma really as innocent as she seems?

Meanwhile, ageing widow Maggie Taylor sees Grace’s picture in the newspaper. It’s a photograph that jolts her from the pain of her existence into a spiralling obsession with another girl – the first girl who disappeared…

 

My Thoughts…

I love the sound of this book! I enjoy a good mystery and what makes it all more harrowing is that it involves children. For some that might not be an easy subject to read, however it doesn’t bother me at all. From the synopsis, there seems to be a lot to this story to sink my teeth into. I like these types of books because you’re forever guessing and second-guessing everyone’s actions and motives. It’s the kind of story that keeps your brain going long after you close the cover.

I haven’t read a book like this for quite some time, so I’m definitely looking forward to it! The last type of story I read like this was a complete hit with me and made it to my Top Reads of 2020 list. I really hope 99 Red Balloons lives up to the same expectations!

As always, I hope you have enjoyed today’s First Lines Friday post! Have you read the book, or is it on your TBR? Let me know in the comments!

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Shelf Control #32 – 02/07/2021

Hi everyone and welcome to today’s Shelf Control post! Shelf Control is a regular feature here on Reviewsfeed and is a meme run by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies. It’s a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up!

For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out Lisa’s introductory post.

I like to take this opportunity to have a look at the books on my TBR, in order, to share with you why I’m interested in them. It’s also to filter out any I no longer want to read too. A lot of the older books on my list were added a good number of years ago, so I have filtered a few out since starting the series.

This week‘s featured book has been on my TBR since July 2017 and having read the synopsis again, I really can’t wait to see if I love this book as much as I think I’m going to. It has a really unique premise and it’s unlike anything I have seen before.

Read on to find out about the book!


Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children – Ransom Riggs

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
Goodreads – Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of very curious photographs. It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow-impossible though it seems-they may still be alive. A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.


My Thoughts….

I really like the concept of this story. It’s unusual and unique and I’m hoping I really get on with a slightly different style of narrative. Having read some reviews, this seems to be a love it or hate it book. I for one am optimistic that I will enjoy this one and I hope to be picking it up before too long.

From the synopsis and the reviews, I’m not really sure what kind of genre this fits into. It doesn’t seem to fit too well into horror, despite what the synopsis makes you believe. But I don’t know where else it would sit. I suppose in a way that can be seen as a good thing. It’s a way of diversifying and reading something new – which I’m always keen to do.

Have you read Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children? What did you make of it if so?

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First Lines Friday – 04/06/2021

Hi guys and welcome to today’s First Lines Friday post!

Today’s featured book is on my TBR and honestly, I cannot wait to pick it up! I’ve been holding off picking this up for various reasons explained below. But I don’t want to bore you with the preamble – shall we get into today’s featured book?

Can you guess what it is from the first lines below?

Jasnah Kholin pretended to enjoy the party, giving no indication that she intended to have one of the guests killed.

She wandered through the crowd feast hall, listening as wine greased tongues and dimmed minds. Her uncle Dalinar was in the full swing of it, rising from the high table to shout for the Parshendi to bring out their drummers. Jasnah’s brother, Elhokar, hurried to shush their Uncle – though the Alethi politely ignored Dalinar’s outburst. All save Elhokar’s wife, Aesudan, who snickered primly behind a handkerchief.

Jasnah turned away from the high table and continued through the room. She had an appointment with an assassin, and she was all too glad to be leaving the stuffy room, which stank of too many perfumes mingling. A quartet of women played the flute on a raised platform across from the lively hearth, but the music had long since grown tedious.

 

Words of Radiance – Brandon Sanderson

Words of Radiance  – Goodreads

Words of Radiance, Book Two of the Stormlight Archive, continues the immersive fantasy epic that The Way of Kings began.

Expected by his enemies to die the miserable death of a military slave, Kaladin survived to be given command of the royal bodyguards, a controversial first for a low-status “darkeyes.” Now he must protect the king and Dalinar from every common peril as well as the distinctly uncommon threat of the Assassin, all while secretly struggling to master remarkable new powers that are somehow linked to his honorspren, Syl.

The Assassin, Szeth, is active again, murdering rulers all over the world of Roshar, using his baffling powers to thwart every bodyguard and elude all pursuers. Among his prime targets is Highprince Dalinar, widely considered the power behind the Alethi throne. His leading role in the war would seem reason enough, but the Assassin’s master has much deeper motives.

