Weekly Wrap-Up (January 12)

Oh, January. Why are you so dreary, miserable and long?! Although, has anyone seen Winter? It feels as if we’re stuck in a never-ending Autumn and as much as I hate the cold that Winter brings, I kind of miss it.

Anyway, I thought I had been hugely productive this past week but looking back as I write this wrap-up, it turns out I wasn’t. But at least I’m still reading! Let’s just not talk about the pile of reviews that keeps stacking up.

| BOOKS I READ THIS WEEK |

I know, I know, six isn’t bad at all but I honestly thought I’d read more than that. At least I finished my first ever audiobook! Go me! 🤣

| BOOKS I BOUGHT THIS WEEK |

Book buying mojo still working like a charm! I may also have somewhere in the region of 14 pre-orders but who’s counting?

| ARC’s RECEIVED VIA NETGALLEY |

One for a blog tour, one I was invited to read and one because it was a “read now”. Sometimes it’s as simple as that.

| ON THE BLOG THIS PAST WEEK |

Monday : Nada

Tuesday : Joined the blog tour For The Missing by Lina Bengtsdotter

Wednesday : Hosted a stop on the blog tour for The Man With No Face by Peter May and shared my Week in Books

Thursday : Joined the blog tour for Tell Me A Secret by Jane Fallon and re-shared my review for Too Close to Breathe by Olivia Kiernan for paperback publication day.

Friday : Author Sibel Hodge visited my blog on the blog tour for The Disappeared to talk about her writing day.

Saturday : I had a day off.

Sunday : Weekly Wrap-Up

| NEXT WEEK ON NOVEL DEELIGHTS |

Monday : Blog tour | Extract | The Liar’s Girl by Catherine Ryan Howard

Tuesday : Blog tour | Review | Changeling by Matt Wesolowski

Wednesday : Blog tour | Review | Only A Mother by Elizabeth Carpenter

Thursday : Blog tour | Review | Red Snow by Will Dean

Friday : Blog tour | Review | Deep Dirty Truth by Steph Broadribb

Saturday : Day off

Sunday : Weekly Wrap-Up

Hm. The talk I had with myself regarding blog tours was obviously hugely successful 🙄

Right, I get to spend a wonderful (note the sarcasm) afternoon with the mother-in-law. Somehow that still sounds more pleasant than writing reviews though. 🤔

Hope everyone is having a lovely weekend! Have a fabulous week and I wish you lots of happy reading! Until next time! xx

The Disappeared by Sibel Hodge | @sibelhodge @Bloodhoundbook | #blogtour #guestpost

Welcome to my stop on the blog blitz for The Disappeared by Sibel Hodge! My thanks to Emma at Bloodhound Books for the opportunity join. Author Sibel Hodge joins me today to talk about her writing day but first, here is what The Disappeared is all about!

Author : Sibel Hodge
Title : The Disappeared
Pages : 318
Publisher : Bloodhound Books
Publication date : January 10, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

On a routine flight from Africa to England, Dr Mason Palmer is tragically killed when the light aircraft he’s travelling on crashes and disappears in dense bush land.

The Widow…

Ten months later, Nicole Palmer is still trying to block out the grief of her husband’s sudden death. Until one morning she receives a photo of Mason through the post, along with a cryptic message. A message only he could’ve written.

The Secret…

But when Nicole tries to find out if Mason is really alive and what actually happened to him in Africa, everyone she turns to for answers ends up dead.

Determined to find the truth, Nicole uncovers a conspiracy that spans the globe, and discovers there are powerful people who are prepared to kill to keep her silent.

Who’s lying? Who’s watching Nicole? And can she expose their murky secrets before they catch up with her?

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Bookdepository | Wordery | Goodreads

| GUEST POST |

My writing day…

I’m a morning person so I’m most productive first thing. My day starts at about 5 or 6 a.m., and after a cuppa while I’m checking out emails and social media I do a 30 minute yoga and meditation set. A banana and iced soya latte later and I’m good to go! 

