Posted in Weekly Posts

Weekly Wrap Up (August 28)

Weekly Wrap Up

Well greetings from the Mother-in-Law, my latest moniker! Since I last updated you we had a bride with a black-eye, a chief bridesmaid with a broken toe, a guest who got stung by a wasp at the pre-wedding bbq and yet, the moment my gorgeous daughter strode purposefully down towards her groom, I knew all was going to go well – and it did!

Beth's poemThere were so many highlights to the day, I won’t bore you all with them, apart from this one… Before my daughter turned eighteen, my brother asked her what she would like as a present, she didn’t want an expensive keepsake, instead she asked him to make something for her. The two of them decided that he would write her a poem, which he did and had framed for her. For her wedding she wanted another and this one was so superb I just have to share it with you – there was nary a dry eye in the castle when this was being read and it too is framed ready to hang on their wall to remind them of a truly special day.

 

This Castle Queen

Rock solid in foundation, gazing out across the seas;

Majestically serene, she has seen the centuries

Roll by; and yet, stands fast against the beachhead, looking ever on,

A myriad of mystery forever standing strong.

Her walls are fixed, resilient, whilst endless waves cascade;

This Castle Queen looks over those both Jersey born or made.

Her face remains untroubled by all of time’s debris,

Her flags alone are flustered, battered but still free.

 

Today a beauteous princess is welcomed to her heart;

Standing proud before us amid these stone ramparts.

Tempestuous in temperament, tenacious through and through,

Caring and compassionate; loving, loyal and true.

Her beauty shines most brightly now, both outward and within;

A vision of maturity to all her kith and kin.

 

Elegance-personified bestows maternal love

On her picture-perfect daughter and on those who live above.

Her liltingly infectious laugh spreads out beyond the room

As she welcomes to her family the handsome, charming groom.

 

Part-hidden by the shadows, a moustachioed figure stands;

Beams towards the bridal group, whilst his ephemeral hands

Move like lightening, across the unseen page,

Creating everlasting likenesses of those on centre stage.

A wry smile breaks his lips; and still – they part to softly sing –

And send lights to shine eternally within each wedding ring.

 

The bride accepts the binding band from her adoring man,

Their lives entwined forever now in Fate’s forgiving hands.

As he takes hers on his for life, placed with assuring grace,

Two bodies, hearts and minds combine, fused in love’s pure embrace.

 

Rock solid in foundation, gazing out as kindred forms;

Majestic in each other’s arms they’ll face the strongest storms.

Together more resilient, with hearts aflame with love,

Surrounded and adored by those on Earth and from above.

This Castle Queen has never seen a marriage such as this –

And all those here today rejoice to witness wedded bliss.

We soon recovered and the bride and groom finished their vows and here are a few of the pictures taken throughout the day.

IMG_0852IMG_0851IMG_0850

 

 

 

 

 

Last Week on the Blog

Well a consequence of all that excitement is not a lot happened here on the blog but I did manage three reviews:

A re-post of my review for The Hidden Legacy by G.J. Minett for the publication of the paperback on Thursday’s post, this was well up on my list of favourite reads of 2015 and I was delighted to help to remind those who prefer ‘real’ books that they can now read it too!

Friday saw number 12 of my 20 Books of Summer challenge with a review of Tea by the Nursery Fire by Noel Streatfeild. Not my favourite of my picks for the challenge but as it came with a healthy dollop of nostalgia for one of my favourite childhood authors, it wasn’t the worst either.

Yesterday had me reviewing The Perfect Girl by Gilly Macmillan which was a truly compulsive read and got the full five stars from me.

This Time Last Year

Appropriately although I couldn’t know it at the time, this time last year had me reviewing a book about a hen weekend, this was one of the few books that spooked me probably not helped by the title borrowed from a children’s rhyme, In a Dark, Dark Wood. Ruth Ware really wowed me with this spooky tale which is full of odd characters not least the obsessive chief bridesmaid Claire and the mixture of exposed secrets in an isolated house kept the tension high throughout the read. I awarded this psychological thriller five stars.

In a Dark Dark Wood
You can read my review here

Blurb

Someone’s getting married. Someone’s getting murdered.
In a dark, dark wood
Nora hasn’t seen Clare for ten years. Not since Nora walked out of school one day and never went back.
There was a dark, dark house
Until, out of the blue, an invitation to Clare’s hen do arrives. Is this a chance for Nora to finally put her past behind her?
And in the dark, dark house there was a dark, dark room
But something goes wrong. Very wrong.
And in the dark, dark room…. NetGalley

Have you read this one?

Stacking the Shelves

Not much in the way of stacking has gone on either since my last post with just one offering: A Man with One of those Faces by Caimh McDonnell.

