Watching What I’m Reading…

Sorry there was no post yesterday … I was busy setting up for the fundraiser for our local volunteer fire brigade. It was a wonderful night and, unusually for us, we didn’t get home until the early hours this morning. Clean up is now finished and I can now relax.

Currently I am reading and loving The Guest List by Lucy Foley

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and listening to The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell

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This week I am planning on reading The Memory Wood by Sam Lloyd

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Elijah has lived in the Memory Wood for as long as he can remember. It’s the only home he’s ever known.

Elissa has only just arrived. And she’ll do everything she can to escape.

When Elijah stumbles across thirteen-year-old Elissa, in the woods where her abductor is hiding her, he refuses to alert the police. Because in his twelve years, Elijah has never had a proper friend. And he doesn’t want Elissa to leave.

Not only that, Elijah knows how this can end. After all, Elissa isn’t the first girl he’s found inside the Memory Wood.

As her abductor’s behaviour grows more erratic, Elissa realises that outwitting strange, lonely Elijah is her only hope of survival. Their cat-and-mouse game of deception and betrayal will determine both their fates, and whether either of them will ever leave the Memory Wood . . .

And A Hope For Emily by Kate Hewitt

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Looking back, I wish I could find my way back to that moment. I’d snatch it and hold onto it and live in it for the rest of my life, if I could. When Emily could still throw her arms around me. Oh God, just give me that moment, or one like it again. That’s all I want.

From the moment Emily was born, reaching out with her tiny little star-shaped hand towards her mother, blinking with long eyelashes over soft blue eyes, she became Rachel’s whole world.

But Rachel’s worst nightmare comes true when a rare auto-immune illness leaves four-year-old Emily in a coma the doctors say she may never come out of. And Rachel has to make a heartbreaking decision—one that her ex-husband, Emily’s dad James, doesn’t agree with.

Terrified she’s going to lose her daughter for good, Rachel knows she must find a way to keep the hope alive for Emily. But there is only one person she can turn to for help to convince James—and it’s his new wife, Eva.

As an unlikely but powerful friendship develops between the two women, both Rachel and Eva will have to ask themselves—what is truly the right choice for the tiny, fragile little girl who lies between them?

And, oh dear, I obviously had a few self control issues this week, being approved for 9 new ARCs from Netgalley…I have given myself a stern talking to and have resolved to ignore the new offerings on the dashboard at NetGalley, and similarly ignore the temptations of Susan’s (susanlovesbooks.wordpress.com)and Carla’s (carlalovestoread.wordpress.com) posts. They each have their own peaks on my TBR mountain range 😂🤣 If you haven’t done so already, you should check out their webpages (with caution!😂🤣)

Anyway, the books I received this week are The First Wife by Jill Childs

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Knock Knock by Chris Merritt

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The Orphan House by Ann Bennett

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The Red Red Snow by Caro Ramsey

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Dear Wife by Kimberly Belle

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The Boy From the Woods by Harlan Coben

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The Girl You Gave Away by Jess Ryder

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Grown Ups by Marian Keyes

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And finally, The Apartment by K.L. Slater

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Enjoy the remainder of your weekend, wherever you may be . Stay safe and read on.

Cheers
Sandy
❤😍📚

The Stranger in Our Bed bySamantha Lee Howe

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EXCERPT: The rain fell in big fat droplets and poured down into my eyes. My hair was plastered to my head – blonde turned into dirty wet streaks that clung to my cheeks. I’d been here before, another time, another moment of betrayal and sadness. Deja vu. Fear sank down into the pit of my stomach. I was drowning in the endless possibilities of ‘future’. What about my daughter? So small, so helpless, so alone.

Oh God! Melody. She was in the house…..

ABOUT THIS BOOK: I ended my marriage for a man who didn’t exist…

I have everything money can buy. I’m a good wife, but sometimes I feel trapped. And when I start an affair with a stranger called Ewan, my life changes in ways I can’t begin to understand.

Because Ewan breaks apart my marriage piece by piece and then he just disappears. He uses a fake name and leaves no trace behind; it’s like he doesn’t even exist.

Someone did this to me and now they’re waiting for me to unravel, watching my every move. I can’t trust anyone, not even myself – not even the people I love.

