Stacking shelves: 15th July, 2017

STSsmallOnce again, I’m joining in with Tynga at Tynga’s Reviews and Marlene of Reading Reality for Stacking Shelves, where you share the real and virtual books you have added to your shelves in the last week.

So the first few books I bought this week are probably of not much interest to anyone but me and my family – they are guide books for our holidays, which isn’t far away and I feel slightly unprepared for (I will be off trying to find enough warm weather clothes in a bit)…Read More »


Stacking shelves: 8th July, 2017

STSsmallOnce again, I’m joining in with Tynga at Tynga’s Reviews and Marlene of Reading Reality for Stacking Shelves, where you share the real and virtual books you have added to your shelves in the last week.

First up is a book I wanted to read for a while The Chalk Pit by Elly Griffiths, though I am a little nervous about joining the series when it’s already in flow.

51gqwo4uACL._SX323_BO1,204,203,200_Boiled human bones have been found in Norwich’s web of underground tunnels. When Dr Ruth Galloway discovers they were recently buried, DCI Nelson has a murder inquiry on his hands. The boiling might have been just a medieval curiosity – now it suggests a much more sinister purpose.

Meanwhile, DS Judy Johnson is investigating the disappearance of a local rough sleeper. The only trace of her is the rumour that she’s gone ‘underground’. This might be a figure of speech, but with the discovery of the bones and the rumours both Ruth and the police have heard that the network of old chalk-mining tunnels under Norwich is home to a vast community of rough sleepers, the clues point in only one direction. Local academic Martin Kellerman knows all about the tunnels and their history – but can his assertions of cannibalism and ritual killing possibly be true?

As the weather gets hotter, tensions rise. A local woman goes missing and the police are under attack. Ruth and Nelson must unravel the dark secrets of The Underground and discover just what gruesome secrets lurk at its heart – before it claims another victim.

Release date (paperback): 13th July, 2017 – already available as ebook

Find on: Amazon UK / Amazon US / Goodreads

Read More »

Mid-year freak out tag

So I’ve been seeing this tag everywhere recently, including over at Snazzy Books and Books, Movies, Reviews, Oh My! and I thought it would be fun to do too as I normally post a “best of the year so far” post about now.  This seems a nice replacement.  Here are my answers…

1) The best book you’ve read so far in 2017?

51j92jJ6+dLI have to pick a really recent read, Forgotten by Nicole Trope, which just blew me away.

2) Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2017?Read More »

Stacking Shelves: 1st July, 2017

STSsmallOnce again, I’m joining in with Tynga at Tynga’s Reviews and Marlene of Reading Reality for Stacking Shelves, where you share the real and virtual books you have added to your shelves in the last week.

This week should also be called the “week where I went a bit netgalley crazy”, which I haven’t done since I first discovered it.  Then, I got carried away and ended up feeling overwhelmed with review books.  Since, I have had a “review one, request one” approach.  Until last week, when I got a bit click happy….and had half approved (with the other half pending – what have I done!).  Here’s what I got…Read More »

Stacking Shelves: 24th June, 2016

STSsmallThis week, for the first time, I am joining in with Tynga at Tynga’s Reviews and Marlene of Reading Reality for Stacking Shelves, where you share the real and virtual books you have added to your shelves in the last week.

First up for me this week was The Binding Song by Elodie Harper, which came through the post and has one of the spookiest covers I think I’ve seen in a while.

34452770A chilling debut for fans of Mo Hayder and Sharon Bolton, THE BINDING SONG takes you on a trip to Halvergate Prison. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to leave…

Dr Janet Palmer is the new lead psychologist at HMP Halvergate in a remote, bleak area of Norfolk. At first, she was excited by the promotion. Then she starts to see how many secrets are hiding behind the high walls.

A string of inmates have committed suicide, leaving no reasons why, and her predecessor has disappeared – along with his notes. The staff are hostile, the threat of violence is ever-present, and there are rumours of an eyeless woman stalking the corridors, punishing the inmates for their sins.

Janet is determined to find out what is really going on. But the longer she stays and the deeper she digs, the more uncertain she feels.

Halvergate is haunted by something. But it may be a terror worse than ghosts…

Find on: Amazon UK / Amazon US / Goodreads

Then I was lucky enough to wish for and receive the next offering from one of my favourite authors, The Stolen Marriage by Diane Chamberlain…


In 1944, twenty-three-year-old Tess DeMello abruptly ends her engagement to the love of her life when she marries a mysterious stranger and moves to Hickory, North Carolina, a small town struggling with racial tension and the hardships imposed by World War II. Tess’s new husband, Henry Kraft, is a secretive man who often stays out all night, hides money from his new wife, and shows no interest in making love. Tess quickly realizes she’s trapped in a strange and loveless marriage with no way out.

