New to me authors

I’ve always enjoyed reading other book blogger’s Top Ten Tuesday posts so thought I might join in this week and share some of the authors that were new to me in 2021 (and who I’ll definitely be reading more of in 2022)….

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The Winter Guest by W. C. Ryan #BookReview

January 1921. Though the Great War is over, in Ireland a new, civil war is raging. The once-grand Kilcolgan House, a crumbling bastion shrouded in sea-mist, lies half empty and filled with ghosts – both real and imagined – the Prendevilles, the noble family within, co-existing only as the balance of their secrets is kept.


Then, when an IRA ambush goes terribly wrong, Maud Prendeville, eldest daughter of Lord Kilcolgan, is killed, leaving the family reeling. Yet the IRA column insist they left her alive, that someone else must have been responsible for her terrible fate. Captain Tom Harkin, an IRA intelligence officer and Maud’s former fiancé, is sent to investigate, becoming an unwelcome guest in this strange, gloomy household.

Working undercover, Harkin must delve into the house’s secrets – and discover where, in this fractured, embattled town, each family member’s allegiances truly lie. But Harkin too is haunted by the ghosts of the past and by his terrible experiences on the battlefields. Can he find out the truth about Maud’s death before the past – and his strange, unnerving surroundings – overwhelm him?

My Thoughts on The Winter Guest

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My Week In Reviews: 23rd January 2022

Happy Sunday and welcome to another weekly update where I share a little about what’s happened to me this week and the books I’ve reviewed.

Review wise, there wasn’t a lot – just one book, which I didn’t enjoy too much (Open House by Katie Sise). It wasn’t that there was anything wrong with it as such. It just fell flat for me. I also posted about other reviews that are popular on my blog, though I wasn’t sure why because they were 5+ years old.

Life wise, things were much busier than the blog. Last Sunday, we did a 7K walk along our local beach before stopping at a small Brazilian cafe with wonderful ‘home-cooked food’ and cakes to die for (no photo because we ate them too quickly, but here are a few of the beach, where the sun came out on the way back).

We’re trying to get into our habit of walking every weekend during lockdown (especially as we seem to be having some sunny days right now). Today we’re off to try and find the Waintstones, which is supposed to have some of the best views in the area.

I’m also trying to make full use of my Friday’s off now I’m no longer having to work them to catch up with everything that isn’t getting done during my standard work days. This week, I painted the stairs. I did an ombre effect going up, which has worked better than I’d hope. Next Friday, I’ll finish them off with some varnish and share a photo if it all works.

And that’s it for this week. How has your week – reading and otherwise?

Emma x

Joining in with the Sunday Post and Kimberly, the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

Popular Posts?

I’m to much of a one for stats on my blog. Now that I am using the WordPress app on my iPad, though, they are the first thing I see when I open it up to write.

I have to admit, it’s nice to see numbers of people who’ve visited. More fascinating, though, is the top ranking posts each week. There are the posts I’ve published that week – which you’d expect – but also random ones from years ago. They seem to spike, and I have no idea why.

This week, there were three that just seemed to come from nowhere…

A Sheltered Woman is a short story and The Other Child a domestic thriller. Both are from 2015. Cinderella Girl is a Scandi Noir from 2016. As far as I’m aware there is nothing ‘special’ about these books, even though they were good reads. There is no TV shows being made, for example, that might lead people to search for them.

So I am assuming this is more likely to be linked to some type of internet bot thing. And I’m just interested in how it works. Anyone out there who understands blogging more than me that can shed light?

Thanks!

Emma

Open House by Katie Sise #BookReview

A decade ago in upstate New York, art student Emma McCullough walked into the woods and was never seen again. It’s a mystery that still haunts her bucolic university town and her broken family, especially her sister, Haley, whose need for closure has become an obsession. But now, finally, the first piece of evidence in the vanishing has been found: Emma’s bracelet, lodged in a frozen piece of earth at the bottom of a gorge. For Emma’s three best college friends, for a beloved former teacher, and for Haley, the chilling trinket is more than a clue in a resurrected cold case. It’s a trigger.