A Man With One of those Faces

Blurb

The First time somebody tried to kill him was an accident.
The second time was deliberate.
Now Paul Muchrone finds himself on the run with nobody to turn to except a nurse who has read one-too-many crime novels and a renegade copper with a penchant for violence. Together they must solve one of the most notorious crimes in Irish history…
…or else they’ll be history.

 

PicMonkey Collage TBR
TBR WATCH
Since my last post I have read 3 books, gave one to my brother and gained just 1 so the total is now 171 books! I haven’t had a total this low since the beginning of March so a pat on the back for me I think!
82 physical books
68 e-books
21 books on NetGalley

What have you found to read this week?

Posted in Book Review, Books I have read, Five Star Reads

In a Dark Dark Wood – Ruth Ware

Psychological Thriller 5*s
Psychological Thriller
5*s

In a dark, dark wood there was a dark, dark house;
And in the dark, dark house there was a dark, dark, room;
And in the dark, dark room there was a dark, dark cupboard;
And in the dark, dark cupboard there was…a skeleton!
—-traditional Halloween tale

Well this book is perfectly suited to an autumnal evening such is the oppressiveness of the mystery that is held within the pages of this book.

This spooky story starts with Leonora, now known as Nora being invited to the hen party of her former friend, Clare. The invite comes from the unknown Flo but Nora isn’t sure she wants to join the rest of the hens in the woodland hideaway  particularly as she hasn’t spoken to Clare for ten years, ever since the day she left school one day never to return. So we already know something bad has happened in the past and you’d think that since Nora is a crime writer, she would have been alerted to something iffy, but… there wouldn’t be a story if she had done what most of us would do, and made an excuse and not gone, with good reason, after all she wasn’t invited to the wedding. Back to the story, Nora makes contact with another of the hens. Nina and they agree that they’ll both go as support to each other. After all it might be fun!

When the hens arrive at the house they are surprised that the Northumberland getaway isn’t an old creepy home but glass structured house which has views into the woods, but that means that it is easy to feel that anyone who chooses to, can see in. The atmosphere in the house is so realistically portrayed. Six people none of whom know all of the others, except the bride-to-be are forced to have fun together and you can feel the underlying tension which occurs in such unnatural circumstances. Of course part of the problem is that no-one is quite sure who knows their secrets.

The characters are great especially as the tension rises. We meet Clare the bride-to-be who is reserved in the extreme along with her chief bridesmaid Flo who is there to ensure that Clare’s hen do is everything she dreamed of and will do anything to make sure that happens, aka known as a complete control freak! Alongside them we have the token male, Tom who is Clare’s camp friend and Melanie, a new mum of the kind that believes she is the first mother to ever leave her child for the first time. With Nina far more outgoing than the more reserved Nora the first evening gets off to a lively start which isn’t without the threat of exposing long-held secrets and we all know how well drink and secrets mix!

The story is told in part in a series of flashbacks and from the start we know something went badly wrong, but what and to whom, is the mystery that kept me turning those pages. I’m not easily spooked but this author’s descriptive writing style really got me in the zone of an oppressive situation and as a consequence I was more than a little creeped out more than once.

I can’t reveal anything more without potentially spoiling the tale for others but suffice to say that although I loved this I did notice a couple of minor weak points in towards the end but the excellent writing and the fact that it raised a few hairs on my neck means that this book fully deserves all the accolades it has received; I add mine to the long list.

I am very grateful to Random House UK for my copy of this book which was published on 30 July 2015.

Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week In Books (July 22)

This Week In Books Hosted by Lypsyy Lost & Found my Wednesday post gives you a taste of what I am reading this week. A similar meme is run by Taking on a World of Words

I am currently reading In A Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

In a Dark Dark Wood

Blurb

Someone’s getting married. Someone’s getting murdered.
In a dark, dark wood
Nora hasn’t seen Clare for ten years. Not since Nora walked out of school one day and never went back.
There was a dark, dark house
Until, out of the blue, an invitation to Clare’s hen do arrives. Is this a chance for Nora to finally put her past behind her?
And in the dark, dark house there was a dark, dark room
But something goes wrong. Very wrong.
And in the dark, dark room….
Some things can’t stay secret for ever. NetGalley

I have recently finished Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica

Pretty Baby

See yesterday’s post for the synopsis and a taster from this book
My review will follow shortly

20 books of summer logo

Next I am going to read Under World by Reginald Hill, the 10th in the Daziel and Pascoe series and one of my 20 Books of Summer! Challenge

Under World

Blurb

Years ago, young Tracey Pedley disappeared in the woods around Burrthorpe. The close-knit mining village had its own ideas about what happened, but the police pinned it on a known child-killer who subsequently committed suicide.
Now Burrthorpe comes to police attention again. A man’s body is discovered down a mine shaft and it’s clear he has been murdered. Dalziel and Pascoe’s investigation takes them to the heart of a frightened and hostile community. But could the key to the present-day investigation lie in the past when little Tracey vanished into thin air…? Amazon

What have you found to read this week?

