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

My Top 20 Favourite Series of 2018 (part one)

What an incredible year for books 2018 has been! I remember back in January already thinking compiling these end-of-year lists would be an impossible task. So just like last year, I’ve split things up. My favourite stand-alones will follow at a later date but in this post, I’m focusing on my favourite series. At least it will give me the opportunity to highlight more books.

Some of these may not have been published this year but since I read them this year, I mention them anyway alongside their most recent additions.

Because the list is so long (I had no idea I read so many series!), I’m splitting this post up into two parts.

So, in random order, My Top 20 Favourite Series of 2018 – Part One!

| Sarah Hilary – DI Marnie Rome |

I said it last year and I’ll say it again : Sarah Hilary’s writing just keeps getting better and better and this series is one of the strongest out there! [my review]

| Helen Fields – DI Luc Callanach |

Again, a corker of a series! I’ve loved this series from the very beginning and any crime fiction fan, of the not faint-hearted variety, should most definitely be reading this! [my reviews here and here]

| David Jackson – DS Nathan Cody |

An absolutely brilliant addition to an already outstanding series that I feel more people should be talking about! [my review]

| Angela Marsons – DI Kim Stone |

Was there ever any doubt these would be on the list? Still going utterly strong after nine books and still a series I’ll happily drop everything for when a new book publishes. [my review here and here]

| J.D. Barker – 4MK |

I’ve found that I’m leaning more towards books set in England lately but I gladly make an exception for the 4MK Thriller series because it just blows my mind! I’m incredibly excited to see how J.D. Barker wraps things up in the final instalment. [my review for The Fifth to Die]

| Johanna Gustawsson – Roy and Castells |

Modern crimes combined with historical fiction? Don’t mind if I do! If you’re looking for addictive page-turners, this is it! [my review]

| Cara Hunter – DI Adam Fawley |

One of those series that just hooked me from the first page. I thought Close To Home was amazing but In The Dark was even better! I can’t wait for book three! [my review for Close to Home]

| Sarah Ward – DC Connie Childs |

I’ve been reading this series from the beginning but have never reviewed it. These books tend to be published right before I leave on holiday in September and they are the first book I pick up when I’m settling down by the pool in Tuscany. I can never find the words to them justice and so don’t review them but consider them my very own special treat. So good!

| Alison Weir – The Six Tudor Queens |

Few people do Tudor fiction the way Alison Weir does and The Six Tudor Queens brings that era to life in the most fascinating way. [my review]

| Daniel Cole – Detective William Fawkes |

Slightly misleading to call it the second book in the Detective William Fawkes series since he’s not actually in it. Personally I didn’t really miss him all that much because of another character but I know other people did. Still, another gripping and exciting book that makes you anxiously await the next instalment. [my review]

So there we have it. Part one of my favourite series of the year. Anything here you’ve read as well? Enjoyed? Didn’t like at all? I’d ask you to mention which books you’d add to the list but since there’s more to come, we’ll leave that for now. Be sure to come back tomorrow for part two! 

Jane Seymour : The Haunted Queen by Alison Weir @AlisonWeirBooks @headlinepg

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Author : Alison Weir
Title : Jane Seymour, The Haunted Queen
Series : Six Tudor Queens
Pages : 502
Publisher : Headline
Publication date : May 3, 2018

aboutthebook

The woman haunted by the fate of her predecessor.

Eleven days after the death of Anne Boleyn, Jane is dressing for her wedding to the King.

She has witnessed at first hand how courtly play can quickly turn to danger and knows she must bear a son . . . or face ruin.

This new Queen must therefore step out from the shadows cast by Katherine and Anne. In doing so, can she expose a gentler side to the brutal King?

mythoughts

The third book in the Six Tudor Queens series obviously features Henry VIII’s third wife, Jane Seymour. I must admit I knew very little about her going in. Apart from the facts, of course. Third wife, the only one to give Henry a male heir and the fact that she was apparently so beloved by Henry that he decided to be buried alongside her.

I’m not entirely sure I now know much more about her as far as historical facts are concerned, to be honest, but I do thoroughly enjoy the way she’s portrayed in this novel. It seems, unlike the previous wives, Jane left little or nothing of note. No journals or letters, for instance, that thorough research would normally be based on. This means there were quite a few gaps that Alison Weir needed to fill but true to form, she manages to do that in an entirely plausible and credible way.

