Tag: historical fiction

Sunday Summary – 25th October 2020

Hi everyone and welcome to today’s weekly update post! I hope you have had a good week, whatever you got up to!

Mine has been a little unusual as I curbed the reading and blogging for a few days in order to finish studying for an exam, which I sat on Wednesday. All went well and I passed the exam, so it was worth the effort! Consequently, though, I only shared one post this week. I decided my one post would be a review since I wanted it to be a more in-depth post. With that in mind, I shared my first audiobook review in three months, which featured Darkdawn by Jay Kristoff.

 

Books Read

I’ve only made a brief start on a read I am reviewing for another blog tour next week. Unbroken Truth has a definite sci-fi vibe from the first few chapters I’ve read. I like how the introduction has set the scene for the novel and I’m looking forward to reading this over the next week.

I haven’t read so much this week, but I have been listening to audiobooks. I’ve made a bit more progress with Jack the Ripper: Case Closed by Gyles Brandreth. I’ve only got a little way to go to the finish, and I expect to do this in the next day or two.

I have also had the urge to read and enjoy the A Game of Thrones series again this week, and so I have started listening to the audiobook of the first book in the series. I’ve read the kindle and physical copies of the books to date, but not listened to any of the audiobooks.

 

Books Discovered

I’ve added a book to my TBR for the first time in MONTHS! I watched Des on ITV player earlier this week and loved it – I hadn’t realised there was a book about Des Nilson and the murders. Since I really enjoyed the series I have added the book written about him, Killing for Company, to my TBR.

 

Coming Up…

Since I have a couple of blog posts scheduled towards the end of the week, I want to take part in another Top Ten Tuesday post. This week’s scheduled post is a Halloween ’freebie’, and so I think I’ll be sharing my Top Ten Chilling Hop Tu Naa reads (Hop Tu Naa is the Manx equivalent of Halloween).

On Sunday I will be taking part in the blog tour for Unbroken Truth and sharing my review of the book. As a result, my usual weekly update post will be published first thing on Monday morning.

That’s all from me in today’s post! I hope you have a good week and I’ll see you in the next one!

 

 

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Sunday Summary – 18th October 2020

Hey everyone and welcome to today’s Sunday Summary post. It only feels like two minutes ago since I wrote last week’s update, but here we are! I hope you have had a good week, whatever you have been up to.

I have shared a couple of posts with you this week, which I hope you have enjoyed reading. The first of those posts was a Top Ten Tuesday post, with a theme of hobbies (other than reading). This post subject has been suggested for the 3rd November so I’ve jumped in a bit early. That’s only because I have another commitment on the 3rd November.

On Thursday I shared a blog tour post for Parasite: The Secret Diary of a Landlord. I really enjoyed this non-fiction account of what being a landlord is really like. It is a real eye-opener, written in an entertaining diarised narrative that’s easy to read. If you haven’t read that post yet, please do! I have a lot more praise for it in my post!

 

Books Read

As of last week’s Sunday Summary post I had read around a third of Parasite: The Secret Diary of a Landlord. With the blog tour post scheduled for Thursday, my priority at the beginning of the week was to finish this in time for the tour. I finished this early on Wednesday evening ready to write my post for the tour the next day.

Since finishing Parasite I haven’t started anything new as I have focussed my attention towards studying for my exam next week. In my downtime, however, I have picked up listening to Jack the Ripper: Case Closed again. I’ve listened to a few more hours of this and I only have 1hr 40mins left to go. The narrative is definitely getting to the wrap-up part, so I expect I’ll be listening to this next week to find out how it all ends!

 

Books Discovered

Once again, nothing to report here!

 

Coming Up…

With my exam on Wednesday morning, I won’t be putting any time into my blog in the first couple of days next week. I am going to try and draft a post on Wednesday afternoon/evening though. Failing that, it’ll go live on Thursday instead.

Since I’m going to be a little lighter than usual on the posting schedule, I have decided to post a review of an audiobook I listened to at the beginning of this year. Darkdawn is the conclusion to the Nevernight Chronicles by Jay Kristoff. I pre-ordered the audiobook last year as I had listened to the other two and loved the series already. You can find out more about my thoughts to the conclusion of the series in my post next week!

As always, I’ll wrap up with another Sunday Summary update post at the end of the week.

 

That’s all from me for now – have a great week and I’ll see you in the next one!