Brilliant but troubled Shallan strives along a parallel path. Despite being broken in ways she refuses to acknowledge, she bears a terrible burden: to somehow prevent the return of the legendary Voidbringers and the civilization-ending Desolation that will follow. The secrets she needs can be found at the Shattered Plains, but just arriving there proves more difficult than she could have imagined.

Meanwhile, at the heart of the Shattered Plains, the Parshendi are making an epochal decision. Hard pressed by years of Alethi attacks, their numbers ever shrinking, they are convinced by their war leader, Eshonai, to risk everything on a desperate gamble with the very supernatural forces they once fled. The possible consequences for Parshendi and humans alike, indeed, for Roshar itself, are as dangerous as they are incalculable.

 

My Thoughts…

If you are a regular reader of my blog you will know that Brandon Sanderson is one of my most read authors to date. Having said that, I’ve been deliberately trying not to touch this series too quickly because he still has a lot of it to write!

I read The Way of Kings a couple of years ago now, I think, and I’m itching to get back into it. So far I think he has written 4 out of 10 books in this series, so I think I can indulge in number two soon. I really love how he creates elaborate magic systems and full plotlines without confusing us as readers. For me, these books take all the boxes and reading today’s extract in preparation of this post has reminded me of that all the more!

Brandon Sanderson has a way of drawing you in, which you may have gathered from the opening line of Words of Radiance above. I didn’t really need convincing to pick this up, but for anyone who hasn’t experienced his writing before, I hope it does. He is honestly one of the best fantasy writers out there in my opinion and I hope you can give him a chance!

Have you read any books by Brandon Sanderson? Have you started the Stormlight Archives series? Let me know in the comments!

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Shelf Control #31 – 28/05/2021

Hello everyone and welcome to today’s Shelf Control post! Shelf Control is a regular feature here on Reviewsfeed; it’s a meme run by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies. It’s a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up!

For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out Lisa’s introductory post.

I like to take this opportunity to have a look at the books on my TBR, in order, to share why I’m interested in them, but also to filter out any I no longer want to read. A lot of the older books on my list were added a good number of years ago, so I have filtered a few out since starting the series.

This week‘s featured book is a little bit different from the usual books on my TBR. It’s a contemporary and a classic with elements of crime and mystery. There is plenty there to draw me in even though it’s not typical book I would read. However, I do really like the sound of the synopsis… and this book comes recommended too.

Read on to find out about the book!

 

The Secret History – Donna Tartt

The Secret History

Goodreads – The Secret History

Under the influence of their charismatic classics professor, a group of clever, eccentric misfits at an elite New England college discover a way of thinking and living that is a world away from the humdrum existence of their contemporaries. But when they go beyond the boundaries of normal morality they slip gradually from obsession to corruption and betrayal, and at last – inexorably – into evil.

 

My Thoughts….

It isn’t often I reach for a contemporary, however I really like the sound of this. It’s also a bit of a classic and that’s another reason I want to give this a try! It is a little bit different from my typical reading choice and I hope picking it up pays off.

I did actually have a chat about this book with my boss a little while ago. We quite often have little ‘what are you reading’ chats, as he is a reader himself. It just so happens that he has picked this up himself and as he was telling me about it, I recognised it. Knowing that this book comes with his recommendation makes stepping out of my comfort zone easier. It’s a chunky size book so it’s going to be a solid read, but I can’t wait to give it a try.

 

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First Lines Friday – 14/05/2021

Hi guys and welcome to today’s first First Lines Friday post!

Today’s featured book is a non-fiction memoir, quite unlike most of the books on my TBR at present. That said, I’m looking forward to trying something new and I think there is a lot I can take away from this particular book.

Can you guess what it is from the excerpt below? Here is today’s First Lines Friday feature: –

Having been born a freeman, and for more than 30 years enjoyed the blessings of liberty in a free state-and having at the end of that time been kidnapped and sold into slavery, where I remained, until happily rescued in the month of January, 1853, after a bondage of 12 years – it has been suggested that an account of my life and fortunes would not be uninteresting to the public.

Since my return to liberty, I have not failed to perceive the increasing interest throughout the northern states, in regards to the subject of slavery. Works of fiction, professing to portray its features in their more pleasing as well as more repugnant aspects, have been circulated to an extent unprecedented, and, as I understand, have created a fruitful topic of comment and discussion.