MY THOUGHTS: I loved The Stranger in Our Bed by Samantha Lee Howe. A new author to me, this is her debut psychological thriller, although she has several novels in other genre published under the pen name, Sam Stone. She is a seasoned writer, and it shows.

Told entirely from the point of view of Charlotte, and in one consecutive time-line, this is a joy to read. It is twisty – I never knew quite who was manipulating who – quietly sinister, gripping and enthralling. I love the air of menace that pervades everything. Reading this is like being in one of those halls of mirrors where everything is slightly distorted, no matter where you look, and if you did see a true reflection, you probably wouldn’t believe it.

4.5 breathless stars

#TheStrangerInOurBed #NetGalley

THE AUTHOR: Samantha Lee Howe began her professional writing career in 2007 and has been working as a freelance writer for small, medium and large publishers, predominately writing horror and fantasy under the pen name Sam Stone. This body of work includes 13 novels 5 novellas, 3 collections, over 40 short stories, an audio drama and a Doctor Who spin-off drama that went to DVD.

Samantha’s breakaway debut psychological thriller, THE STRANGER IN OUR BED, is due for release on 14th February 2020 with Harper Collins imprint, One More Chapter.

A former high school English and Drama teacher, Samantha has a BA (Hons) in English and Writing for Performance, an MA in Creative Writing and a PGCE in English.

Samantha lives in Lincolnshire with her husband David and their two cats Leeloo and Skye. She is the proud mother of a lovely daughter called Linzi.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Harper Collins UK, One More Chapter (very apt for this book), for providing a digital ARC of The Stranger in Our Bed by Samantha Lee Howe for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

For an explanation of my rating system, please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com

This review and others are also published on Twitter, Amazon and https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3026551279?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

A Winter in Ravensdale by Kate Fielding

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EXCERPT: Laura knew that a building alone couldn’t create an air of mystery. It was the eye of the beholder that found secrets in the shadows, menace in the bolted windows and doors. Yet Ravenscar had always invited such wild imaginings. It stood isolated, bearing the brunt of the moorland winds, unsoftened by surrounding gardens, lacking the shelter of trees. It was stark, bare and lonely.

So, though the spring evening cast a pinkish light over the heather and the still water of the tarn,though the whistles and wheezy cries of birds soaring overhead and the steady grazing of sheep softened the picture, nevertheless Laura approached the house with a sense that its stones and slate were in some way responsible for the recent disasters and that they had gathered secrets in their grainy millstone crevices along with the moss and damp accumulated over the years.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: The 2nd in a series of novels about a young woman doctor in the wild Yorkshire setting of the Dales.

It is Laura Grant’s 2nd winter working as a GP in the remote Yorkshire practice at Hawkshead. Snowbound and isolated, the Dales community is gripped by the curious circumstances surrounding the discovery of a body in the frozen tarn. Laura’s role is to comfort and support the grieving widow; her senior partner, Dr Scott issues the death certificate. But further details emerge and lead Laura to question the competence of her colleague. Can the practice hold together under the increasing strain of a police investigation.

MY THOUGHTS: An undemanding read, moderately enjoyable but not particularly memorable.

The characters are well portrayed, the plot decent, but I never quite felt fully engaged. There is a little romance, a little mystery, a little tragedy. It was a nice read, but nothing more. I won’t be seeking the two other books in this series, but if I happen to stumble across them in one of my charity shop forays, I will probably pick them up.

🙂🙂🙂

THE AUTHOR: Kate Fielding is the author of the Ravensdale trilogy set in the Yorkshire Dales.

DISCLOSURE: I own my copy of A Winter in Ravensdale by Kate Fielding, published by Orion. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com

This review and others are also published on Twitter and my webpage

This book has now been donated to a charity shop.

Sisters By Choice by Susan Mallery

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EXCERPT: Eight years after her divorce, Sophie Lane still wasn’t very good at dating. She supposed she only had herself to blame – if she really ‘put herself out there,’ as her cousin Kristine was always saying, she could find someone.