 

 

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Sunday Summary – 4th October 2020

Hello everyone and welcome to another weekly update from me! This Sunday Summary post is probably going to be quite a quick one as I have a book to finish and another blog post to write tonight (more on that later).

I only shared one blog post this week – my reading list for October. I didn’t want to take on too much this week, particularly as I knew I had a blog tour with a short reading deadline coming up and an exam to study for. My reading list was published on Friday. If you haven’t had the chance to have a skeet at what I’m reading yet, head on over and take a look!

 

Books Read

I think I have only made marginal progress on Rags of Time this week. I’ve read a chapter or two at most, but that’s okay. Aside from reading, I’ve been going over material for an exam I have in a few weeks and this has taken priority.

What has also taken priority over the last day or two is reading Limelight by Graham Hurley. I have an imminent blog tour post and I’m sharing a review of the book as part of the tour. I’ve mostly read this book over this weekend, and currently, I have about half an hour left of reading until the end of this particular book before I can start writing my review. No prizes for guessing what I’m doing straight after this post goes live!

I haven’t read anywhere near as much as I have historically for a few weeks now, but picking up Limelight has been a dream. I’ve enjoyed this slower-paced (but far from dull) mystery, the writing and world-building are fantastic and a refreshing change. It’s what I needed I think and it might just be what I needed to get back into reading a bit more again.

 

Books Discovered

This has to be the longest streak for me not adding books to my TBR, but that’s honestly what I need right now. It’s already miles too long and giving myself a chance to catch up with it is a step in the right direction to taming it!

 

Coming Up…

As I have mentioned, I am taking part in a blog tour tomorrow for Limelight by Graham Hurley. I can’t wait to share my thoughts on this brilliant mystery – and I’m saying that having not even finished the book yet! I can’t wait to read to the end and properly get my thoughts together.

Later in the week, I’m going to share another First Lines Friday post with you. It has been a while since I last featured this on my blog, but I’m looking forward to bringing it back to you along with a great book to feature. As to what that book is, I haven’t decided yet – but I promise it’ll be a good one!

That’s going to be all from me in today’s post! Have a good week and I’ll catch you for another update in next week’s Sunday Summary post.

Take care!

 

 

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Reading List – October 2020

Hello everyone and thank you for checking out my reading list post for October. I don’t know about you but I’m really starting to notice the nights are drawing in faster. I actually enjoy this time in autumn. It’s still light when I leave work, but by the time I’ve eaten and gotten cosy for the evening with a cup of tea, it’s dark. It makes you feel justified curling up with a good book!

Speaking of which, would you like to find out what I’m reading this month? I haven’t made an ambitious list this month. I’ll freely admit I lost a bit of steam last month and didn’t read half as much as I planned at the beginning in my reading list. Ultimately, reading is a hobby. I’m not going to force myself to read if I really don’t want to, and I didn’t.

This month I have a little less flexibility. Almost all of the books listed are books I’ve signed up to the blog tours for. The last two are actually touring in November, but very early in November. Let’s find out what they are!

 

Limelight – Graham Hurley

Goodreads – Limelight

Life is dangerous. No one survives it. Enora Andressen makes a series of mind-blowing discoveries when her friend disappears in this compelling thriller set in an idyllic Devon town.

Actress Enora Andressen is catching up with her ex-neighbour, Evelyn Warlock, who’s recently retired to the comely East Devon seaside town of Budleigh Salterton. The peace, the friendship of strangers and the town’s prestigious literary festival . . . Evelyn loves them all.

Until the September evening when her French neighbour, Christianne Beaucarne, disappears. Enora has met this woman. The two of them have bonded. But what Enora discovers over the anguished months to come will put sleepy Budleigh Salterton on the front page of every newspaper in the land . . .

Limelight is a completely gripping and fascinating thriller featuring strong characters forced to make impossible decisions, the impact of which will be felt far beyond their quiet town… Perfect for fans of JOHN HARVEY and PETER ROBINSON.

What readers are saying about the Enora Andressen series:

“A first rate mystery with an exciting premise” Booklist on Off Script “Excellent characterization and plotting . . . I read it in a couple of days and loved it” NetGalley reviewer, 5 stars for Off Script “A very strong series debut . . . An intriguing start to a promising new series” Booklist on Curtain Call

 

I love a good thriller, and this is perhaps the best time of year to curl up and read one! Coming from a reasonably small place myself, I think I’ll be able to relate to the atmosphere and sleepiness that is the setting of the book. Although it is the fourth book in a series, I get the impression that it’s pretty standalone and therefore won’t matter that I haven’t read the previous books. At least, I’m hoping so.