I can speak of Slavery only so far as it came under my own observation-only so far as I have known and experienced it in my own person. My object is, to give a candid and truthful statement of facts: to repeat the story of my life, without exaggeration, leaving it for others to determine, whether even the pages of fiction present a picture of more cruel wrong or a severer bondage.

 

 

Twelve Years a Slave – Solomon Northup

Twelve Years a Slave – Goodreads

Twelve Years a Slave, sub-title: Narrative of Solomon Northup, citizen of New-York, kidnapped in Washington city in 1841, and rescued in 1853, from a cotton plantation near the Red River in Louisiana, is a memoir by Solomon Northup as told to and edited by David Wilson. It is a slave narrative of a black man who was born free in New York state but kidnapped in Washington, D.C., sold into slavery, and kept in bondage for 12 years in Louisiana. He provided details of slave markets in Washington, D.C. and New Orleans, as well as describing at length cotton and sugar cultivation on major plantations in Louisiana.

 

My Thoughts…

Slavery is seen as an old practice. Barbaric, cruel and utterly unspeakable and yet to say that slavery does not exist today would be false. Whilst I would like to think that stories such as Solomon Northup‘s do not happen today, I’m not very optimistic. It is only by educating ourselves that we can prevent history repeating itself.

Twelve Years a Slave is a classic, non-fiction memoir – a combination I don’t read very often. However, it is for that reason that I am excited to pick up this book! Will it be an easy read? Doubtful. But still, I don’t intend to shy away from it either. I read for fun and I can read to be challenged and I think there is a lot I can learn about the truth of slavery and racism from this book.

Have you read Twleve Years a Slave? Did you enjoy it, and did you learn from it? I’d love to hear your thoughts and experience of the book so please let me know in the comments!

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Shelf Control #30 – 30/04/2021

Hello everyone and welcome to today’s Shelf Control post! I’m sorry if this post is a little brief, but I’ve spent the day at work, then done my weekly shop and come home to cut my grass before some bad weather comes in over the weekend. I first sat down at 9 o’clock this evening!

Shelf Control is a regular feature I started last year and I have got back into sharing these posts regularly again. It’s a meme run by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies. It’s a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up!

For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out Lisa’s introductory post linked above.

Read on to find out about today’s featured mystery novel!

 

If We Were Villains – M. L. Rio

Goodreads – If We Were Villains

Oliver Marks has just served ten years in jail – for a murder he may or may not have committed. On the day he’s released, he’s greeted by the man who put him in prison. Detective Colborne is retiring, but before he does, he wants to know what really happened a decade ago.

As one of seven young actors studying Shakespeare at an elite arts college, Oliver and his friends play the same roles onstage and off: hero, villain, tyrant, temptress, ingenue, extra. But when the casting changes, and the secondary characters usurp the stars, the plays spill dangerously over into life, and one of them is found dead. The rest face their greatest acting challenge yet: convincing the police, and themselves, that they are blameless.

 

My Thoughts….

I am a huge fan of theatre; something you have probably picked up from my blog before. If not then I’ll say it again now. As a former performing arts student (among other subjects as part of my A-levels) I have an appreciation for the art and I used to really enjoyed myself! I haven’t done it so much since I left school but I do like to go and watch. Having a book based around a set of performers is something that’s right up my street!

The one aspect that probably isn’t quite so ‘me’ is that the actors are studying Shakespeare. I really don’t get on with Shakespeare; it’s gobbledygook to me! Seriously though, does it make sense to anyone? I don’t think it will impact my enjoyment of the book though. It is obviously going to have some bearing on the narrative but I’m hopeful that this will be for the most part, minimal, and that you don’t have to understand too much about Shakespeare and his plays itself to know what’s going on! The premise of the book sounds really interesting and I can imagine the character relationships getting quite complex. We’ll have to see, but I can’t wait to pick up and find out.

I’ve almost picked this book up a couple of times, but experimentally only to see whether I’m going to get on with it or not. From what I read I’m hopeful! Have you read If We Were Villains? If so, what are your thoughts? As always, I would love to hear from you!

 

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First Lines Friday – 23/04/2021

Hi guys and welcome to today’s first First Lines Friday post!

