Sunday 30 September 2018

What's arrived in The Burgeoning Bookshelf's Mailbox in September

Books that have arrived in my mailbox during September and what I'm excited about reading next.

 Three Books in one.

Zane: The Wild One
Everything Julia Goodwin had ever wanted was in the quiet town of Plenty. At least, that was what she thought, until Zane O'Sullivan came home and rocked her peaceful world to its foundations...

Quade: The Irresistible One
Chantal Goodwin had always had an unsuspected weakness for Cameron Quade. And now that he was back in town, she discovered a single glance still made her ache like the lovesick schoolgirl she'd once been.
A Tempting Engagement
The last time Mitch Goodwin had seen Emily Warner, she was crawling out of his bed, and then out of his life. Six months later he was begging her to resume her job as his son's nanny.

 Back cover blurb
 Once upon a time there were 9 beastly bedtime stories.
Stories with vampires and bats, and a sleepover of doom;
of a pirate dance party and a zoo in a room.
There were bears who were scared,
and three bags of wool.
Kids who ate pasta till there tummies were full.

And if things go splat in the night.....hold tight.
The dreamo-machino will help you s l e e p  d e e p.

 Back cover blurb
Tasmania, 1929: Ten-year-old-twins, Tom and Harry Abbott, are orphaned by a tragedy that shocks Hobart society. They find sanctuary with their reclusive grandmother, growing up in the remote and rugged Binburra ranges – a place where kind-hearted Tom discovers a love of the wild, Harry nurses a growing resentment towards his brother and where the mountains hold secrets that will transform both their lives.

The chaos of World War II divides the brothers, and their passion for two very different women fuels a deadly rivalry. Can Tom and Harry survive to heal their rift? And what will happen when Binburra finally reveals its astonishing secrets?

From Tasmania’s highlands to the Battle of Britain, and all the way to the golden age of Hollywood, 'The Lost Valley' is a lush family saga about two brothers whose fates are entwined with the land and the women they love.

 Back cover blurb
Failed fashion designer Sylvie Dearlove is coming home to England - broke, ashamed and in disgrace - only to be told her parents are finally selling their once-grand, now crumbling country house, Bledesford, the ancestral home of the Dearlove family for countless generations. Sylvie has spent her whole life trying to escape being a Dearlove, and the pressure of belonging to a family of such headstrong, charismatic and successful women. Beset by self-doubt, she starts helping her parents prepare Bledesford for sale, when she finds in a forgotten attic a thrilling cache of old steamer trunks and tea chests full of elaborate dresses and accessories acquired from across the globe by five generations of fashionable Dearlove women. Sifting through the past, she also stumbles across a secret which has been hidden - in plain sight - for decades, a secret that will change the way she thinks about herself, her family, and her future.Romantic, warm, and glamorous, moving from Edwardian England to the London Blitz to present day London, Dressing the Dearloves is a story of corrosiveness of family secrets, the insecurities that can sabotage our best efforts, and the seductive power of dressing up. 

 Back cover blurb
 Spirited Doctor Isla Fenwick is determined to work at the coalface of medicine in India before committing to life as a dutiful wife. With hopes of making a difference in the world, she sails to Calcutta to set up a midwifery clinic. There she will be forced to question her beliefs, her professionalism and her romantic loyalties.
On a desperate rescue mission to save the one person who needs her the most, she travels into the foothills of the Himalayas to a tea plantation outside Darjeeling, At the roof of the world, where heaven and earth collide, Isla will be asked to pay the ultimate price for her passions.  

 Back cover blurb
 Investigative reporter Ross Hunter nearly didn't answer the phone call that would change his life - and possibly the world - for ever.

"I'd just like to assure you I'm not a nutcase, Mr Hunter. My name is Dr Harry F. Cook. I know this is going to sound strange, but I've recently been given absolute proof of God's existence - and I've been advised there is a writer, a respected journalist called Ross Hunter, who could help me to get taken seriously."

What would it take to prove the existence of God? And what would be the consequences?

