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Reading my Collection

2017 – WHOLE year without buying books

A painter, a florist and a secret agent…

My Dearest readers, I have returned complete with review and another nearly complete. I know I have apologised for my lack of reviews in March and April I WILL BE BETTER. So it begins here, with ‘A Little Murder’ by Suzette A. Hill, 17917948._UY400_SS400_in which Marcia Beasley of St John’s Wood is found in her home naked, shot in the head and covered with a coal scuttle. Detective Sergeant Greenleaf is tasked with unraveling the layers of Marcia’s life to bring meaning to her gruesome death. While the Police investigation plods on, Marcia’s niece Rosy finds herself unwittingly drawn into a family mystery involving espionage and foreign intrigue.

Rosy is the character you route for the entire way through. Will the stories from Felix, Estranged Uncle Donald and the limping Frenchman Sabatier help her uncover the truth? Is it only in death she will know and understand her Aunt?

The painter Clovis, the awfully mysterious Vera and nosy neighbours The Gills, all play their part in peaking Rosy’s interest into the investigation. A fur coat, a lawnmower and of course the square handled coal scuttle all add twists turns and intrigue to the mystery.

I found the first half very easy to read and flew though it, the second bit felt dragged out and yet the final chapters concluded everything a little too quickly and easily. Adding depth to some of the sub plots and exploring the post WW2 London links would have been rather enjoyable. I liked the SOE and secret agent twists and thought more time could have been dedicated to the papers in question.

It was an amusing and light hearted read, it was easy and fun and just what I needed to feel ready to ready ad write again after a tricky month. In other news I have just completed another month of no book purchases. I AM A QUARTER WAY THROUGH THE YEAR!!

I was away for 4 days in France visiting friends so caught up with my reading on the plane and have nearly finished ‘Girl with all the Gifts’ and on that it coffee and book time. Catch up with you very soon Dear Reader.

Happy Reading!

Back on the book train…

So it’s one of my favourite days of the year, Super Saturday. 3 games of Rugby back to back, Cider, snacks to last the day and it is wonderful. Yet, I have the urge to tell you about the book I have finally finished. ‘Dear Amy’ by Helen Callaghan, has been a wonderful read, despite it seeming to have been forever since I started it.

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I got into it very quickly, an agony Aunt (Dear Amy) was getting letters from Bethan Avery, a girl who went missing over 20 years ago, apparently prompted by the latest disappearance.  Margot Lewis; School teacher, Agony aunt, estranged wife, has no idea how to deal with these letters. What will the Police say? What will they think? What can she do?

This story follows her pursuit to find both missing girls. I found myself laughing, crying and being genuinely scared throughout this book. The villain is wonderfully written, very complex and so real. I found myself checking to see if I was being followed a little more often. Some of the supporting cast could be more likeable or prominent to make the story flow a little better but Margot has a strong voice that you find yourself getting swept away with. Martin, Greta and Lily all play their part. Katie and Eddie have a wonderful presence and really make you feel the plot.

Margot is followed, abused and doubted but she still pushes through.  In this quest she finally loses her useless husband, finds herself and uncovers the biggest mystery of all. What happened to Bethan Avery? Read it.. Dear reader and find out!

Happy Reading!

My turn to write, not read…

Dear reader, I have written something a little different today. I have a review coming and I’m sure you’ll enjoy the book  as much as I have but fro this is it.

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A fast serve, fear hurtling towards stress,

it bounced back from the solid surface,

a little less daunting, slower, manageable.

THWACK 15 – 0

Another gut shot, a fast ball, a blow causing dented pride.

A long thoughtful return taking the edge off,

cruising with hope and strength.

SMASH 30-0

Surprise consequences, the fall falls from beneath,

depression rushing forward.

A quick exchange that takes the edge off,

anxiety eased and tears have ceased.

ACE 40-0

Winning by wearing this opponent down, being fitter and manipulative.

The quick harsh return, now on the back foot,

a slide, a trip and finally a stumble.

GAME. SET. MATCH.  To Love.

 

Those of you that have been keeping up, life has been crazy and hard and daunting for a little while and today I wanted to thank the one that makes it easier. Being stuck in a hard place is better when you are my rock.

Until next time…Happy Reading!

 

 

 

End of an Era, in more ways than one…

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So this is it… The Parasol Protectorate Book the Fifth. I have reached the end; the end of Alexia and Connall shouting at each other, the end of the Tunstell’s and their acting troupe, the end of Prudence Alessandra Maccon Akledama.

The end of the protectorate series was indeed wonderful, so many things I had been hoping for happened. Madame Lefoux is back, the infant inconvenience is quite frankly anything but, and Biffy has found his place in the pack. It might not be place ANYONE was expecting but its his place. The return of Doove and Alpha, Lady Kingair adds more depth and subplot than we have seen before. The link to Alessandro and all previous ‘villians’ was nicely tied up with a character twist that was just wonderful.

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Lady Maccon has a new Parasol and she means to use it. When the abomination is invited to an Egyptian Hive, Alexia cannot very well send her shapeshifting  toddler alone. There has to be a reason that the world’s oldest vampire needs to meet Akeldama’s adoptive daughter. He is suspicious of his creators intentions but reluctantly lets them go. There wasn’t enough of ‘Dama in this book for me but I understand the development of other characters in the role he normally provides.