I’m back to posting my First Lines Friday feature on a regular basis and I am thrilled to be sharing today’s featured book with you. Today’s feature was actually inspired by the conversation I had at work today. We have just come out of lockdown this week and I’ve enjoyed being back in the office and able to have a chat with my colleagues. I quite often end up having bookish chats with my boss. It’s quite a small company and we all know each other really well. He knows about my blog and how much I read and we often talk about our current reads or compare notes on books we have both read.

Today we ended up talking about a book series we are both part way through. It’s written by a very well-known author. The conversation reminded me of how much I am enjoying the particular miniseries of which today’s featured book is a part of. We both enjoy the series as a whole for it’s lightheartedness and satirical nature. I love the silliness and laugh out loud humour, particularly from the characters introduced in the below quote.

Here is today’s First Lines Friday feature: –

 

The wind howled. Lightning stabbed at the Earth erratically, like an inefficient assassin. Thunder rolled back and forth across the dark, rain-lashed hills.

The night was as black as the inside of a cat. It was the kind of night, you could believe, on which gods move men as though they were pawns on the chessboard of fate. In the middle of this elemental storm a fire gleamed among the dripping furze bushes like the madness in a weasel’s eye. It illuminated three hunched figures. As the cauldron bubbled an eldritch voice shrieked: “When shall we three meet again?”

There was a pause.

Finally another voice said, in far more ordinary tones: “Well, I can do next Tuesday.”

Through the fathomless deeps of space swims the star turtle Great A’Tuin, bearing on its back the four giant elephants who carry on their shoulders the mass of the Discworld. A tiny sun and moon spin around them, on a complicated orbit to induce seasons, so probably nowhere else in the multiverse is it sometimes necessary for an elephant to cock a leg and allow the sun to go past.

Exactly why this should be may never be known. Possibly the Creator of the universe got bored with all the usual business of axial inclination, albedos and rotational velocities, and decided to have a bit of fun for once.

Wyrd Sisters – Terry Pratchett

Wyrd Sisters – Goodreads

Kingdoms wobble, crowns topple and knives flash on the magical Discworld as the statutory three witches meddle in royal politics. The wyrd sisters battle against frightful odds to put the rightful king on the throne. At least, that’s what they think…

 

My Thoughts…

I love Terry Pratchett. And it was actually his Discworld novels that got me into reading regularly and ultimately into blogging as well. His satirical writing style was something that I came to depend on at that time.

The witches series is my favourite, with the death series not far behind. Truth be told, there aren’t many that I haven’t enjoyed. They all have their good elements, although some shine brighter than others and this can definitely be said of the witches series in my opinion.

The antics they get up to are hilarious, but probably the thing that draws me to the stories the most is Granny Weatherwax herself. I absolutely love her character! She is hilarious, sarcastic and truth be told a bit of a bossy boots, but she is a real driving force to be reckoned with. I wouldn’t like to cross her, put it that way!

I hope you enjoyed today’s First Lines Friday feature! Have you read Wyrd Sisters, or any of the other Discworld novels? If not, does this intro entice you to give it a go? Let me know in the comments!

 

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First Lines Friday – 02/04/2021

Hi guys and welcome to today’s first First Lines Friday post!

I’m back to posting my First Lines Friday feature on a regular basis and I am thrilled to be sharing today’s featured book with you. It will probably surprise you that this is something I have read and enjoyed previously, as it doesn’t fall into my typical genre choice. I’m not a big reader of chick-lit, however this book is absolutely hilarious and I loved it! I first picked this up as a young teenager from my school library. Although I didn’t finish it all before I handed it back, it stuck with me enough to make me get myself a copy and read it again later. I hope you enjoy today’s opening lines as much as I did!

Do you recognise this introduction, or more likely, can you relate to it?

 

1:37 am: How did I get here? Can someone please tell me that? Not in this kitchen, I mean in this life. It is the morning of the school carol concert and I am hitting mince pies. No, let us be quite clear about this, I am distressing mince pies, an altogether more demanding and subtle process.

Discarding the Sainsbury luxury packaging, I winkle the pies out of their foil cups, place them on a chopping board and bring down a rolling pin on their blameless, floury faces. This is not as easy as it sounds, believe me. Hit the pies too hard and they drop a kind of fat-lady curtsy, skirts of pastry bulging out at the sides and the fruit starts to ooze. But with a firm, downward motion – imagine enough pressure to crush a small beetle – you can start a crumbly little landslide, giving the pastry pleasing home-made appearance. And home-made is what I’m after here. Home is where the heart is. Home is where the good mother is, baking for her children.

