Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Bookish Gifts at literarybookgifts.com





I've often looked online for nice gifts suitable for book lovers as I've always struggled with finding that perfect gift for someone who has absolutely everything! It is a torture, especially at Christmas.

I've recently discovered a great website Literary Book Gifts which has a great selection of quality
T-shirts, tanks, hoodies and tote bags.

The site is easy to navigate.  By clicking on Women's Men's or Tote Bags it will bring you into the shop's range of gifts in these categories.

The T-shirts cost $28 plus P&P. $5 US.   $10 Canada and International
The designs are unique, not too bold and come in a good range of colours. The men's section is also labelled Unisex.

Scroll Below to see Exclusive Special Offer!!!

Dante's Inferno would be my T-Shirt of choice.

  • Slim fit with longer body length
  • 100% Soft cotton (fibre content may vary for different colours)
  • Tear away label
  • Runs slightly small
For those who are used to UK sizing you will need to consult the sizing guide for exact measurements as the sizes range from XS to 3XL.

In the men's section of the website a lot of the designs are the same as the women's. I think some of the titles are a little bit feminine to be included here e.g. Little Women and Jane Eyre. My Dante's Inferno from the women's section is also available for men in a smaller range of colours and from size S to 5XL.


  • Classic fit
  • 100% Cotton (fibre content may vary for different colours)
  • Runs slightly large
  • Suitable for Men’s and Unisex sizing
At $24 the Tote bags are my favourite items from the website. They come in a range of designs from bold to subtle. There is no choice in colours.

I found it difficult to choose between them so there's quite a few in my wish list.

I could get a Dante's inferno bag to match my T-shirt 
  • 100% Polyester
  • Boxed corners
  • Black cotton handles
  • Black lining
Sizes range from Small $24  Medium $28 and Large $32

Or I could get something different.

Book End Tote Bag











Ode On A Grecian Urn by John Keats (One of my favourite poets from my school days)











Vintage Book Tote Bag








           
 Emily Dickinson Tote Bag








There are so many more designs and authors to choose from by the likes of  Jane Austen, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Edgar Allan Poe and James Joyce.

Melissa at Literary Book Gifts is Just Book Talk followers a special discount of 20% using this code. 

JUSTBOOKTALK20

My problem will be choosing which bag to buy first!

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Supernatural Slayer: An Urban Fantasy Novel by Devyn Jayse (2018)



Today I'm highlighting an exciting newly published book called Supernatural Slayer: An Urban Fantasy Novel by Devyn Jayse. The first in a brand new series; it's on the top of my list to read in the Autumn.




Blurb:

Some people call me an assassin, I prefer the term bounty hunter.

In a world where magic is hidden from the general population, I'm hired to keep our secrets safe and take care of rogues by whatever means necessary.

When I accidentally targeted the wrong person, the Supernatural Bureau of Investigation offered me a deal — go to jail or work for them. Their first official request was to locate a vampire I thought I had killed over a year ago: my ex-boyfriend. Now I'm ordered to deliver him to them without harming a hair on his gorgeous head.

That was going to be a problem. By the time I find him, he's going to wish he had stayed dead.

Supernatural Slayer is an action-packed urban fantasy romp through Barcelona with an assorted cast of witches, vampires, and shifters. It may also feature a snarky gargoyle or two.

"No human beings were harmed in the writing of this book — only supernaturals."


Buy Links


Also available in Kindle Unlimited


Excerpt:

