Month: September 2022

The Fairytale Hairdresser and Rapunzel

Posted September 26, 2022 by louisesr in Age 5-7, Childrens / 0 Comments

The Fairytale Hairdresser and RapunzelThe Fairytale Hairdresser and Rapunzel by Abie Longstaff
Series: Fairytale Hairdresser #1
Published by Puffin on 6 Jan 2011
Genres: Childrens
Pages: 32
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon

This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.

Join Kittie Lacey, as she faces her most hair-raising challenge - an evil witch, a tall tower, and a girl called Rapunzel who is having a very bad hair day. Will Kittie manage to tame unruly tresses that go on for miles, rescue a princess and create a happily ever after?

My daughter loves this series. In this first book Kittie Lacey is called to a tall tower where the witch is complaining she can’t get on with her evil plans as there is hair taking over the tower, Rapunzel is having a bad hair day. Kittie to the rescue!

This features a cast of many favourite fairytale characters who make an appearance to get their locks looked after by the best hairdresser is all the land!

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Forgotten Fairytales: Clever Molly

Posted September 20, 2022 by louisesr in Age 5-7, Childrens / 0 Comments

Forgotten Fairytales: Clever MollyForgotten Fairytales: Clever Molly Published by Usborne on 1 Oct 2020
Genres: Childrens
Pages: 48
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
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This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.

Molly and her sisters meet a wicked giant who wants to eat them. Molly's quick thinking saves them... but to defeat the giant forever, Molly will have to return and steal three magical treasures. Based on an old Scottish tale, sometimes known as Molly Whuppie.

Lily loves this book so much, this is the character she wanted to be for World Book Day.

It’s broken down into 5 chapters, perfect for children who’ve just started reading by themselves.

Molly and her 2 sisters are hungry. They decide to go out in search of food and come across a giants house where they ask his kind wife for food. When the giant comes home he invites them to stay the night, planning to eat them for breakfast. The girls escape and head on where they find a king who’s offered a reward of half his kingdom for anyone who can defeat the giant by stealing his 3 treasures.

This story of a bold clever girl saving herself and her sisters is a traditional Scottish tale. A similar tale is told in Ireland. Molly’s full name is given as Molly Whuppie. In Scotland, “whuppie” or “whippy” can mean nimble or clever

About Forgotten Fairy Tales

People have been telling each other fairy tales for thousands of years. Then, a few hundred years ago, collectors began whiting the stories down. The ones that became famous were the ones that reflected the ideas of the time.

These stories had patient, polite princesses such as Snow White and Sleeping Beauty. The takes with bold girls fighting their own battles were ignored.

The Forgotten Fairy Tales series brings to life the stories of those forgotten brave and brilliant girls…

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Review: Retreat to the Spanish Sun by Jo Thomas

Posted September 19, 2022 by louisesr in Review / 0 Comments

Review: Retreat to the Spanish Sun by Jo ThomasRetreat to the Spanish Sun by Jo Thomas
Published by Random House on June 1, 2022
Genres: Women's
Pages: 352
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon

This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.

Goodreads
four-stars

Eliza has a full house! When her three children grew up and moved out, she downsized to a smaller property... but now they're all back. Every room in the house is taken and Eliza finds herself sharing her bed with her eldest daughter and her daughter's pug. Combined with the online course she's trying to finish, plus her job to fit in, there just isn't the peace and quiet that Eliza needs.

So when an ad pops up on her laptop saying 'house-sitters wanted', Eliza can't resist the chance to escape. She ends up moving to a rural finca in southern Spain, looking after the owner's Iberico pigs, learning about secret gastronomic societies... and finding a new zest for life and love along the way.

As a “woman of a certain age” this book appealed to me. The idea that you hit your mid forties and realise that you no longer have an identity outside of mum is all too real. As my children are 4 and 6 (hello geriatric motherhood!) I have a long wait until my kids leave home but I can imagine that it’s tiring going from them leaving and being an empty nester to them all returning and upturning your life (again). I don’t know whether my time of life affected my reading, I so understand where she’s coming from in having put everyone else first for so long that it’s hard to remember who you actually were before the kids come along.