I’m looking forward to checking out this thriller. From what I have read, it’s quite an atmospheric and slow build mystery so I’m expecting a lot of world-building, which I love.

 

Parasite? The Secret Diary of a Landlord – The Secret Landlord

Goodreads – Parasite? The Secret Diary of a Landlord

Get ready to learn what really happens behind closed doors.

Landlords have become one of the most hated groups in society. Parasites, they’re often called. And there’s a lot of them. The Treasury estimates there are almost 2.6 million landlords in the UK with around 5.45 million rental properties.

But the real life of a professional landlord is very different to what most people think. From burglaries and break-ins to drug raids, police warrants, crazy tenant antics, bailiffs, squatters, lawsuits, wrecked properties, interfering council officers, game-playing freeholders to moments of heartfelt joy and happiness, the life of a landlord is never dull. Especially when the government keeps moving the goalposts.

This explosive front line exposé blows the lid off what it’s really like to be a landlord and the shocking reality of renting out a property. Hovering close to a nervous breakdown and likely suffering PTSD, The Secret Landlord exposes truths rarely shared. Stories that will grip you, move you and smack you in the face.

This is the truth, the other side of the door.

 

I don’t read much non-fiction, but when I was approached by Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources about a potential tour for this book I was intrigued immediately. I’m glad the author decided to go ahead and schedule it, because now I get to read the book!

I want to read this book to get a different perspective on landlords. I suppose I have dealt with a couple in my time and I’m not going to lie, I didn’t have the best experience with them at all. It’s not a wealth of experience though and I don’t want to tar everyone with the same brush. Yes, there are bad landlords, but I know there are tenants just as bad – I’ve dealt with one myself. I hope there’s plenty of these stories in the book!

 

Unbroken Truth – Lukas Lundh

Goodreads – Unbroken Truth

Beneath the arcane Rustpeaks lies the city of Lansfyrd, capital of one of the Dustlands many Holds. Visibility is at an all-time low and airships rumble through the skies. Detective Lentsay “Len” Yoriya of the Lansfyrd PD is a homocide detective stuck at a burglary assignment as punishment for loving the wrong person. When a xenophobic radio-shaman is murdered and the killers try to frame the city’s oppressed insectoids, Len knows better. But there is an election coming up, and the tension simmering in the city is reaching a boiling point. High-profile murders are rarely uncomplicated.

Meanwhile Len’s partner, Vli-Rana Talie, works as a lector at the Lansfyrd University, trying to keep her research going in an increasingly xenophobic environment. As the temperature rises for her partner, Vli will soon realize that delving into history, that some would prefer was forgotten, will carry risks of its own.

 

Science-fiction is one of my go-to genres to read and Unbroken Truth is my sci-fi fix for the month. For not being a big fan of politics in real life, I really enjoy the conflict it brings about in novel plotlines. This seems to be a prevalent part of the novel so I’m excited to see how this plays out!

This blog tour is now taking part in November, however, it was supposed to be at the beginning of this month. This is why I have ended up with so many tour dates in a short space of time, but I’m sure I’ll manage.

 

Sherlock Holmes & The Ripper of Whitechapel – M. K. Wiseman

Goodreads – Sherlock Holmes & The Ripper of Whitechapel

I am afraid that I, Sherlock Holmes, must act as my own chronicler in this singular case, that of the Whitechapel murders of 1888. For the way in which the affair was dropped upon my doorstep left me with little choice as to the contrary. Not twelve months prior, the siren’s call of quiet domesticity and married life had robbed me of Watson’s assistance as both partner and recorder of my cases. Thus, when detective inspector Lestrade of Scotland Yard required a lead—any lead—I found myself forced to pursue Jack the Ripper alone and without the aid of my faithful friend. And all for the most damnedable of reasons:

Early on in my investigations, Dr. John H. Watson, formerly of 221b Baker Street, emerged as my prime suspect.

 

I really enjoyed reading M K Wiseman’s Magical Intelligence this year. On that basis alone I would have signed up to a blog tour for a book by her. I also love the mystery of Jack the Ripper, so the fact that this blog tour features both is huge! By the time I signed up for this tour I think I knew about the delay to Unbroken Truth, but I couldn’t pass it up. I’m really looking forward to delving into this. I only hope it lives up to expectation!

