Dwelling by Thomas Flowers! Fresh off the press!

Helllo readers, some of you will have seen that I reviewed this wonderful book on Christmas Eve and as of yesterday Dwelling is available as a FREE download on Amazon Kindle. So let me leave a couple of words from the wonderful author.

“This will be the first promotional for either of the books in the Subdue Series and I couldn’t be more excited.”

But the promotion is free, why get excited about giving away your book?” And to this, I’d say, “Above all else, I want nothing more than to have people read, and if their reading my books, well…than that will be my bonus. I would rather people read my book for free than not to have Dwelling read at all.”

If you like horror tales, super-natural, or just a really well written book this is definitely one to get your hands on. As a book blogger I get the chance to read so many brilliant books and to be able to download this one for free is an opportunity not to miss. I mean I said this about the book –

“Every single paragraph, every sentence has been written with thought. You can tell that it’s all been utterly thought through and created to create this atmosphere that’s slightly uneasy and tense. I don’t know many authors that can do this. (Lizzy stop gushing) but honestly – bloody spot on.”

If you want to read more of my review you can here but what you should really do is download a copy – available here! Then you can thank me later (wink face.)

Death Wish (Ceruleans #1) by Megan Tayte

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Helllllo readers, it’s Thursday I’m still going strong with the reviews from 2015! I’m going to write a really in-depth post about my current reading slump and how I’m constantly trying to ignore it by catching up with all the books I’ve read but are yet to get written up and posted about! If anyone has any really simple tips for helping with difficulties picking up a book then please comment below and help me. For now onto the review of a lovely fantasy tale.

IN SEARCH OF THE MEANING OF DEATH, SHE’LL FIND THE MEANING OF LIFE.

The Ceruleans: mere mortals infused with power over life and death. Five books; one question: If the might of the heavens were in your hands, would you be sinner or saint?

Seventeen-year-old Scarlett Blake is haunted by death. Her estranged sister has made the ultimate dramatic exit. Running away from school, joining a surfing fraternity, partying hard: that sounds like Sienna. But suicide? It makes no sense.

Following in her sister’s footsteps, Scarlett comes to an isolated English cove with grand plans to uncover the truth. Alone. But she hasn’t reckoned on meeting two boys who are determined to help her. Luke: the blue-eyed surfer who’ll see the real Scarlett, who’ll challenge her, who’ll save her. And Jude: the elusive drifter with a knack for turning up whenever Scarlett’s in need.

As Scarlett’s quest for the truth unravels, so too does her grip on reality as she’s always known it. Because there’s something strange going on in this little cove. A dead magpie circles the skies. A dead deer watches from the undergrowth. Hands glow with light. Warmth. Power.

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As the blurb suggests the book follows the story of Scarlett Blake who has recently lost her sister to suicide. Confused by the sudden turn of events she returns to the last place her sister was seen to try and piece together what really happened. Once there she starts to realise that all is not quite as it appears and that there are secrets surrounding the suicide that need to be explained – it just might be that Scarlett is the only one that can truly find out the truth, oh as well as the help provided by Luke: the blue-eyed surfer and Jude: the elusive drifter.

With the premise done onto the actual review – I thought Scarlett was really well written; her strength after the death of her sister and her constant want to find strength and not believe in what she’s being told was both exciting and helped to add pace to the tale. At times she does struggle with her self-esteem and she does have a few moments where she struggles deeply  with her emotions and does make rash decisions which are understandable in the situation. Both Luke and Jude are great additions to the story adding intrigue and mystery with their contrasting personalities plus there is a theme of romance for you love-lovers.

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The writing style is beautiful and lyrical and definitely spins the reader on an adventure, I did feel myself sucked wholly into the book in a way that I couldn’t put it down despite having little wobbles with Scarlett. The writing style also helps to create relatable and realistic characters. In terms of the plot I liked how original it was – it was unlike a lot of paranormal stories I have read before and I liked the continuing mystery not only surrounding the supposed suicide but also surrounding Scarlett and her own story. One wobble from this is that we don’t find out what is happening till very late in the story and this potentially opens more questions that it answers making it an unfulfilled read in some ways.

The only additional wobble was the ending and it seems that I’m not the only one – the use of the cliffhanger for me is a struggle because when we go to pick up the next book, unless it’s straight there, we lose something. Hints to the next tale may have worked better but that’s just me. However overall this is a brilliant read – it’s a difficult book to really review because I don’t want to spoil the twists and turns but overall good quality writing, a brilliant story that sucks you in and brilliant twist! Well worth a read.