Oh to get the chance to house sit in the sun!

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Having been in the rain of the UK for the past 2 years, this is the closest to a sunny holiday I’ve had in some time. I can’t wait until I’m on Spanish shores again. This has really whet my appetite for it!

The opening to the book was a little rushed; we pretty much had “oh the kids are back, they’re driving me crazy, I need some space, hello house sitting in Spain” which is fair enough as the “meat” of the story happens once Eliza is rediscovering herself (see what I did there, meat – pig farming 🤣)

four-stars
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BOOK TOUR: Double or Nothing

Posted September 16, 2022 by louisesr in Review, Tour / 1 Comment

BOOK TOUR: Double or Nothing

BOOK TOUR: Double or NothingDouble or Nothing by Kim Sherwood
Published by HarperCollins on September 1, 2022
Genres: Thriller
Pages: 432
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Goodreads
four-stars

James Bond is missing. 007 has been captured, perhaps even killed, by a sinister private military company. His whereabouts are unknown. Meet the new generation of spies...

Johanna Harwood, 003. Joseph Dryden, 004. Sid Bashir, 009. Together, they represent the very best and brightest of MI6. Skilled, determined and with a licence to kill, they will do anything to protect their country.

The fate of the world rests in their hands...

Tech billionaire Sir Bertram Paradise claims he can reverse the climate crisis and save the planet. But can he really? The new spies must uncover the truth, because the future of humanity hangs in the balance.

Time is running out. The start of a brand new trilogy following MI6’s agents with a licence to kill, that blows the world of James Bond wide open!

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This is the start of a new trilogy based on the James Bond novels. Unlike the Anthony Horowitz novel which I read earlier this year, this is more of a spin off series, rather than a continuation of the Bond novels. , Bond isn’t actually present in this novel but, he is constantly referenced. He has gone missing and the focus is now on 3 newer MI6 agents Johanna Harwood 003, Joseph Dryden 004 and Sid Bashir 009. I can’t help thinking about the film franchise and how there’s constant speculation about who should play Bond next – should they be a POC, should they be female etc. They’d do well to learn from this and have Bond being Bond and introducing new characters which break from the white male stereotype.

Some of the characters – M, Q, Moneypenny and Felix, who we’ve come to know and love over the years are still around, although, not in exactly the same format as in previous years/books.

The opening of this book got straight into the action, introducing new characters and setting us up for the rest of the novel. There are times when it isn’t as fast paced as I’d have liked but we have twists and turns throughout and the focus on climate change makes this a very modern version of a classic series.

four-stars
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Review: A Faint Cold Fear by Karin Slaughter

Posted September 15, 2022 by louisesr in Review / 0 Comments

A Faint Cold Fear by Karin Slaughter
Published by Random House on September 13, 2022
Genres: Thriller
Pages: 464
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon

This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.

Goodreads
four-stars

Unnerving, unrelenting, unputdownable.

Sara Linton, medical examiner in the small town of Heartsdale, is called out to an apparent suicide on the local college campus. The mutilated body provides little in the way of clues - and the college authorities are keen to avoid a scandal - but for Sara and police chief Jeffrey Tolliver, things don't add up.

Two more suspicious suicides follow, and a young woman is brutally attacked. For Sara, the violence strikes far too close to home. And as Jeffrey pursues the sadistic killer, he discovers that ex-police detective Lena Adams, now a security guard on campus, may be in possession of crucial information. But, bruised and angered by her expulsion from the force, Lena seems to be barely capable of protecting herself, let alone saving the next victim...

You can’t go wrong with a Karin Slaughter book!

As ever, you’re not eased into the storyline slowly, it comes flying at you at 100mph right from page 1. I was sat opened mouthed, texting my reading buddies “why didn’t you warn me!!!”

Lena played a huge role in this book and I loved getting to see how she was (or wasn’t) dealing with the aftermath of her earlier attack.

I felt Sara was relegated to more of a side character in this novel than in previous books, I’d have liked to have seen more of her.

