Weekly Wrap-Up (September 1)

HOW IS IT SEPTEMBER???????

The third heatwave of the year hit our shores this past week and while I absolutely love sunshine and heat, I reached a point where I’d just had enough. I assume that’s mostly due to the immense sleep deprivation that is haunting me because the dog will still not sleep where she’s been sleeping for the past 11 years. So I’ve been grabbing an hour here and thirty minutes there on the sofa while she’s snoring and dreaming up a storm right next to me. I had hoped the cooler temperatures would change that but sadly not and we are now left to think there is something else going on and unfortunately that can never be good news. We will see tomorrow what the vet says.

The other half’s annual vacation starts today so we have officially kicked off our Italy countdown. This time next week, …. erm, well, it looks like I might be stuck indoors with a book because the weather forecast is absolutely atrocious. My current holiday TBR pile stands at 8. I hope that’ll be enough. There are some chunky ones in there, like three books in the Shardlake series I still have to read.

Reading-wise, things are going fabulously! Reviewing however, is another matter. It seems to be in holiday mode already. I have one review left to write for my 20 Books of Summer Challenge, which is of course great. But I actually could have been finished last week because I’ve read more than 20. I just couldn’t be bothered to review them 🤣

So, which books made it off the shelves this week?

| BOOKS I READ THIS WEEK |

Still feeling rather accomplished about finishing a non-fiction book for the first time ever. It’s been a great reading week, for sure!

| BOOKS I BOUGHT THIS WEEK |

Oops. I think I might need to start applying reverse psychology on myself because the whole “I’m not buying anymore books” thing is obviously not working. 😳

| ON THE BLOG THIS PAST WEEK |

Monday : Joined the blog tour for Dead Inside by Noelle Holten

Tuesday : nothingnesses

Wednesday : Shared my review for The Trial of Lizzie Borden by Cara Robertson

Thursday : also nothing

Friday : nothing to see here either

Saturday : Reviewed Rewind by Catherine Ryan Howard

Sunday : Weekly Wrap-Up

The fruits of my conscious effort to slow down are most definitely starting to pay off 😂

| NEXT WEEK ON NOVEL DEELIGHTS |

Monday : Review | Little Darlings by Melanie Golding

Tuesday : Probably nothing

Wednesday : This Week in Books

Thursday : Nothing

Friday : Also nothing

Saturday : Most definitely nothing

Sunday : Nada, zilch

I don’t know about you but I’m awfully excited about next week’s posts 😂

My Weekly Wrap-Up will return at the end of the month, which shall then be called the Monthly Wrap-Up. Hopefully I’ll have something to say about books because that didn’t go so well last year. I read 2 books on holiday, the lowest amount ever. Still don’t get how that happened.

And that’s a wrap! I’ll still be around until Friday but after that, I’m considering a total social media break and my blog will most likely gather dust. I may even leave the laptop at home. Oooh, controversial decision! 🤣

Wishing you all a fabulous week and lots of happy reading! Until next time! xx

Weekly Wrap-Up (July 21)

Slightly odd week. I was feeling rather overwhelmed with things again, having quite a few books to get through for the upcoming week. So naturally, the logical approach seemed to be …. the ostrich one. 🤔.

Instead of reading, I spent hours on YouTube watching old tennis matches. As you do. This means I of course fell behind even more and I still have two books to read for blog tours next week. Stupid girl.

And of course, I also had to keep up with social media and watch my blogger friends have an absolute blast at the Theakston Crime Festival in Harrogate this weekend. It’s not something I ever see myself attending (WAY too many people! 😂) but that doesn’t mean I don’t get a teenie-tiny jealous every single time.

Anyway, what did I manage to read this week then?

| BOOKS I READ THIS WEEK |

Oh! I just surprised myself here! That’s not too bad at all! I have no idea how I did that. Maybe I’m sleep-reading 🤔🤣

If you feel like playing the guessing game today : one of those is in my top 5 of books of the year.

| BOOKS I BOUGHT THIS WEEK |

I already owned Tall Oaks on Kindle so that doesn’t count, does it?

| BOOK POST THAT LANDED ON MY DOORSTEP THIS WEEK |

Superduper grateful and lucky blogger this week! With thanks to Headline, Atlantic / Corvus and Orenda.

| ON THE BLOG THIS PAST WEEK |

Monday : Shared my review for Stop At Nothing by Tammy Cohen

Tuesday : Hosted a stop on the blog tour for Child’s Play by Angela Marsons

Wednesday : This Week in Books

Thursday : Author Andrew Joyce visited to talk about his new book Mahoney

Friday : Joined the blog tour for The Last Stage by Louise Voss

Saturday : Took the day off because everyone and their dog was at Harrogate 😂

Sunday : Weekly Wrap-Up

| NEXT WEEK ON NOVEL DEELIGHTS |

Monday : Blog tour | Review | What I Did by Claire McGowan
Monday : Blog tour | Review | The Girl at the Window by Rowan Coleman

Tuesday : Blog tour | Review | The Hidden Wife by Amanda Reynolds

Wednesday : Blog tour | Review | Found by Erin Kinsley

Thursday : Blog tour | Review | The Scribe by A.A. Chaudhuri

Friday : Review | Crime Short Stories by various authors

Saturday : Taking the day off

Sunday : Weekly Wrap-Up

Accidental double booking there. 🙄 Two still to read, like I mentioned at the start, and no time to read today. Argh! Things will settle down enormously after this week though. You’ll see! No, really. Stop laughing! 😜

And that’s a wrap! We have another heatwave coming our way this week. The current forecast is predicting temperatures of 39C, possibly even 40C, and boy, do I hope they’re wrong 😅. But if they’re not wrong, I predict a lot of reading and zero sleeping so there’s that.