From Sophie’s point of view, there were multiple problems with that statement. First, Kristine had married her high school sweetheart after graduation and had been happily married for the past sixteen years. She wasn’t exactly someone who should be giving dating advice. Second, Sophie didn’t have a lot of time to ‘put herself out there.’ She was busy – she owned a company and she loved her company and all the hard work that went into keeping it successful. To be honest, her business was way more interesting than any man, which might be a big part of the dating problem. That and, well, the actual dating.

Getting dressed up, meeting for dinner, listening to a man talk about himself for three hours, wasn’t exactly how she wanted to spend a lone evening when she wasn’t dealing with some crisis at the office. Plus, she never quite understood all the rules.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: After her cat toy empire goes up in flames, Sophie Lane returns to Blackberry Island, determined to rebuild. Until small-town life reveals a big problem: she can’t grow unless she learns to let go. If Sophie relaxes her grip even a little, she might lose everything. Or she might finally be free to reach for the happiness and love that have eluded her for so long.

Kristine has become defined by her relationship to others. She’s a wife, a mom. As much as she adores her husband and sons, she wants something for herself—a sweet little bakery just off the waterfront. She knew changing the rules wouldn’t be easy, but she never imagined she might have to choose between her marriage and her dreams.

Like the mainland on the horizon, Heather’s goals seem beyond her grasp. Every time she manages to save for college, her mother has another crisis. Can she break free, or will she be trapped in this tiny life forever?

MY THOUGHTS: Susan Mallery always manages to make me tear up. When I read her books, I tend to get very emotional. And although I haven’t read any of the previous books in this particular series, Mallery still got me with Sisters By Choice.

She writes moving stories with a warm sense of wit that has me smiling even as I am weeping. Her characters are not only strong and sassy, but overwhelmingly realistic – even the unbearable Amber. I am sure we all know someone just like her. I always feel like I have ‘moved in’ with her characters, they become like friends and family, and I am sad to close the cover on them.

I like Mallery’s diversity – yes, there is romance, but there are always other issues, intricate family relationships complete with their inevitable dramas. And although the outcome may be predictable, the journey is an enjoyable one.

****

#SistersByChoice #NetGalley

A couple of quotes from Sisters By Choice by Susan Mallery:

‘Sex is great, but sometimes you need a sandwich as well.’

‘Parents can make things better and worse, and often do both at the same time.’

THE AUTHOR: #1 New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery writes heartwarming and humorous novels about the relationships that define women’s lives—family, friendship, romance. She’s best known for putting nuanced characters into emotionally complex, real-life situations with twists that surprise readers to laughter. Because Susan is passionate about animal welfare, pets play a big role in her books. Beloved by millions of readers worldwide, her books have been translated into 28 languages.

Critics have dubbed Mallery “the new queen of romantic fiction.” (Walmart) Booklist says, “Romance novels don’t get much better than Mallery’s expert blend of emotional nuance, humor, and superb storytelling,” and RT Book Reviews puts her “in a class by herself!” It’s no wonder that her books have spent more than 200 weeks on the USA Today bestsellers list.

Although Susan majored in Accounting, she never worked as an accountant because she was published straight out of college with two books the same month. Sixteen prolific years and seventy-four books later, she hit the New York Times bestsellers list for the first time with Accidentally Yours in 2008. She made many appearances in the Top 10 before (finally) hitting #1 in 2015 with Thrill Me, the twentieth book in her most popular series, the Fool’s Gold romances, and the fourth of five books released that year.

Susan lives in Washington state with her husband, two ragdoll cats, and a small poodle with delusions of grandeur. Her heart for animals has led Susan to become an active supporter of the Seattle Humane Society.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Harlequin-MIRA (USA & Canada) for providing me with a digital ARC of Sisters By Choice by Susan Mallery for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own opinions.

For an explanation of my rating system, please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on Sandysbooksday.wordpress.com

This review and others are also published on Twitter, Amazon and https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3076585431?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

Watching What I’m Reading…

Still no rain and now we are on severe water restrictions. For the past two days , it has felt like rain, but we are not even getting any dew at night. We were forecast rain later this week, but that seems to have disappeared . Other than one tropical shower, we have had nothing since we returned home New Year’s Day.