There was a lot of misdirection as to who the perpetrator was, this was a bit heavy handed for my liking. When all signs point to a certain person, you know it can’t be them!

four-stars

About Karin Slaughter

Karin Slaughter is one of the world’s most popular and acclaimed storytellers. Published in 120 countries with more than 40 million copies sold across the globe, her 22 novels include the Grant County and Will Trent books, as well as the Edgar-nominated COP TOWN and the instant NYT bestselling stand-alone novels PRETTY GIRLS, THE GOOD DAUGHTER, PIECES OF HER, and FALSE WITNESS. Slaughter is the founder of the Save the Libraries project—a nonprofit organization established to support libraries and library programming. A native of Georgia, she lives in Atlanta. Her stand-alone novel PIECES OF HER is now streaming on Netflix, starring Toni Collette, and the Will Trent series are in development for television.

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Karin Slaughter books reading order

Posted September 14, 2022 by louisesr in Book List / 0 Comments

Karin Slaughter has written a couple of series as well as some stand alone books. I am busy working my way through them all with my F*cked up reads book club. Click on the book title below to be taken to the Amazon page for the book. I will also link to those that I have reviewed on here.

GRANT COUNTY SERIES

You can read either series first but there is some cross over of characters so I would recommend starting with the Grant County series.

Book 1 – Blindsighted

Book 2 – Kisscut

Book 3 – A Faint Cold Fear – review to come

Book 4 – Indelible – see my review here

Book 5 – Faithless – see my review here

Book 6 – Skin Privilege – review to come

WILL TRENT SERIES

Although this is a separate series one of the main characters appears in both and so you should read the Grant County series before the Will Trent Series

Book 1 – Triptych – see my review here

Book 2 – Fractured

Book 3 – Undone

Book 4 – Broken

Book 5 – Fallen

Book 6 – Criminal

Book 7 – Unseen

Book 8 – The Kept Woman

Book 9 – The Last Widow

Book 10 – The Silent Wife

STAND ALONE

Cop Town

Pretty Girls

The Good Daughter

False Witness

ANDREA OLIVER SERIES

Book 1 – Pieces of Her – review to come

Book 2 – Girl, Forgotten – review to come

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BOOK TOUR: The Blame Game by Sandie Jones

Posted September 13, 2022 by louisesr in Review, Tour / 1 Comment

BOOK TOUR: The Blame Game by Sandie Jones

BOOK TOUR: The Blame Game by Sandie JonesThe Blame Game by Sandie Jones
Published by macmillan, Macmillan Audio on August 22, 2022
Genres: suspense
Pages: 336
Format: eBook
Source: Random Things Tours
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-stars

As a psychologist specializing in domestic abuse, Naomi has found it hard to avoid becoming overly invested in her clients' lives. But after helping Jacob make the decision to leave his wife, Naomi worries that she's taken things too far. Then Jacob goes missing, and her files on him vanish... But as the police start asking questions about Jacob, Naomi's own dark past emerges. And as the truth comes to light, it seems that it's not just her clients who are in danger.

Naomi is a psychiatrist who specialises in working with victims of domestic abuse. Throughout this story we only hear from 2 of her clients. Jacob who is suffering from domestic violence and Anna who is having marriage difficulties following the loss of her son a year earlier. We also have a side story from Naomi’s past which gives us some insight as to why she has chosen this career path.

I wanted to like Naomi but I just couldn’t warm to her, she’s a mess. Her past is interfering with her head and she’s incapable of setting boundaries. I appreciate that dealing with victims of domestic abuse must be really hard, it’s not something I could do. BUT, on the same note, this is a job where you cannot take the work home with you – or the clients for that matter. And the lack of boundaries is what is getting Naomi into trouble.

There are a number of happenings around Naomi’s house (which is also where her office is) that sets her on edge. Did she hear footsteps on the stairs? Did she leave her office door unlocked? Where did she put Jacob’s file?

When Jacob decides he can take no more and leaves his wife it’s not long before the police are involved.

This is one where you want to shout at Naomi to just tell the truth, don’t ommit things, don’t spin them. Things would be a lot easier if she told the truth and got on with things. Yes, things would look bad, she’d look like an idiot (she is an idiot, and an annoying one at that) but it would benefit everyone in the long run.