Considering Jane Seymour’s rather short life, this is one long book though never boring. We are offered a glimpse into Jane’s early life, growing up in a big and happy family, surrounded by one or two ambitious brothers who themselves will play a huge part in history. In those early days however, Jane is determined to become a nun. How very different things would have been if that had come to pass.

As it is, she finds her way to court, as a maid-in-waiting to the first (and true 😄) Queen Katherine when Henry’s pursuit of Anne Boleyn has already started. The Great Matter, as it’s known, would always play a massive part in the first three books in this series as events overlap, but Jane is very much on the fringes of it all. However, her fierce loyalty to Queen Katherine and her faith will shape the future.

Was Jane naive? Did she really fall in love or was she merely as ambitious as her brothers? Who knows? Alison Weir paints an interesting picture of a devout and intelligent young lady who carefully weights up her options, who believes she might possibly be able to make a difference and restore what Anne Boleyn tore apart.

Interestingly, we also see a rather different side to Henry VIII. Not quite the self-centred, unforgiving, bullying “man-child” who throws temper tantrums when things don’t go his way. Not towards Jane anyway. I do believe he genuinely loved Jane Seymour but I can’t help thinking what would have happened if she hadn’t borne him a son.

It’s quite obvious to me that my fascination with the Tudor era and the six wives of Henry VIII will never go away. In my most humble opinion, nobody brings this era to life as magnificently as Alison Weir does. The meticulous research, the absolutely wonderful eye for detail, it all jumps from the pages and never fails to completely absorb me.

The Six Tudor Queens is an exquisite series and this third book is a truly wonderful addition. I can’t wait for the next one, which is obviously about Ann of Cleves, if you know your history. I’m quite happy to leave the Great Matter behind and learn more about the other wives. If you’re a Tudor fan, I have no doubt you will love this but I also feel there’s a lot here to please any historical fiction reader.

Do also make sure you read the incredibly interesting author’s notes!

Jane Seymour : The Haunted Queen is available to buy!

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

This Week in Books (May 9)

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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

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In a reimagined contemporary Edinburgh, in which a tectonic fault has opened up to produce a new volcano in the Firth of Forth, and where tremors are an everyday occurrence, volcanologist Surtsey makes a shocking discovery. On a clandestine trip to The Inch – the new volcanic island – to meet Tom, her lover and her boss, she finds his lifeless body. Surtsey’s life quickly spirals into a nightmare when someone makes contact – someone who claims to know what she’s done.

The book I’m currently reading

37912964

Eleven days after the death of Anne Boleyn, Jane is dressing for her wedding to the King.

She has witnessed at first hand how courtly play can quickly turn to danger and knows she must bear a son . . . or face ruin.

This new queen must therefore step out from the shadows cast by Katherine and Anne – in doing so, can she expose a gentler side to the brutal King?


What I’m (probably) reading next

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When Tina Hopgood writes a letter of regret to a man she has never met, she doesn’t expect a reply.

When Anders Larsen, a lonely museum curator, answers it, nor does he.

They’re both searching for something, they just don’t know it yet.

Anders has lost his wife, along with his hopes and dreams for the future. Tina is trapped in a marriage she doesn’t remember choosing.

Slowly their correspondence blossoms as they bare their souls to each other with stories of joy, anguish and discovery. But then Tina’s letters suddenly cease, and Anders is thrown into despair.

Can their unexpected friendship survive?

page-divide_12_orig

What are you reading this week? Whatever it is, I hope it brings you hours and hours of lots of happy reading! xx

My Top 20 Favourite Reads of 2017

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Around this time last year, I first started to get this wee itch about starting a blog as I desperately tried to get my favourites of 2016 shared via twitter and realised there had to be an easier way to talk about books. I can’t believe a whole year has passed since then and I’m here talking about my favourite books of this year. Crazy!

Last week, I shared my favourite series of the year which I thought would help me narrow down this list. Boy, was I wrong. It’s been an amazing year for books and since I nearly read 300 (there’s still time! 😂), a top 10 was never going to happen.

So I present to you, My Top 20 Favourite Reads of 2017. With apologies to the authors/books I had to drop from the list. I feel bad but I had to narrow it down somehow or I may as well just have listed every book I’ve read.

In no particular order (except for the last one), here we go!