Hope everyone has a fantastic week! See you next time! Happy reading! xx

After He Died by Michael J. Malone @michaelJmalone1 @OrendaBooks @annecater #blogtour #bookreview #AfterHeDied

Thrilled to bits to join the blog tour for After He Died by Michael J. Malone today, alongside one of my favourite people, Karen at My Reading Corner. Make sure you check out her review as well. Huge thanks to Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books for my review copy and to Anne Cater for inviting me to join the tour.

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Author : Michael J. Malone
Title : After He Died
Pages : 295
Publisher : Orenda Books
Publication date : September 20, 2018

aboutthebook

When Paula Gadd’s husband of almost thirty years dies, just days away from the seventh anniversary of their son, Christopher’s death, her world falls apart. Grieving and bereft, she is stunned when a young woman approaches her at the funeral service, and slips something into her pocket. A note suggesting that Paula’s husband was not all that he seemed…

When the two women eventually meet, a series of revelations challenges everything Paula thought they knew, and it becomes immediately clear that both women’s lives are in very real danger.

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If you haven’t yet introduced yourself to Michael J. Malone’s books, you are missing out on an amazingly talented author. If there’s one thing I love about his work, it is that I never quite know what to expect when I pick up one his books. But I do know I’m in for a treat as he always delivers a most devilish tale.

After He Died once again shows of Michael J. Malone’s ability to diversify so if you’re expecting something along the lines of the gothic greatness that was House of Spines or the extremely powerful A Suitable Lie, this isn’t it. This one is quite different, again, yet awesome in its own right. And that’s exactly why this author should be on everyone’s bookshelf.

Paula’s husband dies unexpectedly from a heart attack. During these hard times and feeling lost in a mental fog, the last thing she needs is a woman coming up to her at the funeral to tell her there are things she should know about her late husband, Thomas. But that’s exactly what happens when Paula is approached by Cora.

This domestic noir / psychological thriller had me on the edge of my seat. It’s a dark, utterly absorbing and incredibly addictive page-turner. All throughout the story you wonder what Thomas had been up to, if anything, and if there’s anyone Paula can trust. While I thought I had a few things figured out, I couldn’t connect the dots at all and I was left guessing until the end, when a massive curveball completely threw me for a loop.

Michael J. Malone is an incredible storyteller and has delivered a complex and character-driven story that had me hooked from start to finish. His writing style is utterly absorbing. I adore the realistic touches like the Scottish dialect since this story is set in Glasgow, which wasn’t too confusing to follow so I didn’t have to hit up my Scottish chum to ask what the heck the characters were saying. A pacy read, a thrilling ride and a mind-blowing conclusion … what more could you possibly want?

This is one exciting author who quickly shot his way up my list of go-to authors and I can’t wait to see what he comes up with next!

After He Died is available to buy!

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

abouttheauthor

Michael Malone is a prize-winning poet and author who was born and brought up in the heart of Burns’ country. He has published over 200 poems in literary magazines throughout the UK, including New Writing Scotland, Poetry Scotland and Markings. Blood Tears, his bestselling debut novel won the Pitlochry Prize from the Scottish Association of Writers. Other published work includes: Carnegie’s Call; A Taste for Malice; The Guillotine Choice; Beyond the Rage; The Bad Samaritan and Dog Fight. His psychological thriller, A Suitable Lie, was a  Spines soon followed suit. A former Regional Sales Manager (Faber & Faber) he has also worked as an IFA and a bookseller.

Author links : Facebook | Twitter

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This Week in Books (September 5)

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This week is getting completely away from me! I’m so ridiculously busy and my reading is taking a massive beating.

Last book I finished reading

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Liv died when she was just six years old. At least, that’s what the authorities think.

Her father knew he was the only one who could keep her safe in this world. So one evening he left the isolated house his little family called home, he pushed their boat out to sea and watched it ruin on the rocks. Then he walked the long way into town to report his only child missing.

But behind the boxes and the baskets crowding her Dad’s workshop, Liv was hiding. This way her Dad had said, she’d never have to go to school; this way, she’d never have to leave her parents.

This way, Liv would be safe.

[Such an absolutely amazing story! Dark and heartbreaking but beautifully written!]


The book I’m currently reading

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When silence falls, who will hear their cries?

The body of a young girl is found dumped on the roadside on the outskirts of Edinburgh. When pathologists examine the remains, they make a gruesome discovery: the silhouette of a doll carved in the victim’s skin.