I Don’t Know How She Does It – Allison Pearson 

I Don’t Know How She Does It – Goodreads

Delightfully smart and heartbreakingly poignant, Allison Pearson’s smash debut novel has exploded onto bestseller lists as “The national anthem for working mothers.” Hedge-fund manager, wife, and mother of two, Kate Reddy manages to juggle nine currencies in five time zones and keep in step with the Teletubbies. But when she finds herself awake at 1:37 a.m. in a panic over the need to produce a homemade pie for her daughter’s school, she has to admit her life has become unrecognizable. With panache, wisdom, and uproarious wit, I Don’t Know How She Does It brilliantly dramatizes the dilemma of every working mom.

 

My Thoughts…

Having read I Don’t Know How She Does It, I can only look to role models like my mum and marvel at how they managed so well. Now that I’m a twenty-something-year-old woman I would like to say that I’m a bit less of a burden on my parents… Although perhaps not. I’m not going to ask! The prospect of having to spend so much time and energy keeping my head above water as a working mum is daunting. However, it is something I would like to do one day if I can. I think children are a reward in themselves – even if they can be trying at times (sorry mum)!

I don’t think I could not go to work, at least not for any length of time. But still, it’s a lot to manage and if anyone ever needs convincing of that I honestly stress you need to pick up this book. Kate Reddy deals with all these trials and tribulations on a daily basis. Her sense of humour is absolutely fantastic and it is because of the humour that I love this book! As I said, chick-lit isn’t normally something I would pick up and read. However, I’m glad that I made the exception for this one!

I hope you enjoyed today’s First Lines Friday feature! Have you read I Don’t Know How She Does It? If not, does this intro entice you to give it a go? Let me know in the comments!

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Blog Tour: Old Cases, New Colours – Madalyn Morgan

Hi guys and welcome to today’s blog tour post for Old Cases, New Colours by Madalyn Morgan.

I’m really excited to be taking part in today’s blog tour. It’s been a few months since my last one and I always like to feature new books and authors. As always, a huge thank you to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for organising the tour and giving me a spot in order to share today’s extract with you and to the author, Madalyn Morgan!

Before we jump into the extract of Old Cases, New Colours, here is a brief note on the events of the book: –

Intro: Paintings are being stolen and replaced by forgeries. When a Hogarthpainting goes missing en route from the Savoy Hotel to the art gallery and later turns up at Bow Street police station, Inspector Powell who Ena has known for many years asks if she and Henry would attend a pre-auction night at an art gallery owned by Giselle Aubrey, the goddaughter of a friend of his. While Henry, who was an artist before the war, authenticates the Hogarth Ena mingles.