The false faith of a billionaire evangelist, the life's work of a famous atheist, and the credibility of each of the world's major religions are all under threat. If Ross Hunter can survive long enough to present the evidence...

 Back cover blurb
When Caroline Sears receives the news that her unborn baby girl has a heart defect, she is devastated. It is 1970 and there seems to be little that can be done. But her brother-in-law, a physicist, tells her that perhaps there is. Hunter appeared in their lives just a few years before—and his appearance was as mysterious as his past. With no family, no friends, and a background shrouded in secrets, Hunter embraced the Sears family and never looked back.

Now, Hunter is telling her that something can be done about her baby's heart. Something that will shatter every preconceived notion that Caroline has. Something that will require a kind of strength and courage that Caroline never knew existed. Something that will mean a mind-bending leap of faith on Caroline's part.

And all for the love of her unborn child.

 Back cover blurb
Vienna, 1914. Lucius is a twenty-two-year-old medical student when World War I explodes across Europe. Enraptured by romantic tales of battlefield surgery, he enlists, expecting a position at a well-organized field hospital. But when he arrives, at a commandeered church tucked away high in a remote valley of the Carpathian Mountains, he finds a freezing outpost ravaged by typhus. The other doctors have fled, and only a single, mysterious nurse named Sister Margarete remains.

But Lucius has never lifted a surgeon's scalpel. And as the war rages across the winter landscape, he finds himself falling in love with the woman from whom he must learn a brutal, makeshift medicine. Then one day, an unconscious soldier is brought in from the snow, his uniform stuffed with strange drawings. He seems beyond rescue until Lucius makes a fateful decision that will change the lives of doctor, patient, and nurse forever.

From the gilded ballrooms of Imperial Vienna to the frozen forests of the Eastern Front; from hardscrabble operating rooms to battlefields thundering with Cossack cavalry, The Winter Soldier is the story of war and medicine, of family, of finding love in the sweeping tides of history, and finally, of the mistakes we make, and the precious opportunities to atone.

What's arrived in my inbox during September 

 Leia is a history teacher with a fascination for pirate history and culture. She is one of select few people who know about the existence of Pirate's Paradise - a tiny deceivingly beautiful island, tucked away in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

The island’s picturesque beauty could easily mislead the untrained eye, for amid the stunning forests and colourful birds, lay many grave dangers. Legend has it, that hidden in the hinterland of Pirate’s Paradise, is ancient pirate treasure.

When Leia is given the opportunity to go treasure hunting at Pirate’s Paradise, she couldn’t think of a better travel companion than Krish. Krish is her 12-year old nephew with a passion for wildlife and adventure.

Together they make a great team. But, Pirate’s Paradise is not for the faint-hearted. Will Leia and Krish successfully navigate the many dangers of Pirate's Paradise and find the ancient pirate treasure?

At twelve years old, Guinevere is a typical girl except that she is a princess and, unknown to her at this time, slated to marry King Arthur. Like any preteen, she enjoys having a good time, but also is unable to refrain from getting into trouble and rebelling against her father's authority. And, even though Guinevere lives in the Middle Ages, she still has to deal with going to school. This includes being chastised by for not doing her homework. However, being a princess does create problems for her because at thirteen she is expected to leave childhood behind and assume the position of the Lady of the Castle. While she is sure that she is not ready to grow up, several adventures help guide her to accept her future and even to look forward to it.  

What am I really looking forward to reading? This is going to be a hard pick as I keeping myself down to three 'I can't wait to get my hands on it' books. 

I have already read The Lost Valley and Dot loved Twinkle Twinkle Little Bat & Treasure Hunt at Pirate's Paradise so those reviews will be featured soon.  

No Place Like Home - this would have to be the perfect beach read so that's going to be first on my list as the perfect long weekend read.

Absolute Proof  - as I've never read a Peter James novel (I know, where have I been) so I'm excited to get into this.

The Dream Daughter - I love the premise of this book and it is already getting rave reviews so I'm eager to get to this one.