I have had a patchy week of reading. I discovered I had missed a book off my reading schedule, so slotted it in thinking that it wouldn’t really cause any problems. But then I wound up spending a day in A&E and xray minus my Kindle after breaking two bones in foot. Do you know how a day can drag without a Kindle ????? So for the next six weeks I am clomping about in a moonboot 😕 Especially frustrating as we are hosting a Fireman’s ball next Saturday night as a fundraiser for our local volunteer Fire Brigade . I guess I won’t be cutting up the dancefloor!

As I said, I am now a little behind on my reading schedule … not helped by the fact that I have worked all weekend. Currently I am reading Sisters By Choice by Susan Mallery and, oh my goodness, I can see a lot of similarities between Sophie and myself .

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And almost finished listening to Chasing the Dead by Tim Weaver. This is the first book in the excellent David Raker series.

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This week I am planning on reading The Crossing by Matt Brolly which I had scheduled for last week.

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When a body is discovered, bled dry on a beach, the sleepy seaside town of Weston-super-Mare wakes up to a nightmare. For Detective Inspector Louise Blackwell, recently transferred to the town she last saw as a child, it’s her first case on the job.

The victim—Veronica Lloyd, an elderly volunteer at a local church—has puncture wounds to her hands. When a priest is found killed in a nearby church in a similarly grisly condition, it becomes clear that Blackwell is dealing with a righteous and bloody murderer. But the victims aren’t random. The killer has a vendetta and is hell-bent on exacting twisted revenge for a dark secret dating back years—and there are more murders planned.

As the body count rises, Blackwell faces a race against time to solve the mystery of the murderer’s identity and put an end to the carnage. She thought she knew Weston, but the town holds more secrets than she’d ever have imagined. Who can she trust and who knows more than they are letting on?

She must discover the crimes that unite the victims—before it’s too late.

The Stranger In Our Bed by Samantha Lee Howell

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I ended my marriage for a man who didn’t exist…

I have everything money can buy. I’m a good wife, but sometimes I feel trapped. And when I start an affair with a stranger called Ewan, my life changes in ways I can’t begin to understand.

Because Ewan breaks apart my marriage piece by piece and then he just disappears. He uses a fake name and leaves no trace behind; it’s like he doesn’t even exist.

Someone did this to me and now they’re waiting for me to unravel, watching my every move. I can’t trust anyone, not even myself – not even the people I love.

And hopefully I will at least be able to start Only Lies Remain by Val Collins.

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Everyone thought Danny Walsh deserted his family when his sons were young. But when Danny’s body turns up fifteen years later and his wife, Maura, is implicated in his murder, accusations and old rumours surface.

Aoife rushes in to clear her mother-in-law’s name. But why is it that Maura’s story surrounding Danny’s disappearance doesn’t quite add up?

Aoife’s investigation uncovers old secrets, long-held jealousies, and lies upon lies. With every new revelation, Aoife realises she doesn’t know her family at all. Now her new boss is acting strangely, her best friend is more and more distant and her husband is no help at all.

With her support network crumbling and her family threatened, Aoife must race to keep one step ahead of danger before more innocent lives are lost. But how will she uncover the truth when only lies remain?

I have received six new ARCs from Netgalley this week and have another six requests pending. The new ARCs I received are :

Last One to Lie by J.M. Winchester

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A Forgotten Murder by Jude Devereux

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Truths I Never Told You by Kelly Rimmer

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The Girls Weekend by Jodi Gehrman

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The Stranger In Our Bed by Samantha Lee Howell

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And What Lies Between Us by John Marrs

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So now I am off to play catch-up and do some serious reading.

Cheers
Sandy

Watching What I’m Reading

It’s a lovely cool evening after a hot day, the crickets are making that noise that I find cery hard to describe, and the birds are in evensong.I love this time of the day! However, I can certainly feel summer sliding into autumn.

Today I have started Perfect Kill by Helen Sarah Fields

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And tomorrow, as I walk to work, I will begin listening to Chasing The Dead by Tim Weaver.

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This week I am planning on reading Sisters By Choice by Susan Mallery

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Cousins by chance, sisters by choice…

After her cat toy empire goes up in flames, Sophie Lane returns to Blackberry Island, determined to rebuild. Until small-town life reveals a big problem: she can’t grow unless she learns to let go. If Sophie relaxes her grip even a little, she might lose everything. Or she might finally be free to reach for the happiness and love that have eluded her for so long.