Stuart MacBride – A Dark So Deadly [my review]
Stuart MacBride – Now We Are Dead
Karin Slaughter – The Good Daughter [my review]
Sharon Bolton – Dead Woman Walking [my review]

Louise Beech – Maria in the Moon [my review]
Lesley Allen – The Lonely Life of Biddy Weir [my review]
Michael J. Malone – House of Spines [my review]

Alice Feeney – Sometimes I Lie [my review]
Barbara Copperthwaite – Her Last Secret [my review]
Barbara Copperthwaite – The Darkest Lies [my review]
Paul Cleave – A Killer Harvest [my review]

Thomas Enger – Cursed [my review]
Matt Wesolowski – Six Stories [my review]
Will Dean – Dark Pines [my review]
Johana Gustawsson – Block 46 [my review]

Alison Weir – Anne Boleyn : A King’s Obsession [my review]
Rachel Rhys – A Dangerous Crossing [my review]
Gill Paul – Another Woman’s Husband [my review]
Eve Chase – The Vanishing of Audrey Wilde [my review]

My favourite book of 2017

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Fredrick Backman – The Scandal / Beartown [my review]

I’m sure it comes as no surprise but I knew it the minute I started reading, that this was going to be my top book of the year!

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And there you have it. Mahoosive thank you to all the authors, publishers and Netgalley for making my reading year so phenomenal! And to you, my fellow bloggers and readers of this blog, thank you for your support, for visiting and for commenting! ❤️

I wish you all a wonderful and peaceful Christmas and Happy Holidays! xx

Anne Boleyn : A King’s Obsession by Alison Weir @AlisonWeirBooks @headlinepg

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Author : Alison Weir
Title : Anne Boleyn : A King’s Obsession
Series : The Six Tudor Queens #2
Pages : 507
Publisher : Headline
Publication date : May 18, 2017

aboutthebook

The young woman who changed the course of history.

Fresh from the palaces of Burgundy and France, Anne draws attention at the English court, embracing the play of courtly love.

But when the King commands, nothing is ever a game.

Anne has a spirit worthy of a crown – and the crown is what she seeks. At any price.

ANNE BOLEYN. The second of Henry’s Queens. Her story.
History tells us why she died. This powerful novel shows her as she lived.

mythoughts

For most people, Anne Boleyn probably doesn’t need much of an introduction. No matter how you feel about her, she was a pretty influential figure in Tudor history. Having read quite a bit about her, I at first found Alison Weir’s version of her to be rather conflicting to all the other information stored in my pea-sized brain and I struggled for a while.

Most things you read about Anne Boleyn depict her as a manipulative, conniving so-and-so who’s determined to ruin a marriage and become Queen. But Alison Weir has taken a different approach and has made a valiant attempt to cast a more sympathetic light on Anne Boleyn and despite my early misgivings, she completely managed to convince me.

As always, it’s incredibly obvious Alison Weir has done her research, which is evident from the author’s notes that are also truly interesting to read. Based on that research, could it possibly be that it wasn’t Anne who set her eyes on the King but the other way around? And when a King chases you and you realise what you could achieve if you were a queen, what would you do? Was Anne a pawn? Was she an evil, ambitious woman or was she simply misunderstood? You’ll have to read this story and make up your own mind.

I found Anne Boleyn : A King’s Obsession to be thoroughly thought-provoking and as I’ve mentioned, my opinion of her has changed. Alison Weir deftly guides us through Anne Boleyn’s life, from the very first time she leaves home until her untimely death. She made her mark but paid the price for it due to a fickle man who stopped at nothing to get his way. The Tudor era will never stop fascinating me and I can’t wait to read the next book in The Six Tudor Queens series which will be all about wife number three, Jane Seymour.

Anne Boleyn : A King’s Obsession is available now!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Bookdepository | Goodreads

Katherine of Aragon : The True Queen by Alison Weir @headlinepg

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Author : Alison Weir
Pages : 597
Publisher :
Publication date : May 5, 2016

aboutthebook

The lives of Henry VIII’s queens make for dramatic stories and Alison Weir will write a series of novels that offer insights into the real lives of the six wives based on extensive research and new theories.

In all the romancing, has anyone regarded the evidence that Anne Boleyn did not love Henry VIII? Or that Prince Arthur, Katherine of Aragon’s first husband, who is said to have loved her in fact cared so little for her that he willed his personal effects to his sister? Or that Henry VIII, an over-protected child and teenager, was prudish when it came to sex? That Jane Seymour, usually portrayed as Henry’s one true love, had the makings of a matriarch? There is much to reveal …

Alison will write about the wives in the context of their own age and of the court intrigues that surrounded these women and – without exception – wrecked their lives. She will transport readers into a lost and vivid world of splendour and brutality: a world in which love, or the game of it, dominates all.

mythoughts

Katherine of Aragon : The True Queen is the first book in a brand-new series about the Tudor Queens by Alison Weir. Now, I have an incredible fascination with that era that I can’t even begin to explain and this author, to me, is the queen of historical Tudor fiction. Suffice to say I could have danced on the table when the postman delivered this book.