Linkkks

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Where There’s Smoke by Jodi Picoult

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Hellllllo readers, so many many reviews of brilliant books this week; I had a bit of a slump at the start of the week but I’ve really been getting into some sublime books. Now this one is a little odd because it was on my kindle; I read it in under an hour and was a little unimpressed; I loved the premise but it was too short. I have found out that this is the first two chapters to another book by Picoult but after a lot of research I can’t quite work out which one it is (if you know please let me out of my misery.) Although a short read it does work alone if you need an hour or so out, or you’re struggling to get out of a book slump: this would be perfect!

 Even as a child, Serenity Jones knew she possessed unusual psychic gifts. Now, decades later, she’s an acclaimed medium and host of her own widely viewed TV show, where she delivers messages to the living from loved ones who have died. Lately, though, her efforts to boost ratings and garner fame have compromised her clairvoyant instincts.

 When Serenity books a young war widow to appear as a guest, the episode quickly unravels, stirring up a troubling controversy. And as she tries to undo the damage – to both her reputation and her show – Serenity finds that pride comes at a high price.

 As I’ve mentioned a couple of time, psychic books aren’t really my thing, but this did really grab me from the first page and definitely made me think I’m going to have to read on. The book follows Serenity who is a psychic with a very popular television show where she communicates with the loved ones of those that have passed onto the other side but are very much still alive in terms of their spirit. With her spirit guides Lucinda and Desmond who guide her through the psychic world she connects people with those that they never thought they could again. Unfortunately when the wife of a soldier comes to the stage, Serenity finds she has inherited a poltergeist who will do anything to literally send her up in flames.

That’s the easy bit out the way now onto the nitty-gritty. Many of the reviews on Amazon focus on this being very short but I thought it was the perfect short story for a lunchbreak or the commute into work. Serenity is a complex character despite the ‘book’ being such a short read; she’s strong in terms of her work but her need to rely on her spirit guides means that at times she appears weak. You can tell that the television lifestyle although is her bread and butter wasn’t quite what she expected and her little rituals before a show and her fear of alcohol and drugs show she is a professional but not one that seems at ease.

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I thought the plot was intriguing and as you read one you will learn that Serenity upsets her spirit guides causing an overwhelming silence from the other side; paired with the insistence to make a good show for the world Serenity lives in (our world) it creates an interesting mix. I liked the talk of spirits and the way that it is conveyed and details are woven in and make it feel real.

In terms of wobbles the main character at times can be a little tiring, she is at times shallow and annoying if I’m honest. The story is short and I’m little irked that it wasn’t made clear that this the start of another book from Picoult. I can understand that it’s to pique and interest but to not make that obvious is a little cheeky even if it was free. The ending is also confusing which has made me want to buy the next book but it doesn’t fully disclose what has happened and doesn’t quite give the reader the feeling of the book ending or knowing quite what happens which in retrospect makes sense because it’s the start of the book. I can see why not disclosing this has created quite a few negative reviews on Amazon/Goodreads.

Overall I enjoyed this but I’m a little annoyed still this is the start of the story although I’m excited to see what happens next. If it is free on Amazon I think it’s a great way to decide whether you’ll like the whole book and it does just about work as a stand alone. Has anyone else read this book? Let me know your thoughts in le comments below.

Linnnnnnks

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Enigma by Aimee Ash

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Helllllo readers, today is another book from the recesses of my Kindle. I’ve been meaning to review these for ages and I’ve had a bit of a readers block recently so have been struggling to get anything finished. I seem to pick one up and then put it down again and then start something new and it’s exhausting to say the least. I read this book almost a year ago and had a quick flick through but quickly remembered my thoughts so have penned them down here for you. As always anyone waiting for reviews, they will appear at some point. I’m struggling with reading at the moment but will hopefully all pick up soon.

When KATE HARRIS moves to Long Beach California, she hopes to finally settle in her new home. She longs to have friends and fantasises about meeting the guy of her dreams. But after one dangerous night, Kate finds herself obsessing over a mysterious stranger who saves her life, and she embarks on a quest to uncover his identity. But her journey ends when she discovers her gorgeous neighbour, JACK JONES, who proves to be the welcoming distraction she needs.

Kate is deeply intrigued by Jack, and begins to feel differently when she’s in his company. She is flattered by the attention he showers her with and enjoys her newfound confidence. And even though their relationship symbolises young love, Kate soon realizes that Jack is anything but normal.
When Jack is forced to reveal his many secrets, including the curse inflicted upon him by his twin brother, Sebastian, Kate begins questioning what is real and what is just a mere illusion.

