Monday, 24 January 2022

Blog Tour Book Review: A Secret at Tansy Falls by Cate Woods

A Secret at Tansy Falls
by
Cate Woods
 
Publisher: Bookouture
 
Publication date: 20th January 2022
 
Genre: Contemporary Fiction / Romance
 
Pages: 222
 
Format read: Ebook
 
Source: Courtesy of the publisher via Netgalley
 
About the book
 
As the summer sun sets over the sleepy Vermont town of Tansy Falls, Connie is reminded of how lucky she is. Every day, when she leaves the job she loves, managing the Covered Bridge Inn with her best friend Piper, she looks forward to returning to the farmhouse she shares with her husband Nate. At home, her flowerbeds overflow with day lilies and the weathered brick walls of her beautiful house glow in the evening light. The air is filled with the scent of the puffed apple pancakes she prepared that morning.

But one night, when Nate returns home, he is distant. He and Connie have been married for a long time, and while the laughter and lingering kisses have dwindled, Connie believed they would be together forever. So when a stranger arrives on their doorstep with a shocking secret about Nate, Connie’s life changes beyond all recognition.

Connie never thought she’d need to start over and live a life without Nate by her side. But as her heart breaks, Piper and the team at the inn are ready to help stitch it back together, with thoughtful advice washed down with warm spiced cider. As Connie begins to feel whole again, distraction arrives in the form of olive-skinned, broad-shouldered newcomer James. Nate has taught Connie that she doesn’t need a man, but James’s arrival helps her discover that she can follow her own dreams too. But as more secrets come to the surface, Connie wonders if she’ll ever truly be able to leave behind her past for good…
 
My review
 
We are back in the picturesque town of Tansy Falls with book 2 in the Tansy Falls series. Connie is the main character of this story. She is the manager of the Covered Bridge Inn owned by Piper and Spencer.
 
Connie is worried her husband has become distant since he lost his job and she feels her 20 year marriage is at an end, her father has a new girlfriend that is a decade younger than her and she is trying to organise a publicity weekend for the inn.
Cate Woods has piled dilemma after dilemma onto Connie as she struggles with her marriage, her job and her father's new relationship.
 
I really enjoyed book 1 with Nell's story and following her character growth. Nell's story was relatable however, Connie's story didn't affect me the same way. She wasn't likeable and her lack of communication with her husband was frustrating.
 
The imagery is vivid as Tansy Falls and its surrounds are described throughout the story. Characters  from book 1 have very brief appearances and I would have liked to have seen more of them.
Woods highlights the consequences of making assumptions and jumping to conclusions, along with the need for communication in marriage.
 
I have fallen in love with the beautiful town of Tansy Falls and even though the plot of book 2 didn't resonate with me I am looking forward to book 3 to see what's in store for this town and its residents.
 
My rating  3 / 5    ⭐⭐⭐

 
 
 
About the author
 
Cate Woods made the most of her degree in Anglo-Saxon Literature by embarking on a career making tea on programmes including The Big Breakfast, Who Wants to be a Millionaire and French & Saunders. After narrowly missing out on the chance to become a Channel 5 weather girl she moved into the world of magazine journalism, then ghostwriting and now writes novels under her own name. She has written two best-selling romantic comedies, Just Haven't Met You Yet and More Than a Feeling - and a festive novel, The Christmas Guest, under the name Daisy Bell. Cate lives in London with her husband and two children.


Buy Links:



 
 

Saturday, 22 January 2022

Winner of a copy of Unforgiven by Sarah Barrie announced!!

 

Once again I would like to thank everyone who entered my giveaway for a copy of Unforgiven.  The giveaway closed on the 20th January and the winner was randomly selected (using Random org) from all correct entries. 


Congratulations to........   Billyjean

The Instagram winner was @jocelyn_maree

 

 The winner has been notified and has seven days to provide a mailing address.

 Please look under the giveaway tab for more chances to win great books.

Giveaways coming soon....

Coming in February...


 


Tuesday, 18 January 2022

Book Review: The Order of Time and Odin's Door by Scott P. Southall

 The Order of Time and Odin's Door
by
Scott P. Southall

Publisher: Seaview Press Holdings
 
Publication date: 20th January 2022 
 
Series: Order of Time #2
 
Genre: Fantasy / Young Adult
 
Pages: 270
 
Format read: paperback
 
Source: Courtesy of the author
 
About the book
 
The orange light bathed  the snow-covered fields as the fiery globe began to dip below the horizon. It was strange that something so beautiful could signal the arrival of something so evil. One thing twelve-year-old twins Anastasia and Edward Upston knew for sure was that when mortals were caught between two bickering gods nothing good would come of it. Surviving the Viking Age may be the hardest thing they ever do, if they can.....
 