The people of Hickory love and respect Henry and see Tess as an outsider, treating her with suspicion and disdain, especially after one of the town’s prominent citizens dies in a terrible accident and Tess is blamed. Tess suspects people are talking about her, plotting behind her back, and following her as she walks around town. What does everyone know about Henry that she does not? Feeling alone and adrift, Tess turns to the one person who seems to understand her, a local medium who gives her hope but seems to know more than he’s letting on.

When a sudden polio epidemic strikes the town, the townspeople band together to build a polio hospital. Tess, who has a nursing degree, bucks Henry’s wishes and begins to work at the hospital, finding meaning in nursing the young victims. Yet at home, Henry’s actions grow more alarming by the day. As Tess works to save the lives of her patients, can she untangle her husband’s mysterious behavior and save her own life?

Find on: Amazon UK / Amazon US / Goodreads

And finally, I picked up a free copy* of Lie With Me by Sabine Durrant, which has been on my reading list for a while…

29636224“I suppose what I am saying is, how much do we collude in our own destruction? How much of this nightmare is on me?

You can hate and rail.
You can kick out in protest.

You can do foolish and desperate things, but maybe sometimes you just have to hold up a hand and take the blame.”

Find on: Amazon UK / Amazon US / Goodreads

  • * my free copy was from iBooks but it’s also free on Amazon kindle at the moment

And that’s it for me this week.  How about you? What have you added to the shelves?

Emma x


Monthly Round-up: August, 2016

Goodbye August, hello September and – thanks to my holidays – welcome to my shortest monthly round-up post ever.  Whilst I’ve read a lot (see yesterday’s post), I’ve reviewed and written very little.  All, though, were good and I would recommend each and every one…

26046368The End of the World Running Club by Adrian J Walker was read because I spent the day in London and say posters for the book everywhere I went.  I am not sure I would have otherwise as the title, if I’m honest, doesn’t appeal but I am very glad I did.  Set in a just-happened post-apocalyptic world, The End of the World Running club isn’t so much about the end of the world as it is about a man starting to live his without the distractions of Sky, wine and work.  He discovers what is important to him (his family) and goes to the ends of the earth, almost literally, to prove it.


imageThe Trap by Melanie Raabe was a clever idea that sounded right up my street and I was lucky to be sent a review copy.  An agoraphobic author, who hasn’t left the house since her sister was murdered, sees the killer on TV.  Thinking no one will believe her (because they didn’t at the time), she sets out to trap him the only way she knows how – by writing about the murder in the guise of a novel.  Melanie Raabe provides plenty of twists and turns to keep the reader turning pages.  The only downside to this novel was the translation, which I felt let it down in places.


imageLost Girls by Robert Kolker which is one of my only forays into true crime writing.  It’s a story that sounded fascinating and was, involving the still unsolved death of at least four escorts and possibly as many as 11 victims by a serial killer no one seems to have any idea how to catch.  Kolker presents a sympathetic but honest portrait of the first victims found, sharing their lives stories and showing how they came to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.  He also shines a light on how the police let them and their families down because of who they were and what they did for a living (and to live).


And that was it.  What about you?  Did you read anything you would recommend for September?


My holiday reads

So I’m finally back from my holidays…over two weeks of being pretty much disconnected from the world and it’s been lovely. I have been pretty much disconnected from the Internet too bar the odd time I read the paper when I found free wi-fi and, even when I was connected, avoided all social media etc.

It was nice to take the break though I am starting to get itchy and looking forward to reviewing the books I read while I was away and visiting my favourite blogs. I’ll be writing reviews over the next few days for posting starting next week but in the meantime, here’s a taster of the books I read and will be writing about…

Hollow City by Ransom Riggs


This sequel to the first novel, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, begins in 1940, immediately after the first book ended. Having escaped Miss Peregrine’s island by the skin of their teeth, Jacob and his new friends must journey to London, the peculiar capital of the world. Along the way, they encounter new allies, a menagerie of peculiar animals, and other unexpected surprises.

Killer on the Fens by Joy Ellis


DI Nikki Galena faces a personal challenge which will stretch her to the limit. She must fulfil her father’s dying wish and discover who the mysterious Eve is. Meanwhile a dead drug dealer is found on an abandoned airfield that the locals say is haunted. The trail of both mysteries will lead to the most shocking discovery of Nikki’s career and put her whole team in mortal danger.

The Ice Twins by S. K. Tremayne


A year after one of their identical twin daughters, Lydia, dies in an accident, Angus and Sarah Moorcraft move to the tiny Scottish island Angus inherited from his grandmother, hoping to put together the pieces of their shattered lives. But when their surviving daughter, Kirstie, claims they have mistaken her identity—that she, in fact, is Lydia—their world comes crashing down once again.

The Highway by C. J. Box


When two sisters set out across a remote stretch of Montana road to visit their friend, little do they know it will be the last time anyone might ever hear from them again. The girls–and their car–simply vanish. As former police investigator Cody Hoyt makes his way to the lonely stretch of Montana highway where they went missing, her discovers that they aren’t the first girls who have disappeared.