I looked down at my broken dagger then back up to the asshole who had destroyed its blade. This was the third time this week that a shifter had pissed me off.
"Did you seriously just break my dagger?" I glared at the wolf. His yellow eyes glimmered back at me. The assignment had been to retrieve the shifter alive, but right now I was very tempted to kill him.
"Just turn yourself in and no one will get hurt," I said, trying to be calm. I ran my thumb along my damaged weapon and wondered idly if it could be salvaged. "The bounty is for you to be delivered alive. Continue to fight me and I can't guarantee you'll walk away from this."
The shifter lowered his head and growled at me. He had transformed into a wolf as soon as I had exposed my dagger, shifting to his most powerful fighting body. I had to make do with the one I had. As a half-witch, I was statistically supposed to be weaker than the shifter, but my unknown father's blood had given me speed and strength that regular witches couldn't claim. I reached deep inside me for my magic and let go. It was reassuring to know that it was there, but I was determined to win this fight without it.
I circled the shifter. The wolf followed my motions, his hackles raised. It had been a while since I had fought a shifter in wolf-form, but I was sure I could best him. He may have strength and power on his side, but I had training and skills on mine.
"You want to play? Let's play." I tossed the remains of the broken dagger to his feet and his head swung toward it. With my left hand, I swiftly removed another dagger from within the sheath strapped to my back and ran toward him.



                             Supernatural Slayer  is available now!


Friday, 20 July 2018

Earl of Wainthorpe: (Wicked Earls' Club #3) by Collette Cameron, Narrated by Joff Manning (2018)





Summary

Could you ever love the unrepentant rake who won you in a wager? 
He didn’t gamble on losing his heart when he won her at the gaming tables. 
Pierce, the Earl of Wainthorpe has finally thwarted his worst enemy. Except he can’t revel in his victory after winning his foe’s ward in a winner-takes-all wager. If Pierce refuses to assume Bianca Salisbury’s guardianship, the fiery-haired beauty with a matching temper may very well find herself sold to the highest bidder.  
The shameful secret she guards makes it impossible to love a rogue. 
Desperate to escape her blackguard cousin, Bianca Salisbury ventures to London to find a husband or employment. Instead, she’s bartered to a notorious rakehell. She either risks being compromised and accepts The Earl of Wainthorpe’s protection, or flees him and her guardian. But without money and a place to go, she fears she’ll face the same tragic fate as her mother.  
Caution: This romance features a sexy, irredeemable scoundrel determined to thumb his nose at the haut ton, a saucy country miss unafraid to speak her mind but terrified of even a hint of scandal, a unlikely aristocratic matchmaker, a trio of busybody sisters you’ll adore, and a very pregnant calico that is convinced humans are only around for her convenience.  
For a pause-resisting historical romance novel brimming with Regency England’s rakish dukes and rapscallion lords, buy this passionate adventure sprinkled with suspense and humor. You won’t be able to put it down.
©2018 Wendy Herrington (P)2018 Wendy Herrington

Review     


This was my first Collette Cameron novel and my first introduction to the Wicked Earl's Club. It works well as a stand alone story. 
It is quite a charming read. Pierce is a very endearing character and not wicked at all. I enjoyed the activity surrounding the bet at the beginning of the novel and Bianca's interactions with the earl's sisters. However I would have liked more drama or suspense with Bianca's cousin, Fairfax, to liven up the story after Bianca becomes the earl's ward. 

I loved the narration. I thought that the characters were all excellently performed and it was very easy to listen to. I would definitely listen to more books performed by Joff Manning. 

This was a lovely Regency romance and I would look forward to reading more by the author although I found it annoying that American words were used instead of English e.g diapers. The inaccuracies annoy me as they have the immediate effect of pulling me out of the story's time and place. The phrase 'didn't have a pence' rather than a 'penny' also stood out. 

Buy Links Audible  Amazon

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Raven's Sight: A Victorian Paranormal Mystery Raven's Shadows Series, Book 1 by R.L. Weeks Narrated by Jodie Hollie-Anne Humphrey (2018)


  • Raven's Sight: A Victorian Paranormal Mystery

  • Raven's Shadows Series, Book 1
  • ByR. L. Weeks
  • Narrated byJodie Hollie-Anne
  • Length: 4 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 19-06-18
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: R. L. Weeks

Summary

Award-winning author R. L. Weeks brings you Raven's Sight - a young adult Victorian paranormal mystery. Book one can be listened to as a standalone and as part of the series. 

Raven looks out over the small, industrial town of Cogsworth and imagines a life beyond the confines of her grandmother's mansion. 
However, Raven holds a dark secret that prevents her from leaving. One which comes to light after her father's untimely death. Now an orphan, Raven must do her best to hide her gifts of sight if she's to survive the cruel Victorian society she lives in. 