This has all the elements of a true adventure action novel; a chase across the country, a kidnapping, a plague and tiny vampire causing havoc. The airsick Lord Macoon, falls out with his wife again as the truth about Lyall comes to light and who would have thought Ivy Tunstall finds motherhood as exciting as she does. As usual Madame LeFoux is up to something but at last this time she’s on the right side of the investigation.

Alexia was in wonderful form throughout and even fainted, a first for her but wonderful all the same. All her theories about Preternatural’s came to pass and after the last Mummy incident I was surprised but elated she wanted to head to Egypt. The links to cultural references we all understand about Alexandria and the myths and legends of the Pharaohs was charming. Primrose and Percy were useless for most of the book and simply provided contrast to ‘Dama’s wigglepuff, but additionally they helped with Ivy’s newest issue.

All the happenings and developments at home with the pack vs the Egypt expedition was a interlinked story full of adventure, romance and supernatural politics. I loved it. It was a fitting ending to a wonderful series. 1200x630bf

BOOK- FEELINGS: The end was bittersweet, not because of the plot but because as with any good series, I wasn’t ready for it to be over. As the final chapter was echoing round my car and I had explained the plot of the whole series to my other half as they were driving I realised how much I had enjoyed it. For anyone that is interested I have the story of Prudence and her adventures when she’s grown up to read later in the year. As much as I loved it, I want a break, a chance to enjoy this story. A chance to say goodbye to Alexia, Connall and Biffy before they are forgotten.

Equally for you dear reader, I wanted to say I am back. I have had a few busy weeks with my course and last week the only thing I really read was job descriptions, now I feel like I had a nice break and I’m back. We will hopefully go back to 3ish blogs a week and when the job hunt is resolved I will work out a new routine to keep you captivated. until then…Happy Reading!

Ghostly threats, Swarming Hives and Giant Octopi…

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So in my last blog I told you I started writing a review… well this is it, with a mildly amusing title and token book cover.

The Parasol Protectorate Book the fourth, picks up 5 months after the debacle with Connall and the God-Breaker Plague. A very pregnant Alexia is trying to build her relationship with Madame LeFoux after the incident with  formally Angelique and work out how to stop the Vampires trying to kill her.

Luckily for the Woolsey Pack they are not about to lose the Alpha’s wife, as Beta Randolph Lyle has a plan. It’s another of his very clever, almost devious plans. Lord Akeldama will play a key role and young Biffy, might find his place.

Acting upon a apparition in which THE QUEEN is threatened, Alexia as reinstated Muhjah and Lord Akeldama as Potentate are bound by duty to investigate. The BUR are also stumped…to add insult to injury Darling Felicity Loontwill wants to come and stay. Between visiting Ivy in Soho and stopping the vampires from taking her life, her baby and her sister she is battling Connall on everything. She simply doesn’t understand why insists she slows down she is after all only 8 and 1/2 months pregnant.

The threat to The Queen isn’t all it seems and the streets of London are full of private dirigibles and very strange porcupines. Biffy, Boots and formally Lefoux are all key players in this dangerous chase across London.

In this part of the series we lose a parasol, gain a suffragette, and witness labour in a giant octopus. What more could you want? Well we learn more about how Connall got to Woolsey, the impending madness of an Alpha and exactly how long you can ignore contractions for! I for one am looking forward to how Prudence Alessandra Maccoon Akeldama gets on in the world…so Book 5 here we come.

Happy Reading!

 

60 day chip…

According to WordPress I started this page about 51 minutes ago, and in that time I have managed to download a picture and write a mildly witty title (which I have now changed). Since I started this project I haven’t had any issues in actually writing about the books I am rapidly working my way through. I have had a book I struggled to get through, and a day or two where I have waited to or been forced to wait to tell you all about it but today I don’t really feel like writing about the most recent book I have finished.

BOOK FEELINGS: 2 months in and I haven’t bought a book, I haven’t visited Waterstones just to pine for at least 2 weeks and I am happy with the books on the ‘to read shelf’ and by shelf I mean book case obviously. The reading part of this challenge is keeping me content, the writing part has been difficult for the past 2 weeks due to intermittent wifi and now although I’m back at home it feels difficult for another reason. I feel like I don’t have to write, it’s always been a joy to write down my thoughts and share them with you.

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To be fair, today it’s not like I don’t want to write I just don’t want to right a review. Is that ok? I have just taken ‘Dear Amy’ out of my bag, despite having it with me everyday for a week I haven’t actually focused on it yet. I am nearly two thirds of the way through’Timeless’ the Parasol Protectorate Book the Fifth by Gail Carriger and I have started re-listening to a supernatural series due to too many hours in the car. I don’t want to write about any of them today…

I want to write about how job hunting hard, and staying in bed reading all day is easy, I want to write about escaping into another world helps me forget this one for a bit. I want to write about how things are really hard at the moment but I’m coping…but more importantly I want to write and for you Dear Reader to enjoy it. I want you to feel my passion for literature through my words and be inspired to read,  and I hope you are expanding your own libraries through my ramblings.  I like to think that this helps someone out there, someone like me who needs an escape and the support you can sometimes only get from growing up with a character from a book…whether that is Ginny Weasley, Jane Eyre, Edward Cullen or John Watson.