Jack refuses to make peace with his brother, and warns Kate to stay away from him. But Kate is drawn to Sebastian, and if she betrays Jack, the consequences of her actions will lead to devastation for them all.

This review I feel is going to be really difficult to rate because I think since genre’s are always developing. YA for example, which for me has really come into the light recently in terms of their popularity, and some just haven’t hit that quality mark. If I was to rate this book on the plot then it would be very different to my review based on the characters but I’ll try my best. The book follows the relationship of Kate who is saved by a mysterious stranger; she then plots to find out who he really is. However, during her mission she meets the rather dashing and exciting Jack. As the book continues we see the love triangle develop and the dangers that it has created.

You can tell from the blurb that it’s quite a niche idea I think. It’s not one I’ve seen for a long time and I think the blurb really set me off for a really good read. The problem for me is that the book is written entirely in first person from Kate but, and this I think is due to the YA feel of it, she is so under-developed that the book especially the dialogue of the characters falls really flat. The book should really be full of emotional trauma, tension and suspense but the characters are so lacking that it really can’t be saved. There are also a hell of a lot of clichés used including the favourite biting of the bottom lip and collapsing into heaps on the floor. Exhausting.

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Additionally, realising that I’m really writing this book off, the superpowers of the twins are not really being used for anything useful? You would think given super powers that they would be used for good, throw in a bit of action, a cliff-hanger or two and you’ve got an even better story that could have supported the characters better but no, na-da, they’re not really used at all. However, if I’m going to spin the positives I’ll go with this; the writing does move with pace and is at times gripping. The author throws in a couple of surprises and although Kate is a weaker character she is down-to-earth which is nice. The two males in the book were written with spirit and I could definitely see myself getting into an argument over who I preferred.

How am I going to sum this all up? I think it’s got good bits and bad. Unfortunately it’s too undeveloped and not thought through succinctly and that is a toughie because it is what ultimately supports the book on the whole. I thought Kate was a confusing character but she has potential and the author obviously knows what she needs to do just didn’t quite pull through. On an asthetic point the cover is awful; but I am glad I read this, just won’t be revisiting any time soon.

Linnnnnks

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The Guests of Honor: Tales from the Virtue Inn: Cat Amesbury

Evening my beautiful readers, was hoping to be spending the evening doing something a little more interesting but instead I’m here with you lovely people and that’s pretty special. Mylittlebookblog has been getting a lot of love over the past few days and I am extremely thankful of all of you that have been sending my stats through the roof! It tells me most importantly that I’m doing a good job and that means a whole lot. So another review from my backlog that I am slowly working through! Enjoy!

A woman, a fox, and a magical inn. Honor Desry’s only employee is a magical nudist, her guest list has an abnormal fascination with eels, and a surprising number of household objects are trying to hurt her. When Honor’s mother mysteriously disappeared, Honor became responsible for both her younger sisters and the family inn. Now, all Honor wants to do is run the inn, pay the bills, and not get killed by her unusually violent toaster. Unfortunately for Honor, the Virtue Inn has more secrets than it does rooms and the Guests are restless. If Honor wants to keep her house –and her head- she’s going to have to learn how to please The Guests of Honor.

One word, marvellous. I loved this book, first things first the cover is stunning. In my last review I spoke about the importance of a book having a good cover and this one really relates to the content of the book, which is fantastic. The plot line follows Honor Desry, as stated above, being the employer of a magical nudist, a little random, but that’s the joy of this book, it’s fun and enjoyable. Working at the supernatural inn is an interesting job however all goes wrong when her mother disappears and she is placed in the sole responsibility of the inn; however it’s not going to be easy. Honor must take responsibility and unearth the secrets without losing her head!

The first point to make is that Honor is wonderful not only as a character but as a narrator. I thought her name really matched her personality. Her ‘voice’ is entertaining snappy, witty and kept me turning the pages with force. Kay in contrast is calm, kind, tender and gentle; I loved him. It was really special that the story focuses mainly on them. Yes there are filler characters but they don’t take major roles. I really like the way the book is told; it has the style of the classic ‘fairytale’ but is instead for adults. It adds a spin on the classic story whilst drawing the reader in. It is original and entertaining with hints of sarcasm; I honestly loved it. The plot moves with pace and keeps you turning the pages and I honestly had no idea where it was going which was brilliant!