The phrase “there’s two sides to every story and then there’s the truth” is so apt for this book. It perfectly sums it up.

four-stars

About Sandie Jones

Sandie Jones has worked as a freelance journalist for over twenty years, and has written for publications including the Sunday Times, Woman’s Weekly and the Daily Mail. She lives in London with her husband and three children. The Other Woman is her debut novel.

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Review: Spring Tides at the Starfish Cafe by Jessica Redlands

Posted September 12, 2022 by louisesr in Review / 1 Comment

Review: Spring Tides at the Starfish Cafe by Jessica RedlandsSpring Tides at The Starfish Café by Jessica Redland
Published by Boldwood Books Ltd on April 5, 2022
Genres: Romance, Women's
Pages: 425
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon

This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.

Goodreads
five-stars

Welcome back to the Starfish Café - where you will find stunning views, delicious food and lifelong friendships.

A new season...

As winter turns to spring, Hollie - owner of The Starfish Café - is feeling content as she settles into her new life with her loving boyfriend, Jake, and their adorable dog Pickle.

But when an unwelcome visitor threatens the future of her café, Hollie must stay strong to protect her family's legacy...

A leap of faith...

Emerging from an unhappy relationship, Tori finds herself with nowhere to stay and nobody to talk to. The long-hidden secrets of her past weigh heavily on her until a chance encounter with Finley, struggling to come to terms with his own secrets, provides an opportunity to open up.

Can she find the strength to stop hiding from her past and face up to her family? Especially when that would mean letting her guard down and learning to trust again...

A fresh start...?

Little do Hollie and Tori know that their lives are about to collide at The Starfish Café and they may be able to help each other with a fresh start. After all, with good friends in your life, nothing is impossible...

Jessica Redland does it again! I don’t know how such a prolific writer manages to turn out such quality books, is she the UK’s version of Nora Roberts?

Anyway, as ever I loved this book! I feel that the Starfish Cafe series is that little bit extra special for me as it really resonates with my childhood home town, especially with the inclusion of the RNLI.

Hollie and Jake are such a fantastic couple, I loved getting to know them. Then we have Tori and Finley, from the start you are routing for them. At 20% in I knew what I wanted to happen with them through their relationship and their housing, I wasn’t disappointed!

I love how both Hollie and Tori offer such practical advice and literally spell out what a loving, committed relationship should be like. And that you shouldn’t settle for anything less.

five-stars

About Jessica Redland

I live in Scarborough on the stunning North Yorkshire Coast in the UK. My home inspired the creation of the fictional seaside town of Whitsborough Bay where I set some of my books. The Hedgehog Hollow series takes readers to a gorgeous countryside setting on the Yorkshire Wolds.

I live with my husband, our teenage daughter and sprocker spaniel, Ella. I’m a stationery addict with a notepad obsession who loves chocolate (although it doesn’t love me), hedgehogs, 80s music, collectible teddy bears and lighthouses.

My career has mainly been in HR as a trainer and recruiter. I had a brief detour into retail to set up and manage my own specialist teddy bear shop and started writing my debut novel on quiet days in the shop.

In June 2020, I became a full-time author. I’m so very grateful to anyone who has bought or borrowed my books in whatever format, helping me fulfil a long-held dream of writing full-time. I still can’t believe I get to spend every day chatting to my fictional friends and making stuff up.

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BOOK TOUR: Christmas Miracles at Hedgehog Hollow

Posted September 11, 2022 by louisesr in Review, Tour / 1 Comment

BOOK TOUR: Christmas Miracles at Hedgehog Hollow

BOOK TOUR: Christmas Miracles at Hedgehog HollowChristmas Miracles at Hedgehog Hollow by Jessica Redland
Published by Boldwood Books Ltd on September 6, 2022
Genres: Christmas, Women's
Pages: 409
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
five-stars

It's the countdown to Christmas at Hedgehog Hollow Wildlife Rescue Centre, and everyone is gearing up for a festive season to remember...

It should be the most wonderful time of the year for Samantha and Josh as they prepare for the arrival of their first baby. But life at Hedgehog Hollow rarely goes to plan and the pair are faced with adversaries, old and new, and unexpected challenges to overcome.

