Tuesday, 16 January 2018

TEASER TUESDAY: The Promise Between Us by Barbara Claypole White

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by
It is very easy to play along:
• Grab your current read and open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! 
• Share the title & author, too, so that other participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Here are my teasers this month:
“Apparently seeing my mother stab my father at the kitchen table was enough to send any future adult loco. According to the professionals, we never escape our childhoods. Mine was short-lived after the kitchen incident. Dad ran off, and Mom prayed and drank, prayed and drank, while I raised my baby sister.”

Title:The Promise Between Us by Barbara Claypole White
Published by Lake Union Publishing (16th January, 2018)

Synopsis:
Metal artist Katie Mack is living a lie. Nine years ago she ran away from her family in Raleigh, North Carolina, consumed by the irrational fear that she would harm Maisie, her newborn daughter. Over time she’s come to grips with the mental illness that nearly destroyed her, and now funnels her pain into her art. Despite longing for Maisie, Katie honors an agreement with the husband she left behind—to change her name and never return.

My Thoughts:
So far I have only read the first few pages but 'The Promise Between Us' promises to be a real heartbreaking, tearjerker and one I’m really looking forward to reviewing as part of the TLC Book Tour during February with my blog tour date scheduled for, 12th February.

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

TEASER TUESDAY : Pedro Paramo by Juan Rulfo

 Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by
It is very easy to play along:
• Grab your current read and open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! 
• Share the title & author, too, so that other participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Here are my teasers this month:
“It was during the dog days, the season when the August wind blows hot, venomous with the rotten stench of Saporania blossoms.
The road rose and fell. It rises or falls depending on whether you are coming or going. If you are leaving its uphill, but as you arrive it's downhill."

Title: Pedro Paramo by Juan Rulfo
Published by Serpent’s Tail (first published 1955)
Synopsis:
Swearing to his dying mother that he'll find the father he has never met, a certain Pedro Paramo, Juan Preciado sets out across the barren plains of Mexico for Comala, the hallucinatory ghost town his father presided over like a feudal lord. Between the realms of the living and the dead, in fragments of dreams and the nightly whispers of Comala's ghosts, there emerges the tragic tale of Pedro Paramo and the town whose every corner holds the taint of his rotten soul.

My Thoughts:
'Pedro Paramo' was sadly the only novel by Mexican author Juan Rulfo.  Originally published in 1955, it is the novel that started the genre for magical realism, and also the inspiration for Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s, '100 Years of Solitude'.

I have only just read the first page so far and will say more about it in due course.

Monday, 1 January 2018

TEASER TUESDAY: The Mercy of the Tide by Keith Rosson

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by
It is very easy to play along:
• Grab your current read and open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! 
• Share the title & author, too, so that other participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
Here are my "teasers":
Hayslip was reminded of certain guys in his platoon, as well—quiet, scared guys who would finally crack in a firefight and wind up screaming their throats raw as they emptied rounds into the dripping darkness. No thought to it, just anger and fear, all that tension finally unspooling. Maybe that tension was just youth itself, its yawning ceaselessness.

Title: The Mercy of the Tide by Keith Rosson
Publication date: 2017
Published by Meerkat Press
Synopsis:
Riptide, Oregon, 1983. A sleepy coastal town, where crime usually consists of underage drinking down at a Wolf Point bonfire. But then strange things start happening: a human skeleton is unearthed in a local park and mutilated animals begin appearing, seemingly sacrificed, on the town's beaches.

The Mercy of the Tide follows four people drawn irrevocably together by a recent tragedy as they do their best to reclaim their lives - leading them all to a discovery that will change them and their town forever.

At the heart of the story are Sam Finster, a senior in high school mourning the death of his mother, and his sister Trina, a nine-year-old deaf girl who denies her grief by dreaming of a nuclear apocalypse as Cold War tensions rise.

Meanwhile, Sheriff Dave Dobbs and Deputy Nick Hayslip must try to put their own sorrows aside to figure out who, or what, is wreaking havoc on their once-idyllic town.

- Keith Rosson paints outside the typical genre lines with his brilliant debut novel. It is a gorgeously written book that merges the sly wonder of magical realism and alternate history with the depth and characterization of literary fiction. - NPR Books | Jason Heller
- "Rosson is a talent to be watched, and Riptide is one of the most immersive fictional settings in recent memory." - Publisher's Weekly (starred review) - "A strikin

My Thoughts:
My final read of 2017 was this author’s second novel ‘Smoke City’ which I thoroughly enjoyed. So much so, that it felt fitting to commence 2018 with his debut novel.