When I’m working on my first draft I always aim to write 3000-5000 words per day. I’m a pantster, not a plotter, so I don’t have a clue what I’m going to write until the words tumble out of my head, and it’s not until I finish my first draft, when I really know I’ve got something solid, that I can properly relax. My first draft can end up anything between 45,000-70,000 words, and I tend to write shorter and add more later, rather than longer and cutting anything. Then for the editing process, which means going through it and through it, tweaking, filling plot holes, adding character’s personality, more dialogue, bits of research, etc.

Even when I’m not writing, you can often find me staring into space, thinking about the book—an idea, what I need to do next, working out a problem, imagining a character. And I can’t escape the book in my sleep because I dream about it too. There have been so many times I’ve woken up with my characters having conversations with each other, and I keep a notebook by my bed in case inspiration strikes as I’m falling asleep or during a dream. I’m living it full time, completely immersed in it. I always think being an author is like being an actor, except an author is playing all of the characters at once, getting inside all their heads and going through what they’re going through, and they’re in every scene, which can be exhausting mentally and emotionally at times. 

I write mostly at a standing desk, which I love. It’s actually a really rustic piece of wood shaped from a tree trunk. Or sometimes I’ll be sprawled on the sofa with my laptop on my knees, and often accompanied by up to seven cats that all want to get in on the action and type gobbledygook on my keyboard just for a laugh. 

It’s got to be dead quiet when I’m working. No music for me. No one talking. I need silence and calm to concentrate. Although the calmness doesn’t extend to my work space. I’ve got notes everywhere when I’m writing a novel. Snippets of ideas and dialogue, bits of research, things I need to add in. Sometimes I can have hundreds of pieces of paper scribbled with stuff. 

At my house, we (read : I) call that organised chaos 😉. Thank you, Sibel, for stopping by and sharing your writing day with us!

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

Sibel Hodge is the author of the No 1 Bestsellers Look Behind YouUntouchable, and Duplicity. Her books have sold over one million copies and are international bestsellers in the UK, USA, Australia, France, Canada and Germany. She writes in an eclectic mix of genres, and is a passionate human and animal rights advocate.

Her work has been nominated and shortlisted for numerous prizes, including the Harry Bowling Prize, the Yeovil Literary Prize, the Chapter One Promotions Novel Competition, The Romance Reviews’ prize for Best Novel with Romantic Elements and Indie Book Bargains’ Best Indie Book of 2012 in two categories. She was the winner of Best Children’s Book in the 2013 eFestival of Words; nominated for the 2015 BigAl’s Books and Pals Young Adult Readers’ Choice Award; winner of the Crime, Thrillers & Mystery Book from a Series Award in the SpaSpa Book Awards 2013; winner of the Readers’ Favorite Young Adult (Coming of Age) Honorable award in 2015; a New Adult finalist in the Oklahoma Romance Writers of America’s International Digital Awards 2015, and 2017 International Thriller Writers Award finalist for Best E-book Original Novel. Her novella Trafficked: The Diary of a Sex Slave has been listed as one of the top forty books about human rights by Accredited Online Colleges.

Author links : Facebook | Twitter | Website

Re-post : Too Close to Breathe by Olivia Kiernan | @QuercusBooks @LivKiernan @MillsReid11 | #TooClosetoBreathe

Today marks paperback publication day for Too Close to Breathe by Olivia Kiernan so I’m re-sharing my review from last year.

Author : Olivia Kiernan
Title : Too Close to Breathe
Series : Frankie Sheehan #1
Pages : 304
Publisher : Quercus
Publication date : January 10, 2019 (paperback)

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

In a quiet Dublin suburb, within her pristine home, Eleanor Costello is found hanging from a rope.