Fizz's job at the heart of the rescue centre is a dream come true but her personal life is more like a nightmare. With her love life a disaster and her past about to dramatically catch up with her, she needs the love and support of her Hedgehog Hollow family more than ever.

As the snow falls over Hedgehog Hollow, will Samantha and Fizz find the Christmas miracle they need to overcome their heartache and find happiness?

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

WARNING: As this is the final book in the series, I may make mention to things that have happened in the previous books.

If it’s a while since you read the previous book in the series then Jessica Redland rather helpfully gives a full rundown of all the main characters in the front of the book as well as a “previously in Hedgehog Hollow….” summary. While it may be tempting to think that this will tell you all you need to know to jump into this series at book 6 – don’t.

It’s here, and it’s everything that I expected it to be!

This is it, the final book in the series, I’ve been looking forward to this coming out but I’m also ready to cry because it’s the last one in my favourite series. I know it won’t be saying goodbye to the characters for ever as I’m sure that Jessica Redland will feature them in some of her other novels around Whitsborough Bay, but I’m really going to miss our spikey little friends.

Given the characters who have featured in the previous books I had a few things in mind that I knew I needed to happen in this final book –

  • I expected Fizz to be the main focus point
  • I needed for her to have a relationship with Phoebe
  • I hoped for more action around Hedgehog Hollow than in the previous book
  • I wanted to see the further development of the relationship between Sam and her mum
  • Maybe relationships developing for Sam’s parents (but not with each other)
  • A baby for Sam and Josh given the ending to book 5

Did I get everything I wanted? I’m not telling you but what I will say is that it was a very satisfactory ending to the series.

I started crying following a hedgehog incident at around the 50% mark and I was still crying at the 75% mark. Holy Moly, this book was a roller coaster. Fizz’s storyline went in a direction that I never expected and my heart broke for her. She is such a gorgeous, loving character and I really wanted her to have her happily ever after and not be so hurt and broken.

I loved the Christmas setting for the book. We start off around October time with the preparations taking place (wreath decorating anyone) and end in the middle of the following year but the majority of the action takes place in the run up to Christmas. We have a Christmas Fair at the Hollow with more amazing decorations and then we have Christmas Day, told from a number of perspectives.

As ever there are a number of trigger warnings in here but the warmth and love and community definitely outshine them.

My best advice for anyone considering this book is to go to Book 1 and start the series from the beginning. They’re all quick, easy reads and they’re free on Kindle Unlimited. Click on the book title below to be taken to the Amazon UK page

Book 1 – Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow

Book 2 – New Arrivals at Hedgehog Hollow

Book 3 – Family Secrets at Hedgehog Hollow

Book 4 – A Wedding at Hedgehog Hollow

Book 5 – Chasing Dreams at Hedgehog Hollow

Book 6 – Christmas Miracles at Hedgehog Hollow

I’ve also added a list of all Jessica Redlands books here – her series are one of the few where I would say, READ THEM IN ORDER. With recurring characters who have major life changes in each book, there will be spoilers if you don’t and you won’t get the same level of enjoyment.

five-stars

About Jessica Redland

I live in Scarborough on the stunning North Yorkshire Coast in the UK. My home inspired the creation of the fictional seaside town of Whitsborough Bay where I set some of my books. The Hedgehog Hollow series takes readers to a gorgeous countryside setting on the Yorkshire Wolds.

I live with my husband, our teenage daughter and sprocker spaniel, Ella. I’m a stationery addict with a notepad obsession who loves chocolate (although it doesn’t love me), hedgehogs, 80s music, collectible teddy bears and lighthouses.

My career has mainly been in HR as a trainer and recruiter. I had a brief detour into retail to set up and manage my own specialist teddy bear shop and started writing my debut novel on quiet days in the shop.

In June 2020, I became a full-time author. I’m so very grateful to anyone who has bought or borrowed my books in whatever format, helping me fulfil a long-held dream of writing full-time. I still can’t believe I get to spend every day chatting to my fictional friends and making stuff up.

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Jessica Redland books reading order

Posted September 10, 2022 by louisesr in Book List / 1 Comment

If you click on the book name it will take you to the Amazon site, all of these are available for free on Kindle Unlimited. Where I have reviews I will link to them as well. Most of the books I’ve not yet added reviews to this site but I’ll try to get them transferred across.