Extract

Casting her gaze around the room, Ena noticed a middle-aged woman lift the glass lid of a display cabinet and take out a brooch. She then looked around and, unaware that Ena was watching her, unclipped the fastener on her evening bag and dropped the brooch in. Ena couldn’t believe anyone would be so brazen as to steal a valuable piece of jewellery in front of dozens of people. She stood open-mouthed looking at the woman when she realised she herself was being watched by an elderly man with silver hair. He smiled at her, creating soft creases at the corners of startling blue eyes.
The man’s smile made Ena feel awkward. She felt as if she had witnessed something very private – had been a fly on the wall of someone’s bedroom – instead of the theft of an item of jewellery. She turned away from the man’s gaze and, feigning interest in the paintings on the wall nearest to her, made her way across the room to Giselle.
As she approached the gallery owner, she heard Henry assuring her that the painting taken to Bow Street Police Station, was a genuine Hogarth.
Giselle threw her arms around Henry’s neck. ‘So, can I display it?’ Henry nodded. ‘Thank you,’ she gushed.
The Hogarth being genuine didn’t make sense to Ena. Had whoever stole the painting got cold feet and purposely left it at the back of The Savoy, hoping it would be found? Was it a bungled theft, or a genuine oversight? She didn’t believe for a second that the men transporting the painting from The Savoy to the gallery had left it behind by mistake. What then?
‘Ena?’ Giselle gave her a broad smile. ‘Did you want me or your wonderful husband?’
‘Well done, wonderful husband,’ Ena said with a twinkle in her eye. Henry lifted his glass to her. ‘It was you who I wanted to speak to.’ Ena wished she’d been able to tell Henry what she’d seen before speaking to Giselle. It was too late now; both her husband and the gallery owner were looking at her expectantly.
‘I’m sorry to have to tell you, Giselle, but I’ve just seen a woman in a turquoise dress -early fifties, plump with a pretty face and short fair curly hair -steal a brooch from one of the display cabinets.’
‘Did you see which brooch she took?’
‘I wasn’t close, but I could see it was a coral stone and there were other stones around it.’
‘I know the brooch you mean. It’s one of the most expensive pieces in the gallery. It was made by the French designer, Gilou Donat.’ Giselle looked past Ena. If the woman you described wants the brooch, her husband will buy it for her. I assure you she has no need to steal anything. He is very wealthy. And,’ Giselle said, ‘he is besotted with her.
He must be Ena thought. His wife did steal the brooch, both she and the woman’s husband saw her. Ena was fascinated to know why someone would steal something that they could so easily have bought, or asked for as a gift.
Giselle moved deftly among clusters of people standing around admiring the paintings, sculptures and jewellery on show. ‘Charles,’ she said, kissing the distinguished looking man with silver hair and the kind of tan you get from spending long periods in the South of France, not south London.
This is my friend, Ena. Ena, these lovely people are Priscilla and Charles. Can I help you with anything?’
‘Priscilla has taken a shine to the coral and pearl brooch.’
‘As always, you have impeccable taste, Priscilla. It is the only one of its kind. There have been no bids made on it, so it’s all yours. Would you like to take it with you tonight, or shall I have it sent to you tomorrow?’
The woman’s husband looked at her, a smile on his face and love in his eyes.
‘I’ll take it tonight, please, darling.’
’Giselle looked around the gallery, put up her hand and the man who had met Ena and Henry at the door and checked their tickets, made his way across the room to her.
‘Victor, would you take the Donat brooch form the showcase and put it in a presentation box.
‘I’d like to wear it now,’ Priscilla said.
‘Even better. It will look beautiful on your dress,’ Giselle turned to Priscilla’s husband.
‘I’ll have Victor bring the box to your office tomorrow with the invoice.’
‘Thank you,’ he said.
Certain that the case was already unlocked, Ena watched as Victor took a small key from his waistcoat pocket. He inserted the key in the lock, turned it and the case opened. As big as he was, Victor skilfully lifted up the brooch and gave it to the woman who passed it to her husband. He lovingly pinned the brooch of coral and pearls onto her turquoise dress and stepped back. He exclaimed how beautiful she looked and she giggled like an excited child.
Victor, his job done, locked the cabinet. After returning the key to his waistcoat pocket, he straightened his jacket, gave a short nod to his boss and went back to his post by the door.
‘I’m going to powder my nose, darling,’ Pricilla said to her husband, ‘I won’t be long.’
I need to spend a penny too, Ena thought and followed her.

So, that’s today’s extract from Old Cases, New Colours! I hope you enjoyed reading this extract as much as I did! If you want to find out more about the details of the book and the author, you can find them below: –

Old Cases, New Colours (A Dudley Green Investigation)- Madalyn Morgan

Sick of working in a world of spies and bureaucracy, Ena Green, nee Dudley, leaves the Home Office and starts her own investigating agency. Working for herself she can choose which investigations to take and, more importantly, which to
turn down.
While working on two investigations, Ena is called as a prosecution witness in the Old Bailey trial of a
cold-blooded killer who she exposed as a spy the year before.
Purchase Links –    Amazon UK     Amazon US

Author Bio

I was bought up in a pub in a small market town called Lutterworth. For as long as I can remember, my dream was to be an actress and a writer. The pub was a great place for an aspiring actress and writer to live with so many characters to study and accents to learn. I was offered Crossroads the
first time around. However, my mother wanted me to have a ‘proper’ job that I could fall back on if I needed to, so I did a hairdressing apprenticeship. Eight years later, aged twenty-four, I gave up a successful salon and wig-hire business in the theatre for a place at East 15 Drama College and a career as an actress, working in Repertory theatre, the West End, film and television.
In 1995, with fewer parts for older actresses, I gave up acting. I taught myself to touch-type, completed a two-year correspondence course with The Writer’s Bureau and began writing articles and presenting radio.
In 2010, after living in London for thirty-six years, I moved back to Lutterworth. I swapped two window boxes and a mortgage for a garden and the freedom to write. Since then, I have written nine
novels. The first four, The Dudley Sisters’ Saga, tell the stories of four sisters in World War 2. My current novel, Old Cases, New Colours, is a thriller/detective story set in 1960. I am writing Christmas book – Christmas Applause – and a Memoir; a collection of short stories, articles, poems, photographs and character breakdowns from my days as an actress.