Detective Chief Superintendent Frankie Sheehan would be more than happy to declare it a suicide. Four months ago, Frankie’s pursuit of a killer almost ended her life and she isn’t keen on investigating another homicide. But the autopsy reveals poorly healed bones and old stab wounds, absent from medical records. A new cut is carefully, deliberately covered in paint. Eleanor’s husband, Peter, is unreachable, missing. A search of the couple’s home reveals only two signs of personality: a much-loved book on art and a laptop with access to the Dark Web.

With the suspect pool growing, the carefully crafted profile of the victim crumbling with each new lead, and mysterious calls to Frankie’s phone implying that the killer is closer than anyone would like, all Frankie knows is that Eleanor guarded her secrets as closely in life as she does in death.

As the investigation grows more challenging, Frankie can’t help but feel that something doesn’t fit. And when another woman is found murdered, the same paint on her corpse, Frankie knows that unraveling Eleanor’s life is the only way to find the murderer before he claims another victim . . . or finishes the fate Frankie only just managed to escape.

| MY THOUGHTS |

A woman is found hanging from a beam in her bedroom. Police quickly rule out suicide and although there are very little clues, Detective Frankie Sheehan and her team zero in on one suspect. Unfortunately, the person seems to have disappeared and they have a hard time tracking him down. When a second woman is found murdered, the pressure is on. Meanwhile, Frankie is dealing with her own issues. She’s still carrying the scars from an attack that left another young woman dead. The trial for the killer is inching closer but was the right man arrested?

Set in Dublin, this debut novel by Olivia Kiernan made me feel like I just jumped off a merry-go-round. That feeling you have when your head is spinning, you’re a bit dizzy, being pulled in various directions and not knowing where to point a finger or your feet. At times, I felt like the answers should have been blatantly obvious and yet I couldn’t figure them out at all. There are plenty of twists and turns to hold your attention and best of all, they fit the story and didn’t feel contrived at all just to dazzle you.

I’m a little unsure as to how I feel about Frankie Sheehan. Yes, she’s struggling even though she won’t always admit it. She’s determined and shows incredibly strength, but she also has this tendency of getting on my nerves for some reason. She doesn’t quite strike me as someone I’d get along with. Her partner Baz, on the other hand, created the perfect balance. He’s level-headed, seeing the grey where Frankie often only sees black and white. They make quite the team, in that respect.

This cleverly plotted, tense and suspenseful story shows you just never know what goes on behind closed doors and first impressions can often be highly misleading. Never judge a book by its cover and all that. Some dark subjects come to the fore in this investigation including some of the things you find on the Dark Web. Too Close to Breathe is a well-paced first instalment in a brand-new series that kept me guessing until the end and despite my initial misgivings about Frankie, I look forward to seeing where she goes next.

Too Close to Breathe is available to buy!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Bookdepository | Kobo | Wordery | Goodreads

Tell Me A Secret by Jane Fallon | @JaneFallon @MichaelJBooks @JennyPlatt90 | #blogtour

I’m absolutely delighted to join the blog tour for Tell Me A Secret by Jane Fallon today! My thanks to Jenny at Michael Joseph for the invitation to join and for my wonderful review copy!

Author : Jane Fallon
Title : Tell Me A Secret
Pages : 403
Publisher : Michael Joseph
Publication date : January 10, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

Holly and Roz spend most of their days together. They like the same jokes, loathe the same people and tell each other everything. 

So when single mum Holly gets a shot at her dream job after putting everything on hold to raise her daughter, she assumes her friend will be dying to pop the champagne with her.

But is she just imagining things, or is Roz not quite as happy for her as she should be?

As Holly starts to take a closer look at Roz’s life outside their friendship, she begins to discover a few things that don’t add up. Who is the woman who claims to be her ally? 

Perhaps it was a mistake to tell Roz all her secrets.

Because it takes two to forge a friendship. 