‘WELCOME TO WHITSBOROUGH BAY’ SERIES

Book 1 – Making Wishes at Bay View

Book 2 – New Beginnings at Seaside Blooms

Book 3 – Finding Hope at Lighthouse Cove

Book 4 – Coming Home to Seashell Cottage

Other books set in Whitsborough Bay

Book 1 – All You Need is Love

Book 2 – The Secret to Happiness

Note: Although technically these are stand alone, they are better to be read in order as there would be some spoilers where characters overlap

CHRISTMAS ON CASTLE STREET

Book 1 – Christmas Wishes at the Chocolate Shop

Book 2 – Christmas at Carly’s Cupcakes

Book 3 – Starry Skies over the Chocolate Pot Cafe

STARFISH CAFE SERIES

Book 1 – Snowflakes over the Starfish Cafe

Book 2 – Spring Tides at the Starfish Cafe – review to come

Book 3 – Summer Nights at the Starfish Cafe (coming April 2023)

HEDGEHOG HOLLOW SERIES

Book 1 – Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow

Book 2 – New Arrivals at Hedgehog Hollow

Book 3 – Family Secrets at Hedgehog Hollow

Book 4 – A Wedding at Hedgehog Hollow – review to come

Book 5 – Chasing Dreams at Hedgehog Hollow – see my review here

Book 6 – Christmas Miracles at Hedgehog Hollow – see my review here

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Review: A Wedding at Hedgehog Hollow by Jessica Redland

Posted September 9, 2022 by louisesr in Review / 2 Comments

Review: A Wedding at Hedgehog Hollow by Jessica RedlandA Wedding at Hedgehog Hollow by Jessica Redland
Series: Hedgehog Hollow #4
Published by Boldwood Books Ltd on January 6, 2022
Genres: Romance, Women's
Pages: 440
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
five-stars

It's time for the wedding we've all been waiting for...

Life at Hedgehog Hollow is never dull, although Samantha hopes that the new year ahead will be a little less chaotic as she prepares to marry the love of her life, Josh. But disaster strikes when she checks the rescue centre's bank account after the festive season and discovers it has been emptied. Who would do such a thing, and why? With the future of Hedgehog Hollow now in jeopardy, planning a wedding has lost its shine.

Phoebe is desperate to escape the shadow of her family, infamously known for their attacks on Samantha's beloved rescue centre. Could the kindness of the Hedgehog Hollow team be the chance she needs for a fresh start, or will her family's secrets continue to drag her back?

I received this book for free from Purchased in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Love, love, love, love, love. Oh how I love this series. Every time I read it I want to give up my life, move to the country and start an animal sanctuary.

This story is told alternately between Samantha – our hedgehog rescuer – and Phoebe, a member of the Grimes family who’ve been making Samantha’s life a misery.

This book tackles some really heavy subjects; child neglect, abuse, drug use/dealing, theft. And yet, I would still class it as feel good fiction. This is every credit to Jessica Redlands writing talents. She has created a cast of characters that I love, and a few others that I love to hate.

I love how we have seen the characters develop over the course of this series and while this can be read as a standalone (the first couple of chapters recaps on what has happened previously) I would recommend going back to the start and reading the first 3 books in the series before settling into this one.

I was so sad to hear that there’s only going to be another 2 books in this series, I understand why this has got to happen, but it doesn’t mean I have to be happy about it!

five-stars

About Jessica Redland

I live in Scarborough on the stunning North Yorkshire Coast in the UK. My home inspired the creation of the fictional seaside town of Whitsborough Bay where I set some of my books. The Hedgehog Hollow series takes readers to a gorgeous countryside setting on the Yorkshire Wolds.

I live with my husband, our teenage daughter and sprocker spaniel, Ella. I’m a stationery addict with a notepad obsession who loves chocolate (although it doesn’t love me), hedgehogs, 80s music, collectible teddy bears and lighthouses.

My career has mainly been in HR as a trainer and recruiter. I had a brief detour into retail to set up and manage my own specialist teddy bear shop and started writing my debut novel on quiet days in the shop.