 

Rags of Time – Michael Ward

Goodreads – Rags of Time

London.1639.

Thomas Tallant, a young and ambitious Spice Merchant, returns from India to find his city in turmoil.

A bitter struggle is brewing between King Charles I and Parliament, as England slides into civil war. The capital is simmering with dissent. The conflict is ready to boil over.

But Thomas soon has other troubles to contend with. A wealthy merchant, Sir Joseph Venell, is savagely killed; then his partner Sir Hugh Swofford plunges to his death, in the Tallant household.

Suspicion falls on Thomas, who is sucked into a mire of treachery and rumour within the City of London. As the merchant struggles to clear his name, he becomes captivated by the enigmatic Elizabeth Seymour, whose passion for astronomy and mathematics is matched only by her addiction to the gaming tables.

Pursued by the authorities, Thomas races to unmask the real killer who claims a third victim to implicate him further, toying with his future in a deadly cat and mouse game.

In a desperate race against time, Elizabeth applies her powers of logic and deduction to unearth the clues that will point to the killer, but her way is barred by a secret message from the grave.

Can she crack its code before Thomas, now a wounded and exhausted fugitive, succumbs to the chase?

And, if she succeeds, has Thomas the strength to face his tormentor and win his life and reputation back?

Rags of Time is the first book in an engaging and entertaining new historical crime series, set during the upheaval of the 17th Century.

 

Rags of Time is my current read. Whilst it’s on the back burner for a few days until my immediate blog tour obligations are done, I will be reading this in between the other books on my list. I have read most of the book now; I can’t wait to see how it ends! I’m certainly not waiting until the end of the month!

 

That’s my reading list for this month! Do any of the books catch your eye? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

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Sunday Summary – 27th September 2020

I can’t believe I’m sat here writing another Sunday Summary post already. This week has been busy and seems to have flown by!

I shared a couple of posts with you earlier this week. My first post was a review of a book I read and adored earlier this year. The fact that I went on to read the rest of the series published to date in around a couple of months speaks volumes! If you haven’t checked out my review of The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson, please take a look.

Friday saw the return of my regular feature post, Shelf Control. It has been over a month since I last shared one of these posts. It was good fun to have another look at my TBR and feature the next book on the list and share why I want to read it.

 

Books Read

I’ve spent a fair amount of time reading this week, but not as much as usual. Work has been quite busy and on top of that I’m stepping up with studying for my exam next month. I don’t count that towards my blogging (I’m sure a textbook on how securities are settled across the global financial market would bore you all half to death), but probably half of my reading time was spent on this over the course of the week.

When I wasn’t studying, I picked up Rags of Time by Michael Ward and picked up where I left off last week. I had only really just started this as of last week’s Sunday Summary update, so I’ve probably read around 40% of the book this week. Not the best, but not worst either. Honestly, I’ve been feeling a little burned out over the last week and I haven’t read as much as normal, purely because I didn’t want to. I can’t force myself to and I won’t. I read for fun – if it becomes a chore then it’s time to stop.

During one particular day when I was feeling burned out, but also slightly guilty for it, I turned to the faithful audiobook by way of compromise. I said I wanted to keep going with Jack the Ripper: Case Closed and I have. I sat and listened to more of this whilst working on a knitting project I’ve started. Even though I was doing two things at once, I felt like I could switch off a bit more. It helped me wind down a bit, but also feel more motivated to get back into reading again. Around 15% of my progress reading of Rags of Time was done this morning after that night – put it that way!

 

Books Discovered

Again, I haven’t added a single book to my TBR this week. In fairness, I have been doing other things (blogging, studying, knitting etc)so I haven’t really been looking at books…

 

Coming Up…

Since I am stepping up the studying and trying to catch up on my TBR, I’m only going to share next month’s reading list mid next week. I also have a blog tour early in October that I will need to do the reading for (pretty sharpish) so I’m not going to overburden myself with too many posts.

I’ll round off the week with a Sunday Summary as usual.

 

That’s all from me until next week! Have a good one and I’ll see you around!

 

 

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Sunday Summary – 20th September 2020

Hi everyone and welcome to today’s catch up in this Sunday Summary post! I hope you have all had a good week, whatever you have gotten up to.

Mine has been a busy week! Aside from reading and blogging, I’ve spent a good deal of time on home improvements. I’ve spent a good few evenings this week re-painting my downstairs loo. I have friends coming over next week for afternoon tea, so I wanted to get the most garish room in the house dealt with before then. I’m not joking when I say it was Kawasaki green…

It’s not anymore!