But it only takes one to wage a war . . .

| MY THOUGHTS |

This is only the second novel I’ve read by Jane Fallon but I must say she’s fast becoming a firm favourite. When the reading mojo is dipping or I just need a break from all the crime fiction and psychological thrillers I tend to read, she is undoubtedly the perfect remedy.

Holly and Roz are colleagues and friends, working in the script department of a popular TV soap. They chat about anything and everything, gossiping the day away and aren’t averse to mocking their other colleagues from time to time. Then Holly gets a promotion and odd things start to happen. Who is trying to sabotage Holly and why? Holly is fairly confident she knows who is behind these shenanigans but proving it is an entirely different matter.

With its focus firmly on friendship and rivalry in the workplace, Tell Me A Secret had me engrossed from the very beginning. It annoyed me when I had to put the book down for whatever reason and I couldn’t wait to get back to it, which to me is always a sign of an excellent story. These characters are all immensely engaging and remarkably easy to relate to.

As much as the office mystery held my attention throughout, I was equally engrossed in Holly’s life outside of her work. There’s a healthy dash of humour, mostly provided by her best friend Dee, who is the most fabulous character! (With a name like that, how could she not be? 😉)

Tell Me A Secret is a delightfully entertaining and a thoroughly enjoyable tale of friendship, lies, deceit and rivalry. This light-hearted novel left me with a big smile on my face and provided the perfect antidote and escape for those dark and depressing January days. I will most definitely be making time this year to try and catch up on Jane Fallon’s other novels.

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Bookdepository | Kobo | Wordery | Goodreads

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

Jane Fallon is the multi-award-winning television producer behind shows such as This Life, Teachers and 20 Things To Do Before You’re 30.

Her Sunday Times bestselling books are Getting Rid of Matthew, Got You Back, Foursome, The Ugly Sister, Skeletons, Strictly Between Us, My Sweet Revenge and Faking Friends. They have sold over a million copies in the UK alone.

Author links : Facebook | Twitter

This Week in Books (January 9)

Hosted by Lipsy Lost and Found, my Wednesday post gives you a taste of what I’m reading this week. A similar meme is run by Taking on a World of Words.

| LAST BOOK I FINISHED READING |

TWO BODIES
One suicide. One cold-blooded murder. Are they connected? And who’s really pulling the strings in the small Swedish town of Gavrik?

TWO COINS
Black Grimberg liquorice coins cover the murdered man’s eyes. The hashtag #Ferryman starts to trend as local people stock up on ammunition.

TWO WEEKS
Tuva Moodyson, deaf reporter at the local paper, has a fortnight to investigate the deaths before she starts her new job in the south. A blizzard moves in. Residents, already terrified, feel increasingly cut-off. Tuva must go deep inside the Grimberg factory to stop the killer before she leaves town for good. But who’s to say the Ferryman will let her go?

| THE BOOK I’M CURRENTLY READING |

Alicia Berenson’s life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer, she lives in a grand house with big windows overlooking a park in one of London’s most desirable areas. One evening her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times in the face, and then never speaks another word.

Alicia’s refusal to talk, or give any kind of explanation, turns a domestic tragedy into something far grander, a mystery that captures the public imagination and casts Alicia into notoriety. The price of her art skyrockets, and she, the silent patient, is hidden away from the tabloids and spotlight at the Grove, a secure forensic unit in North London.

Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist who has waited a long time for the opportunity to work with Alicia. His determination to get her to talk and unravel the mystery of why she shot her husband takes him down a twisting path into his own motivations—a search for the truth that threatens to consume him….

| WHAT I’M (PROBABLY) READING NEXT |

ONLY A MOTHER . . .

Erica Wright hasn’t needed to scrub ‘MURDERER’ off her house in over a year. Life is almost quiet again. Then her son, Craig, is released from prison, and she knows the quiet is going to be broken.

COULD BELIEVE HIM

Erica has always believed Craig was innocent – despite the lies she told for him years ago – but when he arrives home, she notices the changes in him. She doesn’t recognise her son anymore. 