My review
 
Twelve-year-old twins Anastasia and Edward are back in the second action packed adventure in The Order of Time series.
The twins travel from their hometown of Washington DC to London where they are to attend a disciplinary hearing for their good friend and mentor Dr G.

With this series I think it's imperative to read Book 1 The Order of Time first to get the full background on The Order and how the twins became involved.

The Order of Time and Odin's Door is another fabulous time travel adventure filled with amazing characters. Anastasia and Edward are transported to the world of the Vikings and Norse Mythology. They again use their different strengths to solve problems by working together. In this story they  band together with Vikings, Soren and Eric the Red, who are on a mission to save their village from the dragon Nidhogg.

I was totally captivated by this whole story firstly in London as we learn all about The Order and the academy. Not everyone in The Order is keen for the twins to join and there is treachery at play. As we move to the Vikings the action heats up when they come face to face with a giant kraken, an army of zombies and a malevolent dragon. This mythological tale had me on the edge of my seat.

The Order of Time and Odin's Door has superb world building, unforgettable characters and confrontations aplenty.
The Oder of Time is a tremendous series and the scope for new stories has no bounds. I'm hooked!

Recommended age 11+
Undead zombies (descriptive scenes)
moderate violence 

My rating 5 / 5  ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐




About the author

Credit: Goodreads
 Scott is an American author and banking executive who lives in Sydney, Australia. He grew up in the suburbs of Washington D.C. and attended Georgetown University.

While he loves his job as a global banker, his true passion is making up stories with his children. His debut novel, The Order of Time, reached #1 in it’s category on Amazon and was the 2021 Reader’s Favorite Gold Medal Winner in the Children's – Mythology/Fairy Tale genre. 
 


Friday, 14 January 2022

Book Review & Giveaway: Unforgiven by Sarah Barrie

 Unforgiven
by
Sarah Barrie
 
Once a victim, she's now a vigilante
 
 
Imprint: HQ Fiction
 
Publication date: 1st December 2021
 
Genre: Crime Fiction
 
Pages: 496
 
RRP: $29.99AUD
 
Format read: Uncorrected advance copy
 
Source: Courtesy of the publisher 

About the book
 
Lexi Winter is tough, street-smart and has stood on her own two feet since childhood, when she was a victim of notorious paedophile the Spider. All she cares about now is a roof over her head and her long-term relationship with Johnny Walker. She isn't particular about who she sleeps with ... as long as they pay before leaving.

Lexi is also an ace hacker, tracking and entrapping local paedophiles and reporting them to the cops. When she finds a particularly dangerous paedophile who the police can't touch, she decides to gather enough evidence to put him away. Instead, she's a witness to his death ...

Detective Inspector Rachael Langley is the cop who cracked the Spider case, 18 years earlier - but failed to protect Lexi. Now a man claiming to be the real Spider is emulating his murderous acts, and Rachael is under pressure from government, media and her police colleagues. Did she get it wrong all those years ago, or is this killer a copycat?

Lexi and Rachael cross paths at last, the Spider in their sights ... but they may be too late ...
 
My review
 
Unforgiven takes place over a three week period but the action is so full on it feels much longer.
Told through first person narration by Lexi, former victim now vigilante paedophile hunter. I feel this type of narrative gives the reader  a more personal look at Lexi, how she feels and why she acts the way she does. An alternating third person narrative is also given for DI Rachael Langley. The alternating narratives keep the story moving at a fast pace.
 
I did find the content of child abuse, paedophilia and child murder deeply disturbing and very hard to read at times.
 
Barry highlights the complexity of the dark web with its numerous hidden portals and the difficulty police have with breaking into these sites and making arrests before they close down.
As Rachael and her team try to catch a deadly paedophile calling himself The Spider they are hampered by the stretched resources of police and community services and the limited power they have to act on information received.
 
Barrie does add a little humour into what is otherwise a dark read with Lexi's neighbour Dawny who has a few tricks up her sleeve when Lexi is in  need of help. Dawny was a fun character and a warning to us all to never underestimate the old lady who lives across the road. 
 