However, when a ghost of a child comes to her for help, Raven finds herself in the gas-lit streets of London, on the trail of a female serial killer. As she tries to solve the string of murders, she realizes that the murders are almost identical to those from a case left unsolved years before she was born. 

In a race against time, Raven is thrown into a world she doesn't know. With her crush, Tom, now a ghost, her friend, Emmett, now a suspect, and an uncle who runs illicit groups and hates women, Raven will have to unravel the mysteries quickly before she becomes the next victim.
©2018 R. L. Weeks (P)2018 R. L. Weeks

REVIEW 
Sometimes with a review the less said the better in order to avoid spoilers. But OMG! I did not see that ending coming. 

Raven's Sight is a brilliant, creepy and exciting story. I listened to this book in one sitting; I couldn't put it down.

The narrator did an excellent job of performing this novel. For those few hours it took to listen to the novel I was completely immersed in its dark Victorian world where all the creepy paranormal happenings became very believable!

Although billed as a Young Adult novel, Raven's Sight is a must read for anyone who likes historical fiction, murder mysteries or a good old ghost story.
I loved it and can't wait to read the second book in the series.

Buy Links Amazon  Audible

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

The Foundling Duke: The Foundling Series #1 by Audrey Harrison (2017), Narrated by Melanie Fraser (2018)





Summary

Fact and fiction combined to create a compelling historical romance.

Family secrets can’t always be kept hidden.

James Massey, Marquess of Avery, is hated by his mother and can’t understand why.

Leonard Massey, Duke of Yarnton, has a secret that will protect his son but destroy his wife.

Catherine Massey, Duchess of Yarnton, hates her husband and son and is determined they will be rejected by society.

One family on an inevitable path of self-destruction.

No one will come away unscathed.


Review             


Audrey Harrison is one of my favourite  Regency romance writers. She writes well researched and interesting stories that keep me turning the pages. They are romantic without any of the naughty bits and so can be safely recommended to all.
The narrator, Melanie Fraser gives another excellent and faultless performance.

The Foundling Duke had an interesting plot line although there was a lot of scandal to overcome and  I'm not too sure how realistic it would have been for the son of a maid to be accepted by all of society so easily. Nevertheless I was very sympathetic to the characters and their situations. I enjoyed listening to James and Olivia verbally sparring with each other when they first met and I delighted in the development of their romance as they realised they liked one another.
I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series, The Foundling Lady, and especially to seeing the twin siblings reunited.


Buy Links:    Audible       Amazon

Sunday, 8 July 2018

The Sweetest Oblivion (Made, Book 1) by Danielle Lori


She’s a romantic at heart, living in the most unromantic of worlds . . .

Nicknamed Sweet Abelli for her docile nature, Elena smiles on cue and has a charming response for everything. She’s the favoured daughter, the perfect mafia principessa . . . or was.

Now, all she can see in the mirror’s reflection is blood staining her hands like crimson paint.

They say first impressions are everything . . .

In the murky waters of New York’s underworld, Elena’s sister is arranged to marry Nicolas Russo. A Made Man, a boss, a cheat—even measured against mafia standards. His reputation stretches far and wide and is darker than his black suits and ties. After his and Elena’s first encounter ends with an accidental glare on her part, she realises he’s just as rude as he is handsome.

She doesn’t like the man or anything he stands for, though that doesn’t stop her heart from pattering like rain against glass when he’s near, nor the shiver that ghosts down her spine at the sound of his voice.

And he’s always near. Telling her what to do. Making her feel hotter than any future brother-in-law should. Elena may be the Sweet Abelli on the outside, but she’s beginning to learn she has a taste for the darkness, for rough hands, cigarettes, and whiskey-coloured eyes. Having already escaped one scandal, however, she can hardly afford to be swept up in another.

Besides, even if he were hers, everyone knows you don’t fall in love with a Made Man . . . right?

This is a standalone forbidden romance.



REVIEW 



This is a new to me author and a genre I rarely dip into however this was an engaging and quick read with a lot of heat.