In June 2020, I became a full-time author. I’m so very grateful to anyone who has bought or borrowed my books in whatever format, helping me fulfil a long-held dream of writing full-time. I still can’t believe I get to spend every day chatting to my fictional friends and making stuff up.

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September 2022 – My most anticipated releases

Posted September 2, 2022 by louisesr in Book List / 0 Comments

September 2022 – My most anticipated releasesDouble or Nothing by Kim Sherwood
Published by HarperCollins on September 1, 2022
Genres: Thriller
Pages: 432
Buy on Amazon

This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.

Goodreads

James Bond is missing. 007 has been captured, perhaps even killed, by a sinister private military company. His whereabouts are unknown. Meet the new generation of spies...

Johanna Harwood, 003. Joseph Dryden, 004. Sid Bashir, 009. Together, they represent the very best and brightest of MI6. Skilled, determined and with a licence to kill, they will do anything to protect their country.

The fate of the world rests in their hands...

Tech billionaire Sir Bertram Paradise claims he can reverse the climate crisis and save the planet. But can he really? The new spies must uncover the truth, because the future of humanity hangs in the balance.

Time is running out. The start of a brand new trilogy following MI6’s agents with a licence to kill, that blows the world of James Bond wide open!

Wondering what to add to your TBR in September? Here are my top 5 books I’m looking forward to getting my hand on

September 2022 – My most anticipated releasesStone Blind by Natalie Haynes
Published by Pan Macmillan on September 15, 2022
Genres: Historical
Pages: 384
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads

'So to mortal men, we are monsters. Because of our flight, our strength. They fear us, so they call us monsters.’

Medusa is the sole mortal in a family of gods. Growing up with her Gorgon sisters, she begins to realize that she is the only one who experiences change, the only one who can be hurt. And her mortal lifespan gives her an urgency that her family will never know.

When the sea god Poseidon commits an unforgivable act in the temple of Athene, the goddess takes her revenge where she can – and Medusa is changed forever. Writhing snakes replace her hair, and her gaze now turns any living creature to stone. The power cannot be controlled: Medusa can look at nothing without destroying it. She is condemned to a life of shadows and darkness.

Until Perseus embarks upon a quest to fetch the head of a Gorgon . . .

September 2022 – My most anticipated releasesA Sliver of Darkness by C. J. Tudor
Published by Random House Publishing Group on November 8, 2022
Pages: 256
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads

The debut short-story collection from the acclaimed author of The Chalk Man, hailed as “Britain’s female Stephen King” (Daily Mail), featuring eleven bone-chilling and mind-bending tales

Time slips. Doomsday scenarios. Killer butterflies. C. J. Tudor’s novels are widely acclaimed for their dark, twisty suspense plots, but with A Sliver of Darkness, she pulls us even further into her dizzying imagination.

In “The Lion at the Gate,” a strange piece of graffiti leads to a terrifying encounter for four school friends. In “Final Course,” the world has descended into darkness, but a group of old friends make time for one last dinner party. In “Runaway Blues,” thwarted love, revenge, and something very nasty stowed in a hat box converge. In “Gloria,” a strange girl at a service station endears herself to a coldhearted killer, but can a leopard really change its spots? And in “I’m Not Ted,” a case of mistaken identity has unforeseen fatal consequences.

Riveting, macabre, and explosively original, A Sliver of Darkness is C. J. Tudor at her most wicked and uninhibited.

September 2022 – My most anticipated releasesThe Winners by Fredrik Backman
Series: Bear Town #3
Published by Atria Books on 27 September 2022
Pages: 688
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wo years have passed since the events that no one wants to think about. Everyone has tried to move on, but there’s something about this place that prevents it. The residents continue to grapple with life’s big questions: What is a family? What is a community? And what, if anything, are we willing to sacrifice in order to protect them?

As the locals of Beartown struggle to overcome the past, great change is on the horizon. Someone is coming home after a long time away. Someone will be laid to rest. Someone will fall in love, someone will try to fix their marriage, and someone will do anything to save their children. Someone will submit to hate, someone will fight, and someone will grab a gun and walk towards the ice rink.