Around that, I’ve been writing blog posts about my Top Ten Fantasy Novel Covers in Tuesday’s ‘Top Ten Tuesday’ post and on Thursday, I shared my review of The Rue Stone by Janet Stock for the book birthday blitz blog tour. Try and say ‘book birthday blitz blog tour’ quickly five times, I dare you!

 

Books Read

Although I have been doing a lot of work on the house, I’ve still managed to get a fair amount of reading done. My top priority at the start of the week was to read The Rue Stone since I was taking part in the blog tour on Thursday. The Rue Stone is an 80-page or so novella, so I actually read this in one sitting one evening. It was nice to read something short for a change and I enjoyed the storyline!

I’ve also started reading Rags of Time this week. I haven’t made huge progress as I’ve been decorating and general house bits, but I’ll dive into this properly tonight once this post goes live.

Since I haven’t really been in a position to sit and read a book, I’ve made a lot more progress with listening to Jack the Ripper: Case Closed. I’ve now listened to around 4-and-a-half hours this week, so I’m nearly halfway through the audiobook. I’m finished with decorating again for a little while, but I’ll definitely have to keep up with listening to this and finish it soon.

 

Books Discovered

I haven’t added a book to my TBR since the 5th August. For once, it’s actually starting to go down. I’m starting to think there’s something wrong with me…

I’m actually quite glad about it, to be honest – the length of it is entirely ridiculous and I need to get on top of it. It’s nice to see the number dropping!

 

Coming Up…

I want to share another book review with you this week. I have a few on my list that I need to catch up with. Next week I’ll be starting with a follow-on series to a trilogy I read years ago. The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson is set in the Mistborn universe but in a completely new timeline far into the future of the previous books. I’ve gone on to read all of the published books in this second follow-on series since,  but I’ll just be reviewing the first book in the coming days. I hope you can join me and check out what will be my glowing review!

Nearly a month after I planned to share this post (I got my blog tour days/dates mixed up so I realised last minute I had to postpone), I’ll be sharing a Shelf Control post on Friday! Yes, blog tour commitments and such have meant that I haven’t shared any regular Friday features for a month now. But, Shelf Control is back this Friday and featuring a humorous non-fiction book that’s all about the psychology of the mind.

As always I’ll round off the week with another Sunday Summary post.

 

However, that’s all from me in this week’s Sunday Summary update! What have you been reading? I’ll catch up with you in the next one.

 

 

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Sunday Summary – 13th September 2020

Hello everyone and welcome to another Sunday Summary weekly update from me! I really appreciate you guys taking time out of your day to have a read my posts, so thank you very much! So what have I been up to this week?

On Wednesday I shared my first discussion post in a while. The particular topic is one I have debated for a while now – Book Subscription Boxes – Yay or Nay? If you haven’t already checked out my post, please have a read and let me know your thoughts! Then, on Friday, I shared a review of Freedom of the Creed by Nicholas Coleridge has part of the recent blog tour. If you are a fan of Western novels, this is definitely one for you to take a look at!

 

Books Read

I started the week by reading a bit more of Lord of the Flies by William Goldberg. I had to set this aside in favour of reading Freedom of the Creed for my blog tour post on Friday. Since then, I haven’t picked it up again though. It was okay to read, but not exciting enough to draw me back to it again. I have a lot of other books to read that I’ll probably enjoy more, so I decided to DNF this one.

As mentioned above, the next book on my list was Freedom of the Creed and I read this almost in its entirety this week. I had just started Freedom of the Creed last week, but with the upcoming tour this was my focus for the majority of the week, finishing it on Thursday.

For the first time since July, I listened to part of an audiobook this week! I haven’t picked up any in a while. Honestly, I think I almost listened to them too much when redecorating and I wanted a break. Now I’ve had that break, and rather ironically I might add, I started listening to Jack the Ripper: Case Closed yesterday when I started doing some more decorating! I have listened to the first few chapters now, so made a solid start. I’ll be chipping away at more redecorating this week so I expect I’ll listen to more of this as I’m going.

 

Books Discovered

Nothing to add again this week! This has to be a record by now, surely?!

 

Coming Up…

I’m going to share a Top Ten Tuesday post this week, with a superficial subject. This week, I’ve decided to share my top ten fantasy novel book covers. This won’t just be limited to books I’ve read either, so I could be featuring a lot of different books in this post!