Blind Side by Jennie Ensor

imageGeorgie, wary of relationships after previous heartbreak, gives in and agrees to sleep with close friend Julian. She’s shocked when he reveals he’s loved her for a long time.  Despite misgivings, she can’t resist her attraction to Nikolai, a Russian former soldier. While Julian struggles to deal with rejection, Georgie begins to suspect the Russian is hiding something terrible.

All told, there were some good and some great books, plenty of intrigue and a few murders to keep me satisfied. Now down to the review writing. Any you are particularly keen to hear more about?





Book Blogger Hop: Who Am I Reading For?

imageI’m joining in with Billy at Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer‘s book blogger hop again this week, where they post a question which you and other bloggers answer, hopping from blog to blog to see people’s answers. This week, the question is…

Do you read and review books mainly for publishers or authors?

For me, the answer is no, I mainly review books I buy, am given, or pick up at the library.  I pick books for so many reasons, because I love the author, the genre, have heard good things about it or I feel like a change, like I need to step out of my comfort zone.  A good cover will sway me every time.

I don’t review all of those because sometimes life gets in the way and it’s been a few weeks since I finished the book then I simply don’t get round to reviewing it as a result.  Sometimes, I just don’t finish the book because it isn’t for me.

I feel I have to finish books given to me as review copies so I try to limit how many of these I request/read because having too many of those on my reading list can feel quite overwhelming.  If other things then come up – as they usually do – I feel I have to review these, and often to certain timeframes, and then can’t actually enjoy them because I’m just reading for reading’s sake.

Sometimes I think it would be nice to get more new releases in advance, and it would definitely help my bank balance, but my time management is pretty rubbish at the best of times, never mind with reading, so I think, for me this is the way to go.

What about you, do review mainly your own books or those from publishers/authors?


Tuesday Intro: Don’t You Cry by Mary Kubica

imageThis week, I’m linking up again with Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea who hosts a post every Tuesday for people to share the first chapter / paragraph of the book they are reading, or thinking of reading soon. I really enjoy these tasters when I read them on other blogs so wanted to join in.

Today’s book is Don’t You Cry by Mary Kubica which I’m excited about having loved her other books. Here’s what it’s about…

imageIn downtown Chicago, a young woman named Esther Vaughan disappears from her apartment without a trace. A haunting letter addressed to My Dearest is found among her possessions, leaving her friend and roommate Quinn Collins to wonder where Esther is and whether or not she’s the person Quinn thought she knew.

Meanwhile, in a small Michigan harbor town an hour outside Chicago, a mysterious woman appears in the quiet coffee shop where eighteen-year-old Alex Gallo works as a dishwasher. He is immediately drawn to her charm and beauty, but what starts as an innocent crush quickly spirals into something far more dark and sinister than he ever expected.

And here’s how it starts…



In hindsight, I should have known right away that something wasn’t quite right. The jarring noise in the middle of the night, the open window, the empty bed. Later, I blamed a whole slew of things for my nonchalance, everything from a headache to fatigue, down to arrant stupidity.

But still.

I should have known right away that something wasn’t right.

What do you think? Would you keep reading?


Note: this is for a review/proof copy



This Week, Next Week: 24th April, 2016

Morning everyone – happy Sunday. Hope you are having a good day and have had a good week. Mine has been the usual mix of work and work. Actually that isn’t true this week because my crazy travel schedule ended Tuesday and I felt back to normal by Friday. It was lovely to not be waking up before the birds or in a hotel room rather than my own bed.

Friday was also my daughters annual class assembly, which she’s been practising for for weeks and was uber excited about. She did really well, remembered her lines, sang and danced…and then promptly burst into tears when it was all over (as did half the class!). I don’t think she’ll be asking to go on the stage again for a while.

Blog wise, I have been participating in the Spring into Horror read-a-thon this week and have come across some new blogs as a result, one of the best things about read-a-thons. I also started using Facebook much more as a way to take part, not something I normally do (I think I have a Facebook phobia and rarely use it); it was fun.

I only read one horror book during the week – Carrie by Stephen King, which I really enjoyed – but I also posted my review of the gothic horror Mr. Splitfoot by Samantha Hunt, which I didn’t enjoy much at all.  The last book I reviewed was Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner which was a really good piece of crime writing with great character development…not quite what I expected but in a good way. I also wrote about how many books I read each month as part of the book blogger hop.

Book wise, I didn’t pick up any – not even a trip to the library – which feels odd but also quit nice…I mentioned the other week I felt the number of books I have to read is feel a bit overwhelming and that hasn’t changed. It was a conscious decision to not pick up any books for a few weeks at least till I feel less swamped. How about you, have you picked up any good books this week? What have you read?


This week, I’m linking in with Kimba at the Caffeinated Book Reviewer and her Sunday Post and with (a little early) Katherine at Book Date for It’s Monday, What Are you Reading? Head over to see what other bloggers have read, written about or just added to their shelves.

The Sunday Post