Posted in Books I have read

Postcards from the Past – Marcia Willett

Contemporary Fiction 4*'s
Contemporary Fiction
4*’s

Billa is enjoying life living in a small community with her brother Edward in their Cornish childhood home. Although she occasionally mourns the children she never had, on the whole life with Edward and Dom, who lives nearby, is almost too good to be true. All that peace of mind changes when a picture postcard of a bicycle arrives. The words are innocuous so why does she hide it away? What harm can someone she has not had news of or set eyes on for over fifty years do?

This book is one of those that has multiple stories skilfully handled. The landscape, people, dogs and life in a small community is descriptive without being laboured so that I had a clear picture of each character, what their hopes and dreams were, what sadness they’d suffered and what their homes look like; all of these were vivid and clearly defined.

All of the scene setting makes the point when the past collides with the present, in the form of an unwelcome visitor, more dramatic. What does he want and how much of the tale he tells them can they believe? Can someone really destroy all the beauty and love that surrounds Billa and Edward? Both siblings deal with the visit in their own way and as ever Dom is looking out for both of them.

There is something for all types of readers within these pages; a little bit of romance, a little bit of mystery a book that allows the reader to examine how actions in the past can have consequences in the future but most of all this is a book about people which Marcia Willett has bought to life with her expert layering of their stories.

I received my copy of this book from the publisher in return for this honest review.

Posted in Weekly Posts

WWW Wednesday (December11)

WWW Wednesday green

Hosted by Miz B at Should be Reading
To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…
• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

I am currently reading Postcards from the Past by Marcia Willett

Postcards from The Past

Siblings Billa and Ed share their beautiful, grand old childhood home in rural Cornwall. Their lives are uncomplicated. With family and friends nearby and their free and easy living arrangements, life seems as content as can be.
But when postcards start arriving from a sinister figure they thought belonged well and truly in their pasts, old memories are stirred. Why is he contacting them now? And what has he been hiding all these years? Amazon

I’ve nearly finished this one which is a gentler read than the last couple of books I’ve read!

I have finished The Killer Next Door by Alex Marwood
click on the cover to read my review

Next I am going back to crime albeit mixed with some history with The Murder Tree by Alan Veale
The Murder Tree

Blurb

Chrissie Fersen desperately wants to know how she is connected to the death of a servant woman in Glasgow in 1862. Enlisting the aid of local librarian Billie Vane, she is determined to clear the name of the woman originally convicted of the crime. But her chief suspect appears to be alive and well – and it looks like he still has murder on his mind…
The Murder Tree introduces an unlikely pair of heroes: the American daughter of a wealthy businessman and a Manchester-born librarian working in Glasgow. Each have their share of domestic strife to deal with, while sharing a thirst to find out the truth about a 150 year-old murder. But deaths are still taking place today as far afield as New York, and trying to dig through the roots of this unique family tree becomes more hazardous than either Chrissie or Billie could have foreseen…
The Murder Tree is based on the true story of Jessie McLachlan, convicted of murder in 1862, but who famously accused an old man of the crime after being found guilty at her trial

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Posted in Weekly Posts

Teaser Tuesday (December 10)

Teasing Tuesday CB

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My Teaser this week is from Postcards from the Past by Marcia Willett

Postcards from The Past

Blurb

Siblings Billa and Ed share their beautiful, grand old childhood home in rural Cornwall. Their lives are uncomplicated. With family and friends nearby and their free and easy living arrangements, life seems as content as can be.
But when postcards start arriving from a sinister figure they thought belonged well and truly in their pasts, old memories are stirred. Why is he contacting them now? And what has he been hiding all these years? Amazon

‘It’s Bitser to the life,’ he says. ‘Gosh that takes me back’ and he turns the card to see who has sent it and the smile drops from his face in an instant. He stares at Billa, shocked and angry. ‘It’s like a declaration of war,’ he says at last.

Postcards from the Past Amazon UK

Posted in Weekly Posts

Friday Finds (November 22)

Friday Finds Hosted by Should be Reading

FRIDAY FINDS showcases the books you ‘found’ and added to your To Be Read (TBR) list… whether you found them online, or in a bookstore, or in the library — wherever! (they aren’t necessarily books you purchased).

So, come on — share with us your FRIDAY FINDS!

My finds include A is for Angelica by Iain Broome, I first heard about this book at Words and Peace and it has made its way onto my kindle.