On Thursday I’m taking part in yet another blog tour for The Rue Stone by Janet Stock. It’s a short fantasy novella, around 80 pages. Naturally, this will be my reading focus over the next few days.

As always, I’ll be rounding off the week with another Sunday Summary post to update you all on my week and all things bookish!

 

That’s all from me in today’s Sunday Summary post, however. I hope you have had a great week, enjoy the next one, and I’ll see you again for another catch up in a week’s time!

 

 

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Blog Tour Review: Freedom of the Creed – Nicholas Coleridge

Hello everyone and welcome to today’s blog tour post for Freedom of the Creed by Nicholas Coleridge. In today’s blog tour post, I am featuring my review of the book. Thank you for checking out my post and also a huge thank you to the author and Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for organising the tour.

If you enjoy western-themed novels then saddle up and read on, as this book (and review) should be right up your street! Don’t forget to check out the other blogs that have featured in the tour as well. The details can be found at the bottom of my post.

 

Freedom of the Creed – Nicholas Coleridge

Goodreads – Freedom of the Creed

The Woe-Be-Gone boys, a vicious gang of outlaws rushes south through the American frontier, leaving desolation in their wake.

On their trail is Saoirse Creed, a bounty hunter with a debt to pay. Her only chance to pay that debt rides with the gang, but what depths will she sink to achieve her goal.

Now, as she tracks them down to a town on the precipice of despair, Saoirse must overcome the final hurdle in order to capture her man and return to a life that she thought was all but lost.

 

Purchase Links – Amazon UK      Amazon US

 

My Thoughts…

It was Freedom of the Creed’s western theme that appealed to me. It’s not a genre I pick up very often, but when I do, I really enjoy them! I suppose the most recent read that it reminds me of is Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series.

Saoirse (pronounced Sur-sha) is by far the character I loved best. She is a wickedly smart and fierce young woman. Her motivations are largely unclear for the majority of the book, making her passion and drive in the chase an intriguing mystery. I’m glad the pronunciation of her name is clarified early on in the book – I couldn’t even have made a guess! It is unusual and makes her doubly stand out as a unique character.

The plot is full of deceit, subterfuge and layers of depth that make it easy to immerse you in the detailed storyline. Exciting clues and revelations to further developments of the story are timed perfectly for maximum impact. The pace of the novel is well balanced and allows for full, detailed setting of the scene whilst still including plenty of action to drive events forward. It’s a steadily fast-paced novel but equally doesn’t come across as rushed in any way.

The author really captured the essence of old-fashioned attitudes in small communities very well. Each individual character has their own distinct personality, but they also gel together as a community. There is enough commonality between them that implies years of co-existence together in a desolate, now derelict town. I could picture the characters and their interactions in the town of Kites Run so clearly! The Woe-Be –Gone boys are a sort of community in themselves and I enjoyed the dynamic and power struggle within the group. They’re also the seedy types of human beings that you love to hate; routing for Saoirse in her hunt for them couldn’t be easier.

I really enjoyed the conclusion of the book and there is a lot of potential for the remainder of the series. I can’t wait to see where Saoirse and Wolfe find themselves in the next chapter of their story. Given how well the book has been written, I am amazed this is the author’s first novel!

 

Author Bio

N.J Coleridge finds time to write when he is not performing his official duties as his daughter’s “royal servant.”

He has always had a passion for the frontier and the old-west. Freedom of the Creed is his first novel.

For more adventures featuring Saoirse be sure to read the novella “A Prayer for the Dying”.

Social Media Links – https://www.facebook.com/AuthorNickColeridge/

Reading List – September 2020

I can’t believe it’s September. Where has this year gone?

Given the current circumstances I don’t suppose it’s a bad thing that this year is flying, but still… shortly we’ll be 75% through with 2020 and it doesn’t feel like it should be at all!

Regardless, it is the beginning of a new month, and you know what that means. It’s time to share my TBR for the month ahead. This month’s list features a couple of books that I am reading for blog tours. Another is a request from the author and the rest are all from my TBR and contribute towards my Beat the Backlist challenge I set earlier this year. 8 months ago.

Again, where has this year gone? That barely felt like five minutes ago!

Anyway, shall we check out the books on this month’s reading list?

 

Freedom of the Creed – N. J. Coleridge

Goodreads – Freedom of the Creed

The Woe-Be-Gone boys, a vicious gang of outlaws rushes south through the American frontier, leaving desolation in their wake.