COULD BURY THE TRUTH

So, when another girl goes missing, she starts to question everything. But how can a mother turn her back on her son? And, if she won’t, then how far will she go to protect him?

COULD FORGIVE WHAT HE HAS DONE

This week is looking awfully good, if you ask me. What are you reading this week? Let me know! Happy reading! xx

The Man With No Face by Peter May | @authorpetermay @QuercusBooks @riverrunbooks | #blogtour #TheManWithNoFace

It’s a real pleasure to welcome you all to my stop on the blog tour for The Man With No Face by Peter May. My thanks to Agnes Rowe at Midas PR for the invitation to join and for providing me with a review copy.

Author : Peter May
Title : The Man With No Face
Pages : 416
Publisher : Riverrun
Publication date : January 10, 2019 (first published in 1981)

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

There are two men on their way to Brussels from the UK: Neil Bannerman, an iconoclastic journalist for Scotland’s Daily Standard whose irate editor wants him out of the way, and Kale–a professional assassin.

Expecting to find only a difficult, dreary political investigation in Belgium, Bannerman has barely settled in when tragedy strikes. His host, a fellow journalist, along with a British Cabinet minister, are discovered dead in the minister’s elegant Brussels townhouse. It appears that they have shot each other. But the dead journalist’s young autistic daughter, Tania, was hidden in a closet during the killings, and when she draws a chilling picture of a third party–a man with no face–Bannerman suddenly finds himself a reluctant participant in a desperate murder investigation.

As the facts slowly begin to emerge under Bannerman’s scrutiny, he comes to suspect that the shootings may have a deep and foul link with the rotten politics that brought him to Brussels in the first place. And as Kale threatens to strike again, Bannerman begins to feel a change within himself. His jaded professionalism is transforming into a growing concern for the lonely and frightened Tania, and a strong attraction to a courageous woman named Sally–drawing him out of himself and into the very heart of a profound, cold-blooded, and infinitely dangerous conspiracy.

| MY THOUGHTS |

The Man With No Face is my first introduction to Peter May’s work and it’s easy to see why he’s an internationally bestselling author. This novel was first published in 1981 and it’s quite surprising (or maybe not) to see the political landscape has changed very little and The Man With No Face has stood the test of time quite brilliantly in that respect.

Set in Brussels in the late ’70s, this intricately plotted novel has a rather dark atmosphere and a bit of a Noir vibe to it. The reader finds themselves in the middle of a murder investigation, through the eyes of Scottish journalist, Neil Bannerman. He’s been sent to Brussels by his editor, who really just wants him out of the way. But when Neil’s host, a fellow journalist, is found dead alongside a British Cabinet minister, Neil finds himself in the middle of a bit of a mess.

Albeit it rather on the slow side, for me personally, I still found The Man With No Face intensely gripping. Although at times, also somewhat depressing. These are not happy characters and they all carry a ton of issues to deal with. Or not as most seem quite happy to drown their sorrows. And in the midst of all this, is a young girl who may actually know what really happened. Unfortunately for investigators, she’s autistic and doesn’t talk.

Greed, money, blackmail, murder, intrigue, conspiracies and power. This political thriller has it all. The Man With No Face is tense and suspenseful, with fantastic and complex characters, even if some come across a tad stereotypical. Of course, some things do feel rather dated. Gone are the days of smoking on trains or in bars, for instance. But there’s also that good old-fashioned pounding the pavement type of investigation. No internet, no cell phones, no nifty gadgets to rely on. I do so quite enjoy that from time to time.

I dare say my first introduction to Peter May’s novels went down well and I may need to find some time to catch up on some of his most recent work. If, like me, you are unfamiliar with his novels, then this is definitely a good place to start.