See what I’ve been reading in 2015 here

Posted in Weekly Posts

Stacking The Shelves (April 25)

Stacking the shelves

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you’re adding to your shelves, be it buying or borrowing. From ‘real’ books you’ve purchased, a book you’ve borrowed, a book you’ve been given or an e-book they can all be shared!

Oh dear, I feel that I ought to stand up and say ‘My name is Cleopatra and I am a bookaholic’ because for some reason I seem to have been on a NetGalley binge and all those lovely publishers out there enable me by approving my requests! Well here goes:

I have a copy of The Drowned Boy by Karin Fossum, an author I first ‘met’ last year by reading The Murder of Harriet Krohn, a quietly brilliant book. This is the eleventh in the Inspector Sejer series so I hope that it works as a stand-alone and isn’t so good that I feel I have to purchase the previous ten!

The Drowned Boy
Blurb

He’d just learnt to walk,’ she said. ‘He was sitting playing on his blanket, then all of a sudden he was gone.’
A 16-month-old boy is found drowned in a pond right by his home. Chief Inspector Sejer is called to the scene as there is something troubling about the mother’s story. As even her own family turns against her, Sejer is determined to get to the truth. NetGalley

The Drowned Boy will be published on 4 June 2015

I also have a copy of In a Dark Dark Wood by Ruth Ware, a book that is due to be published on 30 July 2015.

In a Dark Dark Wood

Blurb

Someone’s getting married. Someone’s getting murdered.
In a dark, dark wood
Nora hasn’t seen Clare for ten years. Not since Nora walked out of school one day and never went back.
There was a dark, dark house
Until, out of the blue, an invitation to Clare’s hen do arrives. Is this a chance for Nora to finally put her past behind her?
And in the dark, dark house there was a dark, dark room
But something goes wrong. Very wrong.
And in the dark, dark room….
NetGalley

… and I have a copy of If She Did It by Jessica Treadway which was published on 10 March 2015

If She Did It

Blurb

What if you began to suspect your child of an unspeakable crime?
When Dawn introduces her family to her new boyfriend, Rud, they hide their unsettled feelings because they’re glad that Dawn, always an awkward child, seems to have finally blossomed.
Then Dawn’s parents are savagely beaten in their own bed, and though Hanna survives, Rud stands trial for Joe’s murder. Claiming her boyfriend’s innocence, Dawn initially estranges herself from everyone she knows, but when Rud wins an appeal, Dawn returns home saying she wants to support her mother.
Hanna knows that if she could only remember the details of that traumatic night, she could ensure her husband’s murderer remains in jail. But Hanna hadn’t realised that those memories may cause her to question everything she thought she knew about her daughter… NetGalley

I lay the blame for requesting this next book firmly at Lady Fancifull’s door as she wrote such a brilliant review of The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald and mentioned two other favourite books of mine; 84 Charing Cross Road and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, that I simply couldn’t resist requesting a copy for myself!

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend

Blurb

Warning: once you let books into your life, the most unexpected things can happen…
Sara is 28 and has never been outside Sweden – except in the (many) books she reads. When her elderly penfriend Amy invites her to come and visit her in Broken Wheel, Iowa, Sara decides it’s time. But when she arrives, there’s a twist waiting for her – Amy has died. Finding herself utterly alone in a dead woman’s house in the middle of nowhere was not the holiday Sara had in mind.
But Sara discovers she is not exactly alone. For here in this town so broken it’s almost beyond repair are all the people she’s come to know through Amy’s letters: poor George, fierce Grace, buttoned-up Caroline and Amy’s guarded nephew Tom.
Sara quickly realises that Broken Wheel is in desperate need of some adventure, a dose of self-help and perhaps a little romance, too. In short, this is a town in need of a bookshop. NetGalley

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend is due to be published on 18 June 2015

Finally Mel Sherratt contacted me to see if I wanted a copy of Only The Brave, well there was only one answer to that question! This is the third in the Allie Shenton series and I certainly can’t stop now.

Only The Brave

Blurb

When one of the notorious Johnson brothers is murdered and a bag of money goes missing, a deadly game of cat and mouse is set in motion.
DS Allie Shenton and her team are called in to catch the killer, but the suspects are double-crossing each other and Allie has little time to untangle the web of lies.
As she delves deeper into the case, things take a personal turn when Allie realises she is being stalked by the very same person who attacked her sister seventeen years ago and left her for dead.
Set over forty-eight tension-filled hours, Only the Brave is the latest gut-churning police procedural from acclaimed author Mel Sherratt. NetGalley

Only The Brave is due to be published 26 May 2015

Any of these take your fancy? What have you found to read this week? Please do share in the comments below