Social Media Links –
Madalyn Morgan’s books- https://www.amazon.co.uk/Madalyn-Morgan/e/B00J7VO9I2

Blog – https://madalynmorgan.wordpress.com/
Facebook – www.facebook.com/madalyn.morgan1

Twitter – www.twitter.com/ActScribblerDJ
Pinterest – www.pinterest.co.uk/madalynmorgan
Instagram – www.instagram.co.uk/madalynmorgan1

First Lines Friday – 19/03/2021

Hi guys and welcome to today’s first First Lines Friday post for a number of months!

It has been a long time since I posted this series in any regularity and that is something I’m looking to change. I really enjoy featuring these posts as they great fun to write (I confess they’re also quite easy to write!) But most of all give me the opportunity to allow the featured book to speak for itself!

For me, the first impression of a book comes from the opening pages. More important than the cover, the blurb and even the author who wrote it; the opening paragraph will make or break a book for me. I can’t get on with the narrative voice that’s a significant problem. I’m open to trying a lot of new things and so it’s all the more reason why the first impression counts.

Today’s featured book really does speak for itself and paves the way for a fantastic series I have come to love. I’m sure there are many people out there who also will have read and loved the series, but if you haven’t, it’s a pleasure to introduce you. So, without further ado, here are the opening lines to today’s featured novel.

 

People often shit themselves when they die.

Their muscles slack and their souls flutter free and everything else just… slips out. For all their audience’s love of death, the playwrights seldom mention it. When our hero breathes his last in his heroine’s arms, they call no attention to the stain leaking across his tights, or how the stink makes her eyes water as she leans in for her farewell kiss.

I mention this by way of warning, oh, my gentlefriends, that your narrator shares no such restraint. And if the unpleasant realities of bloodshed turn your insides to water, be advised now that the pages in your hands speak of a girl who was to murder as maestros are to music. Who did to happy ever afters what a sawblade does to skin.

She is dead herself, now – words both the wicked and the just would give an eyeteeth smile to hear. A republic in ashes behind her. A city of bridges and bones laid at the bottom of the sea by her hand. And yet I’m sure she’d still find a way to kill me if she knew I put these words to paper. Open me up and leave me for the hungry Dark. But I think someone should at least try to separate her from the lies told about her. Through her. By her.

Someone who knew her true.

A girl some called Pale Daughter. Or Kingmaker. Or Crow. But most often, nothing at all. A killer of killers, whose tally of endings only the goddess and I truly know. And was she famous or infamous for it at the end? All this death? I confess I could never see the difference. But then, I’ve never seen things the way you have.

Never truly lived in the world you call your own.

Nor did she, really.

I think that’s why I loved her.

 

Do you recognise this intro at all? If not, here are the details of the book! 

 

Nevernight – Jay Kristoff 

Nevernight

Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicle, #1) by Jay Kristoff | Goodreads

In a land where three suns almost never set, a fledgling killer joins a school of assassins, seeking vengeance against the powers who destroyed her family.

Daughter of an executed traitor, Mia Corvere is barely able to escape her father’s failed rebellion with her life. Alone and friendless, she hides in a city built from the bones of a dead god, hunted by the Senate and her father’s former comrades. But her gift for speaking with the shadows leads her to the door of a retired killer, and a future she never imagined.

Now, Mia is apprenticed to the deadliest flock of assassins in the entire Republic—the Red Church. If she bests her fellow students in contests of steel, poison and the subtle arts, she’ll be inducted among the Blades of the Lady of Blessed Murder, and one step closer to the vengeance she desires. But a killer is loose within the Church’s halls, the bloody secrets of Mia’s past return to haunt her, and a plot to bring down the entire congregation is unfolding in the shadows she so loves.

Will she even survive to initiation, let alone have her revenge?

 

I hope you enjoyed today’s First Lines Friday feature! Have you read Nevernight? If not, does this intro make you want to pick up the book? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

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