The Man With No Face is available to buy!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Bookdepository | Kobo | Wordery | Goodreads

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

Peter May has written several standalone novels and three series: the award-winning China Thrillers, featuring Beijing detective Li Yan and American forensic pathologist Margaret Campbell; the critically acclaimed Enzo Files, featuring Scottish forensic scientist Enzo Macleod, set in France; and the Lewis Trilogy (The Black House, The Lewis Man, and The Chessmen), all three volumes of which are internationally bestselling novels.

One of Scotland’s most prolific television dramatists, May garnered more than 1,000 credits over a decade and a half spent as scriptwriter and editor on prime-time British television. Before quitting TV to concentrate on writing novels, he was the creator of three major series, two of which were the highest rated in Scotland.

May lives and writes in France.

Author links : Twitter

For The Missing by Lina Bengtsdotter | @orionbooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n | #blogtour #ForTheMissing #NetGalley

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for For The Missing by Lina Bengtsdotter. My thanks to Tracy Fenton for the opportunity to join and to the publisher for my review copy!

Author : Lina Bengtsdotter
Title : For The Missing
Series : Charlie Lager #1
Pages : 368
Publisher : Orion
Publication date : December 13, 2018

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

When a teenage girl goes missing from a small town, the local police start to buckle under the pressure.

Enter Charlie Lager, the brilliant but conflicted Detective Inspector sent from Stockholm to solve the mystery of Annabelle’s disappearance.

Her superiors don’t know that Charlie grew up in this very town – and she’s determined to keep it that way. But as she gets closer to the truth, cracks begin to form in her own lies.

Can Charlie find Annabelle before her darkest secrets are brought to light? FOR THE MISSING, time is running out…

| MY THOUGHTS |

When a young girl goes missing from a small town in Sweden, Charlie Lager and her colleague Anders are sent to help in the investigation. Unknown to everyone, Charlie grew up in this town. She’s determined to make sure nobody finds out but can she keep it up? And can detectives find young Annabelle before it’s too late?

For The Missing is the first instalment in the Charlie Lager series and promises great things for the future. Mostly set in the small town of Gullspång, the atmosphere is quite gloomy and the sense of claustrophobia and isolation is all-encompassing. This small town has very little to offer. To be honest, I can’t fathom at all why anyone would want to live there. There are no prospects, people have a hard time making ends meet and there is very little to do for entertainment. It’s no wonder Charlie made her escape from this place but why? And how will this forced return affect her?

I must admit that this didn’t quite turn out the way I expected it to. Yes, there’s an investigation into the disappearance of a teenaged girl but it goes deeper than that and the actual police work almost takes a backseat. This is very much a character-driven story and a truly fine example of Scandi-Noir, with its main focus on main protagonist, Charlie, and a rather intriguing backstory. In alternating chapters, the reader is introduced to two young girls. These chapters really grabbed my attention and I couldn’t at all figure out how they were connected to anything. And with every resident in Gullspång seemingly having something to hide, finding out who’s responsible for Annabelle’s disappearance is a bit like looking for a needle in a haystack. In short, there’s plenty on offer here to hold your attention throughout.

This first instalment in the Charlie Lager series won the Crimetime Specsavers Best Debut Award and it’s easy to see why. Gripping and atmospheric, this slow-burner marks the perfect introduction to Charlie Lager. I have no doubt this complex characters hides many more secrets and it’ll be thrilling to find out what those are.

For The Missing is available to buy!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Bookdepository | Kobo | Wordery | Goodreads

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

Lina Bengtsdotter grew up in Gullspång, Sweden. She is a teacher in Swedish and Psychology and has published a number of short stories in various newspapers and magazines in Sweden and the Nordic countries. She has lived in the UK and in Italy and today resides outside of Stockholm with her three children.

FOR THE MISSING is her debut novel.

Agnes Broomé is a literary translator and Preceptor in Scandinavian at Harvard University. With a PhD in Translation Studies, her translations include August Prize-winner THE EXPEDITION by Bea Uusma. 