Then a woman is attacked during an open house, and the connections between the two crimes, ten winters apart, begin to surface. So do the secrets that run as deep and dark as the currents in this quiet river town.

My thoughts on Open House…

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My Week In Reviews: 16th January 2022

Happy Sunday and welcome to another weekly update where I share a little about what’s happened to me this week and the books I’ve reviewed.

First off, I want to apologies to anyone who has visited my blog and who I haven’t visited in return. I use my iPad and iPhone for most things online and neither will let me comment on Blogger blogs. I’m not sure if this is something other people have a problem with and if there is a workaround? If so, please let me know.

Other than these technical problems, it’s been a good week. Work is finally calming down and I’m starting to see that work-life balance I lost last year. We had friends over on Friday for drinks (planned for Christmas but then cancelled because of the omicron surge), which was a lot of fun, and my daughter had her first (almost) post-pandemic sleepover, which was another step back into whatever ‘new normal’ we will find ourselves in this year. I also (finally) got to see the new Spiderman movie, which I really enjoyed.

Book wise, I haven’t done much reading (what with my busy social life) but I did manage to get three reviews posted, a bit of a record for me, and share some of the books that have recently made it one my shelves…

This Week on the Blog

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The Raptures by Jan Carson #bookreview

It is late June in Ballylack. Hannah Adger anticipates eight long weeks’ reprieve from school, but when her classmate Ross succumbs to a violent and mysterious illness, it marks the beginning of a summer like no other.

As others fall ill, questions about what – or who – is responsible pitch the village into conflict and fearful disarray. Hannah, ever the outsider, is haunted by guilt as she remains healthy while her friends are struck down. Frigthened and alone, she prays for help. What happens next will force her to question everything she believes.

Bursting with Carson’s trademark wit, profound empathy and soaring imagination, The Raptures explores how tragedy can unite a small community – and tear it apart. At its heart is the extraordinary resilience of one young girl. As the world crumbles around her, she must find the courage to be different in a place where conforming feels like the only option. 

My thoughts on The Raptures….

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A Deadly Influence by Mike Omer #BookReview

Lieutenant Abby Mullen is no stranger to crisis. As the hostage negotiation instructor for the NYPD, she deals with worst-case scenarios every day. Nothing fazes her anymore.

That all changes when she gets a call from Eden Fletcher, a fellow survivor of the infamous Wilcox cult. The two haven’t spoken since the night of a tragic, fiery massacre, when their paths diverged. But now Eden needs Abby’s help: someone has kidnapped her son and is demanding a $5 million ransom. As Abby throws herself into the case, she can’t help but wonder why the kidnapper has targeted Eden. But Eden refuses to talk. She’s silent about the relics of their shared past hanging on her walls. About the kidnapper’s possible motives. About what’s happened in the years since she and Abby parted ways.

As the truth closes in, Abby realizes that her past may not be as far behind as she thought…and it’s come home to collect.

My Thoughts on A Deadly Influence…

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The Couple at No. 9 by Claire Douglas #BookReview

It was the house of their dreams. Until the bodies were found . . .

BODIES FOUND UNDER PATIO

When pregnant Saffron Cutler moves into 9 Skelton Place with boyfriend Tom and sets about renovations the last thing she expects is builders uncovering a body – two bodies, in fact.

POLICE INVESTIGATE

Forensics indicate the bodies have been buried at least thirty years. Nothing Saffy need worry herself over. Until the police launch a murder investigation and ask to speak to the cottage’s former owner – her grandmother, Rose.

OWNER QUESTIONED

Rose is in a care home and Alzheimer’s means her memory is increasingly confused. She can’t help the police but it is clear she remembers something.

A KILLER AT LARGE?

As Rose’s fragmented memories resurface, and the police dig ever deeper, Saffy fears she and the cottage are being watched.

What happened thirty years ago?

Why did no one miss the victims?

What part did her grandmother play?

And is Saffy now in danger?

My Thoughts on The Couple at No. 9

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