A few problems, this book did push the believability to the limit but I think you have to just go with it. For me it was just pushed a little too far. I did love the ridiculousness of it, and I ended up reading the book despite this, but it did push the reader. The writing is filled with wit, humour and drollness and is well edited to a point. I’m a perfectionist when it comes to spelling and grammar and a few bits were a little off but on the whole it was reasonably good. I also liked the way the book ends, because it actually ends although still allowing for a segment to create interest for the second book. I loved this story; it put a smile on my face and that is a beautiful ending to a book. If you’re looking for a book with quirky descriptions, an interesting cast and flair by the bucket this is definitely for you.

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The Dead Game: Susanne Leist

Afternoon readers, another review for you today! This one has been sat waiting to be written up for a number of weeks now, but I wasn’t quite sure how to put pen to paper. It happens sometimes, I just don’t know how to put into words how I felt about the book.  This doesn’t happen too often but I am sure other book bloggers will agree that it can take time to get out of the rut a book has created and move onto finally piecing together a review. It has happened before and it doesn’t reflect on the quality or enjoyment of the book it’s just that it needs a bit of extra thinking. However, here we are with a brand spanking new review! ENJOY! 

Linda moves to a small town to live a quiet life. She opens a bookstore and makes new friends. Life is simple–that is until the dead body washes up on shore. Linda is horrified to find that dead bodies and disappearing tourists are common for this town. As soon as the sun sets, the residents are stalked by dark shadows. But this is only the beginning. Linda and her friends receive an unsigned invitation to a party at the deserted house on the hill. They are pursued through revolving rooms and dangerous traps, barely escaping with their lives. Two of their own remain trapped in the house. Or so they think. They must embark on a difficult journey, chased by unnatural creatures, not knowing whom to trust, to uncover the one controlling everyone in town.  Who are The Dead? Are they humans or vampires? Or a combination of both? They are led down a path with many twists and turns. Will they be able to identify the true leader of The Dead? Will they be able to destroy him? More mysteries pop up as others are laid to rest. Will there be an end to this game? Or will a second book be needed? The Dead Game has begun.

This book follows the seemingly unassuming town that looks just perfect from the outside. However, under the surface, dark forces are coming to power and they threaten to turn the town on its head sending the people that live there into disarray. With tourists disappearing and bodies turning up all over the place it is only time before the whole town is overthrown. Mix in a haunted house and you have a fully fledged supernatural mystery that packs a punch of horror.

There were lots of things that I liked about this book; firstly the author is obviously incredibly creative and imaginative. The book had so many different ideas and parts woven into one another I’m surprised she managed to get it all in! The descriptions of the town are well written and the locations help to cement the story as believable. I liked the horror/mystery genre that the book took on as it advanced and I thought the way the vampires were introduced was very well done; for a long time it isn’t a prevalent feature and therefore it focuses more on the story. A few minor issues for me; I felt that there were too many characters that at times I couldn’t keep up. I really like characters to be well developed and built up so that the reader can really relate to them and get involved in the storyline. For me, because there were so many characters, the author didn’t get a chance to really develop the personalities, back stories or quirks and that left me feeling a little disappointed. Additionally keeping track of all them gave me a minor headache at times and that’s just the characters, we haven’t even started to mention all the creatures that are so frequently introduced.

I think the problem for me as a reader was that the plot-line as described in the blurb sounds brilliant; however it is just too much for one book. Rolling so much into one book made for difficult reading and although it comes from a very creative and inventive author by adding too many elements the plot gets muddled and instead of being sat on the edge of your chair, you’re still piecing together the events from the last chapter. Additionally for me the POV changed too much and by frequently switching between characters you end up wondering who you are. I am probably too much of a nag about this, but wading through characters really irritates me, as it’s so easy to just stick to a couple and really, (really) explore the potential of those characters. Todd and Linda are well written but their dialogue is often stilted and it creates an edge that you can’t quite ignore.

Right, so after all of that, I really liked the premise of this book; it had everything going for it to create a really engaging exciting and inventive horror/mystery/supernatural tale. For me, honestly, the book needs work. It’s still enjoyable and I would definitely read other books from this author because I see potential, and nothing excites me more than an author with the makings of a brilliant book. My advice, and take it as you wish, is to sit down and really plan out what you want the reader to feel. Don’t just tell a story, disclose the secrets of your characters and indulge in exposing their personalities. Flesh then out and focus the book around them rather than including them in your plot line.

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