This novel starts off with Katherine, or Catalina as she was then, on the ship that will take her from Spain to England to marry Prince Arthur, whom she’s never met. I can’t even begin to imagine being so young and having your parents ship you off to a foreign country for what is ultimately nothing more than politics. Barely five months into the marriage, Arthur dies and years later, Katherine will become the first of Henry VIII’s six wives. Throughout her life she will suffer multiple miscarriages, will fail to give the King an heir, and will ultimately lose his love and respect due to a conniving and manipulative woman. (That’s just my opinion. 😄) But through it all, she remains loyal to her vows, to her faith and to her husband.

This story is entirely written from Katherine’s point of view, which really adds an extra layer and had me completely captivated. As a reader, one who knows about Tudor history, you know what’s going on but Katherine doesn’t. Especially not in the latter years when she becomes increasingly isolated from court proceedings and finds herself dependent on letters that are secretly sent to her.

Katherine’s story has always struck a cord with me. This amazingly dignified, pious, strong and principled woman has captured my imagination for the longest time. To be able to read about her life through her own words, so to speak, almost broke my heart. You can’t help but feel for her and while it may be hard for us, as modern women, to even begin to imagine her life and her choices, these were very different times. For one who was raised to do her duty, who was raised to be the Queen of England, she really only ever did what she felt was right.

There are a lot of books out there about the Tudor era but this one really held my attention from start to finish. The author truly manages to transport you to a time long ago with brilliant descriptive writing and a fabulously rich atmosphere. What I liked as well is that some of these books will overlap. In this one, there’s obviously mention of Anne Boleyn, but also of Jane Seymour and Thomas Cromwell for instance.

This isn’t a quick read but its 597 pages are incredibly engrossing. I already have my copy of book 2 in this series and I can’t wait to get started on it. If you like historical fiction, this is for you. If you like Tudor historical fiction, I can’t recommend this enough!

Katherine of Aragon : The True Queen was published in May 2016.

Amazon USAmazon UKBookdepository – Goodreads

This Week in Books (June 14)

this-week-in-books

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 :

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A vicious burglary goes horribly wrong when an elderly victim is killed and one of the burglars is injured.

In the detached house next door, Julia is preparing to leave her husband.  He has let her down for the last time and her bags are packed. Taking their eight-year-old daughter, Lucy, from her bed they set off in the fog.

But on this cold, dark night, fate steps in and these strangers collide.

The book I’m currently reading :

With a Kindle full of books and multiple upcoming blog tours, I somehow still couldn’t choose what to read next. But then my postman arrived with books I ordered last week and the decision was made.

26048655

The lives of Henry VIII’s queens make for dramatic stories and Alison Weir will write a series of novels that offer insights into the real lives of the six wives based on extensive research and new theories.

In all the romancing, has anyone regarded the evidence that Anne Boleyn did not love Henry VIII? Or that Prince Arthur, Katherine of Aragon’s first husband, who is said to have loved her in fact cared so little for her that he willed his personal effects to his sister? Or that Henry VIII, an over-protected child and teenager, was prudish when it came to sex? That Jane Seymour, usually portrayed as Henry’s one true love, had the makings of a matriarch? There is much to reveal …

Alison will write about the wives in the context of their own age and of the court intrigues that surrounded these women and – without exception – wrecked their lives. She will transport readers into a lost and vivid world of splendour and brutality: a world in which love, or the game of it, dominates all.

What I’m reading next :

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Connie Carter has lost everybody and everything dear to her. To help nurse her grieving heart and to try and find answers, she moves from her home in America to Ludlow Hall, deep in the Irish countryside. All she knows about Ludlow is that her late husband spent all their money on the house – without ever mentioning it to her. Now Connie needs to know why.

At Ludlow Hall, Connie befriends Eve and Hetty and is introduced to the somewhat curious Ludlow Ladies’ Society. But can Connie ever reveal her hurt? And, more importantly, can she ever understand or forgive? As the Ludlow Ladies stitch patchwork memory quilts to remember those they have loved and lost, the secrets of the past finally begin to surface.

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What are you reading this week? Let me know! I’m always looking to add to my TBR pile. There’s no such thing as too many books!

Happy reading! xx