Different, at this early stage in the book (15%), in genre definition to Smoke City which magically melded multi genre elements including the fantastical with plausible highly complex flawed characters, with a literary skill and matureness. So far it is rooted very much in reality and touches on difficult subject matters including PTSD expressed in narratives from four main tortured souls.

I must say it already looks to be another phenomenal read and show cases Rosson’s highly perceptive, diverse understanding of the human psyche, and his exemplary writing skills. A true artist in the form of words.

Absolutely going to be a great benchmark and highly recommended read for 2018.

Monday, 18 December 2017

TEASER TUESDAY: Smoke City by Keith Rosson

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by
It is very easy to play along:
• Grab your current read and open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! 
• Share the title & author, too, so that other participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Here are my "teasers":
Three, four years old. I noticed the people parting for us, I remember that, but not the revulsion in their eyes, the contempt. I would realize later, of course, just what it was the townspeople had shied away from, had leered at: my father’s coat, and the stitched image of the sword on the back. The executioner’s mark.

Title: Smoke City by Keith Rosson
Expected publication date: January 23, 2018
Published by Meerkat Press
Synopsis:
From the author of The Mercy of the Tide comes another gorgeously written, genre-defying novel.
Marvin Deitz has some serious problems. His mob-connected landlord is strong-arming him out of his storefront. His  therapist has concerns about his stability. He's compelled to volunteer at the local Children's Hospital even though it breaks his heart every week.
Oh, and he's also the guilt-ridden reincarnation of Geoffroy Thérage, the French executioner who lit Joan of Arc's pyre in 1431. He's just seen a woman on a Los Angeles talk show claiming to be Joan, and absolution seems closer than it's ever been . . . but how will he find her?
When Marvin heads to Los Angeles to locate the woman who may or may not be Joan, he's picked up hitchhiking by Mike Vale, a self-destructive alcoholic painter traveling to his ex-wife's funeral. As they move through a California landscape populated with "smokes" (ghostly apparitions that've inexplicably begun appearing throughout the southwestern US), each seeks absolution in his own way.

My Thoughts:
I have just started to read what promises to be an entertaining and interesting book. One which appears to be intelligently well written with the maturity of an accomplished author, and I am thoroughly enjoying it thus far.

Review to follow in due course.

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

TEASER TUESDAY: All The Beautiful Girls by Elizabeth J. Church

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by
It is very easy to play along:
• Grab your current read and open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! 
• Share the title & author, too, so that other participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Here are my “teasers”:
‘It was the Depression,” Mama once said. “It made your Aunt Tate hard. Deprivation made her think that being rigid was the only way to survive. But there’s a soft centre there; she has a heart, I swear.” Still, Lily thought that even Mama had been more than a little cautious when faced with her sister’s perennial judgment.’

All The Beautiful Girls by Elizabeth J. Church
Expected publication: US March 6, 2018 & UK April 5, 2018
Ballantine Books (Random House Publishing Group) & 4th Estate (Harper Collins Publishers)

Synopsis:
The dazzling, powerful story of a gutsy showgirl who tries to conquer her past amongst the glamour of 1960s Las Vegas - finding unexpected fortune, friendship and love.
Now, as Ruby Wilde, the ultimate Sin City success story, she discovers that the glare of the spotlight cannot banish the shadows that haunt her. As the years pass and Ruby continues to search for freedom, for love and, most importantly, herself, she must learn the difference between what glitters and what is truly gold.

My Thoughts:
I absolutely loved and devoured Elizabeth J. Church’s debut novel, The Atomic Weight of Love’ which through the storyline also introduced me to the wonderful world of birds, in particular crows.  I’ve loved seeing and watching these amazing creatures ever since. This is still a book that I cannot bring myself to part with and on completion of reading desperately wanted to read another of Church’s novels and here it is at last.

All The Beautiful Girls, feels a slightly different novel but it is still reminiscent of Church’s intelligent exquisitely written prose and full of her charming, or misunderstood damaged personalities. These female characters are vividly painted gutsy women striving to achieve their gaols in an extremely competitive glamourised entertainment industry run and controlled by men.

Halfway through and I already know it’s another keeper.

My review will follow in due course. 

Thursday, 7 December 2017

TEASER TUESDAY: The Night Market by Jonathan Moore


Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by
It is very easy to play along:
• Grab your current read and open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! 
• Share the title & author, too, so that other participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Here are my “teasers”:
‘Carver crouched, holding his light close to the small bird’s broken body. Its left eye had been smashed. A thin steel ring was visible in the back of the socket. Tiny shards of black glass lay on the floor and in the empty socket. Its feathers were threaded with shiny black strands that Carver guessed were photovoltaic filaments. There was no blood.’

(Yeah I know, it’s 6 sentences but they’re very short so I added a few!)