So what are the residents of Beartown willing to sacrifice for their home?

Everything.

September 2022 – My most anticipated releasesFairy Tale by Stephen King
Published by Hodder and Stoughton on 6 September 2022
Genres: Horror
Pages: 592
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Charlie Reade looks like a regular high school kid, great at baseball and football, a decent student. But he carries a heavy load. His mom was killed in a hit-and-run accident when he was ten, and grief drove his dad to drink. Charlie learned how to take care of himself—and his dad. Then, when Charlie is seventeen, he meets Howard Bowditch, a recluse with a big dog in a big house at the top of a big hill. In the backyard is a locked shed from which strange sounds emerge, as if some creature is trying to escape. When Mr. Bowditch dies, he leaves Charlie the house, a massive amount of gold, a cassette tape telling a story that is impossible to believe, and a responsibility far too massive for a boy to shoulder.

Because within the shed is a portal to another world—one whose denizens are in peril and whose monstrous leaders may destroy their own world, and ours. In this parallel universe, where two moons race across the sky, and the grand towers of a sprawling palace pierce the clouds, there are exiled princesses and princes who suffer horrific punishments; there are dungeons; there are games in which men and women must fight each other to the death for the amusement of the “Fair One.” And there is a magic sundial that can turn back time.

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Book Tour: The Beach Party by Amy Sheppard

Posted September 1, 2022 by louisesr in Review, Tour / 0 Comments

Book Tour: The Beach Party by Amy Sheppard

Book Tour: The Beach Party by Amy SheppardThe Beach Party by Amy Sheppard
Published by Bookouture on 30/08/22
Narrator: Amalia Vitale
Length: 9 hrs 12 mins
Genres: Thriller
Pages: 301
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This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.

We were all at the party. Which of us wanted her dead?

As the smoke from the bonfire spirals into the night sky and the cool drinks slip down our throats, none of us can take our eyes off Lacey. She dances in the dunes, her long golden hair damp from her late-night swim, her smile dazzling, her blue eyes closed.

Everyone who is close to Lacey sits by the smoky fire. Her adoring boyfriend, who holds onto her, perhaps a little too tightly. Her little sister, always in Lacey's shadow, sifting fine soft sand through her fingers, never taking her eyes off Lacey. And me. Sad and full of rage, after an argument forced the man I love to leave the party early.

When the fire burns out, we stumble away from the beach, along the cliff path - faces burned by the wind, hearts full of secrets. But Lacey never makes it home. The next morning, her body is found in the sand dunes, a heart-shaped locket missing from around her neck.

Who would have thought our beach party could end the way it did? Close friends gathered on the last night of a long hot summer - which one of us could have killed the girl everybody loved?

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Having grown up in a small seaside town in NW England I can see the parallels between my home town and Pengully. Small towns can feel claustrophobic when you’re a teenager and as Sheppard described the different residents I could easily match them to people that I knew.

I really liked the idea of using a podcast as the reason for looking into the case again. I’ve seen this done a few times now but I like the idea that people will talk more to others who they know than to the police.

Usually with these types of books I find it quite easy to figure out who was responsible, that didn’t happen here, I was led on a few wild goose chases and only actually figured it out a couple of pages before it was announced. I’m not sure I could have taken the same actions as Katie did at the end though – could you? I’m really interested for people’s feedback on this after reading it!!

My only niggle about this book was there was a lot of obsessing over relationships and sex and a lot of drinking. It was like they couldn’t go a day without opening a bottle of wine. Now, in fairness, at their age I was exactly the same so I think this will appeal more to people in their late teens and early twenties, which in itself is a bonus as I don’t seem to have seen a lot of NA thrillers out there.

If you’ve read A Good Girls Guide to Murder then this is very similar. We have the podcast, the murder of a teenager, the suicide of her boyfriend causing the case to be closed.

About Amy Sheppard

Amy Sheppard is a busy mum of two boys, living in Cornwall. Her obsession with making budget friendly family dinners, led her to writing two cookbooks. Amy creates recipes for her followers and for brands @amysheppardfood
Her debut novel is out in August 2022. A psychological thriller set in Cornwall called ‘The Beach Party’

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