Kristine has become defined by her relationship to others. She’s a wife, a mom. As much as she adores her husband and sons, she wants something for herself—a sweet little bakery just off the waterfront. She knew changing the rules wouldn’t be easy, but she never imagined she might have to choose between her marriage and her dreams.

Like the mainland on the horizon, Heather’s goals seem beyond her grasp. Every time she manages to save for college, her mother has another crisis. Can she break free, or will she be trapped in this tiny life forever?

and The Crossing by Matt Brolly

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When a body is discovered, bled dry on a beach, the sleepy seaside town of Weston-super-Mare wakes up to a nightmare. For Detective Inspector Louise Blackwell, recently transferred to the town she last saw as a child, it’s her first case on the job.

The victim—Veronica Lloyd, an elderly volunteer at a local church—has puncture wounds to her hands. When a priest is found killed in a nearby church in a similarly grisly condition, it becomes clear that Blackwell is dealing with a righteous and bloody murderer. But the victims aren’t random. The killer has a vendetta and is hell-bent on exacting twisted revenge for a dark secret dating back years—and there are more murders planned.

As the body count rises, Blackwell faces a race against time to solve the mystery of the murderer’s identity and put an end to the carnage. She thought she knew Weston, but the town holds more secrets than she’d ever have imagined. Who can she trust and who knows more than they are letting on?

She must discover the crimes that unite the victims—before it’s too late.

Only two new approvals this week:

Her Perfect Life by Rebecca Taylor

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and Last Day by Luanne Rice

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My requesting finger is, temporarily, under control again.

Treacherous by Barbara Taylor Bradford

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EXCERPT: It was in the fifth grade, when they were ten, that Fiona Chambers crossed the soccer field to stand with, and up for, the new girl. Skinny, awkward, and out of place at the posh prep school in New York, Hayley Martin had become a target for the establishment’s well-heeled bullies.

She was taunted about everything; her clothes, an unruly tangle of auburn curls, her status as a scholarship student, and the street slang that popped out of her mouth at inopportune times.

After an essay Hayley wrote about her time living in a homeless shelter was deemed best in the English class, and published in the school paper, the torment became almost intolerable.

Then one day Fiona walked over to the embattled girl, put an arm around her and asked if they could sit together at lunch. That act of compassion changed everything for Hayley.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: Heartbreak and betrayal in the gripping new novella from the incomparable Barbara Taylor Bradford.

Hayley Martin and Fiona Chambers have been best friends since they were ten. From the moment that beautiful Fiona stood up to the school bullies for Hayley, the misfit, the two have been inseparable.

Twenty years on, they still share everything, and even run their own business together.

Until a dark secret threatens to test their loyalty to breaking point… What would you do if you discovered that your best friend could be your worst enemy?

MY THOUGHTS: I used to enjoy Barbara Taylor Bradford’s writing. I have not read her, other than the wonderful Cavendish series, for many years. And if this is any indication of what she is writing these days, I won’t be taking any more trips down memory lane with this particular author.

The first third of this novella was fine. Not riveting, but fine. Then enter ‘the man’, and the plot became incredibly and sickeningly saccharine, stupid, and unrealistic. I gave up and turned it off just over 50% through, (view spoiler)

*

#Treacherous

THE AUTHOR: Barbara Taylor Bradford is the author of 30 bestselling novels, including The Cavendon Women, Cavendon Hall, and The Ravenscar Dynasty. She was born in Leeds, England, and from an early age, she was a voracious reader: at age 12, she had already read all of Dickens and the Brontë sisters. By the age of twenty, she was an editor and columnist on Fleet Street. She published her first novel, A Woman of Substance, in 1979, and it has become an enduring bestseller.

Barbara Taylor Bradford’s books are published in over 90 countries in 40 languages, with sales figures in excess of 88 million. Ten of her novels have been adapted into television mini-series starring actors including Sir Anthony Hopkins, Liam Neeson, Deborah Kerr and Elizabeth Hurley. She has been inducted into the Writers Hall of Fame of America, and in June of 2007, Barbara was awarded an OBE (Order of the British Empire) by Queen Elizabeth II for her contributions to Literature.