On starting the story I felt that the characters and their back stories weren't really explained. It left me with the impression that I was missing a piece of the puzzle or that these characters were part of a previous series.

Nico and Elena made sense as a couple and I enjoyed the fact that their romance was slow. I had envisaged that this was going to be an overly erotic book but by half way through I was still waiting on them to get together despite all their naughty talk and sharp wit. It's what kept me turning the pages.

I loved how jealous, dangerous and very possessive Nico was over Elena even before they were a couple and 
 how nice he was to her even when he was mad or jealous.

As a mafia romance I was expecting some crime or dangerous activities and I was a little disappointed that family dinner parties was the closest it got.

This is a standalone novel but I would look forward to more in the series.

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reading Copy.

Buy Links Amazon


Friday, 6 July 2018

One For the Rogue (Studies in Scandal, #4) by Manda Collins (2018)


LOVE IS THE GREATEST DISCOVERY OF ALL

Geologist Gemma Hastings has no interest in pursuing romance—and no patience for Lord Cameron Lisle, an esteemed fossil hunter who has a way of always honing in on her territory. . .annoyingly handsome though he may be. But when a shocking attack puts Gemma in very real danger, she may have to accept Lisle’s offers of protection. Even if that means entering into a dangerous flirtation. . .

Lisle was once amused by Gemma’s dedication to her work. But now that he understands how much he’s underestimated her—a woman whose beauty is matched only by her genius—Lisle is desperate to prove his respect…and prove himself worthy of her. But is he too late? A bitter rival, desperate to steal Gemma’s scientific findings, is still at-large. Can Lisle help uncover the culprit and keep her safe—forever, in his loving arms?






Review 

I am quite fond of this series as I love  romantic historical mysteries. Although entertaining enough it is not my favourite. I liked Cam and Gemma as a couple. Their bickering was cute at the beginning but this story was just a bit too predictable and I found that I had lost interest about half way through. 
The intrigue surrounding the Beauchamp fossil was quite dull. It held no excitement for me (despite having an interest in the subject at university) and there was nothing new to the fake engagement trope. The usual reasons for forcing a couple to marry were also pulled out for an airing.

I liked the ladies' plans for Serena and Beauchamp House at the end of the book. Serena is an interesting character with a good back story that was never fully revealed. I would be disappointed if the series ended here and Serena didn't get her story told.

Buy Links Amazon

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Oliver Twist and the Mystery of Throate Manor by David Stuart Davies (2018) #LoveBooksGroupTours


#LoveBooksGroupTours


Blurb
A thrilling 'Dickensian Whodunit' in which Oliver Twist, now a young man and a lawyer, assisted by his clerk Jack Dawkins (the Artful Dodger) tries to solve a series of brutal murders.
Oliver Twist is a young man in his late twenties and employed as a solicitor. He has taken his old associate Jack Dawkins, aka the Artful Dodger, on as his clerk in attempt to civilise him and keep him out of trouble. Together they become embroiled in a dark and dangerous murder mystery.

Throate Manor is the ancestral home of the Throate Family in Surrey. The latest incumbent of the line, the aged Sir Ebenezer, trapped in a loveless marriage to Lady Amelia, is being terrified by a night visitor, a sheeted apparition who appears in his bedroom, and warns him to remember his son. This does not refer to his legitimate offspring Jeremiah Throate, a reckless gambler and libertine, who is deeply in debt to Eugene Trench, a sinister figure in the Victorian underworld. The son to whom the apparition refers is an illegitimate child Sir Ebenezer fathered with a maidservant some twenty five years previously. Fear mixed with guilt prompts Sir Ebenezer to try and locate the son he has never known. He plans to alter his will to favour him. He contacts his solicitors, the firm of Gripewind and Biddle, for this purpose and they despatch Oliver Twist and Jack Dawkins to Throate Manor to attend to this business. Sir Ebenezer charges Oliver with the task of finding his lost son.

The task is a perilous one leading to violence and murder before shocking revelations threaten to destroy them all.