Weekly Wrap-Up (January 5)

Hello and welcome to the first weekly wrap-up of the shiny new year. First, let me wish you all an incredibly fabulous 2019! May you all be surrounded by love, friendship and books! And wine. Just me? Okay.

Hold on to your seats because yes, I have actually been reading! Not a lot over the holidays though. I spent almost two weeks on what’s basically a novella and I admit, I was getting slightly worried there. But things seem to be on the up this week. Now if only my reviewing mojo would cooperate, I’d be golden!

| BOOKS I READ THIS WEEK |

Hm. Not exactly impressive but I’ll take it! I say that because two of those are so short, they should have been a breeze. And for the curious amongst you, it was Miss Marley that took me so long to finish. Not because it was bad. I just kept getting distracted by other things that seemed much more fun at the time.

| BOOKS I BOUGHT THIS WEEK |

Book buying mojo INTACT! 😂

Two of those are pre-orders : The Hunting Party and After The End. The Jane Austen is a Knickerbocker Classics set and I’m totally in love with it. I bought the Charles Dickens one last year as well. Some I was told to get by my very own evil enabler and finally, The Snowman is a …. wait for it … audiobook. For entirely obvious and shallow reasons, as it’s narrated by Richard Armitage. 😍

| ARC’s RECEIVED VIA NETGALLEY |

None. My requests keep getting denied. Why do they hate me?! 🤣

No book post either so let’s quickly move on!

| ON THE BLOG THIS PAST WEEK |

A slow one after my break.

Wednesday : This Week in Books

Thursday : I shared some of my most anticipated books of 2019

Friday : My first blog tour of the year was The Illumination of Ursula Flight

| NEXT WEEK ON NOVEL DEELIGHTS |

Monday : Nothing planned

Tuesday : Blog tour | Review | For The Missing by Lina Bengtsdotter

Wednesday : Blog tour | Review | The Man With No Face by Peter May

Thursday : Blog tour | Review | Tell Me A Secret by Jane Fallon

Friday : Blog tour | Guest Post | The Disappeared by Sibel Hodge

Saturday : Unless I am on a blog tour, this may become a weekly day off.

Sunday : Weekly Wrap-Up

Good thing I’ve managed to sign up for less blog tours, eh? 🙄😂

And that’s it for the first week of January. I have a New Year’s dinner to attend later on that I’m not looking forward to at all. But there will be wine, so there’s that. Fair warning (and apologies in advance) to those I send messages to when I get bored. 😉😂

Alright, 2019! Let’s do this! See you all next week! Happy reading! xx

The Illumination of Ursula Flight by Anna-Marie Crowhurst | @writercrow @theotherkirsty @AllenandUnwinUK | #blogtour

I’m delighted to join the blog tour for The Illumination of Ursula Flight by Anna-Marie Crowhurst today! My thanks to Kirsty Doole at Atlantic for the invitation to join and for the beautiful review copy!

Author : Anna-Marie Crowhurst
Title : The Illumination of Ursula Flight
Pages : 416
Publisher : Allen & Unwin
Publication date : January 3, 2019 (paperback)

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

On the 15th day of December in the year of our Lord 1664, a great light bloomed in the dark sky and crept slowly and silently across the blackness: a comet. Every evening afterwards, though snow lay on the ground and the air bit with frost, men across the land threw open their windows and went out of their doors in cloaks and mufflers to gaze at the heavens, necks stretched up, hands shielding eyes, crooking long fingers to trace the burning thing that flamed across the night, while dogs moaned in their kennels and wise women chanted incantations against bright malignant spirits.

Born on the night of an ill-auguring comet just before Charles II’s Restoration, Ursula Flight has a difficult future written in the stars. Against the custom of the age she begins an education with her father, who fosters in her a love of reading, writing and astrology.