Anything here that takes your fancy? I'd love to know what is on your must-read list for October.



Saturday 29 September 2018

Book Review - Blog Tour: Lying and Dying by Graham Brack

Title: Lying and Dying
Author: Graham Brack
Series: A Josef Slonsky Investigation #1
Publisher: Sapere Books
Publication Date: 1st August 2018
Pages: 282
Format Read: Ebook
Source: Courtesy of publisher.

What do you do when the poison comes from within…?

The body of a young woman is found strangled by the side of the road.

There are no obvious clues to what happened, apart from the discovery of a large amount of cash concealed on her person.

The brilliant, but lazy, Lieutenant Josef Slonský is put in charge of the case.

With a wry sense of humour, a strong stubborn streak and a penchant for pastries, Slonský is not overly popular with the rest of the police force. But he is paired with the freshly-graduated, overly-eager Navrátil, whom he immediately takes under his wing.

When fingers start to point inwards to someone familiar with police operations, Slonský and Navrátil are put in a difficult position.

If what they suspect is true, how deep does the corruption run? Are they willing to risk their careers in their pursuit of the truth?
Anyone could be lying - and others may be in danger of dying… 

A young woman is murdered and her body dumped near a railway station. It appears as if the murderer wanted the body found. The case is taken by Lt Josef Slonsky, a veteran of nearly forty years on the force.

Approaching 60, his days on the force are numbered but Slonsky isn’t ready to retire yet and he still has a lot to offer as he is training young recruit, Navratil.

 “Navratil? He’s all right. Got to learn to pace himself though. You get nowhere rushing. Fortunately he has the great advantage of having me to show him the ropes.” 

As the evidence is slowly gathered it all points to one person, a man in a high ministerial position. But it’s not all cut and dried and the story follows many twists and turns.

Slonsky’s dry, irreverent humour makes for many laugh out loud moments. He is gruff at times but has real concern and empathy when it is warranted.

Slonsky has the obligatory slight disdain for his superiors and food is always foremost on his mind.

“Slonsky smiled angelically and lowered his bulky frame into the car. ‘My brain’s slowing down. It could do with a pastry or two. Come on, lad, put your foot down’."

“The Minister told us to redouble our efforts, Navratil. So we’re going for two beers and two sausages.”

Slonsky’s policing methods are unconventional to say the least but he gets results so a blind eye is turned to his practices.

The story starts out with plenty of dry humour, sarcasm and witty banter between the characters but as the case hots up the atmosphere becomes very deep and serious and Slonsky drops his flippant manner.

Brack includes snippets of Prague’s history and how the characters fit into these events, which in turn explains their actions.

Lying and Dying is an entertaining political crime mystery. Slonsky is an endearing hero and even though the ending is somewhat unconventional it suits our protagonist perfectly and I loved it.

The first Josef Slonsky Mystery is an excellent start to a new series.

*I received a copy from the publisher to read and review.

My rating: 5/5  🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Photo courtesy of Sapere Books
Graham Brack hails from Sunderland and met his wife Gillian in Aberdeen where they were both studying pharmacy. After their degrees Gillian returned to Cornwall and Graham followed. This is now called stalking but in 1978 it was termed “romantic”. They have two children, Andrew and Hannah, and two grandchildren, Miranda and Sophie.

Graham’s foray into crime writing began in 2010 when he entered the Crime Writers’ Association’s Debut Dagger competition and was highly commended for The Outrageous Behaviour of Left-Handed Dwarves (reissued as Lying and Dying), in which the world was introduced to Lt Josef Slonský of the Czech police. The Book of Slaughter and Forgetting (reissued as Slaughter and Forgetting) followed and Sapere Books have published book three, Death On Duty,
In 2014 and 2016 Graham was shortlisted for the Debut Dagger again. The earlier novel, The Allegory of Art and Science, is set in 17th century Delft and features the philosophy lecturer and reluctant detective Master Mercurius. Sapere Books will publish it as Death in Delft in 2018.

Check out the other posts and reviews on the Lying and Dying blog tour.