A is for Angelica

Gordon Kingdom struggles with the fate of his seriously-ill wife while patiently observing and methodically recording the lives of those around him: his neighbours. He has files on them all, including Don Donald (best friend and petty thief), Annie Carnaffan (lives next door, throws footballs over the fence), and Benny (the boy who paints with his eyes closed).
Then there’s Angelica, the new girl (42) on the street, with her multi-coloured toenails and her filthy temper. It’s when she arrives that Gordon’s world of half-truths really begins to unravel. Faced with a series of unexpected events and a faltering conscience, he’s left with an impossible decision.
Because in the banality of everyday life, what would you do if the unthinkable happened? Amazon

A is for Angelica

Having really enjoyed The Mistresses Revenge by Tamara Cohen I was thrilled to be given a free copy of Someone Else’s Wedding courtesy of Netgalley.

someone else's wedding

Mr & Mrs Max Irving request the company of:
Mrs Fran Friedman, mourning her empty nest, her lost baby, the galloping years, and a disastrous haircut.
Mr Saul Friedman, runner of marathons, avoider of conflicts and increasingly distant husband
The two Misses Friedman, Pip and Katy, one pining over the man she can’t have, the other trying to shake off the man she no longer wants
At the marriage of their son James Irving, forbidden object of inappropriate and troubling desire
For thirty-six hours of secrets and lies, painted-on-smiles and potential ruin. And drinks, plenty of drinks.
There’s nothing like a wedding for stirring up the past. As Fran negotiates her way from Saturday morning to Sunday evening she is forced to confront things she’s long thought buried, sending shockwaves through her family, and to make decisions about the future that will have far-reaching consequences for them all. Amazon

This looks like a fun read which has already been published in hardback – the paperback is due out on May 8, 2014 .

Someone Else’s Wedding

I have also received a copy of Postcards From The Past by Marcia Willetts from Netgalley which was published on

Postcards from The Past

Siblings Billa and Ed share their beautiful, grand old childhood home in rural Cornwall. Their lives are uncomplicated. With family and friends nearby and their free and easy living arrangements, life seems as content as can be.
But when postcards start arriving from a sinister figure they thought belonged well and truly in their pasts, old memories are stirred. Why is he contacting them now? And what has he been hiding all these years Goodreads

Postcards from the Past

While staying with my brother and borrowing his book on Rose West I also acquired his lovely A.A. Milne book Winnie the Pooh: The Complete Collection of Stories & Poems.

The Complete Collection of Stories and Poems

The A.A. Milne poems were literally a life-saver. I remember vividly one crazy day with a young baby and toddler. Having recited Forgiven many times, I was stood cooking fish-fingers for little ones dinner whilst nursing the baby (probably not a recommended, but needs must!) whilst distracting a rampaging, hungry toddler with a duet about Alexander Beetle. I’m sure anyone had witnessing this literary moments would have wondered whether every day involved quite so much multi-tasking, it did!

For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure and for my fond memories of calmer recitations I share Forgiven, and for any parent of young children – poems are great,no book is required so  you can carry on with one-hundred other activities at the same time!

Forgiven

I found a little beetle; so that Beetle was his name,
And I called him Alexander and he answered just the same.
I put him in a match-box, and I kept him all the day …
And Nanny let my beetle out –
Yes, Nanny let my beetle out –
She went and let my beetle out –
And Beetle ran away.

She said she didn’t mean it, and I never said she did,
She said she wanted matches and she just took off the lid,
She said that she was sorry, but it’s difficult to catch
An excited sort of beetle you’ve mistaken for a match.

She said that she was sorry, and I really mustn’t mind,
As there’s lots and lots of beetles which she’s certain we could find,
If we looked about the garden for the holes where beetles hid –
And we’d get another match-box and write BEETLE on the lid.

We went to all the places which a beetle might be near,
And we made the sort of noises which a beetle likes to hear,
And I saw a kind of something, and I gave a sort of shout:
“A beetle-house and Alexander Beetle coming out!”

It was Alexander Beetle I’m as certain as can be,
And he had a sort of look as if he thought it must be Me,
And he had a sort of look as if he thought he ought to say
“I’m very very sorry that I tried to run away.”

And Nanny’s very sorry too for you-know-what-she-did,
And she’s writing ALEXANDER very blackly on the lid,
So Nan and Me are friends, because it’s difficult to catch
An excited Alexander you’ve mistaken for a match.