DCI Ava Turner and DI Luc Callanach are struggling to find leads in the case, until a doll made of skin is found nestled beside an abandoned baby.

After another young woman is found butchered, Luc and Ava realise the babydoll killer is playing a horrifying game. And it’s only a matter of time before he strikes again. Can they stop another victim from being silenced forever – or is it already too late?

[I started this on Monday and I’m still only halfway! Bloody universe messing with my reading time. Anyway, another fabulous addition to the series! Not for the faint-hearted!]


What I’m (possibly) reading next

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You need to know who your husband really was…

When Paula Gadd’s husband of almost thirty years dies, just days away from the seventh anniversary of their son, Christopher’s death, her world falls apart. Grieving and bereft, she is stunned when a young woman approaches her at the funeral service, and slips something into her pocket. A note suggesting that Paula’s husband was not all that he seemed…

When the two women eventually meet, a series of revelations challenges everything Paula thought they knew, and it becomes immediately clear that both women’s lives are in very real danger.

Both a dark, twisty slice of domestic noir and taut, explosive psychological thriller, After He Died is also a chilling reminder that the people we trust the most can harbour the deadliest secrets…

[At the rate I’m going, “next” will probably not be until Sunday but still, I am SO looking forward to this one. I can’t wait to see what devilish tale Michael J. Malone has come up with this time!]

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I’m so sorry for not being very social this week. Did I mention I’m insanely busy? I’m still trying to share as many of your blog posts as I possibly can but unfortunately, I don’t have the time to leave comments or to interact with you guys on Twitter. I hope my “liking” your posts and tweets shows you how much I do appreciate everything! Normal service will resume when I’m back from holiday.

What exciting things are you reading this week? Let me know! 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

House of Spines by Michael J. Malone @michaelJmalone1 @orendabooks @annecater #blogtour

** advanced copy received via publisher **

I’m absolutely thrilled to be hosting a stop on the blog tour for the fabulous House of Spines today. I’ll be trying to share my thoughts with you (the short version is : buy it now!) after I tell you a little bit about the book.

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Author : Michael J. Malone
Title : House of Spines
Pages : 276
Publisher : Orenda Books
Publication date : August 16, 2017

aboutthebook

Ran McGhie’s world has been turned upside down. A young, lonely and frustrated writer, and suffering from mental-health problems, he discovers that his long-dead mother was related to one of Glasgow’s oldest merchant families. Not only that, but Ran has inherited Newton Hall, a vast mansion that belonged to his great-uncle, who appears to have been watching from afar as his estranged great-nephew has grown up.

Entering his new-found home, he finds that Great-Uncle Fitzpatrick has turned it into a temple to the written word – the perfect place for poet Ran. But everything is not as it seems. As he explores the Hall’s endless corridors, Ran’s grasp on reality appears to be loosening. And then he comes across an ancient lift; and in that lift a mirror. And in the mirror … the reflection of a woman.

mythoughts

Wow!

This review has been such a struggle to write and if I could have gotten away with just saying “brilliant, buy it now!”, I totally would have. The only thought in my head when I finished reading went something along the lines of “holy guacamole, what the frickety-frack was that?!”. I’ll say this though, if you’re looking for something utterly compelling and enthralling that will leave your head spinning in the most delicious way, then look no further! House of Spines does exactly that and so much more.

Also, I totally feel that cover is worth mentioning as it’s fab. I loved it from the first moment I saw it, even though I couldn’t quite figure out what it meant. That becomes clear when you read the book. Or the book description, which I didn’t. 😄

Ran McGhie’s life is turned upside down when he discovers that his mother came from a wealthy family and he has now inherited a huge mansion. And by huge, I mean absolutely massive. With multiple floors, a maze of rooms, an indoor swimming pool and, every bookworm’s dream, a gigantic library, you could say Ran is living the dream. But things at Newton Hall aren’t at all what they seem. Or are they?

Ran suffers from mental health problems and when at one point he stops taking his medication, it becomes hard for him and us, the reader, to keep a firm grip on reality. There were times I felt I was losing my mind myself! Is something haunting Ran’s new abode? Or is his imagination playing tricks on him? Personally, library or not, I’d be out of there in a flash.

If you’ve read Michael J. Malone’s previous offering, A Suitable Lie, and you’re expecting more of the same, ha! You’re in for a surprise! (Incidentally if you’ve not read it, you totally should. Just saying.) The author truly shows off his diversity and displays a remarkable talent for storytelling. This is not just your average ghost story, it’s far more than that. It’s absorbing, compelling, utterly gripping, deliciously creepy and intriguing. I’m running out of superlatives here. Suffice to say, it really just blew my mind.

Michael J. Malone is one amazingly exciting author and most definitely one to watch! I absolutely can’t wait for his next book! But for now, and this is something I never do, I’m taking House of Spines on holiday with me so I can read it again. It’s just THAT GOOD!

Many thanks to Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books and Anne Cater for the opportunity to join and the advanced copy!

House of Spines is available now!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Bookdepository | Goodreads

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House of Spines blog poster 2017