Following a surprising meeting with an actress, Ursula’s dreams turn to the theatre and thus begins her quest to become a playwright despite scoundrels, bounders, bad luck and heartbreak.

| MY THOUGHTS |

December 15th, 1664. The dark night is lit up by a comet, something that wasn’t particularly seen as a good omen in those days. While this comet travels along, Ursula Flight is born and this is how her story starts and the reader is taken on the most delightful journey through her life.

Ursula is one of those characters you just fall in love with the second you meet her. Born into a well to-do family, she’s fun, fierce, determined, inquisitive, imaginative, wise for her age and for the times. She’s most definitely someone to sympathise with and root for. Despite the fact her father, against the custom of the age, begins educating her, life in those days was quite preordained. Ursula will have to marry, willing or not, and all her hopes and dreams might just be crushed.

I found The Illumination of Ursula Flight a most remarkably refreshing and enchanting story. It is exquisitely written, full of complex and intriguing characters and often quite humorous. Ursula’s love for all things theatre shines through via chapters from her diary and plays she’s written during the good times from her childhood but also the hardships she faces later on on in life. I was worried these would put me off but ended up truly enjoying them and found they added just that little bit extra and an even greater insight into the kind of person Ursula is.

I do so love historical fiction and this novel was brilliantly written. It kept me captivated for hours. Maybe some things are a little predictable and maybe some readers might find the story takes a while to pick up but for me, I found myself so immersed that I wondered where the time and the pages had gone. I couldn’t have picked a better novel to kickstart the new year with. Ursula utterly captured my heart and I thoroughly enjoyed going on this journey with her. I loved it so much that it may just be a novel I’ll pick up again some time.

Well researched and hugely entertaining, The Illumination of Ursula Flight is an impressive debut by Anna-Marie Crowhurst and I very much look forward to reading more by her in future.

The Illumination of Ursula Flight is available to buy!

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| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

ANNA-MARIE CROWHURST has worked as a freelance journalist and columnist for more than 15 years, contributing to The Times, The Guardian, Time Out, Newsweek, Emerald Street and Stylist. In 2016 she studied for an MA in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University, where her debut novel The Illumination of Ursula Flight was born. She lives in London.

Author links : Twitter

Some of my most anticipated books of 2019

At the end of last year, I mentioned doing a post focusing on some of my most anticipated releases for the new year. Since then, it seems everyone and their dog has done a post like that so obviously my idea wasn’t as original as I thought it was. Anyway, I decided to share this list regardless and hopefully you’ll find something that will pique your interest.

Listed by publication date for digital and hardcover copies.

| JANUARY |

Steve Cavanagh – Twisted
Matt Wesolowski – Changeling
Will Dean – Red Snow
Steph Broadribb – Deep Dirty Truth
Diane Setterfield – Once Upon A River

| FEBRUARY |

Angela Marsons – Dead Memories
Jo Spain – Dirty Little Secrets
Stacey Halls – The Familiars
Louise Beech – Call Me Star Girl
C.J. Tudor – The Taking of Annie Thorne
Alex Michaelides – The Silent Patient

| APRIL |

Gillian McAllister – The Evidence Against You

| MAY |

Stuart MacBride – All That’s Dead
Alison Weir – Anna of Kleve : Queen of Secrets
Sarah Hilary – Never Be Broken
Melanie Golding – Little Darlings

| JUNE |

Karin Slaughter – The Last Widow
Alex North – The Whisper Man

| JULY |

Riley Sager – Lock Every Door

| UNKNOWN |

Sharon Bolton – The Poisoner

This is a weird one but I’ve included it anyway. I could have sworn the original publication date was May but Amazon now lists it as December 2020, which quite frankly I refuse to believe because I WANT IT NOW!

Honourable mention to Johana Gustawsson and the third book in the Roy & Castells series.

I have a feeling it’s going to be a great bookish year once again! Which book(s) are you looking forward to the most? Do let me know and I hope you’ve found something in this list that caught your eye. Happy reading! xx