She lives in New York City with her husband, television producer Robert Bradford, to whom all her novels are dedicated.

DISCLOSURE: I listened to the audiobook of Treacherous by Barbara Taylor Bradford, narrated by Jennifer Woodward and published by Harper Collins, via Overdrive. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

For an explanation of my rating system, please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page, or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com

This review and others are also published on Twitter and https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3174725846

Watching What I’m Reading…

It is a hot, overcast and very windy afternoon here in Te Kuiti, New Zealand. It has been a busy weekend with work and visitors. My cousin and her husband came for dinner last night. We had roast lamb and a big platter of vegetables out on the deck as dusk fell, followed by homemade lemon and ginger cheesecake and coffee. And although we live in the same town, we both live busy lives and don’t get together as often as we would like. Today my son brought my almost three year old grandson for lunch. He was very tired, having been to two birthday parties yesterday, so we just lay on the bed with all the teddies and I read to him, then while I made lunch the boys all lay about watching one of the Cars movies. They have gone home now, and soon we are heading off to meet up with a Welsh friend who is passing through town this afternoon.

I am currently reading The Nowhere Girl by Nicole Trope

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Echo Park by Michael Connelly

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and listening to I am Missing by Tim Weaver

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This week I am planning on reading The Family Next Door by Fiona Cummins

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For Sale: Lovely family home, ready for your updates. Friendly neighborhood setting close to park; secluded.

If not for the bodies discovered in the woods behind their new home, Garrick and Olivia Lockwood couldn’t have afforded to buy number 25 The Avenue. It’s the fresh start they and their two children badly need. Soon, these terrible crimes will be solved, they tell themselves, and once Garrick has remodeled, he’s confident they’ll sell the house for a profit.

But the darkest secrets can reside on quiet, ordinary streets like this–behind the doors of
well-kept houses and neighbors’ friendly faces. Secrets that can destroy a family, or savagely end a life, and will surface just when they’re least expected . . .

and The Leaving Party by Lesley Sanderson

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Every year on the same day, on the anniversary, I receive a single black rose. Thirteen years of dark petals, jagged thorns, dredging up memories I’ve tried to forget…

I’ve packed up my life. All my belongings are carefully sealed in labelled boxes, my suitcases ready for my big move. I’m just days away from a new life abroad with my boyfriend, Ben.

No one knows the real reason I’m desperate to leave.

My best friend, Lena, is throwing me a leaving party. A celebration, to say goodbye. Champagne to toast my farewell. Speeches, full of fond memories.

No one knows what I’m running from.

Then another black rose appears, dragging up thirteen years of buried memories. My passport goes missing. The very people I am trying to escape from turn up at our house.

Someone knows what I did.

This party was meant to be the first night of the rest of my life – but now I don’t know if I’ll see tomorrow.

Someone knows my secret. They’re in my home, they’re at my party, and they’re making me pay for it.

I received five ARCs from Netgalley this week…

The Good Turn by Dervla McTiernan
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The Banty House by Carolyn Brown

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Magpie Lane by Lucy Atkins

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Exit by Belinda Bauer

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The Girl You Gave Away by Jess Ryder

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Have a happy week everyone. I am looking forward to hearing about what you’re reading and what new books you have .

cheers
Sandy
❤😍📚

Watching What I’m Reading…

I have just gotten home from work, and how lovely it is to be able to sit out on my deck in the twilight and listen to the birds wishing each other good night.

It is now twelve hours since I started this post…immediately after writing the above paragraph, the internet dropped out! One of the perils of living in a small rural town I guess. The town is currently being laid with fibre-optic cable, but it won’t be operational until mid-year, possibly a little later as they seem to be experiencing all sorts of drama – including cutting into the sewer line at my place of work!

Anyway…currently I am half way through 46667059._sy475_

and loving it. I read the first half in one sitting last night, and will no doubt do the same with the second half tonight.

I am listening to

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I am really enjoying this comedy of errors.

This week I am planning on reading

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It’s June 2008 and twenty-one-year-old Adam Lattimer vanishes, presumed dead. The strain of his disappearance breaks his already fragile family.

Ten years later, with his mother deceased and siblings scattered across the globe, Adam turns up unannounced at the family home. His siblings return reluctantly to Spanish Cove, but Adam’s reappearance poses more questions than answers. The past is a tangled web of deceit.