Unforgiven is a gripping, tension filled read that exposes the fragility of children and the extraordinary work of the people trying to protect them.
 
My rating 4.5 / 5   ⭐⭐⭐⭐½

 
 
 
About the author
 
Photo: Goodreads
 
Sarah Barrie is the author of eight novels, including her bestselling print debut Secrets of Whitewater Creek, the Hunters Ridge trilogy and the Calico Mountain trilogy. In a past life, while gaining degrees in arts, science and education, Sarah worked as a teacher, a vet nurse, a horse trainer and a magazine editor, before deciding she wanted to write novels. About the only thing that has remained constant is her love of all things crime.Her favourite place in the world is the family property, where she writes her stories overlooking mountains crisscrossed with farmland, bordered by the beauty of the Australian bush, and where, at the end of the day, she can spend time with family, friends, a good Irish whiskey and a copy of her next favourite book. 
 
 
Giveaway
 
Thanks to Harper Collins I have two additional copies of Unforgiven to giveaway. One here on my blog and one on Instagram @theburgeoningbookshelf  You can enter both. Australian addresses only. Giveaway closes at midnight EDST on 20th January 2022. 
 
This giveaway is now closed and the winners were announced HERE

Monday, 10 January 2022

Mailbox Monday - January 10th

Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week (or month). I post my new books on the last Monday of the month (very late with my December post). It now has a permanent home at the Mailbox Monday Blog

 

 
Happy Monday!
 
It's been a while since I last posted a Monday update. Christmas has come and gone and we are in the middle of a very humid summer. Dot has been enjoying the pool and we even got Jay in for a swim today. He usually sits on the edge because he doesn't like to get wet.
 
I couldn't resist this Christmas themed toilet paper. The ultimate in Christmas decor 😀
 
  
 
Every night we go for a walk along a path beside the creek and the last few nights we have been lucky to see an abundance of wildlife; turtles, water dragons, skinks, blue-tongue lizards and ducks. 
 

 

 
After all the worry with Covid and not knowing whether our daughter's wedding would be able to go ahead, or not, we were very lucky to be in a Covid free window and the wedding went off beautifully. It was an unusually cold summer's day but it didn't rain so that's a plus. The setting was gorgeous with the surrounds lush and green and the dining area open to the outside.


We spent New Years Eve at home watching the festivities and fireworks on TV. This seemed the safest option as Covid had started it's rampage through Sydney.


Books I've received for review, purchased new, bought second hand and received as gifts
 

All cover images link to Goodreads

Jack Gregson & The Stolen Sons    You Need to Know      The Bone Ranger
 
Lily Harford's Last Request    The Bluffs  All We Have Is Now    
 
The Russian Wife  Kill Your Brother
 
Do any of the above peak your interest? What has arrived in your mailbox lately?

Sunday, 9 January 2022

Book Review: 138 Dates by Rebekah Campbell

 138 Dates
by
Rebekah Campbell
 
The true story of one woman's search for everything
 
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
 
Imprint: A&U New Zealand
 
Publication date: 2nd July 2021
 
Genre: Non Fiction / Memior
 
Pages: 416
 
RRP $29.99AUD 

Format read: Paperback
 
Source: Courtesy of the publisher via DMCPR Media.
 
About the book
 
 On the outside, Rebekah Campbell has an enviable life. She is founder of hot Sydney startup Posse.com, writes a popular blog and gives inspirational talks at conferences for female entrepreneurs.

But when she turns off the light each night, she is alone and terrified of the future. She knows that what's important to her isn't money or startup glory or social media followers. She wants love. She wants a family.

And she is stuck. She hasn't been on a date in ten years. She's too embarrassed to list herself on the internet and can't bear the risk of getting rejected.

She decides to act. She'll take the tactics she's learnt building companies and apply them to finding a man. Her epic journey will take her on dates with 138 different men in Sydney, New York and San Francisco, while at the same time confronting the immense challenges of launching a business.

She'll face exhaustion, humiliation and heartbreak; she'll meet some strange and dangerous characters. And she will strip herself of the ego and expectations that have been holding her back. She will not stop.


138 Dates proves that the end is always worth the effort.
 
My review
 
I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. Not being the target audience and all.
 
If you follow Rebekah on social media you know how this turns out but this little spoiler didn't affect my reading pleasure.
 