So with that, I think it’s time for a cup of tea and shutting the world out for a while.

Happy Reading.

On your marks, Get set, Sue…

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Those of you with good memories are aware that I was listening to ‘Spectacles’ by Sue Perkins with my partner (if not, this is a shameless plug to prior wit), and as such I had to wait until we were together to finish it.  We are mid road-trip from the deepest darkest depths of Cornwall (St Kew) to somewhere in the Essex off the A12. So here we sit in Costa, (a standard writing location for me), sat side by side taping away on laptop keys, I am writing to you Dear Reader, she is looking at statistics.

So the scene is set, now for the review. I think it is safe to say,  we laughed so much we cried (and nearly crashed the car).  As much as it was written as book, which I think I would have probably read in her voice too, it felt like Sue was talking to us directly, not like it had be written for mass reviews or audience. It was funny, brutal, honest and all together heart-warming. From meeting her famous partner in Comedy Mel, to her long romance with Kate and the beginning, the middle and the end of poor Pickle.

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Yes the truth about Sue was wonderful, the ‘gastric gymnastics’ of Parker was not but the best thing about this book was that I got to share it. I have bored my friends, partner and family with recommendations of books, stories and series of great adventures so the fact I got to enjoy this one with someone was great.

It was a refreshingly honest memoir, I liked that she wasn’t afraid to talk about difficult things or share embarrassing stories of childhood or drunken mishaps. I related to so much of it, it gave me hope. The truth behind Light Lunch, the Great British Bake Off and I’m now itching to see ‘The World’s Most Dangerous Roads’ just to Sue and Lisa cover a small child in poo…(Spoiler).

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I just included this picture because the hypnotherapy stories were hilarious! I loved this book and know everyone that loves comedy, Bake Off or Sue MUST read it.

Happy Reading!

 

P.S Dear Reader, I am back home and have wifi so posts will be coming thick and fast!

 

 

The naming of the Protectorate…

No one would expect Templars to be so violent, French inventors to be so enthusiastic or Channing Channing of the Chesterfield Channing’s to be such a magnificent Wolf.

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The Parasol Protectorate Book the Third ‘Blameless’ picks up three weeks after Alexia’s return from Scotland, where she and the infant inconvenience are back with Squire Loontwill and his clucking ladies. As the news of her alleged indiscretions hit the papers and Captain Featherstonehaugh breaks off his engagement to Eyvlin, Alexia’s mother has had enough. Lord Akeldama sends a cryptic message and does the closest thing to swarming a flamboyant male queen can do. How will our favourite Preternatural survive without her pack?

Alexia takes off across Europe in search of answers with her trusty Butler, Floote and Madame LeFoux. In this whistle stop tour of France and Italy, we meet a French inventor, a German scientist and lots of angry Italian Templars.

51xo41k4l9l-_sx309_bo1204203200_Where is Lord Maccon in all this you might ask? Well to put it politely, he is inebriated on Formaldehyde, with long suffering Beta Professor Lyle trying to hold the pack, BUR and the country together. Randolph Lyle is stressed, stretched and luckily for his Alpha strong enough to do it all.
Genevieve again proves to be a wonderful travelling partner, especially with all the Vampires trying to kill Alexia. Will Floote ever tell of Alessandro’s work with the Templars? Why did they cease the Preternatural breeding programme? What does this have to do with the ice blue eyed wolf?

Biffy, Boots and Ivy  (and Tunny of course) are all involved with this European adventure. I wish there had been more in London after the last installment being firmly in Scotland but I like that the series isn’t limited. The crazy inventions, ‘female specimen’ and embroidery red crosses keep you absorbed right to the end. Most importantly dear reader, we find out where ‘The Parasol Protectorate’ comes from!!

I am definitely wrapped up in this supernatural world. Gail Carriger’s books are funny, engaging and totally captivating. I finished this one with a sense of expectation and longing; I want more.

Happy reading!

 

 

 

Wifi…

I have found wifi! this is very exciting as I have 2 books to tell you all about but not right now. I just wanted to tell you I am still reading, still writing and definitely NOT buying books.

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These books were sent to me in the Book exchange I did and I have just started ‘Dear Amy’… update on that soon although so far so good. The truth is, when I started this I believed I bought more books that I actually do. Some of what I am feeling now is wanting what I can’t have. I am okay with this but I am glad I have recognised it. I enjoy reading, I enjoy buying books and actually I am also enjoying not buying books.

I am getting great recommendations from friends, I have received emails from  people saying they enjoy my blog, there are regular readers in Romania, Germany, Spain and Australia. I am reading books I never would have, I am connecting with people that I never would have even known existed and its doing me the world of good.

Thank you readers, I have more to talk about not just books but the comments, follows and recommendations you send me. I feel more confident and more relaxed. So time to get back to it…

Happy Reading!

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