A.A. Milne

Winnie The Pooh : The Complete Collection of Stories & Poems

So yet another wonderful book for acquiring books although I haven’t read most of the books I planned to in November – Oh well!

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Posted in Books I want to Read

Books to be published in October 2013

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Now that September is drawing to a close I have been looking at the books due to be published in October, starting with The Edge of Normal by Carla Norton. This one looks seriously scary perfect for a cold evening in front of the fire.

Publisher: Pan  10 Oct 2013
Publisher: Pan
10 Oct 2013

Blurb

Reeve LeClaire was abducted when she was twelve years old and held in captivity for four years. Now, in her twenties, she has a fragile stability but with the help of her psychiatrist, she has started to build a life of independence. But she will never shake off the terror and memory of the monster she believes is behind bars. When Tilly Cavanaugh is rescued from a basement having suffered a similar experience, her parents call Reeve to ask for her help in helping their daughter rediscover a ‘normal’ life. But it is only when two other girls go missing that the police confirm the link and that there is a serial abductor in their midst. Reeve knows that she alone has the knowledge which will help to find the perpetrator – but can she overcome her demons to discover the truth? Amazon

I really hope Helen Fielding is still able to make me smile with Bridget Jones, Mad About The Boy

Publisher: Jonathan Cape  10 Oct 2013
Publisher: Jonathan Cape
10 Oct 2013

Blurb

With her hotly anticipated third instalment, Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy, Fielding introduces us to a whole new enticing phase of Bridget’s life set in contemporary London, including the challenges of maintaining sex appeal as the years roll by and the nightmare of drunken texting, the skinny jean, the disastrous email cc, total lack of twitter followers, and TVs that need 90 buttons and three remotes to simply turn on. Amazon

Secrets from the past are always intriguing so Postcards From The Past by Marcia Willets looks like a must!

Publisher: Bantam Press 10 Oct 2013
Publisher: Bantam Press
10 Oct 2013

Blurb

Can you ever escape your family ties?
Siblings Billa and Ed share their beautiful, grand old childhood home in rural Cornwall. Their lives are uncomplicated. With family and friends nearby and their free and easy living arrangements, life seems as content as can be.
But when postcards start arriving from a sinister figure they thought belonged well and truly in their pasts, old memories are stirred. Why is he contacting them now? And what has he been hiding all these years?Amazon

I’m looking forward to seeing what Elizabeth Haynes will serve up in her fourth book, Under a Silent Moon but the blurb has meant that this one is on pre-order!

Publisher: Sphere 15 Oct 2013
Publisher: Sphere
15 Oct 2013

In the crisp early morning hours, the police are called to a suspected murder at a farm outside a small English village. A beautiful young woman has been found dead, blood all over the cottage she lived in. At the same time, police respond to a reported female suicide, where a car has fallen into a local quarry.

As DCI Louisa Smith and her team gather the evidence, they discover a link between these two women, a link which has sealed their dreadful fate one cold night, under a silent moon.

Told in a unique way, using source documents that allow readers to interpret the evidence alongside DCI Louisa Smith and her team, Under a Silent Moon is an unsettling and compulsively readable novel that will keep you gripped until the very last page. Amazon

I am also buying for the non-fiction Inconvenient People by Sarah Wise in paperback as this will go onto my bookshelf so that I can read all about the Victorian Lunatic Asylums.

3rd October
3rd October

Gaslight tales of rooftop escapes, men and women snatched in broad daylight, patients shut in coffins, a fanatical cult known as the Abode of Love.
The nineteenth century saw repeated panics about sane individuals being locked away in lunatic asylums. With the rise of the ‘mad-doctor’ profession, English liberty seemed to be threatened by a new generation of medical men willing to incarcerate difficult family members in return for the high fees paid by an unscrupulous spouse or friend.
Sarah Wise uncovers twelve shocking stories, untold for over a century and reveals the darker side of the Victorian upper and middle classes – their sexuality, fears of inherited madness, financial greed and fraudulence – and chillingly evoke the black motives at the heart of the phenomenon of the ‘inconvenient person’.Amazon

To read my review on Bellman & Black by Diane Setterfield, click on the book cover.

Bellman & Black blue Bellman & Black is due to be published on 10 October 2013 by Orion.

autumn20leaf