Rebekah is open and honest as she takes on finding love as she would a business venture, organising do's and don'ts lists and practically interviewing her dates. 
I did find her quite judgemental and not very warm when she was on the dates. She was all business.  
I admire her tenacity as she goes on 138 different dates and I enjoyed all the descriptions of the different restaurants and meals she had. 
 
As she combines looking for love with the stress of running a start-up, Rebekah talks a lot about her business and work although I still feel she played down how stressful and time consuming starting your own business is.
 
I really enjoyed this candid and entertaining look at dating in your mid thirties and the call out not to give up on your dreams. However, I feel the real take out was Rebekah's acceptance of herself. It's hard to find love when you don't love yourself.
 
My rating 4 / 5  ⭐⭐⭐⭐

 
 
About the author
 
Rebekah Campbell is the co-founder of Hey You, a mobile app used by more than one million Australians to order and pay at cafes. She has kept a blog about her experiences as an entrepreneur which was named 'Best Business Blog' by Smart Company and became a New York Times column in 2012. Rebekah writes a monthly opinion piece for AFR BOSS Magazine and has contributed to MamaMia, Women's Agenda and Stuff. She is a high-profile public speaker who spoke at TEDx Sydney and numerous events for Business Chicks. Rebekah was named a Woman of Influence in 2015 and APEC Young Woman Innovator. She is currently the host and curator of the City of Sydney's virtual event series 'Reboot', supporting 18,000 Sydney business owners to recover from the impact of COVID 19. Rebekah's personal passion is her everything which she finds at the end of this book.  
 
 

Saturday, 8 January 2022

Winners in my latest Giveaways announced!!

 Once again I would like to thank everyone who entered my giveaways for a copies of Once Burnt, Twice Shy, The Last Thing He Told Me and The LaVonda Robinette Double Set. The giveaways closed on the 8th December, 28th December and 7th January respectively and the winners were randomly selected (using Random org) from all correct entries. 


Congratulations to ................... Sharon who won a copy of Once Burnt, Twice Shy


Congratulations to .................. Jodie K & Tracy M who won copies of The Last Thing He Told Me

 
 
 
Congratulations to .............. Bronze Toes, Ros, Kylie H & DonnaRae  who won copies of the LaVonda Robinette sets.
 
 Please look under the giveaway tab for more chances to win great books.

Saturday, 1 January 2022

Wrap-up of my 2021 Reading Challenges - Let's see how I went!

It's that time of year when we look back over our challenge pledges and see how we went.

You can read my 2021 sign up post HERE

My first one was the Book Lover Book Review Aussie Author Challenge 




I signed up for the EMU level

Read and review 24 titles written by Australian Authors of which at least 10 of those authors are female, at least 10 of those authors are male, and at least 10 of those authors are new to you; Fiction or non-fiction, at least 4 different genre.

My completed challenge was:
58 x Female authors, 10 x Male authors, 40 x New to me authors, 8 x Genres. With a total of 68 books read.
 
I am a bit disappointed with my male Australian authors this year and will endeavour to increase this in 2022.
 
You can see the full list of books HERE 
 
_______________________________________________________
 
 
 
 
I nominated to read and review 30 books for this challenge.
My completed challenge was 58 books read and reviewed.

You can see the full list of books HERE
 
_______________________________________________________
 
This was my second year with the Non Fiction readers challenge.
 

 
There were three challenge levels and I joined Nipper level
 Nonfiction Nipper : Read 3 books, from any category
 
I read four Non Fiction books but they only fit into 2 of the categories listed.
You can see my list of books HERE 
 
__________________________________________________________________

This was my second year with the Historical Fiction challenge hosted by The Intrepid Reader
 

 
There were 6 different reading levels and I will joined:
 Renaissance Reader - 10 books.
 
I completed this challenge by reading 12 books.
You can see my list of books HERE 
 
______________________________________________________
 
 New to me in 2021 was the Cloak & Dagger Challenge 
 

 
There were 5 levels and I signed up for the lowest level:
Amateur sleuth 5 - 15 books
 
I completed this challenge by reading 20 books.
You can see my list of books HERE 
 
📗📘📙📗📘📙📗📘📙📗📘📙📗📘📙📗📘📙📗📘📙
 
 Well that's a wrap for 2021. I will be dropping some of my challenges in 2022 as they are very time consuming adding all the links. However I have found a couple of new ones that look like fun.
Look out for my 2022 challenge sign up post coming soon!
 
#AussieAuthor2021   #AWW2021  #HistFic2021 #2021ReadNonFic #cloakanddaggerchallenge