On their trail is Saoirse Creed, a bounty hunter with a debt to pay. Her only chance to pay that debt rides with the gang, but what depths will she sink to achieve her goal.

Now, as she tracks them down to a town on the precipice of despair, Saoirse must overcome the final hurdle in order to capture her man and return to a life that she thought was all but lost.

 

I am reading this particular book for an upcoming blog tour. The first thing that caught my attention when reading the synopsis is the chase through the desert. Might sound daft, but that combined with the western vibe reminds me of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower. If you’ve read the book I think you’ll get it.

I haven’t read anything like this in a little while so I’m looking forward to it!

 

The Rue Stone –Janet Stock

Goodreads – The Rue Stone

The rue is a mysterious and rare being who is rarely seen, so Janna is amazed when one arrives at the inn where she works, looking for a room. The next morning, her life changed forever, she is left wondering whether she will ever see him again. Only time and the rue stone have the answer.

 

The Rue Stone is a fantasy novella that I’m squeezing into my blog tour schedule. It’s only around 80 pages, so a nice short read. I’ve enjoyed picking up some shorter books lately and I’m sure this will be no exception. Janet has published four books to date but this will be the first time I have tried anything of hers. Novellas are a great way to try a new author and I’m looking forward to giving this a go. The synopsis doesn’t give much away, so I’m intrigued to find out what happens!

 

 

Rags of Time – Michael Ward

Goodreads – Rags of Time

London.1639.

Thomas Tallant, a young and ambitious Spice Merchant, returns from India to find his city in turmoil.

A bitter struggle is brewing between King Charles I and Parliament, as England slides into civil war. The capital is simmering with dissent. The conflict is ready to boil over.

But Thomas soon has other troubles to contend with. A wealthy merchant, Sir Joseph Venell, is savagely killed; then his partner Sir Hugh Swofford plunges to his death, in the Tallant household.

Suspicion falls on Thomas, who is sucked into a mire of treachery and rumour within the City of London. As the merchant struggles to clear his name, he becomes captivated by the enigmatic Elizabeth Seymour, whose passion for astronomy and mathematics is matched only by her addiction to the gaming tables.

Pursued by the authorities, Thomas races to unmask the real killer who claims a third victim to implicate him further, toying with his future in a deadly cat and mouse game.

In a desperate race against time, Elizabeth applies her powers of logic and deduction to unearth the clues that will point to the killer, but her way is barred by a secret message from the grave.

Can she crack its code before Thomas, now a wounded and exhausted fugitive, succumbs to the chase?

And, if she succeeds, has Thomas the strength to face his tormentor and win his life and reputation back?

Rags of Time is the first book in an engaging and entertaining new historical crime series, set during the upheaval of the 17th Century.

 

Despite not really taking on many ARC’s at the moment, I’m glad the author Michael Ward contacted me to ask for a review of Rags of Time. It’s a historical/crime fiction novel which is right up my street! It’s not too long a novel either, so should fit perfectly into this month’s TBR with my other reads. It’ll also be nice to have a bit more variety in genre as there’s a high proportion of fantasy in this month’s list.

 

The Psychology Book: Big Ideas Simply Explained – Various authors

Goodreads – The Psychology Book

Clearly explaining more than 100 groundbreaking ideas in the field, The Psychology Book uses accessible text and easy-to-follow graphics and illustrations to explain the complex theoretical and experimental foundations of psychology.

From its philosophical roots through behaviorism, psychotherapy, and developmental psychology, The Psychology Book looks at all the greats from Pavlov and Skinner to Freud and Jung, and is an essential reference for students and anyone with an interest in how the mind works.

 

Regular readers of my blog will have picked up on the fact that I’m a huge psychology fan. I studied it back in school and loved the lessons since I had a great teacher. I added this book to my TBR a good few years ago as a refresher to some of the things I have learnt already. I’m hoping there are also some new and different things in there as well though.

I have picked up this book before so I have an idea of its formatting. Its chapters are quite short and there is a new one for each ‘idea’. This will be a good book to pick up here and there as these chapters are very short and digestible.

 

Dune – Frank Herbert

Goodreads – Dune

Before The Matrix, before Star Wars, before Ender’s Game and Neuromancer, there was Dune: winner of the prestigious Hugo and Nebula awards, and widely considered one of the greatest science fiction novels ever written.