From The Night Market by Jonathan Moore
Expected publication: January 11, 2018 by Orion Publishing Co

Synopsis:
'Do you ever think there's maybe something that's gone wrong with the world?'
A man is found dead in one of the city's luxury homes. Homicide detective Ross Carver arrives at the scene when six FBI agents burst in and forcibly remove him from the premises.
Two days later...
Carver wakes in his bed to find Mia a neighbor he's hardly ever spoken to, reading aloud to him. He has no recollection of the crime scene, no memory of how he got home, and no idea that two days have passed. Carver knows nothing about this woman but as he struggles to piece together what happened to him, he soon realizes he's involved himself in a web of conspiracy that spans the nation. And Mia just might know more than she's letting on...'Moore has a great gift for the macabre and the creepy.' The Times’

My Thoughts:
With such an explosive and heart pounding opening scene, The Night Market had me riveted to the edge of my seat.

It is the final in a loosely connected trilogy with all three set in San Francisco at different time periods and genre category. The Poison Artist is a taut noir psychological thriller; The Dark Room more a police procedural storyline, and The Night Market being the first I’ve read is set in the near future with a dark, tense, creepily claustrophobic sci-Fi setting.

Definitely readable as a stand-alone novel, the writing and world building is incredibly vivid and frightening plausible.  With a likeable cast of complex characters, and strong storyline The Night Market is an absolutely recommended read for 2018.

Full review to come.


Tuesday, 28 November 2017

What's On Your Nightstand? - November 28, 2017

In this month’s posting of ‘What’s on Your Nightstand’ I divulge which books I’ve loved, liked, didn’t or couldn’t give a hoot about and of which books I plan to read for next time.

Well I haven’t managed to read much over the last 4 weeks as I’ve been busy at work selling books, or at home redecorating the dining room to make ready for our family Christmas Dinner. The panelling has been put up and everything painted. Electrics sorted and the room now just needs the finishing touches and we’ll be there. That hasn’t left me with much (me time) reading time but I did manage to finish two books which was quite an achievement this month. So, on with it...

What I read
(Science/Lit Fiction)
The Book of Joan by Lidia Yuknavitch
Published by Canongate Books Ltd, 18th January 2018
Pages 288 (h/b)

I had a love/hate relationship with this book alternating from a 3 to 4 star review…finally settling on a 3.5…It’s a clever intelligent literary science-fiction read set in 2045 and is an imaginative retelling of an historical Joan of Arc from our future. Sounds complicated but it’s not difficult at all to keep track.  I particularly liked reading Joan’s storyline moving from her childhood to becoming the heroine of a small band of rebels. A hairless, opaque skinned, tattoo grafted species and the last of the human race.  It’s grim, gruesome and violent and a dystopian tale with some amazing world building.  I can see this working really well on screen or tv series. Fans of Jeff VanderMeer will no doubt appreciate this one. (Review in progress)

Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
Available now in Hardback from Bloomsbury Publishing plc
(Fiction) Pages 304 (h/b)
I loved this one so much that it’s one of my favourite reads of the year. Full of haunting gothic presence atmospherically and spirit wise. If you liked Colson Whitehead’s ‘The Underground Railroad’, I think you’ll love it. I personally think it far more superior. (Review underway)
What I didn’t finish
(Fiction Gothic Horror)
The King in Yellow by Robert W. Chambers
Published by Pushkin Press (Available now)
This edition is perfect to give any gothic horror fan as a special Christmas gift.
I absolutely love Pushkin Press publications, always stunningly and beautifully presented and this book is no exception. I only read a few pages and found it just a little intense straight after reading ‘The Book of Joan’ but I will definitely try again in time for December’s ‘What’s On Your Nightstand’.


What I’m reading now
(Thriller Fiction)
The Night Market by Jonathan Moore
Published by Orion Publishing Co., 11th January 2018
Pages 304 (h/b)
Whoa…after an exciting adrenaline fuelled start this is looking like another cracking read to start the beginning of next years reads. It’s set in a near future San Francisco and is the final in a trilogy of which I’ve not read, but it’s reading like a stand alone so not feeling as if I’ve missed out.
Unfortunately this is one where if I say anything about the storyline spoilers are unavoidable and would make it less exciting for the reader so my review will probably be very uninformative. However, so far I’ve read 19% and it has a dark noir presence, certainly looks perfect for Lee Child and James Paterson fans. I think I’m definitely going to have to read the others in the series; The Poison Artist and The Dark Room.

What I intend to read for next time
All The Beautiful Girls by Elizabeth J Church
The King in Yellow by Robert W. Chambers
In Search of Lost Books by Giorgio van Straten
Will Send Rain, Rae Meadows
Until next time, happy reading to you all