Bestselling crime author David Stuart Davies delivers a unique Victorian set mystery, reimagining some of Charles Dickens best loved characters in new and thrilling roles. Ideal for fans of Kim Newman, Mark Frost and the author's acclaimed Luther Darke series.


About the Author
David Stuart Davies is an author, playwright and editor. His fiction includes six novels featuring his wartime detective Johnny Hawke, Victorian puzzle solver artist Luther Darke, and seven Sherlock Holmes novels the latest being Sherlock Holmes and the Ripper Legacy (2016). His non-fiction work includes Starring Sherlock Holmes, detailing the film career of the Baker Street sleuth. David is regarded as an authority on Sherlock Holmes and is the author of two Holmes plays, Sherlock Holmes: The Last Act and Sherlock Holmes: The Death and Life, which are available on audio CD. He has written the Afterwords for all the Collector's Library Holmes volumes, as well as those for many of their other titles.

David has also penned three dark, gritty crime novels set in Yorkshire in the 1980s: Brothers in Blood, Innocent Blood and Blood Rites. He is a committee member of the Crime Writers Association and edits their monthly publication Red Herrings. His collection of ghost and horror stories appeared in 2015, championed by Mark Gatiss who said they were pleasingly nasty. David is General Editor of Wordsworth's Mystery & Supernatural series and a past Fellow of the Royal Literary Fund. He has appeared at many literary festivals and the Edinburgh Fringe performing his one man presentation The Game's Afoot an evening with Sherlock Holmes & Arthur Conan Doyle. He was recently made a member of The Detection Club.

Social Media links:


Wednesday, 6 June 2018

The Story Collector by Evie Gaughan (2018)


A beautiful and mysterious historical romance from the author of The Heirloom and The Mysterious Bakery on Rue de Paris. Thornwood Village, 1910. Anna, a young farm girl, volunteers to help an intriguing American visitor, Harold Griffin-Krauss, translate 'fairy stories' from Irish to English. But all is not as it seems and Anna soon finds herself at the heart of a mystery that threatens the future of her community and her very way of life..... Captivated by the land of myth, folklore and superstition, Sarah Harper finds herself walking in the footsteps of Harold and Anna one hundred years later, unearthing dark secrets that both enchant and unnerve. The Story Collector treads the intriguing line between the everyday and the otherworldly, the seen and the unseen. With a taste for the magical in everyday life, Evie Gaughan's latest novel is full of ordinary characters with extraordinary tales to tell. Perfect for fans of Jess Kidd and Eowyn Ivey.


Review

A wonderful, magical and charming tale. It is rich in folklore, superstitions and old Irish traditions. It struck a familiar chord with me as my grandmother was from Anna's generation and she would have grown up with the same values and traditions. 
I loved the use of the Irish language. It is practically impossible to talk about Irish folklore and culture without using some of the language. Its use added to the touch of magic and supernatural that was running through the story. 
The fairy stories presented here are very authentic and beautifully written. The author drew from real life cases; the burning of Bridget Cleary is very similar to one of the fairy stories talked about in the book. 

Anna's story was beautiful, romantic and poignant. There was an air of mystery surrounding her as well as the people of the Big House. The history of Thornwood was quite creepy, dark, and with a menacing air of suspense. I loved it. The historical sections of the book were definitely my favourite because of all the strange goings on. I couldn't put it down. I also enjoyed the light romantic element here too and I kept hoping for Anna to finally see Harold and recognise his feelings for her.
The contemporary part of the book was also great. I loved watching Sarah find herself in Ireland, learning to be at home here, falling in love with the place and its people. There is a great feeling that things happen for a reason. Sarah's arrival in Ireland and her discovery of the diary were two very important points in her life. She found romance and a sense of inner peace after her impromptu trip to Ireland. It reminded me that some things in life are meant to be.......or as my mother is fond of saying 'What's for you won't pass you.'

A truly beautiful and captivating book. 

The Story Collector will be published on the 14th of June and is available to pre-order on Kindle for only 99p!

Buy Links: 
Amazon and all good bookshops. 
Kennys and BookDepository offer free shipping worldwide.