Melange, or ‘spice’, is the most valuable – and rarest – element in the universe; a drug that does everything from increasing a person’s life-span to making intersteller travel possible. And it can only be found on a single planet: the inhospitable desert world Arrakis.

Whoever controls Arrakis controls the spice. And whoever controls the spice controls the universe.

When the Emperor transfers stewardship of Arrakis from the noble House Harkonnen to House Atreides, the Harkonnens fight back, murdering Duke Leto Atreides. Paul, his son, and Lady Jessica, his concubine, flee into the desert. On the point of death, they are rescued by a band for Fremen, the native people of Arrakis, who control Arrakis’ second great resource: the giant worms that burrow beneath the burning desert sands.

In order to avenge his father and retake Arrakis from the Harkonnens, Paul must earn the trust of the Fremen and lead a tiny army against the innumerable forces aligned against them.

And his journey will change the universe.

 

It’s only taken me three and a half years since being gifted my copy of this book to get around to reading it…

I’m finally going to read an iconic sci-fi novel and I can’t wait to see if I agree with all the reviews. I have actually picked it up and flicked through the first few pages before now. I think I must have been bored one day and needed a change of genre. I’ve only really read enough to sample it so I know I like the writing style. It’s the longest book on this month’s list at just over 500 pages. Fingers crossed it lives up to its reputation as a brilliant book.

 

Red Sister – Mark Lawrence

Goodreads – Red Sister

I was born for killing – the gods made me to ruin.

At the Convent of Sweet Mercy young girls are raised to be killers. In a few the old bloods show, gifting talents rarely seen since the tribes beached their ships on Abeth. Sweet Mercy hones its novices’ skills to deadly effect: it takes ten years to educate a Red Sister in the ways of blade and fist.

But even the mistresses of sword and shadow don’t truly understand what they have purchased when Nona Grey is brought to their halls as a bloodstained child of eight, falsely accused of murder: guilty of worse.

Stolen from the shadow of the noose, Nona is sought by powerful enemies, and for good reason. Despite the security and isolation of the convent her secret and violent past will find her out. Beneath a dying sun that shines upon a crumbling empire, Nona Grey must come to terms with her demons and learn to become a deadly assassin if she is to survive…

 

I couldn’t tell you how old I was when I last picked up a book by Mark Lawrence. I’d quite safely bet that I was a teenager, but that’s as specific as I could guess.

The only series of his I have read to date is The Broken Empire series; I loved it! I’m surprised it has taken me so long to read another of his books. Red Sister has been on my TBR since April 2017 and it’s one of the books on my Beat the Backlist challenge. I’m not sure if I’ll get to finish this one before the end of the month, but I’ll try my best!

So, that’s my reading list for September! Have you read any of these books? What are you reading?

 

 

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Shelf Control #24 – 14/08/2020

It’s Friday – welcome to a slightly later than usual Shelf Control post. Apologies it’s a little late – normally I draft these on a Thursday night but as I was working on yesterday’s Spotlight Feature post, I didn’t get round to it.

We’re concluding the run of classic books in today’s post. I went through a phase of adding quite a few classic novels to the TBR, as you have seen over the past several weeks.

In case you haven’t read one of these posts before, Shelf Control 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.

Shall we check out today’s featured book?

 

The Book Thief – Markus Zusak

Goodreads – The Book Thief

It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will be busier still.

By her brother’s graveside, Liesel’s life is changed when she picks up a single object, partially hidden in the snow. It is The Gravedigger’s Handbook, left behind there by accident, and it is her first act of book thievery. So begins a love affair with books and words, as Liesel, with the help of her accordian-playing foster father, learns to read. Soon she is stealing books from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor’s wife’s library, wherever there are books to be found.

But these are dangerous times. When Liesel’s foster family hides a Jew in their basement, Liesel’s world is both opened up, and closed down.

In superbly crafted writing that burns with intensity, award-winning author Markus Zusak has given us one of the most enduring stories of our time.

 

My Thoughts…

I’m a huge fan of historical fiction novels based around WW2. I’ve read and featured many on my blog over the past few years, so it’s not exactly a secret. Combine that with the main character who reveres books… I’m bound to love it!

It astounds me that the book has a rating of 4.3 on Goodreads and nearly 1.8 million ratings. That’s mad! If it’s rated that highly I have a lot of confidence I will feel the same way about it. Almost all of my Goodreads friends that have rated the book have given it 5 stars.

Have you read The Book Thief? Is it as good as it appears? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

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