And, as tension builds, it’s apparent somebody has planned murderous revenge for the events of ten years ago.

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Beth and Cath are leaving their husbands.

This is a story about two very different women.

One is wealthy and having an affair with a man who gives her the kind of love that her cold, detached husband does not.

One is living hand to mouth, suffering at the hands of a violent partner who would rather see her dead than leave him.

You may think you know these women already and how their lives will unfold.

Beth will live happily ever after with her little girl and her soulmate.

Cath will go back to her abusive husband.

And these two women will never cross paths.

But you will be wrong.

On the 3.15pm train from London to Bristol, Beth and Cath are about to meet and discover they share one shocking thing in common.

I received three new NetGalley ARCs this week

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And that’s my lot for the week.

Happy reading .

Cheers
Sandy
❤😍📚

The Cold, Cold Ground by Adrian McKinty

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EXCERPT: I shone my flashlight and then I saw her.

She was fully clothed, hanging under the limb of an oak tree. She had set up the noose, put her head in it, stepped off a tree stump and then regretted it.

Almost every person who hanged themselves did it wrong.

The noose is supposed to break your neck, not choke you to death.

Lucy had tried desperately to claw through the rope, had even managed to get a finger between the rope and her throat. It hadn’t done any good.

She was blue. Her left eye was bulging out of its socket, her right eyeball had popped onto her cheek.

Apart from that and the lifeless way the breeze played with her brown hair she did not look dead. The birds hadn’t found her yet.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: Two dead.

One left in a car at the side of a road. He was meant to be found quickly. His killer is making a statement.

The other is discovered hanged, deep in a forest. She is surely a suicide.

Detective Sergeant Duffy is the man tasked with trying to get to the bottom of it all. It’s no easy job – especially when it turns out that one of the victims was involved in the IRA, but last seen discussing business with someone from the UVF. Add to that the fact that as a Catholic policemen, it doesn’t matter which side he’s on, because nobody trusts him – and Sergeant Duffy really is in a no-win situation.

MY THOUGHTS: I discovered Sean Duffy late in this series, but loved him so much that I have gone back to read this series from the beginning.

McKinty’s writing is, though often brutal, like liquid honey. It flows easily, even as Duffy makes huge leaps of deduction, often unfounded and misguided. But he is no bumbling fool, merely a man who feels too much, who longs to make a difference, who wants to help stop the madness of the Irish troubles.

Set in the reign of Margaret Thatcher, with the marriage of Prince Charles to Diana Spencer looming, resources are stretched thin. Riots are an every day occurrence, political prisoners are on hunger strikes, and innocent civilians are being killed in the random bombings.

And yet amongst all this carnage and hatred, McKinty manages to convey that there are still good people, people not interested in either side winning, people invested in finding an equitable peace. He even manages to insert a little Irish folk lore – ‘My grandmother told me that the forest was an opening to someplace else. Where things lurked, things we could only half see. Older beings. Shees. Shades of creatures that once walked the natural world, redundant now, awaiting tasks, awaiting their work in dreams.’

McKinty is one of the most talented writers I have ever read for setting atmosphere. As I read, I can hear every inflection, every nuance in the voices, I can smell the odour of death, of putrefaction, I can taste the food, even the whisky – ‘It was the good stuff and it tasted of salt, sea, rain, wind and the Old Testament.’ He brings his work alive.

😍😲😍😲.5

My favourite quote from The Cold, Cold Ground: ‘William Burroughs said that a paranoid is somebody who knows what is actually going on.’

THE AUTHOR: Adrian McKinty is an Irish novelist. He was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and grew up in Victoria Council Estate, Carrickfergus, County Antrim. He read law at the University of Warwick and politics and philosophy at the University of Oxford. He moved to the United States in the early 1990s, living first in Harlem, New York and from 2001 on, in Denver, Colorado, where he taught high school English and began writing fiction. He lives in Melbourne, Australia with his wife and two children.

DISCLOSURE: I borrowed my copy of The Cold, Cold Ground by Adrian McKinty, published by Serpent’s Tail, from Waitomo District Library. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

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This review and others are also published on https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2994284793